Way Out West is a Swedish cultural encounter, welcoming over 100,000 visitors to Gothenburg for three days of music, festivities and culture. Year-on-year, the programme showcases some of the biggest names in music, with The Cure, Solange, Cardi B and Stormzy set to top the bill in 2019, marking the festival’s third year of 50/50 gender split programming.

After making the festival both meat-free and milk-free six years ago, 2019 will see Way Out West partner with Oatly to make this year’s edition climate transparent. The climate footprint for food, drink, transport, accommodation and energy, down to portaloo usage and mobile charging stations, will be reported with complete transparency.

Since the inception of Way Out West in 2007, sustainability has been high on the festival’s agenda, and in 2013 it became the first Swedish festival to be certified as a sustainable event according to ISO 20121. Today, the festival has announced that it will team with Oatly, to show its commitment to improving its sustainability by sharing its climate footprint with the public. 

With the award-winning carbon analysist Svalna and cutting-edge climate impact research company CarbonCloud calculating the footprint of artists’ air travel, equipment hire, lighting, food and drink preparation, and much more – a climate budget will be created to ensure the festival’s footprint continues to reduce year-on-year. 

Peter Björklund from Luger, one of the festival organisers, hopes other festivals will follow suit, stating: “The climate issue is more important than it has ever been, and we need genuine and honest change, not small cosmetic changes just to get another pat on the back. 

“We will continue to drive the question of how to make the production of the event more sustainable, and in order to do this in a credible way, we must be transparent and report what the climate figures actually look like. By making the festival climate transparent, we will hopefully drive the issue home to our visitors.”

Oatly, which was involved in the festival becoming milk-free in 2015, became the first in Sweden to start printing its climate footprint on all its packaging and will work with Way Out West to ensure all climate footprint measurements are recorded and made visible to the world.

Anna Åhnberg, sustainability specialist at Oatly commented: “More producers need to take responsibility and show their climate footprint so that consumers can make sustainable choices in their everyday lives. We think it should be the consumers’ right to know.”

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Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com