Carbon-Free Symphony Lahti project

To mark Sibelius’s 150th anniversary year the Lahti Symphony Orchestra initiated a project – a contribution to the efforts to reduce the pace of global climate change – by gradually making the orchestra’s activities carbon-neutral.

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra is taking the lead as an environmentally responsible artistic organization by adopting carbon neutrality as one of its operational objectives. The orchestra sees the orchestra’s climate project as a natural part of the City of Lahti’s environmental strategy. The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s musicians and administrative staff have been involved in making the decision to launch the project, and in associated brainstorming activities.

During the first phase of the project, the orchestra’s carbon footprint was calculated. This calculation is based on a life-cycle assessment, a diploma thesis by the LUT student Pilvi Virolainen. The work’s primary aims were to identify the orchestra’s principal sources of greenhouse gas emissions, to examine how these could be reduced or compensated for, and to explore the orchestra’s potential to influence its partners to reduce their carbon footprint. In accordance with the results of this research, the orchestra’s activities will be designed to cause minimum damage to the environment.

Following the carbon footprint calculation the primary emission loads were carefully reviewed and an action plan was created according to the findings of the calculation.

The audience has been engaged in the project with information. According to a survey the Lahti Symphony audience is strongly supporting the orchestra’s initiative.

The Carbon-Free Lahti Symphony Orchestra is a unique, pioneering undertaking which, hopefully, will encourage other artistic institutions to participate in the reduction of greenhouse gases.