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Sustainability

“Viewing art creates well-being in itself, but viewing art while walking in the middle of nature by the sea makes the experience even more impressive. We believe that Helsinki Biennial on Vallisaari will also strengthen the visitors’ relationship with nature. Helsinki Biennial emphasises responsibility and maintaining nature’s ecological sustainability, and these values are being respected as much as possible in the implementation of the event.”

– Maija Tanninen-Mattila, director of HAM and Helsinki Biennial

Vallisaari is a sea fortress outside Helsinki with a unique history and nature. After the Finnish Defence Forces left the island, it was opened to the public in 2016.

The nature on the island has given Helsinki Biennial strict boundaries, within which the event will be implemented. The idea and placement for each artwork has been assessed with Metsähallitus and the Finnish Heritage Agency with a focus on conservation of both nature and historical buildings.

Helsinki is committed to taking responsibility for mitigating climate change. The Helsinki City Strategy 2017-2021 sets the objective for a carbon neutral Helsinki by 2035. This will be achieved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 80% from the level in 1990.

Helsinki Biennial aims at being a carbon neutral event. For that reason the biennial will calculate its carbon footprint as accurately as possible already in the first biennial in 2021. Helsinki Biennial wants to be a responsible art event, so it is committed to transparent environmental action now and in the future.

An environmental programme is also being created for the biennial on the basis of the EcoCompass environmental management system.

Developed by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, EcoCompass is based on international standards on environmental management. It includes 10 environmental criteria that an organisation committed to the system must comply with. Helsinki Biennial’s Environmental Coordinator started the EcoCompass work in autumn 2019.

The objectives of the environmental programme are to keep Vallisaari tidy and free of litter during the biennial, to produce the event in an energy efficient way, to make responsible purchases, and to achieve material efficiency. In addition, Helsinki Biennial collects data on emissions from logistics and mobility. Most of the communication with customers will take place via electronic communications. The objective is also to encourage and commit our partners to taking environmental issues into account and to protect Vallisaari’s ecological sustainability.