Tra­vel & Trans­por­ta­tion

Tra­vel and trans­por­ta­tion cause the big­gest emis­sions at public events. If all the tra­vel and trans­por­ta­tion made by event visi­tors, staff and artists, and tra­vel­ling and trans­por­ta­tion in regards to the pre­pa­ra­tion and dis­mant­ling of the event, can be calcu­la­ted, the sha­re of tra­vel and trans­por­ta­tion inc­rea­ses to cove­ring 80 % of an event’s total car­bon footprint.

Alt­hough the event industry does not have to take full res­pon­si­bi­li­ty for how people tra­vel to events, an event orga­nizer can set an example and influence event visi­tors’ atti­tu­des. Low-car­bon alter­na­ti­ves can be pre­sen­ted to supply chain logis­tics, and artists can be recom­men­ded to use trains ins­tead of flying.

Flying causes the big­gest tra­vel emis­sions. Tes­ting elect­ric airc­rafts is still in its begin­ning sta­ges, and pro­ducing renewable avia­tion fuel is so expen­si­ve that only a few Euro­pean air­ports are able to use it for pas­sen­ger airc­rafts in small quan­ti­ties. Whi­le wai­ting for air traf­fic to beco­me sus­tai­nable, you can choo­se not to take domes­tic flights in Euro­pe.

Tra­vel­ling by land is get­ting inc­rea­singly easier due to the ever-evol­ving rail network in Euro­pe. The popu­la­ri­ty of train tra­vel has grown at such a rate that it can be dif­ficult to acqui­re train tic­kets during peak periods. When arri­ving in Oulu from other parts of Fin­land, trains and buses are good alter­na­ti­ves to a pla­ne.

To make sus­tai­nable choice-making easier for both event orga­nizers and visi­tors, the­re are many calcu­la­tors avai­lable for calcu­la­ting one’s flight rou­te emis­sions in com­pa­ri­son to emis­sions from tra­vel­ling by land or water. The last resort is to com­pen­sa­te tra­vel emis­sions in a com­pen­sa­tion ser­vice.

It is recom­men­dable to advice visi­tors to use public trans­por­ta­tion and make it easier for them to get around by pro­vi­ding links to maps, sche­du­les or mobi­le apps. In Oulu, an event tic­ket that com­bi­nes an admis­sion tic­ket and a public trans­port tic­ket has success­ful­ly been tes­ted. At best, this is a way to reduce emis­sions caused by pri­va­te moto­ring in the city. Public trans­por­ta­tion in Oulu has also replaced fos­sil-fue­led buses with elect­ric and bio­gas buses.

In Oulu, you can cycle eve­ryw­he­re – sum­mer and win­ter. At most hotels, guests can bor­row bikes for their per­so­nal use. Unfor­tu­na­te­ly, the­re are cur­rent­ly no city bikes in Oulu. Scoo­ters are ren­ted by seve­ral busi­nes­ses in the city, and they are a more res­pon­sible choice than a car, but using scoo­ters is not unproble­ma­tic eit­her when con­si­de­ring res­pon­si­bi­li­ty.

In addi­tion to people, struc­tu­res, equip­ment, tech­no­lo­gy, was­te con­tai­ners, toi­lets and cate­ring are trans­por­ted to venues. The envi­ron­men­tal impact of trans­port can also be influenced. Trans­port dis­tances can be reduced by acqui­ring mate­rials from local areas, plan­ning trans­por­ta­tion care­ful­ly and avoi­ding single-stop trans­ports: mul­ti-stop trans­ports are bet­ter because they com­bi­ne seve­ral tasks and item pic­kups on the same rou­te.

Do this


Choo­se a venue that can be acces­sed via public trans­por­ta­tion, by bike or by foot.

Encou­ra­ge artist and visi­tors to tra­vel sus­tai­nably by infor­ming them about low-car­bon alter­na­ti­ves.

If you use a car for trans­por­ting car­go or people, keep a dri­ving jour­nal.


Pro­vi­de easy and safe par­king for bicycles. Do not orga­nize a sepa­ra­te par­king space for pri­va­te cars.

Inform visi­tors about public trans­por­ta­tion sche­du­les and rou­tes and, if neces­sa­ry, agree with Oulu public trans­port on addi­tio­nal shifts or an event tic­ket inclu­ding a bus ride.

Arran­ge rides and trans­por­ta­tion with equip­ment that uses bio­fuel or is otherwi­se low-emis­sion.

Next Level

Encou­ra­ge cyclists by offe­ring ser­vices such as chain lubrica­tion or pum­ping tires.

Arran­ge a sha­red trans­port to the event by a fes­ti­val bus or train. Or orga­nize car­pools!

Pro­vi­de visi­tors with an option to par­tici­pa­te vir­tual­ly in the event. Whi­le you reduce your car­bon footprint in terms of mobi­li­ty, you also impro­ve your event’s acces­si­bi­li­ty inter­na­tio­nal­ly as well.

Read an example of how a more sus­tai­nable trans­por­ta­tion was tes­ted using the CoReo­rient car­poo­ling app.

More Infor­ma­tion & Tips

Reduce tra­vel car­bon dioxi­de emis­sions by train: emis­sions from dif­fe­rent trans­por­ta­tion met­hods can be com­pa­red with VR’s car­bon footprint calcu­la­tor.

You can easi­ly esti­ma­te the emis­sions of air tra­vel with dif­fe­rent calcu­la­tors: The Ger­man Atmos­fair offers event orga­nizers a free emis­sions calcu­la­tor against regi­stra­tion. You can also dona­te to renewable ener­gy pro­jects around the world in the ser­vice. Many tips for sus­tai­nable tra­vel are sha­red in Face­book groups. View for example the Inter­rail Tra­ve­lers group.