Environmental sustainability is about establishing the best conditions for people, animals and the environment. We do this by taking care of the environment and minimising negative climate impact.

Every year, over 130,000 people come to Roskilde Festival, all of whom affect the environment and consume – much like we do during the festival preparations. And we all share responsibility for the climate as well as protecting nature and biodiversity, both locally and globally.

In particular, we do this by reducing our resource consumption and focusing on responsible procurement.

We use circular principles to avoid resource waste, by reducing the quantity of waste and ensuring that it is reused more effectively.

Here, you can read about our goals and focus areas intended to contribute towards environmental development.

Subjects on this page:

  • Circular festival
  • Development through partnerships
  • Responsible business
  • Energy and resource consumption
  • Data collection and CO2 accounts
  • Focus on transport
  • Changes through communities
Circular festival

The throw-away culture is a threat to the state of the entire world, and the consumer society’s negative impact is apparent at our festival as well as in the neighbouring society. During the last 20 years, the quantity of waste produced by the festival has increased an average of 76 tonnes per year. 

We want to end this negative development using circular economy principles. The circular economy is about reducing the amount of waste through design, about recycling products and materials, and about ensuring more and better reuse of the waste.

We have therefore developed an action plan for our resource and waste handling. By 2024, we will reduce the total waste quantity by 30 per cent relative to 2019, corresponding to a total reduction of 600 tonnes of waste, while also increasing reuse to 55 per cent.

In 2022 we will be renting out camping equipment for the first time, including quality pavilions and air mattresses without PVC, so as to reduce the number of single-use products from discount stores, which unfortunately often break and are left behind as waste. 

Read the resource and waste management plan

Development through partnerships 

Roskilde Festival’s temporary and high population density makes the festival town a particularly well-suited laboratory with respect to town planning and new solutions. At the same time, innovation and new technologies promote sustainable development.

Therefore, we are cooperating with other organisations, companies and educational institutions on sustainable development and new solutions.

2022 saw the debut of The Circular Lab at Roskilde Festival. The lab was developed in collaboration with the Tuborg Foundation. Our goal is to promote sustainable development and impact climate-related practices in society by giving young entrepreneurs greater influence. 

Our partnership with DTU provides better opportunities for DTU students to test whether their products and ideas are strong enough when faced with the “town’s” inhabitants. Through the innovation collaboration with Roskilde Municipality and Roskilde University, students of the university can develop new solutions within sustainability, art and interaction between people.

The partnership with the energy and fibre-optic broadband group Andel is critical for our restructuring to sustainable energy (see below), while the initiatives against single-use mugs came about in collaboration with Tuborg and a number of other Danish festivals.

Read about our partnership principles

Responsible business

We can protect biodiversity, reduce global climate impact and assume social responsibility in the value chains through responsible business.

I 2022, we joined Ecolabelling Denmark’s network for ecolabelled procurement, and since 2019, we have been members of The Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH). Through both networks, we have attained greater knowledge and tools for acting more responsibly in our procurement.

Our goal is closer cooperation with producers and suppliers about taking greater responsibility for the value chains. We are therefore developing a new procurement and supplier policy, which will be released in 2023 and will report on ecolabelled procurement in 2022.

The organic development of the food stalls reached 90% in 2017, while in 2019, one in five of the roughly 1.6 million meals were 100% organic. In 2022, 90% of all drinks will be organic.

The food and drink stalls at the festival have undergone extensive organic restructuring, and the development is the result of close collaboration with partners, suppliers, stalls and associations.

We also strive to ensure that our assortment of food and drink experiences impact the climate as little as possible.

We collaborate with the company CarbonCloud to calculate the climate impact of meals, and this way, we can reduce the impact of the meals by focusing on the stalls with the highest potential for change.

In 2022, we introduced WWF’s One Planet Plate, which gives guests the option to choose the meals that emit the least CO2 and show most consideration for the climate and biodiversity.

Energy and resource consumption

Due to its size, Roskilde Festival can be compared to a large town with hundreds of restaurants, shops and gathering places. The 130,000 participants need water and power around the clock for their day-to-day activities, and the festival’s stages and stalls also require power and heat.

We are well underway with restructuring the energy consumption of the festival. We want to reduce the direct and indirect CO2 emissions in connection with preparations, production and execution of Roskilde Festival.

In 2022 we entered into a five-year partnership with the energy and fibre-optic broadband group Andel, which will help us with the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. Among other things, this means that, in 2022, we can phase out the use of power-consuming diesel generators as well as bottled gas for generating heat.

Our goal is to minimise the use of fossil fuels across all our energy consumption – within electricity, heat and transport – for participants, volunteers as well as artists.

 

Data collection and CO2 accounts

In 2019, Roskilde Festival became a member of the European Network Green Deal Circular Festivals, which supports festivals in achieving circularity. For example, this takes place through the development of specific tools and the sharing of knowledge.

The members of the network have collaborated to develop the first version of a monitoring tool, which among other things, makes it possible for festivals to measure and monitor resource consumption and climate impact.

We therefore expect to be able to release Roskilde Festival’s first CO2 accounts in the autumn of 2022.

In addition, we will be publishing a report in the autumn of 2022 on the climate impact of the food as well as an analysis of the waste.  

Focus on transport

We want as many people as possible to use public transport and thus minimise their impact on the environment from their choice of transport.

Over half of our participants already choose to arrive at the festival by public transport or by bike. We therefore actively encourage everyone to use public transport, and we are introducing shuttle buses and trains, making it easy to arrive at the festival site using public transport.

The transport partnerships can help push development in the right direction. Since 1996, the train has stopped by Trinbrættet (the Way Station) at the campsite, and through our partnership with DSB we have established a modern station building and expanded the travel schedule with direct departures between the festival and Copenhagen Central Station.

Thanks to our collaboration with Flixbus, guests can arrive easily and without hassle by bus from Jutland and Funen.

Changes through communities

The changes can also come about in communities, where people exchange opinions and can affect each other positively. In 2008, Silent & Clean was Roskilde Festival’s first green campsite, while Clean Out Loud was established in 2011 in collaboration with Vallekilde Højskole.

In 2022, the festival’s entire eastern campsite was developed into community-oriented “districts”, with names like Common Ground, Leave No Trace and Clean Out Loud. Here, participants indicated ahead of time that they would contribute towards a positive waste culture and keep the area clean during the festival as well as after they leave it.

The artists and activists on the programme are also in a very good position to inspire climate action and global change through debates, reflection and opinions.

In 2022, the festival guests can meet climate activists from Fridays for Future and The Green Youth Movement in the “meeting hall” Flokkr, while Operation Day’s Work, The Circular Laboratory and Bureau of Interspecies Communication will put climate and biodiversity on the agenda in the new Climate Pavilion.

Explore the opinions, art and activism of the 2022 programme here.