Flow Festival once again reduces carbon footprint

FINLAND: The carbon footprint of the main production of Flow Festival is calculated each year, so that the organisers can follow and develop their environmental work and compensate for the festival’s carbon footprint. The calculations for 2015 are in, and they prove that Flow has succeeded in its goals once more.

The carbon footprint of the Flow Festival has been compensated since 2009 by supporting renewable energy ventures, making it a completely carbon neutral festival. This year Flow supports VCS and CCBS certified forest conservation project in Zimbabwe.

The carbon footprint calculations for Flow Festival 2015 show that the reutilisation of waste was kept once again at 100%. The volume of waste produced also decreased, and no trash was deposited in landfills at all. All of the electricity used to power the festival also continues to be renewable. A majority of the electricity was produced with the Neste Corporation’s renewable and low-emission NEXBTL diesel. Compared with the previous year, the Flow Festival’s carbon footprint shrunk by 12% and the proportional footprint of the number of visitors was as much as 30% smaller.

The biggest single cause for the shrinkage can be found in the minimising of the artists’ travel emissions, which was possible thanks to collaboration with other Nordic festivals. The calculations drawn up by Pöyry Consulting took into account figures on the emissions from artist logistics, subcontractor transportation, employees’ work trips, the powering of the festival area, and the landfill depositing of waste. Flow intends to develop its emission tracking so that in future the carbon footprints of all festival-goers would also be accounted for.

Flow’s Ecocompass certificate was also confirmed and audited this year. The audit report show that the event’s environmental effects are well known and that measures to minimise them have been significant. The festival’s environmental bent is well publicised, and both the audience and the employees are given ample opportunities to take the environment into consideration. What’s more, the agreements drawn up with subcontractors and collaborators all included clauses on environmental considerations.

Flow continued to offer special Baltic Sea tickets whose profits went into work to improve the ecosystems of the Baltic Sea with the WWF. However due to changes in WWF’s fundraising permit, the campaign was interrupted at the end of June. The Baltic Sea tickets managed to raise 5,084 euros, and the entire sum will be directed toward the WWF’s Baltic Sea work.

The present year’s eco work also featured a Flow with environmentally friendly food. The festival supported the food vendors in their ecological meals by piloting Sustainable Meal guidelines created by students of the Aalto University, GreenEvent, and the Visia Cooperative. Vendors were provided with food sale instructions and an evaluation form, both of which included directives for heeding concerns over the origin and ethicality of their raw materials and the packaging materials used. The guidelines made it possible for vendors to add a Sustainable Meal product option. A panel of gastronomical experts assessed the meals during the festival weekend. The highest score was awarded the beetroot smoked beef salad from Follow That Truck, headed by Richard McCormick.

Flow Festival also wants to help people in urgent need in European migrant crisis and has donated 10,000 euros to the Finnish Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund. Furthermore Flow encourages its partners, sponsors and festival visitors to consider how they could help.

In 2016 Flow Festival will take place from August 12 – 14 in the old industrial area of Suvilahti, Helsinki.

Flow Festival’s partners for 2015 are the main partner Lapin Kulta, media partners Basso, Clear Channel, Helsingin Sanomat / Nyt, and partners American Express, Bright Finland, H&M, Paulig, Sonera, Stop Teltat, Sun Effects, University of the Arts Helsinki, and Yellow Tail.

Flow Festival

Header photo credit: Jussi Hellsten