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Adelaide Festival

Climate Champion Organisation

October 2022

Adelaide Festival hopes to see a future where arts organisations and businesses consider climate impacts and planetary health and incorporate these into planning, organisational structure, staff training and event licences. 

The Festival is proud to be a part of Adelaide City, a city leading the transition to a low-carbon economy. We feel it is important to be part of the community leading climate change action to help our environment and economy. We are proud to be a Carbon Neutral Adelaide ambassador and are committed to our community’s shared aspiration to make the City of Adelaide one of the world’s first carbon-neutral cities.

Achieving carbon neutrality at the Festival was a huge step in the right direction, but by no means represents the end of the Festival's emissions reduction journey. We are currently developing a formalised environmental action plan and roadmap in line with the science-based targets. This will include emissions reduction strategy and reduction targets across energy, waste, transport, accommodation, corporate hospitality, and procurement.

As an iconic event for our community, we want Adelaide Festival to exemplify environmental responsibility and know that we can make a vital and significant contribution to a future that we want our children to inherit. International cooperation through cultural relations is key to addressing shared development solutions.

We seek a future with a diverse representation in leadership roles and decision-making that acknowledges our shared histories, cultures, and knowledge systems; a future where our industry provides accessible and culturally safe educational and financial resourcing. 

Our vision is for a future where there is support for independent artists to sustain their practice, integrate sustainability methods in their work, and promote good peer-to-peer learning practices to advance collective ideas towards climate and social justice. 

Climate action Australians should take

  • Stand together with First Nations through unity, togetherness and inclusivity in tackling the climate crisis and implementing solutions for a better future.
  • No new coal, oil and gas projects with a formalised and comprehensive fossil fuel strategy and exit plan for current projects consistent with the SBTi target of 1.5°C and the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
  • Use renewables to electrify everything.

Adelaide Festival Key achievements for 2022:

  • Developed the Adelaide Festival’s AF Green Guide with Green Music Australia.  
  • Hosted Climate Crisis and the Arts and the  Culture and Environment Roundtable.
  • Teamed up with Reforest to engage audience members in offset initiatives.
  • Reduced merchandise through opt in process.
  • Maintained Carbon Neutral commitment offsetting 5,438.665 emissions through a wind farm in India.
  • 80% vegetarian policy across all corporate hospitality, events, and functions.
  • Champion reusable packaging across all operations and venues.  
  • Switched default super for all staff and employees to ethical fund. 

In 2023 we hope to:

  • Formalise an environmental action plan with climate action measures, goals and targets. 
  • Work with Green Music Australia to incorporate Sound Country in all artist and stakeholder communications, as well as develop the second AF Green Artists guide.
  • Implement 100% plant-based catering across all corporate hospitality, events, and functions. 
  • Reduce food waste and engage food recovery services like Foodbank where necessary.
  • Continue partnership with Reforest to engage audience members in supporting tree planting to help offset their festival experience.  
  • Encourage decarbonisation of transport with audience members. Promote walking, riding, catching public transport and carpooling to events. 
  • Host staff workshops on divestment and a bush regeneration day.
  • Work with Festival Adelaide to incorporate SDGs into roadmap and drawdown initiatives.
  • Host industry workshops to share learning and resources.
  • Continue to reduce merchandise and opt in for artist packs. 
  • Maintain a position of Sustainability Coordinator and continue regular sustainability committee meetings.

*We currently participate in the Climate Active model for our carbon-neutral certification and are looking to explore the science-based initiative as a framework for further reduction goals.


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