As part of our mission to maintain the culture of surfing, as an expression, art and lifestyle. We ensure the festival and all of our event partners follow the best environmental practices starting with a sustainability policy that aims to offset carbon emissions, minimise energy usage and eradicate single use plastics.

The BBSF Sustainability Report measures both the Social & Environmental impact that occurs during the running of the Byron Bay Surf Festival and the effect that it has on local beaches, parks, people and infrastructure


The Byron Bay Surf Festival (BBSF) is committed to Sustainability as a core component of the very nature, passion and collective aim of the Festival for a better world. Our efforts are targeted, measured and reviewed. We are open to all to help, give feedback and to join us in our Sustainability endeavours.  

All key stakeholders, including our sponsors, choose to protect the environment that gives us, as surfers, so much in return.  We are greatly assisted by the incredible efforts of local environment groups and our Waste Warrior Volunteers, who ensure our Festival waste is minimised and diverted from landfill. 

We acknowledge the Bundjalung of Byron Bay Arakwal people, the traditional Custodians of the land and waters, where we stage our Festival. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We further acknowledge the work of Byron Bay Council to monitor and require sustainability management and minimal footprints in all events in their aim to be landfill free and carbon neutral by 2025. 

Our aims and targets for the BBSF in 2023 are:

  • Work with Byron Bay NGO environment protection agencies and encourage local action to keep our coastlines and marine life safe from pollution.
  • Hold daily Beach Clean-ups at the beach locations used for our event and promote “TAKE 3 for the SEA BYRON” in alignment with Shire’s aim to reduce waste to landfill by 40%.
  • Ensure all waste collected is benchmarked and sorted into 4 separate waste streams – Landfill, Earn & Return revenues (offered to local NGOs), Organics (sent for composting) and Recycling. 
  • Divert over 75% of all waste from landfill.
  • Support the Byron Loves BYO campaign and encourage BYO water bottles and coffee cups at our Festival.
  • Where possible, source renewable energy alternatives to power our contest operations on the beach.
  • Estimate the travel emissions of all ticketed surfers and voluntarily offset those emissions with Sea Trees, recognising that blue carbon coastal ecosystems (planting mangroves) harvest 5 times more carbon than trees on land. 
  • 2022 will be the first time our Festival surf events are benchmarked for environmental performance in energy, water and waste. 

John Finlay 

Byron Bay Surf Festival Chairman