Orga­nize a Sus­tai­nable Event

The sus­tai­nable event pro­duc­tion gui­de helps you to orga­nize public events in such a way that futu­re event orga­nizers are also left with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to orga­nize events.

Sus­tai­nable deve­lop­ment con­sists of three areas, which are eco­lo­gical, social and eco­no­mic sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty. This gui­de focuses on eco­lo­gical sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty.

The terms sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty and res­pon­si­bi­li­ty are often used interc­han­geably. Sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty can also be con­si­de­red as the end-goal that can be achie­ved through res­pon­sible actions.

Whet­her it is a fes­ti­val, con­fe­rence, sports com­pe­ti­tion or a com­mu­ni­ty par­ty, events always put bur­den on the envi­ron­ment. Par­tici­pants tra­vel to events by cars and pla­nes, and events lea­ve behind piles of lit­ter and cause spi­kes in ener­gy con­sump­tion.

A res­pon­sible event orga­nizer recog­ni­ses their own envi­ron­men­tal load and aims to reduce it. At best, sus­tai­nable event orga­nizing can also inc­rea­se cli­ma­te cri­sis awa­re­ness.

Oulu is the Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re 2026. The goal is for events in the area to be as car­bon-neut­ral as pos­sible by then. In its envi­ron­men­tal pro­gram­me, the City of Oulu is com­mit­ted to stri­ve for car­bon neut­ra­li­ty by 2035.

This gui­de has been com­pi­led in The Most Sus­tai­nable Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re pro­ject, which searc­hed for tools for event orga­nizers to help them in their envi­ron­men­tal work, for example by tes­ting inno­va­tions that reduce event emis­sions.

The Sus­tai­nable Event Pro­duc­tion Gui­de

Other ope­ra­tors have publis­hed gui­des, car­bon footprint calcu­la­tors and res­pon­si­bi­li­ty pro­gram­mes as well. This gui­de comple­ments other works and pro­vi­des prac­tical gui­dance from choo­sing a venue to pur­suing envi­ron­men­tal cer­ti­fica­tes. A varie­ty of links from research infor­ma­tion to legis­la­tion have been com­pi­led to sup­port the three-step gui­de­li­nes.


Tra­vel & Trans­por­ta­tion


Food & Drink

Was­te Mana­ge­ment

Purc­ha­ses & Mate­rials

Water & Sewe­ra­ge

Noi­se Pol­lu­tion


Car­bon Footprint



With the help of the sus­tai­nable event pro­duc­tion gui­de, event orga­nizers can reduce their envi­ron­men­tal load step by step. The­re are gui­de­li­nes ran­ging from mini­mum requi­re­ments for begin­ners to actions for advanced event orga­nizers and leaps for top per­for­mers. You do not have to do eve­ryt­hing at once, as envi­ron­men­tal work at events is a process whe­re you can only get bet­ter at or learn from its set­backs.

All inno­va­tion tes­tings con­duc­ted in the pro­ject are also repor­ted in this gui­de. They will not save the world, but they do ser­ve as ins­pi­ra­tion for the futu­re. Col­la­bo­ra­tion between event orga­nizers and inno­va­tors can open up new hope­ful pros­pects and crea­ti­ve solu­tions for our planet’s futu­re. What could be tes­ted or done dif­fe­rent­ly at your event?

Tes­ted Inno­va­tions

View what solu­tions have alrea­dy been tes­ted at events.


Impres­sed, inte­res­ted or came up with a sug­ges­tion for impro­ve­ment?

We will help you in all areas of event pro­duc­tion free of char­ge! Con­tact the City of Oulu Event Ser­vices (site in Fin­nish).


The Most sus­tai­nable Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re is the Euro­pean Regio­nal Deve­lop­ment Fund’s ERDF pro­ject, fun­ded by the Council of Oulu Region in 2019–2023.