Flow further reduced its emissions and consumption of natural resources in 2023

Flow has completed the carbon and material footprint calculation of the 2023 festival. The calculation determines that both the festival's carbon footprint, measuring emissions, and the material footprint, evaluating the consumption of natural resources, decreased compared to 2022 thanks to, among others, new solutions in production, an increase in the amount of vegan food served, and artists' reduced flight kilometres.

In 2021, Flow Festival launched the Flow Impacts research project in cooperation with D-Mat, an expert company for a sustainable future, extensively examining the festival's environmental effects. The calculation tool created in the project was used to calculate the carbon and material footprints of Flow Festival 2022 and 2023. The calculation for 2023 has now been completed.

The overall carbon footprint of the 2023 festival was 1,995 t CO₂e, making the festival's carbon footprint 765 t CO₂e smaller than the previous year. The festival's material footprint, which measures the consumption of natural resources, was 7,141 t, making the material footprint 639 t smaller than in 2022. The carbon footprint of an individual visitor was 21.0 kg CO₂e (2022: 31.0 kg CO₂e), and the material footprint was 74.4 kg (2022: 86.0 kg) per festival day. The carbon footprint of an individual visitor corresponds to about 60, and the material footprint to roughly 150 kilometres driven on a combustion engine car.

Flow was able to utilise the information obtained from the 2022 calculation in the 2023 festival with new production solutions. Thus, the total consumption and emissions of the festival decreased, even though more accurate data was available than the previous year, and, for example, ​​the festival area was larger than in 2022. This proves that increasing information and careful environmental production planning have significant importance in curbing the festival’s harmful environmental effects.

Controlling consumption and emissions with more sustainable solutions

Flow Festival's carbon and material footprints have been calculated by dividing the festival's production into nine sub-areas. The areas causing the most emissions and consumption are visitors, logistics, and food and drink.

The visitors’ section includes the travel and accommodation of festival visitors during the event. Even though more than 90 % of Flow’s audience arrive at the event on foot, by bike or by public transport, and more than 80 % arrive from the capital region, visitors still account for more than 60 % of the event's total emissions and consumption. An accessible and central location of the festival with good transportation connections is therefore essential to contain any event's emissions and consumption.

When it comes to food and drink, both the carbon and material footprint decreased, even though the number of food portions sold was higher than the previous year. Flow dropped red meat and poultry from the food selection already in 2022, resulting in a plumage in the climate impacts of the food. The decrease in footprints in 2023 is explained by the further relative increase in vegan portions, as 50 % of the dishes sold at Flow were vegan.

In terms of logistics, the carbon footprint decreased dramatically as a result of artists' reduced flight kilometres. On the other hand, the material footprint of the logistics sub-area increased from 2022, but this is most likely due to more accurate data obtained for the calculations compared to the previous year.

The calculation for 2022 revealed that the consumption caused by the festival area’s ground improvement was a surprisingly large part of the event's total consumption. At the 2023 festival, Flow was able to reduce the consumption caused by ground improvement by almost 75 % compared to the previous year with new solutions. In addition, Flow systematically cut back the production of merchandise, amounting to emissions from this area lowering by more than half. The event's biggest stage, the Main Stage, was also changed to a lighter stage, significantly reducing its material footprint. The stage’s lighter cargo also resulted in lower emissions.

Flow reduces its environmental debt with a donation to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation

Flow Festival strives to discover new solutions for producing more sustainable events. The budgeting and calculation tool for natural resources and ecological footprint created in the Flow Impacts research project enables the event industry to consider the environmental effects better already in the planning phase of events. The tool is currently being further developed in cooperation with Tietoevry.

However, organising events without consuming natural resources and causing emissions remains impossible. Therefore, Flow Festival further reduces its environmental debt by donating to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation based on the calculations made of the 2023 festival. With the donation, a total of 5.3 hectares of Finnish old-growth forest will be protected. Protecting old-growth forests helps fight the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.

Read more on Flow Festival's responsibility program, Sustainable Flow: https://www.flowfestival.com/flow-festival/sustainable-flow/.