Peats Ridge was founded in 2004 with the intention to marry sustainability to the Festival experience. It is Australia’s leading sustainable event and the largest camping Festival held in New South Wales over the New Year period.
Festival in Brief • Situated 1 hour North of Sydney in New South Wales • 4 days duration: Dec 29th to January 1st • 7,500 attendees a day over 4 days • Over 200 bands perform across 10 stages • A fully curated Arts and Theatre program • An Eco-living education and knowledge sharing area • A dedicated Indigenous stage • An extensive Children’s festival spread over three areas • Healing and workshop areas • Swimming, horse-riding and kayaking facilities on site
Peats Ridge’s Founding Environmental Principles To be sustainable and have minimal impact on it’s environment. To research and implement new technologies that assist the Festival in becoming more sustainable. To share information we learn about putting on a sustainable event with other event organisers. To create environmental awareness and educate patrons in living sustainably. To promote discussion and awareness of current and future local and global environmental issues. To provide funding for education programmes in developing countries around sustainable agriculture.
Environmental Initiatives (part 1) Peats Ridge implements a range of environmental initiatives including : Waste minimisation strategies at the Festival via : • container deposit system across all bars • three bin waste system with color coded bin caps, examples of appropriate waste above bin • bin stations at the Festival manned by waste education personnel to provide education and information around waste separation • only compostable cutlery and crockery allowed onsite, no single use sachets allowed • free campers waste kits distributed to all patrons • refillable water bottles and refill stations • Festival powered on 100% biodiesel and solar power, 100% renewable power at Festival office. • Undergoing an annual environmental audit, undertaking ISO 14001 accreditation. • Environmental management plan and environmental management systems in place. • Active engagement of suppliers to maximise sustainability outcomes throughout the supply chain.
Environmental Initiatives (part 2) • 100% composting toilets used throughout entire Festival. • Undergoing council approval process for onsite grey water management system. • Alternative transport options to and from the Festival including : • vehicle levies to encourage car pooling • chaperoned cycling service to the Festival • car share forum built into website • Encouraging Festival-goers to change to Green Energy via our ’Make the Change' initiative. • Offering Festival-goers a carbon offset option in their ticket purchase. • Offering a $500 stall fee rebate to any food stall holder that can provide $2000 worth of organic food receipts. • Mobile phone recycling and solar charging onsite. • All marketing material printed on recycled paper, all decorations made from recycled material.
Awards & Accreditation • 2009 Winner of the Australian Event Award ‘Most Sustainable Event’ • 2009 winner NSW Government Green Globe Award ‘Most Sustainable Small Business in NSW’ • 2008 winner NSW Government Green Globe Award ‘Leader Across all Industry in NSW for Sustainability’ • 2007 and 2009 winner ‘The Greener Festival Award’ • 2009 winner Faster and Louder Award ‘Most Sustainable Festival in Australia’ • Promoting best practice through ‘A Model Event’ Program
Model Event • Key to the Festival’s goals is sharing knowledge and building sustainability capacity in the event industry via the Model Event gateway : • The ‘Model Event’ gateway on the Peats Ridge website shares information on the Festival’s experiences around areas such as green procurement, waste management, grey water systems and emission reductions for events. • www.peatsridgefestival.com.au/index.php/model-event • The Festival also shares it’s experiences in benchmarking new best practice standards in event sustainability via guest university lectures and guest speaking to new event managers.
Future directions Peats Ridge maintains a complete event management team throughout the year. The Festival is currently looking for opportunities to involve itself in the organisation of new large scale sustainable events throughout Australia.
Sustainable Arts & Culture Foundation • Sustainable Arts & Culture was founded in 2007 to facilitate the charitable aims of Peats Ridge. • It is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. • Sustainable Arts & Culture’s core objectives are : • To provide funding for education programs in under-privileged societies, specifically around water management and sustainable agriculture. • To facilitate career opportunities for newly discovered, talented musicians from developing countries via the funding and organisation of tours through festivals and events. • To create education and awareness based around sustainability and sustainable practices. • To work with other organisations to develop community led sustainable projects. • To provide a vehicle for individuals to learn new skills and engage in projects via volunteer programs. • The foundation became active in 2009 and has identified opportunities to achieve it’s aims / has started working towards these outcomes.
Topics for discussion at the Arendal M&E meeting Proposed discussion points, how to : • Minimise the impact of transport at events. • Use music and Festivals to: • rebrand sustainability as a fashionable way of living • get young people passionate about sustainable living • promote green living as a young people’s identity • Integrate communication about sustainability into media. • Incorporate ISO 20121 into the proposed framework for the initiative. Establish a global sharing network and ongoing communication between participants and the wider events community. Discussion around the roles for an Australian network.