Gothenburg Culture Festival takes responsibility

Gothenburg Culture Festival wants to be more than just a festival – we want to contribute and inspire positive development, of our city and of the planet we live on. Therefore, since 2008 we have been working with sustainability from three angles:

  • Environmental
  • Social
  • Economic

We strive to challenge the limits of how sustainable an event can be. It is our responsibility as an organizer and as inhabitants of the earth. On this page, you can read about our sustainability work.

In 2021, the Gothenburg Culture Festival will be a (nearly) waste-free festival

We work hard to minimize the use of disposable items and to prevent waste. At the festival, you can take part in the return system for plates and cutlery, get a discount if you buy food in your own lunch box, buy reusable food containers, and buy food and snacks served on real porcelain.

Each year we are developing and improving these initiatives and projects and in 2021 we aim for a festival that is nearly waste-free. Why? To create a clean festival and preserve the local environment, but also because the oceans are increasingly polluted by the waste that we produce on land.

New return system for plates

Gothenburg Culture Festival is launching a large scale deposit system for plates and cutlery. We estimate that approximately 40 000 meals will be served on reusable plates, which will be washed and used again and again. Eat, enjoy, and return the plate afterward with the mobile app PantaPå.

Together we contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable, and creative festival!

Rewarded environmental work

The Gothenburg Culture Festival has received an environmental diploma by the Swedish Environmental Base every year since 2008. This means that the festival has to meet several requirements every year, where the food, transport, purchases, and waste handling are reviewed. Of course, 100% renewable and eco-labeled electricity is used. The festival has won several fine prizes for its ecological sustainability work.

Economic sustainability

All activities at Gothenburg Culture Festival are free of charge for visitors. It is a central part of the festival’s mission, both in terms of increasing accessibility to culture and to meet the City of Gothenburg’s budget goals of the importance of more free events.

Everyone is welcome to Gothenburg Culture Festival

GCF is an important meeting place where everyone is welcome, regardless of gender, ethnicity, functionality, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, and age. The festival’s organization works actively to constantly increase diversity, equality, and accessibility. In 2015, we won the Fair Mediation Prize for our work on equal opportunities, and in 2016 we received the Live-Monkey Award for Effort of the Year.

Green Corner is a source of inspiration for more sustainable eating habits

In the park Bältespännarparken, you will find the festival area Green Corner. In Green Corner, you can explore sustainable eating habits and gain knowledge and inspiration to live more sustainably. You can attend workshops, eat food made by still-delicious-but-rejected food items, learn about local farming, or buy city-grown flowers and vegetables from small local producers at our market place. We will also offer a packed stage program.

Green Corner is also a zero-waste zone – all food is plant-based and served on porcelain which is then washed and used again.

Green Corner is a collaboration project between Gothenburg Culture Festival, GreenhackGBG, and “Local farming” (Stadsnära Odling).

What you can do when you visit GCF

Bring your own lunch box or cup...

… And get a 10 % discount on food and drink. Make an effort for the environment and at the same time save money. How great! If you don’t have an own lunch box with you, you can eat food on real plates (porcelain) in Green Corner or order food on re-usable deposit plates at the Basargatan food market.

Choose local, vegetarian or vegan

Choosing local alternatives or eating less meat is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. There are plenty of tasty local, plant-based, and (lacto-ovo) vegetarian options when you buy food from our vendors.

Free tap water at our water refill stations

At GCF our vendors do not sell bottled water. Instead, bring your own bottle and refill at our water stations. There are plenty of refill stations in the city and in the festival areas, look at the map. It’s tasty, cheap and good for the environment!

Leave the car at home

Today’s car traffic negatively affects both nature and human health. So if you can – go with public transport, ride a bike or walk when you visit GCF. Here you will find Gothenburg’s public transport

Recycle your waste

By separating our waste, much can be recycled and turned into new products, then we save energy and natural resources. GCF works hard to recycle as much of the festival’s waste as possible. You can help us, recycling stations are available at all festival areas.

Take care of each other

At GCF, people gather who otherwise might never have met. We are all part of Gothenburg and for a few days we can experience culture and joy on the city streets together. Take care of each other and take the opportunity to say hello to someone you did not know from before.

GCF is investing in local food and drinks

Gothenburg is a vibrant food city and in recent years the city’s proud brewery tradition has also been revived with several world-class microbreweries. In 2018, Gothenburg also got its own winery. In other words, there is a lot to take away from the immediate area, and that is what GCF wants to highlight.

During the festival, you can shop locally in our food market in Bältespännarparken or enjoy ready-made locally sustainable food and drinks on Basargatan. One of the initiatives is Eat local Drink local where you can find several local breweries represented.

We place high demands on our food vendors

Experiencing new flavors and dishes is, for many, an important part of visiting a festival. When you buy food from one of our vendors, you can be sure that:

• There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options
• 30% of the food on the menu is organic
• Seafood comes from sustainable stocks
• Meat meets WWF’s standard for sustainable meat consumption.
• Coffee and tea are ecologically and fairly labeled
• All milk is organic
• Disposable items and cleaning products are eco-labeled
• Plastic disposable items are completely prohibited
• All food vendors must offer half portions to reduce food waste.
• Palm oil is organic or RSPO certified

Plates, glasses and cutlery are second hand...

GCF collaborates with the non-profit organization Björkåfrihet, which supplies the festival with second-hand plates, glasses, and cutlery. It enables us to serve 1200 meals on sustainable materials at a time, during all opening hours.

...and so is our staff clothing

Björkåfrihet also supplies the festival with second-hand staff clothing. This unique collaboration has received a lot of appreciation and attention, among other things, we won the award of Recycler of the Year at the Recycling Gala in 2020.

Our valuable volunteers

The Gothenburg Culture Festivals volunteers come from Team Göteborg. It is a social project where young people get the chance to gain experience and improve their conditions to get into working life. During the 2019 festival, we had volunteers that together spoke in 20 different languages, making the festival more accessible. GCF also collaborates with the association Passalen to give young people with functional variations the opportunity to be festival hosts.