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Grass_Hat_credit_Palwesha_YusafAttracting hundreds of entries from all across the country, the Australian Event Awards is a celebration of the many different types of events that Australians love and support, from sporting grand finals and arts and cultural festivals, to charity community events and business conferences.

This year, once again, Peats Ridge was heralded as one of Australia’s most outstanding and innovative events, winning the ‘Best Achievement In Sustainability Award’, one of the four key awards in the ceremony. This is the second year in a row the Festival has won this award and it is added to the long list of other awards Peats Ridge has won for sustainability since it’s inception in 2004



Peats Ridge is a recognised global leader in running sustainable events and has been a launching pad for the sustainable event industry worldwide. While many events are starting to green their processes Peats Ridge has been benchmarking best practice standards since 2004.

The Festival was founded with the objective of researching how an event can reduce its impact upon the environment whilst simultaneously educating its patrons on ways to live their lives more sustainably.

Peats Ridge’s passion is to marry music, art and sustainability to nurture, educate and entertain their audience in the pursuit of true environmental and social sustainability. The Festival aims to explore and showcase more sustainable event management practices whilst providing a unique event made up of socially inclusive art, music, theatre and a separate area dedicated to sustainability education.

Peats Ridge is committed to constantly improving their environmental performance and becoming a testing ground for new sustainability initiatives worldwide. The Festival is currently working with several suppliers to develop new technological solutions for sustainable event management.

In 2010 Peats Ridge became the only organisation in the Southern Hemisphere to become a founding partner in the newly formed United Nations Music & Environment Initiative. The Festival has been appointed to spearhead the Technical Solutions taskforce, the aims of which are to build cross-sectoral solutions to create sustainability outcomes internationally http://www.unep.org/music_env/participants.asp

Aside from the Festival’s onsite achievements, they work in a far broader capacity within the events industry to achieve their sustainability outcomes. Examples of this include engaging suppliers on key procurement issues such as biodiesel and reduced water use, presentations to the events industry, broader business and academia on sustainability issues and knowledge sharing through their online ‘Model Event’ portal. The Festival also regularly works with other organisations to share information and improve sustainability outcomes across the industry. Groups and events that the Festival has assisted this year include The Garden of Earthly Delights - Adelaide Fringe Festival, The John Butler Trio Tour and NSW Department of Environment & Climate Changes Hospitality Sustainability Advantage Cluster Group. The Festival is also collaborating with the NSW Department of Environment Climate Change and Water in benchmarking best practice standards across the industry.

The Festival site lies on private agricultural property in the base of the Glenworth Valley on the NSW Central Coast. The site is surrounded by dry-sclerophyll eucalyptus forest and Popran Creek, a tidal brackish watercourse, intersects the Festival site. The Festival operates for 78 hours annually, from 9am on December 29 to 3pm on January 1 and accommodates over 10,000 camping or day customers and up to 1,500 artists, retail, security and volunteer staff.

Every year Peats Ridge strives to achieve new heights in sustainability and environmental outcomes. The 2010 Festival will feature exciting new initiatives as well as improvements on existing initiatives.


The Festival has engaged Splashdown, Australia's most professional toilet supplier (and the company behind KENNY!), to provide all the toilet cubicles at the Festival. The Festival is also extremely excited to announce that they have found a way to turn the toilet waste from the flushing toilets into 100% compost. Peats Ridge will be the first event in the world to achieve this and they believe this process will open the door to a whole new level of sustainable outdoor toilet management in the event industry.

Combining the low flush toilet technology of Splashdown with the high-tech solutions of SITA and nature's own composting microbes, the solid toilet waste from this year's Festival will be processed locally and will end up as a high grade compost, available to be spread across garden beds throughout the region. For more information on this and all the other sustainable initiatives the Festival has in place, please take the time to check out the details in their Model Event section - www.peatsridgefestival.com.au/sustainability                 

Every vehicle coming to the Festival is required to pay a vehicle levy. All the money raised through the levy is split between purchasing voluntary carbon credits to cover the audience’s transport emissions, remediation to the event site post Festival and a local area-planting scheme, to take place in 2011.

Through partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia, the planting initiative will recondition habitat for the endangered Bush Curlew and Green & Gold Bell Frog at the “Oyster Farmers” site in Saratoga. The site, previously cleared for Oyster farming is heavily degraded and contains remnant mangrove and salt marsh, species of regional significance.

The Eco Living Village is a dedicated area with a full program of workshops, talks by professionals and films to provide the Peats Ridge audience with practical tools and advice to help them live their life more sustainably. These workshops cover everything from greywater treatment to community advocacy and are designed to develop community sustainability capacity. All workshops are free throughout the Festival.

Each year thousands of people attend these workshops and in a survey taken post 2009 festival over 90% of people stated that as a consequence of attending the Festival they had noticed a positive influence on their behaviour around the environment.

Peats Ridge recycles, composts organic waste and encourages container returns using a deposit system. The Festival also ensures all market stallholders and other participants minimise packaging, printed promotional material and use reusable or compostable food containers.

The Festival uses a four-bin system of waste sorting:
• Recyclables
• Organics
• Waste-to-landfill
• Cardboard and paper (for stall holders)

With colourful bin tops and clear labelling, festival patrons quickly get into the spirit of sorting their rubbish. Not only does it enable the Festival to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill but also educates patrons about recycling and composting. Bin monitors oversee each bin site to help patrons with any queries they have and make sure everything ends up where it should.

The compost is partially used on site for land restoration with the rest sent to a professional compost organisation.

Due to the Festival’s commitment to water conservation, Peats Ridge is working in consultation with our local council to treat all greywater generated by the Festival onsite. The site has its own pipe system laid throughout the venue to collect all greywater. After appropriate treatment the greywater generated by the Festival is reused to irrigate the site, helping the area to recover from the impacts of the Festival.

The greywater treatment is accomplished without the use of chemicals or energy intensive treatment systems, via a newly developed Rafted Reed Bed System and aeration. This is the same way a natural wetland cleanses nutrient rich waters before they enter natural river systems. The Festival is in the process of finalising details with Gosford Council and plans for the system to be ready in time for this year’s event.

In 2005 Peats Ridge was the first major event in Australia run completely on renewable energy resources. All the Festival’s generators were and still are run on 100% biodiesel.

Since first servicing the event in 2005, PremiAir Sustainable Event Hire solutions have now committed their entire fleet of generators to biodiesel. PremiAir’s biodiesel fuelled generators power the entire Festival site; this includes power for sound and lighting production, market stalls and Festival lighting.

Two stages at the Festival will be powered completely by solar power; The Eco Living Village and The Land of The Hopeless Utopians, a massive 13.5 diameter geodesic dome featuring 360 degrees of internal projections. There will also be a solar powered gelatissimo and mobile phone powering station at the Festival. Solar is also used for small load requirements such as repeater stations for communications and area lighting.

Peats Ridge does everything it can to make sure every empty drink container is recycled. The Festival has found the best way to do this is to attach a real value for the audience to their recyclables. Since 2004 the Festival has add a $$ levy on every can or bottle purchased at the event which is subsequently refunded when drinkers return their aluminium cans and PET bottles. Since the introduction of this initiative Peats Ridge has seen many other events throughout Australia follow suite, vastly increasing the amount of material recycled overall at events

This container deposit system or CDL encourages patrons to actively participate in recycling, whilst reducing litter and waste ending up in landfill. The best part about running a CDL system is that it not only reduces environmental impacts but also provides an income stream via aluminium recycling. This results in a further reduction in costs via smaller tipping fees (for mixed waste going to landfill) and a reduction in the number of skips required at the event, minimising transport impact.

Peats Ridge uses as many recycled materials as possible in their decor, construction and infrastructure. The Festival currently has a relationship with National Institute for Dramatic Art (NIDA), Belvoir Street Theatre and Erth that allows them to reuse a large portion of their set materials. This helps these organisations to reduce their total waste to land fill whilst at the same time giving the Festival valuable decorations. The result is positive environmental outcomes for all.

Peats Ridge works hard to engage all onsite suppliers to improve their sustainability outcomes. All cutlery, crockery and plates used at the Festival must be biodegradable, single use sachets are also not allowed. All food stalls are encouraged to use organic ingredients and the Festival has a number of initiatives in place to help this process, including a rebate of $500 for all stallholders providing receipts for $2000 or more of organic produce. All food at the Peats Ridge General Stall is organic.

On top of the vehicle levy, Peats Ridge offers a bus service from Gosford and Hawkesbury train stations. There is also an escorted cyclist service for those who want to ride to the Festival.

Campsite waste kits are given to all patrons. These include; biodegradable compost bags, standard waste bag, recycling bag and information packages on how to recycle.

Only non-chemical, natural cleaning products are procured for use at the Festival.

After the Festival finishes each year, Peats Ridge conducts an environmental audit. This year this will be conducted by ‘Climate Friendly’ the highest ranking offset provider of 2007 Carbon Offset Watch and the first independent ranking of carbon offset providers in Australia.

Sustainability is not just an add-on to Peats Ridge; it is at the core of everything the Festival does.

·       NSW Government 2008 Green Globe Award for 'Leader Across all Industry in Sustainability'

·       NSW Government 2009 Green Globe Award for 'Most Sustainable Small Business in NSW'

·       2009 & 2010 Australian Event Award for “Best Achievement in Sustainability'

·       Faster Louder award for 'Most Sustainable Festival in Australia' 2009

·       Recipient of the 2006 & 2008 'Greener Festival Award'

·       2009 & 2010 Best Festival Over All “Outstanding” Category in International Greener Festival

*** The UN also officially acknowledges Peats Ridge for its work in Environmental Education. Peats Ridge Festival is the only Southern Hemisphere founding Partner in the United Nations Music & Environment Initiative.


Anna Wallace

Media & Publicity
Peats Ridge 2010
Sustainable Arts & Music Festival
29th December 2010 - 1st January 2011
Glenworth Valley
Peats Ridge

Ph:          0404 085 622
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