What principles should guide your sustainable communications?

I am just amazed at the lengths the Peats Ridge festival has gone to intergrate sustainable practices and technologies. Brands can't organise their events in the same way - the benchmark is here. We are so conditioned in our habits and behaviours!

Issues ranging from:

1) Recycling- four bin system of waste sorting
2) Container deposits - patrons can earn money from aluminum can recycling
3) Cutlery & Crockery - Traditionally they used cornstarch cutlery a more readily biodegradable material then traditional disposable products. While cornstarch will eventually break down it will not compost in the majority of commercial composting systems. Instead they are moving across to FSC certified wooden cutlery.
4) Powering the event - Through biodiesel and solar energy
5) Water Management - Grey Water treatment, drinking fountains for refilling stations to minimise waste generation and transport emissions.

For more details check out the website

"Green marketing is a key point of brand differentiation and honest communication of environmental outcomes has the potential to inspire real loyalty in your audience. However care must be taken with any green claims made by the festival. False or overstated claims have the potential to seriously damage the integrity of your event and at worst could result by fines and penalties imposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Even worse false claims damage consumer confidence in environmental business and hamper environmental action in general.

Here is an excerpt from the Total Environment Centre’s Green Cred Checklist a great quick guide to environmental claims.

1. TRUTH - If I make this green statement, can it be proven to be true 100 percent of the time?

2. MATERIALITY - Even if it is true, does the green statement really matter i.e. is the problem being avoided or remedied substantial and significant, or trivial and insignificant?

3. FULL DISCLOSURE - Are there any other environmental or sustainability issues being overlooked, especially negative ones?

4. SUBSTANTIATION – Whatever is being claimed, and whoever is making the claims, are they backed up by firm evidence? "