IHME retraces its steps

Ilmastonmuutoksen myötä myös luonnon monimuotoisuus ehtyy. Halavasepikkäkuoriaista tavataan vain Vantaan Mätäojallä, joka on nykyään myös luonnonsuojelualue. // Climate change brings a decline in natural diversity. The halavasepikkä beetle is found only in Mätäoja, Vantaa – now a nature reserve. Kuva/Photo: Oona Simolin.

The record hot summer and climate news have prompted many people to re-think their consumer habits and what individuals can do to prevent climate change. At IHME we approached the issue by charting how much harmful carbon dioxide our work produces.

The Festival office used an online tool produced by Julie’s Bicycle to calculate the carbon footprint of its basic operations for August 2018. That footprint was found to be 220.7 kilos, which the report produced by the service says is an extremely good result. The tool, designed especially for use by cultural organizations, bases its carbon-footprint calculation on energy and water used, waste produced, and travelling and getting around.

The Festival also wants to encourage other cultural-sector actors to check the environmental impacts of their operations and to share tips on reducing them.

Why measure?

IHME’s Executive Director Paula Toppila says the idea of making measurements came from the growing debate about the environment. The aim is to use the measurements to get information about the strengths and weaknesses of our operations.

“As an art organization we can also promote these issues via content. Art allows the contemplation of possible futures and reflection on the consequences of the choices we make,” Toppila says.

Small things for the environment

IHME paid particular attention to environmental concerns in 2018, because this year’s work – Henrik Håkansson’s THE BEETLE film – is about the extremely endangered halavasepikkä beetle. Here are some of IHME’s small-scale actions to curb environmental impacts:

  • If you have to fly, compensate for the negative environmental consequences. IHME chose Kone Foundation and The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation’s (FANC) Hiilipörssi scheme (carbon exchange scheme; link only in Finnish), which uses donations to restore Finnish wetlands. If possible, travel by train.
  • Reduce volumes of printed matter, such as leaflets, and consider readers’ needs: What information is essential for your target group? Also favour environmentally certified printing houses and ask about the environmental effects of inks.
  • Serve vegan options and think about ways of reducing packaging waste.
  • Ask old and new partners in collaboration what they are doing for the environment. Learn from others and favour organizations that act ecologically. Environmental protection is a common goal, and promoting it makes us all winners.

The London-based Julie’s Bicycle’s free carbon-footprint calculator designed for cultural organizations is at: juliesbicycle.com/reporting >