Roskilde Festival is transformed into a sustainability laboratory

Copenhagen Business School and Roskilde Festival have teamed up to make the festival a gigantic sustainability laboratory. This year researchers will analyse and optimise waste management and food wastage, and new types of housing for slum areas or refugee camps will be tested.


Roskilde - CBS - Rio20+

CBS and Roskilde Festival have got together to try to take up the challenge from last year’s much-discussed climate summit Rio20+.

The project is called ”From Rio to Roskilde roundtrip” and two of the country’s major authorities within research on social responsibility and sustainability experiments are joining forces. The long-term goal is to propose solutions to some of the great global challenges by starting locally, says spokeswoman Christina Bilde from Roskilde Festival.

"Roskilde has invited researchers to the festival, which can be thought of as a laboratory. They can propose ways that we can be a more sustainable festival and together we can hopefully create some ideas that can make a difference globally" she says.

The project is, according to Christina Bilde, the start of a larger collaboration, where researchers’ analysis from this year’s festival will lead to even better ideas and new experiments. This year, the researchers, working in three teams, will investigate waste as a resource, food production and food wastage, as well as temporary housing. Roskilde already experiments with alternative living arrangements in the camping area, DreamCity, and there are high expectations for exactly this type of project.

Esben Rahbek, Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility at CBS, says that one of the research teams will scan DreamCity for inspiration and will evaluate three specific proposals for temporary housing with festival guests according to how well the housing functions, the cost and the sustainability.  The project has big potential for, for example, people living in slums or for refugees in countries hit by war or natural disasters. In total around 20 researchers are taking part in this project and they come from CBS, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, from the University of Copenhagen, and from the University of Aalborg, all under CBS’ supervision. The other two research teams will focus on waste and food production in depth.

"Roskilde’s festival life and mentality provides a unique opportunity to test and develop sustainable ideas, which can contribute to solutions to some global challenges and which can also contain business opportunities" says Esben Rahbek.

The project has got its title, “From Rio to Roskilde roundtrip”, because last year’s Rio+20 summit concluded by suggesting, amongst other things, that green growth could be one of the solutions to global problems. Roskilde Festival and CBS are taking on the challenge and later in the year NGO’s and the business community will be invited to further develop the sustainable solutions.

For further information contact:

Christina Bilde, spokeswoman, Roskilde Festival, mail: or
Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen, director, cbsCSR,

About Roskilde Festival

Roskilde Festival is probably the world’s largest living laboratory for sustainability, with more than 20 years contribution to this area. Roskilde Festival is not just Denmark’s largest musical event. For seven days, the festival is also a local community made up of 130,000 open-minded inhabitants with everything that entails, including businesses, medical care, infrastructure and leisure activities.  As a local community, Roskilde actually reflects many of the challenges that society faces in terms of promoting sustainable development, whether this involves population density, excessive consumption or waste management. Roskilde Festival therefore provides an ideal framework to throw some light on the challenges to sustainability, and the festival can also be used to identify specific improvement opportunities that also contain business potential.

About Copenhagen Business School’s Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility

Copenhagen Business School’s Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR) is Europe’s largest research centre within CSR. The centre has existed for 10 years and has in this period grown from having two employees to today having around 25 Danish and international researchers. The centre’s main goal is to be one of the world’s leading knowledge hubs within CSR. The centre addresses topics concerning ethical leadership, CSR communication, responsible management of suppliers, sustainable business models, green consumer behaviour and sustainable production. cbsCSR participates in a large number of national and international research projects about CSR and sustainability.

The page was last edited by: Department of Intercultural Communication and Management // 02/12/2019