The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 was celebrated in Vienna on the 23rd of May 2015. For the very first time in its 60-year history, this worldwide largest TV-entertainment event was organised as a Green Event, certified by ecolabel and ÖkoEvent criteria.

EE MUSIC partners Green Music Initiative and Elevate worked with the Eurovision Song Contest team to help them make it happen. 




Download the full report (in German), or read the Executive Summary in English below (also included in the report).  


Green Eurovision Song Contest: Executive Summary

Within the framework of the Green Event, a multitude of measures were put in place to implement the guiding themes of climate and resource protection, regional and environmentally sustainable products, barrier-free locations and inclusion, as well as communicating with the purpose of setting an example for future events. Sustainability means to preserve our natural resources as much as possible. Measures such as energy efficiency, waste and food waste prevention, use of organic food, reduction of transport routes through the use of locally grown and produced food, reusability, etc.

  • 60th Eurovision Songcontest
  • more than 200 million viewers
  • more than 40 nations
  • 1.700 journalists
  • 1.300 delegates1st Green Event in ESC history!


The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 was certi- fied not only by the Austrian ecolabel, but also by the City of Vienna’s ÖkoEvent criteria. Central to the eco-balance of the ESC was the act of choosing the event location itself: Through the excellent accessibility by public transport, around 85 % of all visitors arrived by one form of public transport. Through the existing power supply system, the event could be powered by renewable energy, which also meant forgoing continuously run- ning diesel units, saving more than 440,000 litres of diesel – this equates to more than 1,000 tons of CO2. 
In total, the ESC in the Wiener Stadthalle used close to 862 MWh of electric power. This is distinctly less than would be expected of an event of this size.

The savings could be gained across all areas, with a high percentage coming from lighting. Economical, in spite of being used in a fulmi- nant light spectacle, it was also technologically up-to-date through the use of LED-lamps.



The entire electrical power supply for the Song Contest came from the public power supply grid. For that purpose, for example, the transformer capacities at the Stadthalle were increased.

Even in the unlikely event that a power blackout was to occur, the following mitigations were put in place: To ensure a smooth execution of the entire event (including installation, rehearsals, etc.) for the first time in an event this size, six uninterruptible power supply units (USV) of 600 kVa were used.

These provided power system stability and were kept at the ready in case of a power failure, and could, should such a failure occur, provide 5-10 minutes of electricity. Through improved planning criteria and implemented measures (specifically the LED-lighting), the maximum decrease of performance could be reduced drastically.

In the very unlikely case of a longer-lasting power failure, current generators were in place to take over. At the ESC 2015, no such generators needed to be used since no power outages occurred.

During large events in the past (also speaking of past ESCs), permanently running aggregators were common, which also led to massive site emissions and decidedly increased greenhouse gas emissions in general.

Through forgoing the use of diesel aggregates, more than 440,000 litres of diesel could be economised – this adds up to 1,212 tons of CO2. In general, around 2000 tons of CO2 could be economised through the implemented measures during the entirety of the ESC.

At the Eurovision Village at the Rathausplatz, the entirety of the power supply for the stage and the catering came from the public power supply grid as well.



The entire power supply for the Wiener Stadthalle came from green electricity. To ensure this, Wien Energie (Viennese Energy) provided the electricity label “Wasserkraft und Erneuerbare Energie”, which translates to “Hydropower and Renewable Energy”.

The “ESC-Electricity” was therefore made up of the following components:

  • 87,27 % Hydropower
  • 6,93 % Wind Energy
  • 3,87 % Solid and Fluid Biomass
  • 0,81 % Solar Energy
  • 1,12 % Other Eco-Energy

Even the heat supply in the Stadthalle was sustainable: The Stadthalle has been supplied with eco-friendly district heating since 2006.



At a major event like the ESC important setscrews for the reduction of greenhouse gasses, specifically in the area of energy efficiency, are in place. The switch points for effective reduction measures are already put in place in the planning phase. Therefore, strategic partners were involved early on and suppliers thoroughly informed about the importance and relevance of the topic. This made it easier to identify and address the energy efficiency potential. In the context of a complementary project to the ESC 2015 by the BMLFUW, the energy efficiency of the Song Contest (in the Wiener Stadthalle) was analysed and the results evaluated.

This evaluation was conducted by a team of the “Green Music Initiative” under the direction of “THEMA1 Gmbh” and “elevate” as part of the EE MUSIC project cofunded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programmeof the European Union. In the process, the main focus was put on the following areas / subsections, which were paramount to the event’s operation:

  • Lighting
  • Cooling
  • Sound
  • TV & Production
  • Catering

In total, around 862 MWh of electric energy were used at the ESC in the Wiener Stadthalle. This of course is measurably less than what is typically used in an event of this size and can be attributed to all subsections of the event having been urged to monitor their energy efficiency.



Important decisions were made by the ORF in advance that had a strongly reductive effect on the maximum power input. In periodic preliminary talks with the lighting designer, steps were put in place to keep the light output as low as possible while still ensuring a unique light show.

After awarding the contract to the technical service providers, they also were briefed on energy efficient actions. The briefings resulted in mostly LEDs being used during the ESC 2015, which noticeably reduced the maximum power input. By way of comparison to other events this size, fewer lights were installed and these were replaced with efficient alternatives.

The LED wall, with its connection power of 500 kW, contributed a large share of the calculated maximum power and was not only an energy efficient alternative, but was also cost-effective since not only was it constructed out of rented materials, but the LEDs were 100% reusable after the event. The same applies to the used LED strips in the stele construction. LED strips in the steles and the diodes of the LED wall are completely removable and usab- le in other applications (for example to light staircases).

1,300 steles: LED strips (1 W) instead of conventional lamps (15 W) LED wall: LED 0,5 MW power input instead of high-power projectors The stage lighting at the ESC 2015 was realised with a high LED ratio. A limitation for LED lamps is still the area of TV broadcasting. 

This led to the fact that practically no LED was used in the hall in which the press conferences took place. LED is still not suitable for Moving Lights and a mixture of LED and conventional lighting is not without its problems.



The existing cooling system of the Stadthalle was insufficient due to the dense use of lighting, the high number of shows and the subsequent heat development. There were possibilities; either the entirety of the cooling system could be renewed or it could be temporarily retrofitted.

As the cooling was sufficient for “normal” events and also to reduce cost, the temporary solution was chosen by installing four cold-water aggregates (approx. 700 kW) which generated the necessary cooling capacity. Cold-water aggregates ensured that cooling energy could be generated outside of the hall itself while still maintaining the ability to transport the cool air into the hall over a longer distance.



A total of four outside broadcast vehicles were deployed for the broadcast of the ESC shows.

  • 2 for international broadcasting
  • 1 for press conferences
  • 1 for the ORF

The vehicles were state of the art (manufactured only a few years apart of each other).

The greatest increase in efficiency in the area of broadcasting techniques was achieved by upgrading from cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors to LCD/OLED screens. Additionally, the upgrade from tape to disk brought an economisation in energy through the reduction of haul capacity. Such quantum leaps however, are not to be expected in the coming years. Next to the broadcasting vehicles and the up-link-unit (to the satellite transmission) the large scale consumers in the area of TV were 40 containers for technology and production. These too were fitted with modern technology, but were cooled down with individual and local air conditioning units.

The greatest efficiency was achieved through the entire replacement of all CRT monitors to LCD/OLED screens. 

Related Articles