Our Sustainability Work

Sustainability has been a cornerstone of Department since our founding in 2016. We wanted to give Sweden a space for innovative electronic music, and prove that it is possible to make an event sustainable without compromising the musical experience.

Since the beginning, we have been committed to ensuring that Department:

-       Is 100% vegan

-       Follows the principles of circular economy

-       Is strategically located to encourage green travel

-       Has as diverse a lineup as possible

In 2019, we were able to comprehensively measure our emissions within scope 1, 2 and 3 of the GHG Protocol for the first time, and we could determine that we produced 22,3kg CO2e per visitor. By 2023, after a lot of hard work, we had reduced that number to 7,4kg CO2e per visitor. That’s a 66,7% reduction! The Paris Climate Agreement has set the target of a 50% reduction by 2030, and we couldn’t be more proud to do our part by a wide margin.

But what do these numbers mean? Check out the video below for some context on how much – or how little – 7,4kg CO2e is.

All of our work in producing the festival is taken in to account when calculating this number. That includes our office work throughout the year, digital and physical marketing, construction and deconstruction of the festival site, electricity, food and drinks, and all of our artists, audience, and staff travels. The graph below outlines how these different aspects of our work contribute to our overall emissions.


Circular economy

Circular economy is a solution framework that recognises the existential issues of today as interconnected, and adresses them holistically. At Department, we apply the principles of circular economy to combat waste, loss of biodiversity, pollution and climate change as a unified issue.

Above all, what this means for us is to procure as little new materials and produce as little waste as possible. The tenet is familiar: reduce, reuse, recycle. Over the years, we’ve gotten quite good at all three. Our décor, main stage, signage, fence covers and more are all reused again and again, and the little waste we do produce is recycled or goes to energy recovery.

After the festival is over, we compensate for 125% of our emissions, through investments in certified carbon capture (CCS) projects.

As for biodiversity, we have chosen our location under a bridge carefully. The dance floors are placed in so-called ecological “dead zones” so as not to disturb local plant and insect life, which is especially important since the festival takes place in the spring. We work with local gardeners and arborists and document the flora in the festival area thoroughly both before and after the festival to ensure that no harm is done to the local wildlife. Of course, biodiversity is a priority in our CCS investments as well.


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