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5/28/2019 3:00 PM

The carbon-free Lahti Symphony Orchestra project takes the orchestra out to plant fresh new forest

The carbon-free Lahti Symphony Orchestra project takes the orchestra out to plant forest, in order to compensate for emissions. A forest area of about 3.3 hectares in Hollola has been reserved for the orchestra, and is set to have 6,000 spruce tree seedlings planted in it in one day.
forest plantation

Forest planting compensates for traffic emissions related to the orchestra's operation

In 2015, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra launched a project that aims to contribute to the deceleration of global climate change by progressively making the orchestra's operation carbon-neutral. The carbon footprint calculation associated with the project revealed that for the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, the most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions was traffic. The traveling of the public causes about 60% of the carbon footprint of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, which is explained, in particular, by the prevalence of private car use as a means of travel for the public. The engagement of customers as well as the will of the people both play an important role in the pursuit of carbon neutrality.

"The operation of the orchestra inevitably involves the transport of people by different means of transport, as the audience travels to concerts, the orchestra employs visiting artists and the orchestra itself travels around," shares the curator of Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Teemu Kirjonen, who continues: "Forest planting is a concrete way to compensate for emissions from traffic. At the same time, it is also a good way for the orchestra to contribute jointly to the agreed climate objective and, hopefully, to serve as an inspiring example for others."

Carbon-neutral Lahti Symphony Orchestra

In 2015, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra launched a project that aims to contribute to the deceleration of global climate change by progressively making the orchestra's operation carbon-neutral. The orchestra's carbon footprint was calculated in cooperation with the Lahti-based Environmental Technology unit of the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The calculation is based on a life cycle evaluation which was conducted by Pilvi Virolainen, M.Sc. (Tech.), for her master's thesis.

The thesis studied the major greenhouse gas emission sources of the symphony orchestra as well as the best ways of reducing and compensating for greenhouse gas emissions. On the basis of this calculation, the registered association of the Storm Warning and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra are drawing up an operational programme for the orchestra which will aim for carbon neutrality. In the Storm Warning, the project was promoted by MA Hannele Eklund and D.Sc. Jouni Keronen.

The carbon-free Lahti Symphony Orchestra project won the international classic: the NEXT innovation award in Rotterdam in spring 2018.

The city of Lahti is aiming for carbon neutrality in 2025

The project is a natural part of the environmental goals of the city of Lahti, as Lahti is committed to significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. In June, a new carbon neutrality goal, which will aim for the year 2025, will be presented to the municipal government. After a change in the production structure of the energy supply, the focus of reduction of emissions is particularly on traffic and daily consumption in general.

"The carbon-free Lahti Symphony Orchestra is an inspiring example of how climate change as a shared challenge that needs to be resolved rapidly is taken into consideration and turned into a natural part of cultural activity. The example shown by the orchestra will certainly impress new target groups and inspire them to join the fight against climate change," says Saara Vauramo, environmental director of the city of Lahti.

The planting work will be carried out on Tuesday 28 May 2019 in cooperation with the Päijät-Häme Forest Management Association on the soil of the forest's owner, Paavo Takala. Each of the trees felled at the final felling are replaced with 4 to 6 18-month-old seedlings, which are brought from the Taimi-Tapio seedling nursery in Vierumäki close by. The seedlings now planted will start to work as a carbon sink after about 10 to 15 years.

"Planting seedlings is a real eco-act, as a growing forest is a powerful carbon binder. At the same time, the groundwork is being done for the future timber forest which, in 60 years, will produce raw material for sawmills. Processed wood products, such as buildings or furniture, bind the carbon for decades," shares Mari Sarvaala, a project manager at the Forest Management Association.

Further information:

Mari Sarvaala, Project Manager mari.sarvaala@mhy.fi, +358443420068
Forest Management Association

Teemu Kirjonen, Curator teemu.kirjonen@lahti.fi, +358505184597
Lahti Symphony Orchestra

Heini Moisio, Communications Director heini.moisio@lahti.fi, +358503836504
City of Lahti +358503836504