The upcoming EYOF 2021 event is to be planned as environmentally sustainably as possible. New practicalities are piloted to minimize the environmental and climate emissions caused by the event.
Kainuu province benefits in multiple ways of the upcoming mass event EYOF 2021, which brings visibility, tourism, and vitality to the region. In the meanwhile, arranging the event causes to the exploitation of natural resources, which is typical to mass events. There is a strong incentive to solve this challenge in Kainuu now. As a solution, an environmental management system will be implemented to minimise the environmental emissions caused by the event. The goal is to minimise the waste, material usage and climate emissions throughout the event life cycle.
Finland is committed to international agreements which bind to slowing down the global warming. A long before the current COVID-19 pandemic the concrete consequences of climate change have been visible: the global average temperature rises, species die to extinction, many regions suffer of drought and extreme weather events. In Finland, the consequences are visible for instance in the warming of winter climate which is significant for winter sports.
The sports events cause environmental and climate emissions in all phases of the event life cycle: before, after and during the event.” Understanding the big picture and identifying the opportunities for measurable improvements is key to success” tells Heini-Maari Kemppainen, who leads the ongoing sustainability work. What kind of electricity is purchased, how people travel to the event venue, what kind of food is served and how many merchandise products are supplied, are examples of decisions that can be transferred into measurable sustainability impacts.
Plastic waste and climate emissions are reduced by sharing refill water bottles to the athletes. The water in Finland is world class: it has been ranked as the cleanest in the world, while Finland is the water richest country in the world. When bottles are filled with tap water a process of bottling, transport, and storing in refrigerator is avoided completely. 2000 athletes are expected to multiply the impact of this practice.
” We as organisers are aiming to create such facilities that the audience finds it very easy and convenient to respect the environment at the venue. This means practices such as sorting the waste, avoiding excess private car usage, and eating food that is climate friendly”, Kemppainen explains. The audience can indeed try an imagination exercise: Could I share a car with my friend or even try a service designed for car-sharing? Could I travel on land even for longer distances? When I am hungry, could I taste a vegan sausage? Could I carry my own water bottle and reusable take away cup?
Kainuun Liikunta ry is the main organiser of the EYOF 2021 event. Ekosport Kainuu is a project administrated by Kainuun Liikunta and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The duration of the project is August 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021. The project aims to decrease the environmental and climate emissions of sports tourism events, to increase the knowledge of environmentally sustainable event organising in the province of Kainuu, and to improve the brand of the events by environmental sustainability actions. EYOF 2021 is one of the six pilot events during the project for testing new practicalities.
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