The International Science Festival wishes to encourage sustainable thinking – and sustainable actions! We work actively on sustainability across multiple fronts.

Social sustainability

The International Science Festival is a democratic meeting place where everyone is welcome to come and immerse themselves in research and knowledge free of charge in our Public program. Our aim is to create accessible, creative and inclusive meeting places that bring together academia, business and civil society. With hundreds of activities, as many as 70,000 visits and over a thousand hours of science, the International Science Festival Gothenburg plays a vital role in reaching out and encouraging interest in research and science subjects, as well as showcasing the opportunities that further education can bring for both the individual and wider society.

Pupils from schools in every district of the city, and from West Sweden as a whole, are invited to take part in the school programme, which is carefully tailored to children and young people, with something for everyone. Digital activities mean that we are also accessible to all those unable to attend our venues in Gothenburg.

We work on developing content and locations so that they function irrespective of geography and ability. This currently includes ongoing efforts to make the Experiment Workshop more accessible, for example by translating all the activity station descriptions. The texts will be translated into the five languages in which most pupils in Gothenburg receive mother tongue tuition. We are also making use of visual support material and training our hosts and organisers in conduct and how we can organise the content so that it accommodates both visible and non-visible variations in ability.

Each year, we recruit around 70 enthusiastic young people to work as lecture hosts, venue hosts and supervisors in our Experiment Workshop. The hosts are employed by the festival, and we offer equal pay in line with collective bargaining agreements.

To assemble our crew of hosts, we work with Team Göteborg, which provides young people with work experience, and Passalen, a charity for young people with disabilities.

For the festival, visitors can book a science buddy if they want a little support or company during an activity. A science buddy is one of our hosts who will accompany you on your visit. A science buddy is ideal if you want a bit of guidance, would like some company at the festival or perhaps need extra help with the language.

We have an even gender distribution on the festival’s stages.

Economic sustainability

We strive to be as careful with our resources as possible, and are meticulous about keeping costs down. As far as possible, we aim to produce things that can be reused year after year. Many of our productions have a timeless quality that allows for reuse.

Ecological sustainability

The International Science Festival works actively to support sustainable development and to reduce our environmental and climate footprint. The festival meets the environmental certification requirements set by the Swedish Environmental Base, and we encourage our partners and suppliers to use eco-friendly products, make their logistics greener and develop sustainable solutions for the long-term. We also work to minimise our waste and use eco-conscious products as widely as possible. Our printed material meets the requirements of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

In 2022, we will be conducting a climate audit of the festival, as part of our drive to find ways of reducing our impact and becoming climate neutral.

We are focusing on more activities in either digital or hybrid format, so people can experience the festival without having to travel.

We avoid buying new products – we hire, reuse and recycle everything from clothing to materials. A prime example is the way old scrap metal can be used to build things in the workshops, then it can all be disassembled and reused again. In partnership with Björkåfrihet, we have developed recycled clothing that our hosts wear during the festival. These are second-hand clothes that people have donated to Björkåfrihet and we have then printed our logo on.

For the International Science Festival, we choose walking, cycling or public transport in the first instance. Our vehicles that we use to transport things during the festival are battery-powered.

In cases where we book transport for contributors and sustainable transport is not an option, we offset the associated emissions.

What you can do when at the festival:

  • Choose vegetarian.
  • Sort your litter and discard it at one of our recycling stations.
  • Travel on foot, by bike or on public transport.

Environmental certification

The science festival is certified as meeting the environmental requirements set by the Swedish Environmental Base and the City of Gothenburg in areas such as transport, waste, goods and services.

A fair science festival

The International Science Festival meets the criteria for Fairtrade City Gothenburg under which, for example, all coffee, tea and sugar served during the festival is ethically certified.