Flow is a carbon neutral festival
Flow Festival is one of the first events to compensate its carbon footprint. The carbon footprint of Flow Festival has been compensated since 2009. Thus, Flow is a completely carbon neutral festival. In 2016 Flow compensated for its emissions via the Gold standard certified Zhangbei Dayangzhuang wind energy venture in China. The project reduces global carbon emissions by replacing some of China’s growing fossil fuel electricity production with wind power. The project also supports sustainable development by providing local people with jobs in the construction, erection and annual running of the wind turbines. The carbon footprint is calculated in cooperation with Pöyry Consulting.
Electricity for Flow is made from waste and residues
Carbon-neutral Flow seeks to minimize emissions through comprehensive environmental work. Most of the energy production for the event comes from renewable fuels, enabling Flow to reduce its total carbon footprint. The festivalgoers will be able to enjoy the event without any unpleasant emissions.
By using renewable Biodiesel to generate power for Flow, the event will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 90% compared to traditional diesel fuel. The renewable Biodiesel is produced from renewable and sustainable feedstocks, such as inedible waste from food production. For procured electricity, Flow uses carbon neutral EKOenergia certified electricity produced by wind turbines.
The planters and seating areas for the Helsinki Park Green Area are made out of HSY’s (Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority) disused water pipes. As substrate, we use garden soil by Metsäpirtti. The primary ingredient of the garden soil is sludge derived as a by-product from industrial water treatment. The organic matter of the sludge, as well as the phosphorus and nitrogen it contains, are reused as plant nutrients. The carbon-neutral biogas generated in the manufacturing process is also used by HSY in the electricity and heat generation for purification plants and in the production of traffic fuel.
Small changes can have a global impact
Flow also gives you the chance to test your climate attitude. The Climate Match Quiz by HSY lets you test, in a Tinder-like manner, just how good a match you and the climate actually make. HSY promoters will be there at Flow Festival to discuss how small actions can make a big difference for the environment. Find out what kind of a climate lover you are: climatematch.fi
Flow is an EcoCompass event. EcoCompass is an agile environmental system, designed to make environmental management easier for enterprises and events. The goal is to improve the state of the environment and ensure eco-friendly services for clients and guests. Read more about EcoCompass: ekokompassi.fi
Protecting the Baltic Sea
Eutrophication is one of the biggest problems for the Baltic Sea. Eutrophication increases water opacity, anoxic seafloor areas and blue-green algae. With respect to the occurrence of blue-green algae, phosphorus, in particular, plays a key part. Phosphorus emissions nourish the growth of algae in the water.
All human action affects the environment. In order to help improve the state of the Baltic Sea, Flow Festival collaborates with the John Nurminen Foundation. During more than ten years of protecting the Baltic Sea, the foundation has launched 25 Clean Baltic Sea projects, of which 17 have been finalised. The St. Petersburg and Laukaanjoki projects alone have succeeded in reducing the annual phosphorus load of the Gulf of Finland by 75%.
Read more about the John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects here!
100% of waste is reused
The 2016 Flow Festival was another successful year in improving operations to support sustainability. Waste generated during the festival was 100% reused with nothing taken to garbage dumps.
High quality is what all the food vendors collaborating with Flow share with each other. Flow Festival food vendors dealing with large quantities of food has the responsibility and the power to change things through their decisions. By designing sustainable dishes and making plans for waste-prevention, food vendors can make a difference. We put a preference on organic and locally produced foods, as well as fresh, Finnish ingredients and vegetarian dishes. We also want to set an example by showing that vegetarian and vegan food is diverse, tastes good and is of high quality.
Flow continues the model of ecological food
Flow encourages food vendors at the festival as well as other events to serve ecological dishes. The food vendors had again an opportunity to offer one meal developed according to the Sustainable Meal instructions as one choice on their menu. Flow Festival caterers were provided with a guide, Sustainable Meal – Roadmap to Sustainable Catering. The guide focuses on the origins of the ingredients,the energy efficiency of food production, packaging materials, logistics, the use of local, organic and seasonal products, and that the meat and other ingredients are ethical.
During the festival weekend, a jury of food professionals evaluated meals and chose the winner of the best Sustainable Meal contest. In 2016 the winner meal was Nordic Rainbow Salad by Gold & Green Nordic. The jury commented that the vegan meal was fresh, interesting and pulled oats gave the dish a pleasant texture. This year the Sustainable Meal winner will be selected during the Flow weekend, and the jury is consisted of three judges; restaurant consultant Antti Tuomola, Chocochili vegan food blogger Elina Innanen and Henri “Paperi T” Pulkkinen. You can also explore Flow visitors’ pictures and experiences on Sustainable Meals on Instagram with a hashtag #sustainablemeal.
We encourage to use eco-friendly transport
We actively encourage the festival crowd to favour environmentally friendly modes of transport to the festival and away. Our festival does not offer any parking space for private cars, but encourages people arriving to the festival to use public transport or bicycles. In addition to regular services, HSL will organise additional night services on Helsinki public transport during the festival weekend. For example, metro will drive 2 extra hours at night time. Near the festival area, there is a free bicycle parking area, where the crowd can bring their bikes. It’s also possible to walk to a city festival.
On top of taking notice of how people get to the festival, we also take into consideration the pollution caused by the travel of our performers and subcontractors. We work together with local subcontractors and Nordic event organizers to make sure that the travel between places of performance is reasonable.