As part of our corporate social responsibility, Flemington is dedicated to raising awareness of environmental sustainability and the VRC's sustainability initiatives and partners.

In 2007, we introduced a Sustainability Charter to guide all staff and suppliers in their operations at Flemington Racecourse.

Since 2008, with the assistance of our sustainability partners, Flemington has developed initiatives intended to achieve the highest standards in responsible event and venue management, delivering tangible reductions to the environmental impact of our operations, especially the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

  • As the Official Energy Partner, Momentum powers the VRC’s extensive infrastructure and year-round calendar of events with SmilePower, every day of the year. 

    SmilePower matches the VRC’s energy usage with the production of clean energy in Tasmania. Momentum is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro Tasmania: Australia’s largest producer of renewable energy. Hydro Tasmania harnesses the natural energy of wind and water to produce a truly sustainable power source. 

    Through solar panels on The Grandstand rooftop and super screen, we generate more than 25,000Kw/h of our own power each year.

    We recently installed a new chiller in The Grandstand, significantly increasing air conditioning energy efficiency, estimated to reduce annual CO₂ emissions by more than 40,000 kg CO₂.

    A pilot program to control commercial refrigeration throughout the Flemington grandstand facilities has demonstrated a reduction in refrigeration unit power consumption of more than 20 per cent, with plans to expand this program across the site in the future.

    • Energy

      As the Official Energy Partner, Momentum powers the VRC’s extensive infrastructure and year-round calendar of events with SmilePower, every day of the year. 

      SmilePower matches the VRC’s energy usage with the production of clean energy in Tasmania. Momentum is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro Tasmania: Australia’s largest producer of renewable energy. Hydro Tasmania harnesses the natural energy of wind and water to produce a truly sustainable power source. 

      Through solar panels on The Grandstand rooftop and super screen, we generate more than 25,000Kw/h of our own power each year.

      We recently installed a new chiller in The Grandstand, significantly increasing air conditioning energy efficiency, estimated to reduce annual CO₂ emissions by more than 40,000 kg CO₂.

      A pilot program to control commercial refrigeration throughout the Flemington grandstand facilities has demonstrated a reduction in refrigeration unit power consumption of more than 20 per cent, with plans to expand this program across the site in the future.

  • We work with Incognitus and the Flemington caterers to capture and divert organic waste from landfill, utilising composting facilities wherever possible.  Food scraps captured during the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival resulted in 56 tonnes of organic waste and contributed to an overall increase in diversion rates.

    In conjunction with Incognitus, we are continually improving waste management infrastructure and processes. As a result, 89% of raceday waste from the 2014 Melbourne Carnival went to composting, food rescue or to recycling facilities for sorting. Total waste volume was up 16% year on year.

    We openly communicate with our members and patrons through racebooks, signage and newsletters, to request their support in bringing only recyclable food packaging to Flemington.

    We are leading the way in phasing out MDF from building projects at Flemington. VRC offers financial incentives for Sponsors and Corporates to reduce the use of MDF in their builds. This incentive is the reduction of waste levies if they choose to use a recyclable product(s).  

    • Waste

      We work with Incognitus and the Flemington caterers to capture and divert organic waste from landfill, utilising composting facilities wherever possible.  Food scraps captured during the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival resulted in 56 tonnes of organic waste and contributed to an overall increase in diversion rates.

      In conjunction with Incognitus, we are continually improving waste management infrastructure and processes. As a result, 89% of raceday waste from the 2014 Melbourne Carnival went to composting, food rescue or to recycling facilities for sorting. Total waste volume was up 16% year on year.

      We openly communicate with our members and patrons through racebooks, signage and newsletters, to request their support in bringing only recyclable food packaging to Flemington.

      We are leading the way in phasing out MDF from building projects at Flemington. VRC offers financial incentives for Sponsors and Corporates to reduce the use of MDF in their builds. This incentive is the reduction of waste levies if they choose to use a recyclable product(s).  

  • SecondBite, in conjunction with Peter Rowland Catering and our panel of accredited caterers, source and redistribute surplus food from Flemington to local charities - food that would otherwise go to landfill.

    In the 2013-14 financial year, SecondBite identified and redistributed over 9,811kg of fresh surplus food from Flemington, which equates to 19,622 meals for people in need.

    From the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival alone, SecondBite collected over 3,670kg of fresh food, which provided more than 7,000 meals.

    • Food rescue

      SecondBite, in conjunction with Peter Rowland Catering and our panel of accredited caterers, source and redistribute surplus food from Flemington to local charities - food that would otherwise go to landfill.

      In the 2013-14 financial year, SecondBite identified and redistributed over 9,811kg of fresh surplus food from Flemington, which equates to 19,622 meals for people in need.

      From the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival alone, SecondBite collected over 3,670kg of fresh food, which provided more than 7,000 meals.

  • With the support of City West Water, we have developed a long term water strategy for Flemington to drastically reduce our consumption of potable water, including a major in situ (underground) desalination project.

    In situ desalination (ISD) has numerous environmental benefits over existing aboveground alternatives: a chemical free process, ISD uses approximately 50 per cent less power than traditional desalination and eliminates the need for excess brine to be disposed of aboveground.

    In late 2011, funding was secured for a significant expansion of the program with additional ISD units to be installed across Flemington, saving millions of litres of drinking water each year. On completion this will fully service the considerable irrigation requirements of Flemington’s famous 2.3km course proper and training tracks, and effectively drought-proof the home of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

    • Water

      With the support of City West Water, we have developed a long term water strategy for Flemington to drastically reduce our consumption of potable water, including a major in situ (underground) desalination project.

      In situ desalination (ISD) has numerous environmental benefits over existing aboveground alternatives: a chemical free process, ISD uses approximately 50 per cent less power than traditional desalination and eliminates the need for excess brine to be disposed of aboveground.

      In late 2011, funding was secured for a significant expansion of the program with additional ISD units to be installed across Flemington, saving millions of litres of drinking water each year. On completion this will fully service the considerable irrigation requirements of Flemington’s famous 2.3km course proper and training tracks, and effectively drought-proof the home of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

VRC Sustainability Charter

Sustainability and the VRC Vision:

  • To be a leader in world racing and represent best practice in event management and entertainment.
  • In pursuing this vision, the VRC is committed to attaining the highest standards in environmental performance.
  • Our vision is based upon balancing the needs of the environment and local community with that of our operations and which achieves best practice in sustainable event and venue management.

Objectives

To achieve this vision, the VRC will manage its operations in accordance with the following objectives:

  1. Ensuring that the Melbourne Cup Carnival, by embracing the principles of sustainable event management, further enhances its status as a treasured Australian icon.
  2. Continually improving the efficient use of resources, particularly water and energy, and minimising the use of chemicals and consumables.    
  3. Continually improving the management of our waste materials and effluents.    
  4. Managing the Flemington Racecourse, gardens and facilities as a world leading venue and ensuring its sustainability as a profitable, community asset.    
  5. Engaging with the local community on the impact of our operations.    
  6. Ensuring the conduct of our events sets the highest standards for responsible event management, including the safety of our staff and all participants.    
  7. Engaging with stakeholders so that they can better understand the contribution they can make to the delivery of our vision for sustainability.

For more information, phone the Customer Service Centre on 1300 727 575 or email customerservice@vrc.net.au