The Most Sustainable European Capital of Culture project promotes sustainable event production in Northern Ostrobothnia. The goal is for environmentally sustainable operating models to be used in events throughout the region, when Oulu aims to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026.
Public events, festivals and conferences are encouraged to do their bit so that Oulu becomes carbon neutral by 2040.
Oulu Event Services and the Most Sustainable European Capital of Culture project have published a list of tips to help event organisers reduce their carbon footprint.
Choose a place that is easily accessible by public transport or even by bike.
If your event is held outdoors, make sure you can bring the necessary infrastructure on-site. Heavy structures and transports cannot be brought into soft terrain.
Find out and minimize the effects of your event on water, soil and vegetation.
When organizing an event indoors, ask how the venue’s practices take the environment into account. Express your wishes for environmentally friendly choices.
Encourage participants to come to the event by using public transport or human-powered vehicles. In Oulu, you can get everywhere by bike. In most hotels, guests can borrow bicycles for their personal use.
When arriving to Oulu from other parts of Finland, trains and buses are good alternatives to taking the plane.
Arrange joint rides and make an agreement on additional bus services with Oulu Public Transport if necessary. Clearly inform the public about how to utilize the public transportation.
Provide easy parking for bicycles. Do not arrange separate parking spaces for cars.
Arrange rides and transports with equipment that uses biofuel or is otherwise low-emission.
Keep a logbook and avoid unnecessary transportation of goods.
Also arrange a virtual opportunity to participate in the event. As you reduce your carbon footprint in terms of mobility, you will also improve the accessibility of your event internationally.
Promote local food and seasonal products. Serve as much vegetable-based food as possible. Promote organic and Fair Trade products.
Choose a sustainable catering partner.
Minimise food waste. Make an agreement in advance with a suitable party, such as a grocery store or food aid, to receive surplus food.
Use re-usable dishes or biodegradable tableware. A deposit system should be developed for drinking glasses and pints.
Provide the opportunity to fill water bottles. Remember hygiene!
If alcohol is served in your event, favour local small breweries.
It is recommended that events provide sorting for combustible waste, bio-waste, cardboard, glass, metal, paper, plastic, hazardous waste, and bottles and cans.
Place waste sorting points in visible places. At large events, it is recommended that sorting points have staff-guided sorting. In smaller events clear, written instructions are sufficient.
Remember that waste bins must be emptied often enough.
Arrange smoking areas and ashtrays in them so that the cigarette butts do not end up on the ground. Mark the smoking areas clearly.
Preferably use mains electricity for your event, and choose green electricity if it is in any way possible. EKOenergy labelled electricity is renewable and meets the sustainability criteria. Read more on the international EKOenergy website, where you will also find instructions on how to tender green electricity for companies.
Ask event technology suppliers and other subcontractors for an estimate of electricity consumption during the event.
Save energy! Favour energy efficient appliances. Do not keep electrical appliances on unnecessarily.
Use energy efficient generators. If possible, use biofuel in aggregates.
Minimise the consumption of water in your event. Make sure that the taps for filling water bottles or washing hands do not spill water unnecessarily.
If your event is taking place near a body of water, make sure that nothing undesirable ends up in the waterways, such as debris or sewage.
Direct waste water to the sewage system or a closed tank. The waste water collected in the closed tank must be delivered to a wastewater treatment plant.
When making procurement decisions, take the environmental friendliness of the products and services into account. For example, does the company have an environmental management system or has it received an eco-label?
Minimise merchandise distributed to the public. The less material, the less waste!
Do not print programme leaflets, but share the information on electronic information screens, in a mobile application or on a website.
Don’t print the years so you can make use of the same materials, such as signs or festival shirts, later on as well.
Make use of the old and reuse existing materials. Visit the flea markets and recycling centres for materials. Be creative!
Everything does not have to be bought. You can also borrow or rent the necessary equipment from other event organisers and return it after use.
Inform the audience about the event's environmental guidelines on the website and social media in advance.
Commit employees, subcontractors and partners to responsibility. Explain, for example, how waste should be handled at the event.
At the venue, use written instructions to tell the audience how to act to minimise the impact of the event on the environment. The clearer the instructions and the more places they are placed, the better!
Recommend eco-labelled hotels to the public. In Oulu, such hotels include at least Scandic Hotels, Sokos Hotels, Airport Hotel and Radisson Blu.
In Nallikari, one can stay in the villas and cottages of the Green Key certified Nallikari Holiday Village.
If you recommend tent accommodation, remind the public to set up their tents only in permitted locations. The tent must not be set up in or near the yards of residential buildings, cultivation areas or nature reserves. There are 150 tent sites in the Nallikari camping area.
Report the noise to the environmental authorities.
Take the nearby residents and nature into account. Inform residents about the noise caused by your event and, if possible, position the performance stages so that the sound is not carried along waterways, for example.
Distribute earplugs to the public and arrange hearing protection for staff.
Make your event’s CO2 calculations as accurate as possible.
The free carbon calculator from Julie’s Bicycle in London is suitable for measuring emissions from events. The use of the calculator requires registration.
Taina Ronkainen, Project Manager, email@example.com, 040 621 1249
Janita Jämsén, Project Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 050 361 7924
Sanna Häyrynen, Communications Coordinator, email@example.com, 040 357 0085