The largest public event in Finland this summer, The Tall Ships Races 2017, strongly supports the cause of the Baltic Sea. Both the cities organising the event, Kotka and Turku, and the col-laboration partners of the event take the Baltic Sea protection and environmental viewpoints into account in all action.

The Tall Ships Races 2017 event will take place in Kotka from 13 July to 16 July and in Turku from 20 July to 23 July, and almost a million visitors in total are expected to attend.

–Kotka and Turku are determined to be responsible event organisers. Being environmentally friendly means taking eco-friendliness into account in everything, straight from the beginning. This may not be visible to the visitors’ eyes but it is the concept guiding the event planning, say the Project Coordinator of the event in Turku Kimmo Hyyppä and the Director of Culture at the City of Kotka, Antti Karjalainen.

Taking an electric bus to the event area

In Turku, the information material of The Tall Ships Races events is in digital format, and printed products are used only when absolutely necessary. The public is encouraged to arrive at the event area by public transport and the bus number 1 transporting event visitors is an electric bus. Food in the event area is ecologically produced and the amount of resulting waste has been minimised. Moreover, all advertisement banners of the event are collected afterwards in collaboration with Turku University of Applied Sciences and Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto Oy waste management for reuse.

Cooperation for the environment

Environmentally friendly cooperation is widely carried out with the sponsors and partners of the event. For instance, the energy company Neste generates the electricity for the public area of the event using renewable diesel. The drink products by Sinebrychoff and Pernod Ricard Finland available at the event have been produced in an environmentally friendly manner and according to the principles of sustainable development. During the event, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra organises fun competitions related to sustainable mobility and circular economy business ideas.

In Turku, the food for volunteers is provided by Arkea, which has distinguished itself in environmentally friendly experiments. For instance, Arkea was the first in Turku to sell leftover food using its own mobile application.

Towards a carbon neutral Turku

The host cities of the event, Turku and Kotka, are themselves active in protecting the Baltic Sea and pioneers in putting the principles of sustainable development into practice. Turku strives towards being carbon neutral by the year 2040, by means of ambitious climate and environmental politics operations. Turku is also taking part in the Baltic Sea Challenge which attempts to improve the condition of bodies of water. Also in Kotka, determined efforts are made to protect the Baltic Sea and during the Tall Ships Races, the City of Kotka, Kymen Vesi Oy (Kymi Water Ltd) and Kotka Maritime Research Centre will announce a considerable effort towards the neutralisation of nutrient emissions in the Baltic Sea.

Europe’s largest international sailing event The Tall Ships Races will bring impressive sailing vessels to Kotka from 13 to 16 July and to Turku from 20 to 23 July. The events held in the two cities form together the largest public event of Finland’s centenary celebration, as almost a million visitors in total are expected to attend.

In both cities, there is plenty of programme free of charge and interesting concerts to attend during the event. In connection with the event, a two-day music festival is organised in Turku, namely The Tall Ships Races Music Festival.

The Tall Ships Races event is at the same time a family event and a sailing race where sailors from all over the world take part in. Despite the name of the event, the main focus is not on the race itself but rather on youth activity, internationality and environmental protection. At least half of the crew of the vessels is required to be young, aged between 15 and 25. In 2017, the event starts from Halmstad, Sweden, and proceeds to Kotka. From there, the vessels sail to Turku and then to Klaipeda, Lithuania, moving onward to Szczecin, Poland, which is the terminal port of the race.