Nov 17, 2016 slush
Environmental responsibility has long been at the heart of Slush production: the venue has been built mainly on recycled and borrowed materials. However, last year was the first time we took one step forward by starting to use EcoCompass, an environmental management system that provides a systematic tool to monitor, measure, and improve our sustainability performance. In addition, Slush received the official EcoCompass certification, which stands for our commitment to work actively in decreasing the environmental impact of the event. While all this was a major leap forward, it is however, just a starting point.
Event production is in many ways comparable to cruising: It is a short journey that aims to maximize enjoyment. Quite often, however, enjoyment is made possible through rather extensive consumption, and avoiding too stiff approaches to environmental questions. Nevertheless, this coin has two sides and everything eventually comes with a price tag. Therefore it is our task as event producers to make Slush epic, yet without compromising environmental responsibility. But it is obvious that we cannot do it alone. It requires close collaboration with our partners and commitment from everyone, including Slush attendees.
We would be lying if we claimed that Slush does not produce as a byproduct tons of items that some might consider as waste. We do produce. Yet, while continuously seeking ways to reduce the amount of discarded materials, this year we have continued collaborating closely with Lassila & Tikanoja, in order to turn our waste into new raw materials. In fact, our goal is to reuse or recycle all our waste, and therefore recycling at Slush will be an embraced activity not something that one should hide. We will also tell the story of our waste through Arilyn Augmented Reality, since we want to emphasize the brilliance of the recycling society; a system, where one’s trash becomes another one’s treasure. But as said, the question is not only about recycling. Reducing the amount of discarded materials is important as well. For this reason we, for example encourage all our attendees to avoid the distribution of flyers due to their short lifecycle and their tendency of becoming waste almost immediately after distribution.
It has been stated that in Finland the quality of tap water is the best in the world. Nevertheless, we have served bottled water at Slush, because we have hesitated the shift from bottled water to tap water. Not because we doubt the quality of Finnish tap water, but because of the global trend to prefer the consumption of bottled water even if it is unnecessary for safety reasons. But to be honest, among all the crazy things we have done at Slush, serving tap water is probably the least insane. Actually, drinking tap water is a pretty cool thing. And it is sustainable too. Therefore, we will place altogether 15 Thoreau fresh water stations around the venue and their water will also be served at the Meeting Area. So be ready to say cheers to tap water!
The biggest sustainability challenge, by far, is caused by the magnitude of the event. There are only a few things that we need a handful of. Instead, everything must come in large quantities, and preferably as environmentally friendly as possible. This year for example, everyone working at Slush will wear ecologically sustainable Pure Waste garments, and all food will be served in biodegradable packaging. Nevertheless, by favoring environmentally friendly solutions, the purpose is not to add a green sticker to everything. Rather, by favoring these solutions we want to show that size does not matter when it comes to making smart decisions.
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