Splore wins A Greener Festival Award

By jay

Splore is the first New Zealand festival to win an international A Greener Festival Award.

Splore received a Highly Commended Award from the environmental campaign and advice group A Greener Festival at an Awards ceremony in Wales in October.

Splore received the Award for the outstanding sustainability results achieved at Splore Festival, which was held at Tapapakanga Regional Park in February 2014. 

The sustainability results included:

  • 73% diversion from landfill
  • 25% reduction in vehicles
  • the circulation of 14,000 reusable cups during the event, which prevented 55,000 single serve cups going to landfill.  

The Highly Commended Award is given to festivals that prove they are well managed, environmentally aware and have taken significant steps to reduce waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and engage with the audience.

Amanda Wright, Splore’s founder and former Festival Director says that having an insightful audience is part of Splore’s success.

“The audience helped Splore to achieve this award. They responded positively to the sustainability initiatives we introduced in 2014 and they were willing to become part of the solution.

“Being sustainable has a very positive impact on the audience, as everyone respects their environment resulting in no rubbish which in turn creates a great vibe. Our 2014 festival mantra was ‘love this space, leave no trace’, and we purposely delivered our sustainability messaging in a humourous and engaging way, which the audience embraced.”

Amanda engaged Dave Watson as the festival’s Sustainability Manager and together they set the festival’s 2014 sustainable strategy and action plan. Splore 2014 was the first time the festival had contracted a Sustainability Manager. Amanda says this allowed Dave to implement the strategy and put the plan into action. 

“Without an expert in your team to run this aspect of the festival it is impossible to achieve what you set out to do, because there are so many other areas of a festival to organise. Dave implemented and delivered a sustainable pathway with an exceptional understanding of what needed to be done. He forged partnerships with organisations such as Auckland Zero Waste Alliance, Wash Against Waste, RELIEVE, Friendlypak, Sunsonics, Conscious Consumers and Clean Event. These partnerships were vital in the collaborative approach and were key contributors to the festival’s success” says Amanda.

Splore has set a precedent and a new benchmark for events with Auckland Council, the event and waste industry and other sustainable organisations who aspire to move into the sustainable event space. Splore has proved an event can have a positive impact beyond the event itself.

Amanda and Dave recently set up an advisory business, GreenShoot Pacific, to help other festivals and events to be environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically strong productions. They are continuing to work with Splore to support the festival work towards a higher benchmark.

Festival director John Minty is stoked with the recognition from A Greener Festival.

“I go to overseas festivals every year to see what they are doing better than us – and in many cases, they aren’t doing better. But there are a few standout festivals leading the way, like Shambhala and Burning Man who really ‘up the ante’ when it comes to sustainability.

“The best thing about the Greener Festival award is that we have set ourselves against the leaders, and have been recognised internationally as being up there with the best,” says John.

Keen to check out New Zealand’s greenest festival? Tickets are now on sale for Splore 2015, held at Tapapakanga Regional Park from February 20 – 22. Click here to find out more.

Splore is a finalist in the 2014 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards for its sustainability achievements, as is Sundaise Festival.