As all new initiatives, Folkemødet had to establish itself as an event to be at. Ever since its birth in 2011, the number of participants has increased year by year and peaked at more than 100,000 participants in 2019. This year’s theme: the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, aka the SDGs.
We are part of making sustainable transportation a reality
This year, it was time for Donkey Republic to join the scene in Bornholm. Off we went with 75 bikes with us as part of the Eco Council’s “Klimarejsen” whereby participants, speakers, moderators, artists, and organisers were encouraged to travel to/from and around Folkemødet in the most climate friendly way.
As part of Klimarejsen, we had placed one of our drop-off locations next to the car parking for electric cars where Renault was offering free rides with four electric cars. That way, participants could get from Rønne in an electric car and hop on a Donkey from the car parking at the outskirts of the festival to the center of it with close to zero emissions. If there were none of Renault’s cars available, Dantaxi had brought four Tesla taxis to contribute to reducing CO2 emissions at Folkemødet.
Sustainable transportation in high demand
All mobility partners of Klimarejsen contributed with different ways of making transportation more sustainable. Supported by Elbilforeningen, GoMore, Dantaxi and LetsGo provided electric cars, while E.ON and Clever have set up charging stations on the premises. The demand for green mobility at Folkemødet was very high, Donkey Bikes, the four Teslas by Dantaxi and the charging stations were equally and fully occupied during the festival. In the debate organised by the Eco Council, all partners agreed to increase the number of sustainable vehicles next year.
When we asked how the audience at the debate had arrived to Folkemødet, a surprisingly large amount of people said they had come by less sustainable ways of transportation. Although SAS flew with 50% bio fuel on its Copenhagen-Rønne route, many had come by plane and taken gas or diesel cars from Rønne to Allinge. Few were aware of the more climate friendly options, which made all participants in the debate agree that information about Klimarejsen should be much more widely distributed next year.
674 trips in five days
The fact that Folkemødet has a theme is a new initiative, which we embraced fully by placing our exhibition in the SDG tent. Donkey Republic was in the “living room” of the #iloveglobalgoals stage, and represented Goal 11 – Sustainable cities and communities. Next to us were Coca-Cola and Arla, which are moving towards sustainability in their own ways.
From our exhibition, participants were encouraged to try our bikes for a 15 min. free ride. Throughout Folkemødet, participants used the 75 Donkey Bikes for a total of 674 trips and cycled 1200 kms. That is equal to 8.5 times around Bornholm or 6.6 times between Copenhagen and Bornholm. Funny enough, the longest Donkey bike rental during Folkemødet 2019 was on our bike called “Rejselyst” which would be equal to the English term “wanderlust”. Good to know wanderlust and adventures can be made on bikes too, right?
After biking the hilly roads of Bornholm for four days, we have returned back to our base in Copenhagen with a little extra muscle and lots of impressions and new ideas to make mobility more sustainable. Next year we will return to Bornholm with a bigger fleet of bikes and we’ll also add some e-bikes to the herd at Folkemødet.