Ilosaarirock Festival 11th – 13th July 2014  \\  Joensuu  \\  Finland  \\  ilosaarirock  \\  @ilosaarirock

The Carbon Footprint

Ilosaarirock has worked for years to diminish the environmental strain that the festival inevitably produces. Unfortunately organising a large festival is not very environmentally friendly as such. That's why we make an effort to protect the environment by minimising the negative effect the festival has on it. This requires knowledge, know-how and above all attitude.

Study on greenhouse emissions

Ilosaarirock has calculated its carbon footprint since 2010. With the indicators it is possible to pin down those areas in the festival production that could be conducted more ecologically. The most important aim of the study is to reduce the emissions of the festival, in other words to shrink the carbon footprint of the festival in the future.

The size of the carbon footprint

Over four fifths of the emissions of Ilosaarirock Festival consist of the travelling of the artists and the audience. For clarity, we have divided the emissions into three sections in the research. In the programme, we count the emissions caused by the travelling of the Finnish and foreign artists of Ilosaarirock Festival. The production includes technical construction, transportation of goods, electricity consumption, waste management, water consumption and the production of printed materials. The emissions caused by the travelling of the festival audience are counted on the basis of client surveys and the information of ticket sales.

In 2013, the total emissions of Ilosaarirock Festival were 598 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

  • The programme: 110 tons, 18% of the total
  • The production: 89 tons, 15% of the total
  • The audience: 399 tons, 67% of the total

Compared to 2012, the emissions of Ilosaarirock Festival increased by 27%. The increase was due to the crowd record of the festival. We had more visitors than the year before, which naturally added to the carbon footprint. In addition, extending the festival area caused a 7% increase in the emissions of the production. Although the festival is growing, the relative emissions are reduced annually. More accurate gauges help us find the spots where the carbon footprint can be diminished. You can help us in the goal by considering your choice of transportation to Ilosaarirock Festival. The travelling of the audience causes two thirds of the festival emissions.

Compensation for greenhouse gas emissions

Ilosaarirock is committed to minimize its carbon foorprint and to pay compensation for its greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of the festival is to be carbon neutral and environmentally friendly. However, it isn't possible to make a zero emissions festival. This is why the annual emissions, which will hopefully diminish, are compensated. The compensation price is determined according to the EU emissions trading scheme's prices. The sum is given to an annually chosen nature conservation project.

The projects shortlisted for the compensation are sought in the Northern Karelia area together with UNESCO's North Karelia Biosphere Reserve.

Nature conservation project 2013: The Landlocked Salmon

The compensation funds of the 2012 and 2013 festivals are donated to the protection of the landlocked salmon. The funds are used to build spawning habitats by restoring rapids areas.

The landlocked salmon is an extremely endangered fish species. It is the subspecies of the Atlantic salmon that remains in the Finnish inland waters since the post-Ice Age changes in the waterways. The natural reproduction areas of the landlocked salmon are located in the river Pielisjoki (that is familiar to the visitors of Ilosaarirock Festival), and in its fork river Ala-Koitajoki as well as river Lieksanjoki that flows into the lake Pielinen.

The natural life cycle and breeding of the landlocked salmon is no longer possible because of human interference and power-plant building. The first signs of deteriorating living conditions were already detected in the 1950s.

Landlocked salmon populations are maintained through continuous introduction. In river Pielisjoki, natural reproduction has been detected only by the shore of Ilosaari, so restoring the spawning habitats may prevent the extinction of the species.

The largest threats to the future of the landlocked salmon are blocked passages to the reproduction areas, destruction of these areas, deteriorating genetics and low natural reproduction rates caused by the low population as well as fishing on the lake areas.

More information on the landlocked salmon:

Nature conservation project 2012: Lake Kuorinka

In 2012, the project to receive the compensaton funds of 2011 festival was the lake named Kuorinka, situated close to Joensuu.

Kuorinka is an important water system in the Natura 2000 program, and a beloved place for north Karelian nature lovers. The lake is affected by eutrophication which is clearly close to its recreation area: reeds are spreading in large areas. There are further signs of eutrophication in other parts of the lake as well. The eutrophication of this naturally clean lake is caused by nutrients that come from outside sources.

With the compensation funds from Ilosaarirock, the lake is going to be reaped of reeds. The aim of the conservation work is to remove excess vegetation and stop the lake from degrading further. At the same time the conservation workers are going to be looking at ways of reducing the amount of extra nutrients in the lake.

Nature conservation project 2011: Great Crested Newt

The compensation funds of the 2010 festival were donated to the protection of the endangered Great crested newt. The Great crested newt is a salamander that is protected, and only has two populations left in Finland. The newt suffers from climate change a lot, and without active preservation they can become extinct from our country entirely. Protecting the newt also protects certain endangered swamp and forest habitats.

The funds donated by Ilosaarirock were used to build nine new pools, reconstruct two swamps, and deepen some water systems. The new pools are full to the brim with water and offer a safe place for the newt's eggs to develop. Reconstructing pools and swamps also improves the vegetation in these areas.