Sustainable meetings and events in Espoo
Organise a responsible meeting, congress, event or celebration in Espoo. Read our tips for sustainable and eco-friendly events while still being cost-effective.
Travel by train or public transport!
The most significant cause of event-related emissions is the means of getting there. The smaller carbon footprint is the most considerable advantage of train travel and public transport. These means of transport are also a carefree alternative. There is no need to think about parking; you can even work while travelling!
You can achieve the smallest carbon footprint by travelling on foot or by bicycle. Each step or pedal stroke is a clean investment in your well-being and everyday exercise routine!
- Cheer the participants and highlight eco-friendly transport alternatives in your event's marketing.
- Tell the participants how to navigate the city and get to the meeting place.
- Arrange group transports, if necessary.
Espoo tip: Could the participants use, for example, city bikes?
Idea: Reward those who came by public transport, on foot or by bicycle with buns or something similar.
Example from Espoo: More than 85% of the everyday traffic of Åbergin Linja, a chartered bus company from Espoo, is driven by eco-friendly EEV and Euro6 class vehicles. Åbergin Linja co-operates with many conference hotels in Espoo. For example, the company has championed organising group transports with Hotel Korpilampi.
Catering – reduce food waste
At events, the second biggest cause of carbon footprints is usually catering. Meat production produces significantly more emissions than food plant farming. But whether it be vegetarian or meat dishes, minimising food waste and avoiding disposable plates and cups are simple solutions to reducing emissions.
Tap water is cool! Finland is famous for its cleanliness, yet not all foreign guests know that our tap water is completely drinkable and indeed some of the purest in the world. Maybe it is time to ditch bottled water and serve tap water with pride?
- Hire a catering service that emphasises local foodstuff and seasonal Finnish ingredients.
- Favour vegetarian dishes or offer a vegetarian alternative to meat dishes.
- Request tablecloths instead of the table cover papers and avoid any disposable dishes.
- Serve water in jugs.
- Tell the participants about your sustainable choices and goal to reduce food waste.
Tip: Ask the catering service to minimise food waste by selling the leftovers, for example, via the ResQ Club app.
Idea: Transform breakfast leftovers into takeaway lunch for the participants.
Example from Espoo: In 2019, Conference Hotel Hanasaari's Restaurant Johannes decided to take the idea of local production and food even further. Hanasaari holds fishing rights to the waters around its headland. This sparked the idea of employing the restaurant's "own" fisher. Now the Hanasaari's fisher ensures the restaurant can serve fresh fish year-round!
Event facilities and accommodation
- Choose an eco-certified conference facility and accommodation or a place hose sustainability you can verify in another way.
- Favour places close or has good public transport access to the event location and accommodation.
Tip: Our service search tool allows you to search for only sustainable service providers.
Procurements and event materials
- Favour eco-labelled, sustainably and ethically produced products and sustainable producers.
- Favour reuse and recycled materials.
- Provide event materials in digital format. Send the event materials to the participants electronically before or after the event. Very few people want any materials in print these days.
- Is there a need for printed handouts? Do they bring any extra value to the participants?
Idea: Encourage the participants to bring their already used conference bag or own water bottle that can be refilled at the event location.
Example from Espoo: We at Visit Espoo have planned our stand at the annual Kongressimessut fair to ensure that we can use the same booth elements from year to year. Furthermore, we made 80% of our 2018–2020 with recycled materials.
- Favour activities with minimised effects on the environment.
- Favour companies that have been eco-certified or whose sustainability you can verify in another way.
Example: Check out the numerous programme service providers following the principles of sustainable nature tourism in the Nuuksio National Park.
Example: The service provider Tuunaajamutsi organises active and creative customisation workshops that promote sustainable development. At these workshops, the participants get to recycle waste materials provided by the company, the participants or Tuunaajamutsi.
Guides to organising sustainable and eco-friendly meetings and events
Various bodies and organisations have published manuals and instructions on organising more eco-friendly and sustainable conferences, events and international congresses. Check these out:
- TAPAUS' tips for a carbon-conscious event and carbon footprint compensation
- Ministry for Foreign Affairs' guidelines for organising environmentally conscious meetings (pdf) (in Finnish)
Photo: Antti Rastivo