One of the largest light festivals in Australia, let alone across the Asia-Pacific region, is set to have a green transformation for its 2015 version: offsetting of carbon-based emissions via green power (using accredited renewable sources).
The Vivid Light, Music and Ideas Festival, held annually in Sydney for three weeks between May and June, showpieces an incredible array of video art, stills and lights, that are projected onto various landmarks around the harbour city, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
The City of Sydney (council/municipality) has committed to offset all of the emissions generated from the Vivid Live component of the festival, sourced from ‘accredited renewable sources’. This is one of the many sustainability initiatives implemented by the fesitval’s organisers. This also relates to the council’s comprehensive, long-term project: Sustainable Sydney 2030.
Despite this representing one component of a three-week festival, it still sends a strong message to event organisers in the quest to be more sustainable, to varying degrees of ecological sustainability. Carbon offsetting and recycling are two common selling points for an event’s ‘green’ credentials. However, addressing food wastage, waste avoidance/reduction, bioplastics, funding for conservation projects, convenient and frequent public transport service, provision of drinking water stations are some of the many actions that genuinely reduce an event’s environmental footprint.
Whilst some might question the purpose of changing habits to address sustainability, it is worth noting that a variety of small actions across numerous events can lead to substantial benefits overall. The decisive factor in driving positive change is creating incentives for good habits or a disincentive for negative ones; preferably the former. A container deposit scheme is one example. Ultimately, these schemes need to be financially viable and convenient, as part of creating a triple-bottom-line for event organisers.
Image source: Vivid Sydney