Oct 11 Anna Pakkala
Just like city planners, at Slush sustainability is in a pivotal role in ensuring that the environmental and social effects of our dear pop-up village are properly – not just sufficiently – managed.
But how do you make a temporary village of 20,000 tech nomads sustainable?
Get the village involved. This year, Slush is organizing a competition for the companies and startups helping in creating our event space. In December, the top 3 sustainable booths at Slush will be highlighted in a Slush News post. To be in the running, partners and startups can fill in a form to tell us more about how they are taking sustainability into consideration, and further observations will be made at the event. The key criteria we will be looking for are the ecological use of materials, environmental considerations in supply chain, procurement, energy efficiency and carbon footprint, sustainability in giveaways, and innovation and visual ambition for sustainability,
Create a circular system. You won’t find waste stations at Slush – rather, we employ raw material collection stations, which are used to ensure that the materials in use are effectively recycled and reused after the village is done with them. To avoid unnecessary materials that can’t be reused, all cups, plates, forks, knives and other food items at Slush are fully biodegradable. That means easier disposal for anyone enjoying food at Slush – just dump everything in the organic bin when you are done! When in doubt, just ask one of our sustainability team volunteers, who are there to help with sorting and recycling,
Reduce material and energy expenditure. One decision multiplied by 20,000 means that even the most minute choices can have a huge impact – for example, Slush has long since banned plastic bottles, opting instead for tap water stations (remember to bring your own bottle!). Our volunteers wear shirts made by Pure Waste from recycled fabric, we partner with the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority to give out public transportation tickets to attendees, and all printed materials except business cards are banned. This year, our cloakroom tags will be made by 2.Elämä from recycled exhibition carpet that may just have come from last year’s Slush – and this is all just the tip of the iceberg!
Create a shared social code. Anyone attending, working or volunteering at Slush deserves to feel safe and included in the community – isolating certain groups or individuals serves no benefit to the shared goals of the community. That is why Slush has a code of conduct that spells out the shared rules for everyone inside the village of Slush, and mediators and procedures for dealing with potential infractions.
Get an outside opinion. While we work year-round on weighing sustainable choices and fine-tuning our operations, sometimes it’s also good to compare notes with someone else. In 2018, Slush will be undergoing its regular Eco Compass audit to ensure that our goals and event operations continue to evolve and adhere to the certification guidelines. Slush has been a certified Eco Compass event since 2016, meaning that we track and report on our environmental impacts on a yearly basis. This certification not only gives us tools and outside expertise to build on our sustainability work, but also ensures that we keep raising the bar year after year. After all, that which gets measured, gets improved.
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