Our Wonderfruit 2022 Impact Report is ready. How did we do?
The business of events and festivals often comes with an impact on the environment. As Wonderfruit crosses and integrates multiple pillars and disciplines, we are aware of the effects of our work and revelry. So each year, we publish an annual impact report to hold ourselves accountable for our impact on the planet and find areas where we can do better.
This year, we endeavored to look at impact more holistically in that we didn’t just look for ways to reduce the footprint we leave behind. Instead, we looked for ways to connect with ourselves and grow alongside our land, deepening our relationship with mind and nature.
And this doesn’t just mean coming in carbon negative; this process starts with transferring knowledge within our community, selecting materials to build with, employing certain techniques to create and even how we program content. The dialogue and knowledge along the way restarts the circularity, becoming the intersection of impact between physical, mindful and environmental sustainability.
Impact is now defined in three ways:
Innovate. These are our aspirational concepts and big swings. We use these to challenge ourselves and create more than things people can see or touch. This is where we push the intersection of culture, nature and mind.
Develop. Not yet a standard, these initiatives are exploratory and tested through our own programs and on our own land. These are unique to Wonderfruit; our goal is to experiment with them to learn more until they become standard practice.
Encourage. These are practices and initiatives that have become a minimum requirement for Wonderfruit. These are used to encourage and educate our community to adopt a similar mindset and learn more about circularity along the way.
Wonderfruit 2022 Impact Report
This year, we set some big goals for ourselves. Not only did we achieve them, but we picked up a few more wins along the way. Here are the highlights:
We diverted 100% of waste from landfill. An event of our size and caliber naturally comes with an impact on the planet. Our goal is to minimize this impact wherever we can. To reduce our footprint, we endeavored to send zero trash to landfills, meaning all on-site waste was diverted to be either recycled or repurposed in external facilities. Food waste and containers were composted on-site and all recyclables were sent offsite to be recycled. Biohazard waste like toilet paper and face masks were properly treated at a medical-grade incinerator.
We replaced all water packaging with aluminum cans. Some items are more easily recycled than others and can be recycled again and again. To further enhance our percentage of recycling content from our waste, we have pivoted to using aluminum cans from Greenery as a vessel for purchasable drinking water. We did this to ensure that materials were being recycled back into raw materials at the correct facilities. We also believe that aluminum cans exemplify our approach to circularity: not only do they become new cans in their second life, but we’ll also give back to the community any money we get from returning the resource.
We sourced locally and sustainably. The carbon footprint of travel doesn’t just apply to guests; the distance that food and materials travel to get to the site also has an impact on emissions. This year, we looked inwards more than ever before and, where we could, we promoted the use of locally sourced and sustainable ingredients and products. We worked with farmers who grow food in innovative ways located not far from us, and we sourced materials for our builds from communities close to us. Not only does this reduce the carbon footprint of the raw materials, but it also supports the local economy and trade.
We planted 20,000 trees on-site. Wonderfruit takes place in the last remaining area of primary forest in the district. Now protected, it was once a vast wilderness. This year, we planted 20,000 trees to rewild our land and replenish its flora and fauna. The aim of this forest is for it to become home to an abundance of functional and medicinal species and cultural experiences. The project is a collaboration with SUGi, a conservation organization dedicated to increasing biodiversity through native plant rewilding projects and a local forest planting team from Baansuan Onsorn. The core concept of this initiative is to create an area where people and nature can coexist harmoniously.
We expanded our range of Wonder Cups. Single-use cups contribute to a huge amount of waste; even compostable and biodegradable ones generate waste. To strengthen our commitment to being a zero-waste event, we don’t allow single-use cups of any kind in The Fields. Wonderers are welcome to bring their own cups made from stainless steel, enamel or hard plastic. This year, we expanded our range of Wonder Cups to include a version that is made with coconut husk produced locally by Sonite, giving this waste a second life. This adds to previous collections made from steel and rice husk.
We reduced transportation emissions. Wonderers come from all around the world, which generates a lot of emissions from travel. Every year we offset the carbon footprint from our operations and our guests attending Wonderfruit to ensure that we are a carbon-neutral event. The funds raised are donated to Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFLF) for forest maintenance purposes at Doi Tung. To understand what emissions from travel are, we developed a carbon calculator for Wonderers to offset their travel, presented by Bangkok Bank in 2022.
- Reduced non-recyclable waste sent to cement kilns by 23%
- 100% of organic waste was composted and recycling waste was sent to recycling facilities
- Complete adoption by vendors of our compostable or reusable containers policy
Dive into our 2022 Impact Report here and track our progress alongside us.