News & events > Finland's EU Presidency Sustainable Meetings Arrangements
17 Sep 2019

Finland's EU Presidency Sustainable Meetings Arrangements

Finland holds the EU  Presidency July-December 2019. As part of its programme it is taking a lead on environmental sustainability measures to limit the impacts of the international meetings held as part of the Presidency. Read more about Finland's Sustainable Meetings Arrangements and get some inspiration for your organisation's impacts - as well as limiting plastics, drinking fresh local water and using teleconferencing, why not recycle an old logo? Sustainable thinking in action.

Sustainability is the cross-cutting theme in all meeting arrangements during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Finland is keen to show that a successful and welcoming presidency can be achieved by ecologically sustainable means. The approach is driven by the need to respond to climate change.

Meetings held in Helsinki

Finland’s aim is to keep the number of meetings held in Finland during the Presidency at a reasonable level. Finland will host some 100 meetings in total. Teleconferencing will be used as much as possible in the preparations.

Centralising meetings in Helsinki will mean a much smaller carbon footprint resulting from traffic emissions. The centrally located meeting venue, Finlandia Hall, is within easy reach on foot, by bike or by public transport for delegates, other participants and media representatives.

Offsetting emissions from air travel

Finland will not be giving out traditional presidency gifts. Instead, the money earmarked for the gifts will be used to offset greenhouse gas emissions from flights to Presidency meetings in Helsinki and Brussels.

The emissions will be offset by financing projects that reduce atmospheric emissions.

Making use of the circular economy

Finland also wants to emphasise the importance of the circular economy. The aim is to produce very little physical material for the Presidency. For example, the idea is to avoid the use of paper and plastics and use digital applications and innovations instead. As for venue decorations, the focus will be mainly on the prestigious architecture of Finlandia Hall.

The aim is also to reduce the use of plastics by offering clean, pure Finnish tap water instead of bottled water. All Presidency meetings organised in Finland serve organic, seasonal and locally produced Finnish food.

The visual identity of the Presidency supports this sustainable thinking by taking a ‘something borrowed, something new’ approach. The key visual elements are the new logo text ‘EU2019.FI’ and the graphic emblem that is based on the design used for Finland’s 2006 Presidency.