Göteborgsvarvet – city fun run with sustainability in focus

The Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon is one of the largest public running events in the world, with around 47,000 participants. The event was awarded an environmental diploma by the City of Gothenburg several years ago, but since 2016 it has also been certified to ISO 20121 – an international standard that recognises events with a high level of sustainability. The focus of sustainability efforts during Göteborgsvarvet is placed on transport, waste, disposable items, social involvement, food and health. By taking part, the runners are also contributing to sport regionally and nationally, and to charity.

WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award – an event that practises what it preaches

WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award is an international prize that is awarded to highlight contributions to sustainable development. The prizewinners are important role models who have each turned words into action. The prize of SEK 1,000,000 recognises the importance of this goal and what can be achieved in the battle for a brighter future.

The award may be given to an individual or organisation that has contributed to:

  • conserving resources and/or furthering renewable raw materials or ecological solutions
  • the solution to a problem (area) that can lead to a technological breakthrough or “system change”
  • driving a process that has been important for the Göteborg region as well as in a larger perspective
  • development towards greater global justice

Hosting an event such as the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award naturally makes it important to practise what you preach. The prize has been given an environmental diploma and follows ecological, social and economically sustainable principles. These include only serving seasonal vegetarian meals during the event.

Way Out West

Since it began in 2007, the incredibly popular Way Out West music festival has become almost as well known for its commitment to sustainability as for its diverse programme of artists. In 2012 the festival stopped serving meat and became entirely vegetarian; in 2014 it switched to organic beer, and in 2015 Way Out West became lactose-free thanks to a partnership with the oat milk company Oatly. The festival has been environmentally certified by the City of Gothenburg right from the start, serves organically certified produce (KRAV) and was the first music festival in the world to be certified to ISO 20121.

Way Out West has quickly become an international example for other festivals to follow. By focusing on organic and vegetarian food it has not only contributed to the environment but also kick-started social debate on the way we live.

Gothenburg Culture Festival

With around 1.5 million visits over six days, Gothenburg Culture Festival is one of the biggest festivals of culture in Scandinavia. The festival aims to encourage sustainable attitudes and action, and actively examines ecological, social and economic issues.

The Culture Festival is committed to reducing its environmental impact and meets the Swedish Environmental Base standard for environmental certification. The event sets requirements for partners and encourages them to use environmentally friendly products, use low-emission transport and develop sustainable solutions. The festival is powered by locally produced, renewable energy. It also meets the criteria for Fairtrade City Göteborg, which means that all coffee, tea and sugar served during the festival is ethically labelled. In addition to this requirement, all food vendors must offer at least one ethically labelled product in their range.

Among other things the Culture Festival actively aims to bring a healthy mix of age groups and cultural events to the city, as this has proved to be a successful recipe for a peaceful event. No one should feel excluded from the Culture Festival on grounds of gender, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/ expression, religion or age. In 2015 the Culture Festival won the Equalisters prize for its equality efforts on the stage. Wherever possible access is provided for people with disabilities, for example, platforms for wheelchairs and signing/audio description for people with visual/hearing impairments. The Culture Festival works with Team Gothenburg to recruit volunteers. This is a social project that engages young people in a variety of key city events all year round, with the aim of giving them work experience and skills that will help them find employment. 

Since 2018 Gothenburg Culture Festival, in collaboration with The City of Gothenburg, works with the initiative Engångsfritt Kulturkalas which aims to decrease the amount of disposables during the event.