In an exhilarating leap towards eco-consciousness, Byron Bay Surf Festival (BBSF) and their Sustainability Partner, Ecovantage, are thrilled to announce the 2023 Byron Bay Surf Festival as Australia’s very first certified carbon-neutral surf event!
Breaking through the waves of tradition, the BBSF now stands as a beacon of environmental responsibility and innovation in the surfing festival community. With a commitment to minimising its carbon footprint, the event promised not only to deliver awe-inspiring rides, but also to set a new standard for sustainable sportsmanship. As crowds of spectators watched participating surfers ride the waves at Byron, the event carved a path towards a greener and more vibrant future for both the sport and our planet.
“As surfers, we have an intimate connection with the oceans and a fundamental desire to protect them. This Festival is an example of our dedication to the health of our planet and the oceans we so respect,” says John Finlay, the BBSF Chairman.
“By achieving carbon neutrality, we aim to inspire our fellow Australian surfers, other event organisers and the global community to take responsible and meaningful steps towards a more sustainable future. We are deeply grateful to Ecovantage and thank them for their support and expertise in assisting BBSF to achieve such an important milestone.”
For an event like BBSF to be certified by Climate Active, an extensive application process, including a Public Disclosure Statement (PDS), was submitted by Ecovantage and their Climate Active Registered Consultant. The PDS set out the Festival’s purpose, expected emission sources, reduction measures in place, an outline of why this event should be considered for Climate Active accreditation, and what carbon projects will be supported in order to offset the remainder of the event’s emissions.
John Finlay notes that “Ecovantage are playing a pivotal role in measuring and mitigating the Festival’s carbon footprint. BBSF could not have achieved this great outcome without their knowledge, understanding, experience and skills. Ecovantage have thoroughly assessed sustainability evaluations encompassing a range of emission sources from the Festival including; electricity consumption, attendee travel, catering, food and beverage, freight, accommodation arrangements, products, stationary fuel, water consumption and waste.”
Aaron Jenkins, the General Manager of Energy & Carbon at Ecovantage, adds, “Obtaining carbon-neutral certification for this event was our goal from the start, even with a tight timeline and an intricate application process. This milestone highlights our ongoing dedication to carbon consciousness as a business and confirms the BBSF’s position as a clear market leader for sustainable surfing events in Australia.”
By investing in Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), BBSF is actively offsetting the carbon emissions identified through Ecovantage’s assessment. These ACCUs will be sourced from two commendable projects: the Lynwood Human-Induced Regeneration Project, and the Paroo River North Environmental Projects. Both initiatives have been selected as they contribute to the regeneration of native forests along Australia’s east coast, fostering the preservation of vital ecosystems. BBSF understands that many people in the Byron Bay community value regeneration of our native forests and so it was decided to support these two Australian carbon credit projects.
James McMillian BBSF Founder notes “This achievement for BBSF, the Byron Community, and also the Planet was 10 years in the making. From our first Surf Art Market in 2013 we declared that all participants must be plastic free and local businesses, surfers & artists got the first call up to participate. Thanks to Ecovantage for guiding BBSF towards this outcome that we hope to inspire other events with. It’s always been about protecting the environment and maintaining a healthy & inclusive surf culture.”
This achievement for BBSF, the Byron Community, and also the Planet was 10 years in the making. From our first Surf Art Market in 2013 we declared that all participants must be plastic free and local businesses, surfers & artists got the first call up to participate. Thanks to Ecovantage for guiding BBSF towards this outcome that we hope to inspire other events with. It’s always been about protecting the environment and maintaining a healthy & inclusive surf culture. Ecovantage are looking forward to supporting other businesses, organisations and events on their journey to energy and carbon reduction, and carbon neutral certifications.
Further information about how Ecovantage can help your businesses use energy efficiently, produce clean energy, and move towards carbon neutrality, can be found here www.ecovantage.com.au/
Further information about Climate Active can be found here https://www.climateactive.org.au/