Environmentally responsible events
Any possible environmental impact of an event should be considered from the first stages of event organization onwards, and solutions should be sought to reduce the impact.
The environmental impact of an event is the combination of various factors, including increased traffic, sound amplification, catering, transport and procurement. For example, badly managed waste management can undermine audience comfort and cause littering, which can also spread over to areas outside the event grounds.
It is important for event organizers to review the various aspects related to event organization and production. These include the following:
Waste and waste management – Successful waste management is based on a waste management plan prepared well before the event, as well as information provided on the assorting of waste as necessary. A waste management plan can be prepared in cooperation with a waste management company.
Catering – Environmentally-friendly catering involves utilization of biodegradable catering supplies; vegetarian, organic and local foods; and Fair Trade products.
Energy consumption – Temporary energy for events provided by the Helsinki energy company Helsingin Energia relies on hydropower. In case power generators are needed, event organizers should favour biofuels.
Materials – Event organizers should favour ecolabelled products and services (see the official Nordic Ecolabel The Swan and EcoCompass) in their procurement and selection of subcontracted services.
Transport – Emissions caused by transport can be reduced with the help of a critical review of transport distances and by paying attention to economical driving practices, for example, by recording the distances driven.
Transport services for the audience – Event visitors should have an opportunity to arrive to the event on public transport, by bicycle and on foot. It is important to provide information on public transport connections and routes on the event’s webpages.
Noise – In case the event is liable to make a noise report, the report must be made well in advance to the City of Helsinki Environment Centre.
Event organizers must find out well in advance about other possible permits and reports required for their events.
The Greening Events project is building an EcoCompass environmental management system for use by pilot events. The project provides information and training in environmental aspects related to events. More information for the environmental management of events is available on the page listing tools for event organizers.