Everyone attending YorNight 2020 was encouraged to arrive on foot, by bicycle or by public transport wherever this was possible. 

Drinking water

Free drinking water was available at the York Barbican bars and visitors were encouraged to bring a refillable bottle with them on the day.


York Barbican has 13 bins across the venue which are used for both general waste and recycling. York Barbican’s partner Yorwaste collects these, and sorts and recycles accordingly. Non-recyclable waste is processed and turned into energy as the venue aims not to send anything to landfill.

York Barbican aims to reduce food waste to zero by effective stock control and kitchen planning, while also monitoring ordering habits and customer interest, meaning no food is left to waste and no excessive stock is prepared. Biodegradable drinking straws are used.

Publicity materials and merchandise

All the paper used in our marketing materials was fully recyclable, FSC accredited and from sustainable forests. Our promotional materials included pencils made from approximately 30 per cent recycled denim and 70 per cent recycled polystyrene, and rulers made from very thin recycled polypropylene. We did not provide balloons.

Sustainability and the University of York

YorNight 2020 was presented by the University of York. The University has a wide range of initiatives, activities and actions that contribute to our position as a sustainable institution. We recognise that as a prestigious Russell Group University, we have the capability to deliver extensive environmental contributions through our internationally recognised academic teaching, research programmes and community and campus-based activities.

Our Environmental Sustainability Policy sets out our commitments to:

  • develop our environmental management systems
  • protect the environment and minimise pollutions from our activities
  • comply with environmental rules and regulations
  • increase sound scientific knowledge of environmental sustainability through our research and educational programmes.