WOMAD New Zealand 2012 is extending its commitment to the environment this year with a project to measure and offset the carbon footprint of WOMAD.
Leonard Cohen of Canopy, an organisation specialising in measuring and managing carbon dioxide emissions, believes it is the first time a carbon footprint assessment has been made of a music festival in New Zealand.
“We’ve been measuring and organising the offsetting of the carbon footprint of WOMADelaide in Australia for the past five years,” he says, “and this year New Zealand has requested the same thing.”
WOMAD New Zealand 2012 takes place from 16-18 March at New Plymouth’s Brooklands Park and TSB Bowl.
The main carbon impact for WOMAD New Zealand is the air travel by artists, he said, however as many of the international artists come via WOMADelaide, this is mostly measured from Australia.
Landfill waste is also weighed and the measurement also takes into account the recycling and composting which are part of WOMAD New Zealand’s Zero Waste Strategy.
Mr Cohen says the impact will then be offset by carbon credits and consideration is being given to a specific project which will carry the WOMAD New Zealand name./a
Taranaki Arts Festival Trust chief executive Suzanne Porter says assessing the carbon footprint of WOMAD is the next stage to ensure the festival’s commitment to environmental policies.
“We have had a Zero Waste Strategy for some years now which is supported by our partner Shell NZ, while Todd Energy also provides solar energy for the Taste The World stage.”
Mr Cohen says the resulting data will provide a benchmark for WOMAD New Zealand to work from. Future development will include broadening the assessment to include the impact of ticket purchasers.
“We are doing this in Adelaide this year – looking at where people are travelling from and calculating the individual impacts on the environment.”