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.