After making the festival both meat-free and milk-free, Way Out West is taking the next step in its sustainability journey. Together with festival partner Oatly, this year’s festival will be climate transparent. The climate footprint for food, drink, transport, accommodation and energy, amongst others, will be reported to not only increase knowledge of green house gas emissions, but ultimately to help festival visitors make more sustainable choices.
Since it’s inception in 2007, sustainability has been high on the festival organisers agenda. Today Way Out West is both meat and milk-free, and in 2013 it became the first Swedish festival to be certified as a sustainable event according to ISO 20121. This year, together with Oatly, a project will be launched to make the climate footprint of the festival visible – from energy, accommodation and transport, to food, drink and equipment rental. Even the mobile charging stations and the port-a-loo emissions will be visible. The people behind the calculations are Svalna and CarbonCloud. In the long term, a climate budget for the festival will be created, that is, a tool where, using the emissions from previous years’ festivals, we can follow up and identify actions to be taken to reduce the festivals carbon footprint year on year.
– The climate issue is more important than it has ever been and we need a genuine and honest change, not small cosmetic changes just to get another pat on the back. We will continue to drive the question of how to make the production of the event more sustainable, and in order to do this in a credible way we must be transparent and report what the climate figures actually look like. Transparency can be for good and bad, but whichever it may be, it is necessary. By making the festival climate transparent we will hopefully drive the issue home to our visitors, says Peter Björklund at Luger, who hopes others in the industry will follow suit.
CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a common measure of the impact different green house gases have on the climate and is used to measure everything from flying to the food on your plate. In addition to what is required to arrange the festival, all food and drinks suppliers will also be participating. Earlier this year, Oatly, who were involved in the festival becoming milk-free in 2015, became the first in Sweden to start printing their climate footprint on all their packaging. Together with Way Out West, they are also the initiators of this year’s project.
– Carbon dioxide equivalents are a good measure, but they don’t say much if there is nothing to compare them to, or an understanding of what they include. More producers need to take responsibility and show their climate footprint so that consumers can make sustainable choices in their everyday lives. We think it should be the consumers’ right to know the climate footprint of household products, says Anna Åhnberg, sustainability specialist at Oatly.
CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalents, is a measure of greenhouse gas emissions that considers the fact that greenhouse gases have different global warming potentials (GWP) and contribute to the greenhouse effect in different ways. This unit for measuring expresses the impact different greenhouse gases have regarding the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming. For example, methane emissions contribute 30 times more to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide, a methane emission of 1 tonne is the equivalent of 30 tonnes of CO2e.
About Climate Transparency
Being climate transparent means making your climate footprint visible by calculating your greenhouse gas emissions. For Way Out West this means that we include areas such as energy, transport, food and drink. The purpose of the initiative is to increase knowledge and awareness, but also to make the issue more concrete and transparent internally, but most of all for our visitors and others within the industry – with the overall aim of creating a more sustainable festival.