Skip to content

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.

Sustainability policy for events in Helsinki

The sustainability policy for events directs event organisers to realise increasingly sustainable events in Helsinki. Through this policy, the City of Helsinki wishes to encourage event organisers to operate sustainably and even exceed the legal requirements. The sustainability policy can be applied to events of all types and sizes.

In addition to the sustainability policy, the event organiser must read Helsinki’s instructions for event organisers (in Finnish) and ensure that the obligations, permits and notifications mentioned in the instructions are adhered to.

Environmental Responsibility

General planning principles 

  • An environmental plan or system should be prepared for the event to control environmental matters, and a contact person in charge of environmental matters should be appointed.
  • Organisers who hold an EcoCompass certificate can receive a 30% discount on the area rent of event venues rented out by the Urban Environment Division of the City of Helsinki.
  • The event organiser should have its partners and subcontractors commit to sustainable operations, e.g. by taking this in the consideration in the tendering phase. 

Event location 

  • The event venue selected should be accessible and suitable in terms of the infrastructure required, noise levels, waste management and the attrition of nature.
  • When constructing and disassembling the event, and during the event itself, renewable energy or fuels should be used in vehicles, machinery and equipment.
  • Visitors should be encouraged to arrive by foot, bicycle or public transport. This should also be taken into consideration in the event’s planning, e.g. in terms of public transport timetables and supervised bicycle parking.
  • The event organiser should ensure the cleanliness of the event venue, with regard to the fact that the event’s impact probably extends beyond the event venue.


  • The purchases made for the event should favour products and services produced sustainably and ethically.
  • If the event has its own electricity contract, 100% renewable solar or wind power or electricity marked with the EKOenergy label should be used.
  • Reusable, multi-year and recycled materials should be used for the event (such as fair carpets, banners, work clothes). Devices and equipment can also be rented.
  • The event should avoid distributing extra items or merchandise, such as brochures, promotional shirts or caps. 

Food and drink 

  • The event should have an extensive selection of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as sustainably produced local food.
  • The food operators at the event should primarily favour reusable tableware. If the use of disposable tableware is necessary, biodegradable options are preferred (EN13432 standard).
  • The event should have a return system for bottles, cans and drinking vessels.
  • Food waste is prevented through good planning. Surplus portions can be sold at a discount at the end of the event day, for example.
  • The event should offer the visitors an opportunity to fill their own water bottles. 

Noise and waste management 

  • The event organiser should find out if they are obligated to provide noise notifications well in advance (preferably at least 60 days prior to the event) and submit any noise notifications at least 30 days prior to the event to the environmental protection authority of the City.
  • The generation of waste should be minimised. For events for over 500 people, a waste management plan should be submitted to the City’s Environmental Services 30 days prior to the event, at the latest.
  • Sorting should be made easy for visitors through signs and the placement of the bins. Practical tips for arranging sustainable waste management can also be found in the Roskat Riviin! guide (in Finnish).

Event organizers must find out well in advance about other possible permits and reports required for their events.

More information for the environmental management of events is available on the page Think Sustainably.

13.09.2021 20:46