For the sixth year running New Zealand National Fieldays Society commissioned a sustainability report following the Southern hemisphere's largest agricultural event.

But this year, the Society released the findings for the first time.

Even the way the results were presented was also designed to be kind to the environment - viewers logged in for the Fieldays 2017 Sustainability Report presentation - saving on travel time and carbon emissions.

National Fieldays Society CEO Peter Nation says that as world leaders in agribusiness events, Fieldays has a responsibility to be leading in event sustainability.

Advertisement
Fieldays organisers are thrilled to have 47 per cent of waste generated at the event diverted from landfill in 2017.
Fieldays organisers are thrilled to have 47 per cent of waste generated at the event diverted from landfill in 2017.

"After six years we're very proud of the results and pleased to be working with a company like Instep, who have assisted greatly in this strategy," says Mr Nation.

Using the ISO 20121 standard employed by high-profile events such as the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, Instep worked with Fieldays to monitor and manage reduction of the event's carbon footprint.

Instep director Peter Birkett says that waste is inevitable when putting on an event of this size and scale but identifying key impact areas is vital to creating a sustainable event.

"The 2017 programme has seen a significant improvement and is a result of the hard work put in over the last five to six years," says Mr Birkett. With almost 1000 exhibitors and more than 130,000 visitors through the gate, reducing waste generated is a major focus and impact area for any event.

Significant progress has been made, diverting waste generated at Fieldays from landfill, reducing methane emissions.

When the National Fieldays Society began with Instep in 2011, just 4 per cent of waste generated at the event was diverted from landfill.

Six years on and 47 per cent of the volume generated at Fieldays has been diverted from landfill.

Transport initiatives have made a 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from people travelling to the event.

Advertisement

In 2017, 10,680 visitors made use of Fieldays Park and Ride, up 122 per cent on 2016 and equivalent to 1500-2000 vehicles off the roads.

Mr Birkett praised exhibitor efforts in reducing energy emissions.

"You simply cannot scrimp on supplying the energy requirements to exhibitors that they require to ensure they can present their products," he says.

"In saying that we've seen a significant drop of 17 per cent from 2016 to 2017."

Waipa District Council strategic partnership manager Gary Knighton congratulated the National Fieldays Society on their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

"We're very proud to have Fieldays in our district and they are setting a great example, making themselves accountable and putting initiatives in place to reduce their impact on the environment," says Mr Knighton.

"These figures create a positive outlook for the event and contribute to a 33 per cent reduction in the standardised carbon emissions for each visitor through the gate and 24 per cent reduction per exhibitor.

"This contributes to an overall reduction in Fieldays' global footprint by 25 per cent.
Instep use the ISEP programme (Instep Sustainable Events Programme), which uses international standards implemented by large events around the world.

Data is collected from surveys, weight and energy consumption to calculate carbon emissions according to greenhouse gas protocols and in line with international standards.
* View the Fieldays 2017 Sustainability Report video at www.facebook.com/fieldays