• Bicycles by the Finlandia Hall. Photo: Esko Jämsä/Helsinki Tourism Material Bank

Towards greener events

Finlandia Hall implements the EcoCompass environmental management system. This June the famous Finlandia Hall in Helsinki hosted the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, which was convened by the World Health Organization and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

During the conference Finlandia Hall piloted the EcoCompass environmental management system in order to ensure a “greener” event. The pilot project was carried out together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Concrete ways to manage environmental issues

EcoCompass is a programme that offers practical environmental tools for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. EcoCompass is part of the Greening Events project in which the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa are participating.

During the project, the EcoCompass environmental management system was piloted at around 20 events in Greater Helsinki. The purpose of EcoCompass is to provide both practical tools and advice for organising environmentally friendly events.

In addition to Finlandia Hall, the EcoCompass was piloted in Helsinki at the Tall Ships Races 2013, the Flow Festival and the World Village Festival.

Environmentally friendly location

One of the organisers of the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, was very satisfied with Finlandia Hall as an event venue for the pilot project. Finlandia Hall’s central location was considered a bonus.

“The hotels for the delegates were all within easy walking distance of the venue. This is very important, as one of the aims of the pilot project is to reduce environmental impacts and promote sustainable development in all activities,” comments Merja Paimensaari, Event Coordinator at the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

The overall organisation at Finlandia Hall was also praised. “Finlandia Hall has skilled and friendly personnel. The catering too is always good. Personally I think Finlandia Hall is the best venue for a conference,” Paimensaari adds.

Green thinking attracts environmentally aware customers

For Finlandia Hall, piloting the EcoCompass environmental management system was a natural step in terms of its own environmental awareness. The venue has implemented the WWF’s Green Office environmental programme since 2009. The programme has included monitoring energy consumption, recycling and reducing waste, and promoting sustainable operations. Special attention has been paid to conserving electricity and water, as well as to utilising district cooling.

“Our entire staff is fully committed to green operations. The environment is also taken into consideration in the company’s values, one of which is responsibility – responsibility for both people and the environment,” says Heidi Majaranta, Quality Manager at Finlandia Hall.

According to Majaranta, all aspects of operations are committed to sustainable development, and environmental factors are taken into consideration in all activities. Finlandia Hall also supports the Baltic Sea Action Group, which is committed to improving the state of the Baltic Sea.

Updated 09/06/2015