We’re proud to be committed to sustainability and reducing the environmental impacts of Manchester Day.


We were awarded the Creative Green certification (three stars) in July 2017 in recognition of our environmental commitment and action and work to engage with event partners and community participants, and were also a finalist for the ‘Promotion of Environmental Sustainability Award’ at the Manchester Culture Awards 2018. 

What does being sustainable mean to us?

We aim to develop an event that benefits local communities and the local economy, whilst minimising the negative impact on the environment.

What that means in practice:

  • Social impact: Working closely with communities is at the heart of what we do and we continually strive to ensure Manchester Day can have the best possible effects on local communities.
  • Economic impact: Being careful with our resources in order to achieve this is fundamental to all that we do, where we strive to use local suppliers as much as possible and maximise the impact for the local economy.
  • Environmental impact: Whilst we have a number of areas of good practice already, we are currently reviewing all aspects of our environmental performance in order to set targets for continual improvements.

We’re proud of our sustainability achievements, some of them are:

  • Manchester Day was awarded Creative Green certification (three stars) in July 2017.
  • Many of the parade structures and costumes are made from reused and recycled materials, for example from small items like flowers made from cassette tapes and carrier bag flags to the large puppets that are hired in.
  • Since 2016, we have strengthened efforts to encourage artists to think carefully about their creations so that they can easily be deconstructed to save as much as possible for recycling / reuse. Many items are stored and adapted for re-use each year, such as the wheel bases for moving structures within the Parade
  • There are also some structures that are reused in their entireity at other events – previous examples are: the Dragon, the Malaylee Elephant, and the Unicorn, which continued to wow the crowds in other parades/school events
  • Some groups take an environmental angle to the theme and are encouraged to do so. Previous examples were:
  • The lead image of the 2018 parade was a stranded polar bear reflecting the consequences of climate change.
  • Manchester Secondary Pru created the world on a turtle in 2017 – where the message was ‘if we don’t look after the world, it’ll become a disappearing act of its own!’
  • The Love Your Bike group created a ‘clean air machine’ for the 2017 parade where the message was ‘Let’s save the planet!’ They were recycling pollution with their bikes.
  • 98% of previous parade floats/structures have been pushed, walked, wheeled or cycled
  • Recycling of waste at the Wow Workshop in the months leading up to the day and on the day at start and finish point of Parade and in the squares. In 2017 we recycled 70% of this waste. Data for 2018 is being collated.
  • Since 2014, each year over 60,000 spectators have generated an estimated £1 million in direct economic spend in the city that wouldn’t have happened if the parade was not taking place
  • Each year, approximately 2,500 individuals from around 100 community, voluntary and business groups have taken part
  • 100 volunteering and placement opportunities are taken up in creative and communication support roles each year
  • Around 100 local artists benefit from the Elevate development programme each year
  • With improved messaging on transport options to help journey planning, the Manchester Day audience got behind our efforts in 2017, with 75% opting to travel by public transport (an increase of 8% on the previous year)

For Manchester Day 2017 and 2018 we identified three key environmental issues and corresponding objectives:

  • Waste – we aimed to minimise production of waste across all MD activities and in particular at the WOW workshop during build and derig and at hub areas during the event
  • Transport – we aimed to increase use of sustainable transport by public and participants
  • Communications – we aimed to improve communication of Manchester Day’s sustainable activities

The progress we made for is highlighted in the list of achievements above.  We’re currently reviewing our progress for 2018 and setting new targets for 2019. 

If you would like to find out more, please see our full Sustainability Policy.

If you have any ideas on how we could improve sustainability at Manchester Day or any questions about the work we are currently doing, please get in touch.