Vivid Sydney – Naturally
As the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest festival of light, music, ideas and food, Vivid Sydney aims to lead the way for positive change in environmental responsibility. Championing creativity, innovation and cutting-edge applications of technology doesn’t end with our program but influences all elements of the festival from operations to marketing and everything in between.
With the festival engaging an entire ecosystem of local and international businesses, artists and visitors, we aim to work collaboratively to embed sustainable practices across all levels of Vivid Sydney – and encourage positive behaviours and practices that resonate long after ‘lights off'.
- Become climate positive and regenerate resources where possible, while growing Vivid Sydney
- Create a positive social impact for everyone across all levels of Vivid Sydney
- Continue collecting the data on Vivid Sydney’s environmental impact to move forward smarter and greener each year
10 steps forward we made in 2022
Partnering with Tasman Environmental Group, Vivid Sydney is in the process of offsetting 211,446 kWh of electricity that was recorded throughout the 23 days and nights of the festival. This equates to the usage of 476 Sydney homes (with 2.5 people) per each night of the festival.
86% of Vivid Sydney’s lighting installations were grid-connected to 100% green-power accredited renewable energy through Transgrid. In addition, 85% of lighting installations used LED fixtures, a choice that reduces power consumption by more than 65%, when compared to non-LED fixtures.
All directly produced flights for Vivid Sydney’s front-line artists on the Vivid Ideas and Vivid Music line-up were offset, using the Tasman Environmental Group’s Turra Forest project.
By using 6-Star WELS-Certified Water Efficient Vacuum Toilets along the Light Walk, we saved a significant amount of water. Traditional toilet cabins use 6 litres per flush; these use as low as 0.35 litres per flush.
In partnership with Sydney Water, Vivid Sydney installed taps across the festival footprint to offer places to fill up water bottles. 18,904 litres of water were consumed, preventing 31,506 bottles of 600ml water being purchased, and 302kg of plastic waste was saved from landfill.
By using electronic alternatives to physical signage wherever possible, Vivid Sydney significantly reduced its use of corflute and other non-sustainable materials. Where corflute signage is essential, we’ve created generic signage that we can continue using for years to come.
By using crowd control barrier covers, we significantly reduced the use of non-reusable materials like cable ties and gaffer tape.
Vivid Sydney used an electronic ticketing system, minimising ticket printing. We also eliminated the handout of physical program guides, maps and flyers, redirecting people to digital versions.
Vivid Light artists are strongly encouraged to reuse and recycle their materials, and most installations continue to be shown elsewhere and have a new life after the 2022 festival.
In 2022, 64% of people travelling to Vivid Sydney used public transport, with Transport for NSW reporting 3.8 million total public transport trips arriving at the CBD during the festival. We strongly encouraged the public, staff and suppliers to use public transport where possible, and highlighted the ease of public transport via our website and across social media channels.
What’s new for 2023
Refill, not landfill
We’re encouraging everyone to bring your own water bottle to Vivid Sydney this year, with more drinking stations to be installed along the Light Walk.
More green power
We’re green-powering even more of our lighting installations, aiming to increase from last year’s 86% rate of lighting installations grid-connected to 100% green power. Similarly, we’ll continue increasing our use of LED fixtures, which is less power-hungry than other lighting options. And by measuring our energy usage, we can offset any carbon emissions with the purchase of accredited carbon offset credits.
Drastic on plastic
No more single-use plastic bags: we’re aiming to remove them from Vivid Sydney’s sites. We are also removing plastic water dispensers at staff site locations, replacing them with a sustainable-material alternative.
War on waste
By continuing to move away from single-use and non-recyclable materials wherever we can, Vivid Sydney is lessening its impact on the Earth. This year, we’re adding more digital kiosks and digital signage, with less physical corflutes or other signage made from non-sustainable materials.
Improving public transport options
Vivid Sydney offers bookable and complimentary accessible mini-bus parking to aged-care facilities and community groups. In addition, our website's trip planning guide is filled with tips for off-peak visits, making planning your trip to Vivid Sydney easier than ever.
Working closely with Transport for NSW, Vivid Sydney aims to expand public transport options to attend the festival. More information will be available closer to the event.
10 ways you can help
- Minimise your footprint – use public transport or carpool
- Bring a reusable water bottle or coffee cup
- Follow the signage at our recycling and waste stations
- Avoid single-use plastics
- Go digital – switching to mobile ticketing removes the need for unnecessary printing
- Turn off water taps after washing your hands
- Avoid plastic straws in favour of recyclable paper straws or bring your own
- Consider carbon-offsetting flights or travel
- Engage with Vivid Ideas’ range of sustainability focused events
- Save a home – help our vulnerable wildlife by protecting and restoring their forest home through our charity partner WWF
Our sustainability partners
Sydney Water supplies world-class drinking water and is committed to protecting and caring for our waterways and the community. They provide vital water, wastewater, recycled water and stormwater services to more than five million people in Greater Sydney, the Illawarra and Blue Mountains.
Sydney Water have a vision to create a better, more sustainable life, with cooler and greener cities. You can play a part by refilling your water bottle at one of the ten Sydney Water installed water stations on the Vivid Sydney Light Walk. By refilling your bottle, you will reduce the impact on the environment and become a conscious water consumer. After the event, a sustainability report will show the volume of tap water consumed by event attendees, as well as the amount of single use plastic bottles avoided, amount of waste avoided, and amount of energy saved.
WWF-Australia is one of the country's most trusted conservation organisations, and is thrilled to be Vivid Sydney’s Charity Partner for 2023. For over 40 years, we have worked to protect threatened species and habitats, meet the challenge of climate change and build a world where people live in harmony with nature.
In October 2020, we launched Regenerate Australia, the largest and most innovative wildlife recovery and landscape regeneration program in Australia’s history. Regenerate Australia works to rehabilitate, repopulate and restore wildlife and habitats, and help to future-proof Australia against the impacts of a changing climate. Money donated throughout Vivid Sydney will go to Regenerate Australia – details will be announced soon, but you can help and show your support now via wwf.org.au.