Finland places sustainability at heart of meeting arrangements
Sustainability is the cross-cutting theme in all meeting arrangements during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Finland wants to draw attention to the climate impacts of meetings and is keen to seek new ways of doing things.
A key measure is to keep the number of meetings down and centralise all meetings in Helsinki. This will help minimise the carbon footprint resulting from transport emissions. The central location of the meeting venue, Finlandia Hall, means delegates, other participants and media representatives can reach the venue easily by public transport, by bike or on foot.
Offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from delegates’ flights
Finland has decided on a no-gifts and no-merchandise policy for the Presidency. The money earmarked for Presidency gifts and merchandise will be used to offset carbon dioxide emissions from air travel by delegates. The emissions will be offset by financing projects that reduce emissions. The emission-reducing projects will be announced before the start of the Presidency.
Finland is also keen to emphasise the importance of the circular economy. Very little physical material will be produced just for the Presidency. Instead, the idea is to make use of digital applications and solutions based on the circular economy. The aim is also to reduce the use of plastics by offering clean, pure Finnish tap water instead of bottled water.
All meetings organised in Helsinki during Finland’s Presidency will serve organic, seasonal and locally produced Finnish food. The visual identity of the Presidency supports this sustainable thinking, as it has been designed by taking a ‘something borrowed, something new’ approach.