Ecotools for event producers

Finland is the promised land of the events. Compared to the population of Finland, we have a large number of diverse events. In the metropolitan area alone, there are estimated 1800 events each year. We should be talking about an event industry.

Events have a lot of positive impacts on society such as employment, supporting the local economy, tourism, creating a culture, supporting communities and social interaction, increasing leisure activities and mobility which all improve people’s quality and content of life.

Our project aims to create an environmentally friendly model that makes organizing high-quality and responsible events easier.

However, events have significant environmental effects that are possible to minimize by change in behavior. Environmental aspects of events that cause environmental impacts are:

  • Traffic
  • Material use
  • Waste production
  • Noise
  • Water Consumption
  • Waste-water production
  • Generation of hazardous waste
  • Soil degradation

Events can also reduce environmental impacts through environmental communications and education programs.

The project is currently developing tools for managing environmental issues of events, and they are tested at various events. By the end of the project the goal is to have a developed, tested and functional light environmental management system especially for events. EcoCompass Event is based on audited environmental label called EcoCompass. Events that passed the audit will have a right to use the EcoCompass Event label.

Confirmed pilot events in the 2012 are Flow Festival, Lasipalatsi Media Centre and Reaktori produced by the Centre for Youth Affairs. In addition, the environmental program is tested in co-operation with Live Nation at the Madonna and Bruce Springsteen concerts.

How to arrange sustainable event?

Transport and movement of participants

  • Choose easily accessible location (especially walking, cycling, public transport).
  • Choose event-time when public transport is available
  • Be sure to advise and encourage visitors to use public transport (e.g. maps, schedules).
  • Provide secure parking for bicycles also.
  • Find out whether the public transport ticket can be connected to event ticket.
  • Design the event so that it may be participated virtually (e.g. free events).
  • Logistics (e.g. construction, food services, freight transportation, transportation for large groups)
  • Think how to make transport chains as short as possible.
  • Use the new and low-emission transport equipment.
  • Instruct drivers in economical driving (manual or course can be found www.ecodriving.com).
  • Avoid unnecessary driving and under-using the carrying capacity.
  • If you organize your own transport for large groups, optimize the transport capacity and distances.

Energy consumption

  • Favor venues that have Green Office, EcoCompass etc. label.
  • Use green electricity.
  • Compensate carbon dioxide emissions (e.g. www.nordicoffset.fi).
  • Favor energy-saving lighting solutions.

Waste management

  • Select the types of waste collected separately by amount of waste produced (e.g. catering).
  • Reduce the amount of mixed waste. Could mixed waste be replaced by other waste type?
  • Reserve enough trash bins. Place them along the traffic routes and mark clearly.
  • Inform about the recycling manners and choices.
  • Take care of the proper disposal of waste water (e.g. wash-waters)
  • Consider volunteers providing the waste advice by the waste bins and recycling points
  • Book for a sufficient number of public toilets (http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2009/20090405).

Accommodation

  • Choose accommodation near to the venue (walking distance or easy public transport connection).
  • Choose a place to stay with EcoCompass, Nordic Swan etc. eco-label in place

Catering

  • When selecting catering services take the company’s responsibility into account.
  •  Remember organic, vegetarian and seasonal food and fair trade products when planning catering
  • Avoid convenience foods and frozen foods.
  • Agree with the food producers / catering services what food is offered and how it is served.
  • Organize proper waste disposal opportunities for caterers as well.
  • Avoid single-use containers and non-deposit beverage bottles. Prefer biodegradable tableware.
  • Be sure to notify the serving of food to the local environmental centre.

Protection against noise

  • If sound system are used, be sure to make a noise notification and measure the noise level.
  • Use delay speakers and line array system.
  • Try to end the event at 22.00 at the latest, or move the event indoors.
  • Place a stage and sound away from residences.
  • Be sure to inform the pre-event parties who might get exposed to the noise.
  • Hand out earplugs to the public prior and during the event.

Use of the material

  • Avoid unnecessary use of paper (flyers, newsletters, programs, etc.).
  • Be sure to use paper efficiently and double-sided printing option
  • Use ecolabeled paper and printing houses.
  • Avoid single-use recyclable materials and promoting products.
  • Share material in electronic form.
  • Use ecolabeled or fair trade products.
  • Prefer organic or Fairtrade cotton in clothing.

Chemicals

  • Use only chemicals with ecolabel.

Smoking

  • Prefer non-smoking events.
  • Please note that seated smoking area is prohibited.
  • Guide smokers to use clearly marked area outside the auditorium.
  • Organize sufficient number of bins for cigarette butts.

Communication

  • Be sure to tell the public about the environmental issues of the event!

Channels:

  • Website
    • An important tool to reach public
    • Link the environmental section on the first page
  • Social Media
    • Share materials
    • Inspire
    • Listen, comment on, debate
  • Program
  • Recycling advisors!

Content:

  • Environmental Policy
    • Lightweight
    • What is the essential
  • Your act of environmental management
  • Instructions for participants
    • Public transport connections
    • Recycling practices
    • Security, drinking water, etc. practicies
    • Promote another activities

TRAINING

Greening Events-project organises training sessions twice a year.
Materials from past training sessions can be found here.