Towards zero-waste events

Advertorial by Sean Car 

The City of Melbourne is calling on the community to support its mission to make all of its events environmentally friendly. 

This ambition will be on display from November 14 to 23 as part of Melbourne Music Week (MMW) 2019, which will showcase the city’s first carbon neutral-certified music festival and event hub working towards zero waste, located in Alexandra Gardens.

To celebrate the festival’s 10th year, MMW is bringing back its original hub Kubik – an outdoor events space designed by German creatives Balestra Berlin, constructed from industrial containers housing LED lights immersed in water that interact with the beats of the live music.  

However, this year Kubik will focus heavily on sustainability, with the entire hub to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy through the council’s Melbourne Renewable Energy Project wind farm near Ararat. In addition, the containers themselves will be filled with harvested rainwater that will later be redistributed back into the city’s parks and gardens.

Council has also worked with all of its events suppliers to ensure that sustainability is embedded into every aspect of its “zero-waste” hub, from eliminating all single use items where possible such as plastic straws, as well as offering reusable drinking cups. 

The leader of the council’s low carbon future team Nikki Jordan (pictured) explained to CBD News that MMW 2019 would also once again be measuring and offsetting all of its emissions under the federal government’s carbon neutral program. 

“It’s [the program’s] quite a robust process,” she said. “You have to measure your emissions activities by firstly working out which ones are the most material or significant sources for your event and then work to reduce your emissions over time.”

“The remaining carbon footprint will be offset by supporting projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere; like reforestation projects in Queensland and New South Wales and Aboriginal land management projects that lessen the impact of large bushfires.”

While the council itself has been carbon neutral since 2012 it only has control of around one per cent of the municipality’s overall emissions, according to Nikki Jordan, and events are an ideal way for council to engage the community on ways it can have a positive impact.

Through measuring every component of an event from energy efficiency to waste production, she explained that the top two sources of emissions from major events were transport used by patrons to get there and the food and drink consumed. 

Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said that bringing your own drink bottle and using active transport were just some of the ways that MMW 2019 would be encouraging people to help its cause. “We make sustainability a priority and I’m incredibly proud that Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Music Week and Melbourne Knowledge Week are carbon neutral events,” Cr Wood said. “Increasingly, people are telling us they want to feel good about attending an event without being worried about their impact on the environment.”

“If you’re attending an event it’s a good idea to bring your own water bottle and think about cycling, walking and catching public transport rather than driving.”

“We also give patrons the option to contribute to carbon offsetting when booking their tickets so that they’re directly supporting positive environmental and social outcomes in local and international communities.”

The City of Melbourne has a Sustainable Event Guide to help event organisers incorporate more sustainable practises when planning their events. 

For more visit melbourne.vic.gov.au/sustainable-event-guide

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