SHIFT Business Festival and Hope Fund begin collaboration to allow festival attendees to compensate for the carbon footprint of their festival trip by making a donation of corresponding value to Hope Fund. With these donations, Hope Fund, the first community-based climate fund in Finland, carries out reforestation programs to bind carbon dioxide. By community-based, Hope Fund means planting the forests together with the communities of developing countries, so that planting forests as carbon sinks will also offer the locals new livelihood and improved food security.
“The locals are also educated to care for the planted trees, lowering sapling mortality rate significantly compared to traditional carbon sink reforestation programs. Carrying out the projects on the local communities’ terms is key in ensuring collective benefits,” Milja Salo, Hope Fund head of partnerships explains. Through Hope Fund, companies and communities can now compensate for their carbon footprint by investing in climate change combating reforestation programs even more ethically.
Promoting sustainable development through intelligent business has been SHIFT’s goal from the beginning. “To achieve our goals, we have chosen a yearly festival as our main approach. However, moving people and goods between locations, even between continents, is not the most sustainable option from the point of view of emissions. This year, we wanted both to compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions of making the festival happen and to offer our attendees the opportunity to compensate for the footprint of their trip,” SHIFT CEO Mari Männistö says and continues, “We believe that as technology develops, we will achieve means of energy production and travel that are environmentally more sound, but in the meantime, compensating is the best way to balance the emissions created by individuals and companies.”
Sustainable development principles and countering climate change have had a key role at SHIFT from the start. Festival attendees have always been encouraged to use public transportation, the festival site decorations are made predominantly from recycled materials, food providers have committed to serving their menus from biodegradable dishes, and recycling is given special attention on site. In the upcoming event, IBM Finnish country general manager Mirva Antila, among others, will address the use of new technologies in countering climate change.