Flow Festival offsets its carbon footprint by contributing to the protection of forests in Zimbabwe

Flow Festival is one of the world’s first carbon-neutral festivals. Flow’s whole carbon footprint is calculated every year and the festival’s environmental impact is minimized via contributions to environmental projects. The festival has offset its carbon footprint since 2009. The 2017 emissions are offset by contributing to the protection of forests in Zimbabwe.

For the 9th year, calculating Flow’s carbon footprint was done in cooperation with Pöyry Consulting, as Flow moves towards an increasingly responsible way to produce events and create best practices for the industry. Taken into account in the carbon footprint calculations are artist travel and transportation, transportation undertaken by contractors working for Flow, work-related driving by Flow employees, the electricity consumed at the event area and waste processing. This year, Flow’s emissions are compensated for the Kariba REDD Community development project that protects Zimbabwe’s forests. More than a third of Zimbabwe’s majestic forests are now gone. The aim of the project is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation through a range of activities such as conservation farming, proposed by local communities and supported by carbon finance. Read more about the project here.

Emissions resulting from travel by Flow’s international artists were 66% of the festival’s whole footprint and thus formed the biggest single source of emissions. Transport accounted for 24% of the total, with the majority of the emissions coming from subcontractors.

Electricity consumption accounted for about 10% of Flow’s carbon footprint. Flow bought carbon neutral EKOEnergia certified Finnish wind energy and Helen’s wind energy. The festival generated some of its own electricity by using Neste MY renewable diesel made using waste and leftovers.

As in previous years, Flow’s recycling rate was 100%, i.e. the festival generated no landfill waste. One of the goals for this year was to minimize the amount of waste for incineration and maximize the share of biowaste. This goal was met, with the festival generating 3000 kg of biowaste, which resulted directly in a significant decrease in the amount of general waste.

The Sustainable Meal concept has been elemental in the development of Flow’s acclaimed food offering for three years now. The aim is to increase the availability of and demand for sustainable meals. It helps Flow’s food vendors better take sustainability and responsibility into account when planning their meals. For more information: www.sustainablemeal.fi.

Read more about Flow’s environmental responsibility here.

Photo: © Eetu Ahanen