Finland is committed to global sustainable development goals and has continuously been ranked number one in an international comparison of sustainable development. Visit Finland has set a goal that Finland is the world’s leading sustainable travel destination and the first choice for mindful travellers. Studies show that customer satisfaction and perceived quality level of companies operating responsibly are higher. Companies also gain significant cost savings through energy savings.

The Lapland North region’s pristine nature and rich culture are a big part of the area’s attraction and form the cornerstones of the local travel industry. Utilising nature in travel services requires strong management of environmental and socio-cultural impacts and taking care of resources: acting responsibly without harming nature and the cultural environment.

When travelling through the northernmost Lapland road trip travellers choices are important. Our goal is to increase year round travel to our destinations. We prefer longer to shorter stays. All destinations along the northernmost road trip are achievable by car on quite a short distance without extra flights.

Sustainable travel begins at the carbon neutral airport

Finnair flight in Ivalo airport

In addition to being carbon neutral, Ivalo Airport has been awarded the Sustainable Travel Finland label. Ivalo airport has switched to using renewable motor fuel oil in airport machinery, and uses renewable diesel in vehicles. Ivalo airport also uses fully renewable bioenergy in their heating plants and renewable fuel oil as a backup fuel. The district heating delivered to the airports is also based on biofuels.

Sustainable hiking in national parks

Urho Kekkonen National park is the second largest national park in Finland. It is also one of the destinations in the area that has a sustainable travel label. When entering national parks it is important to get to know the Etiquette for visitors, which includes rules related to camping, making fire and getting around in the area. For nature preserving purposes limited everyone´s rights apply in national parks.

Northern Lapland companies participate in Sustainable travel program

Lapland North Destinations participates in the Sustainable Travel Finland programme. For a region to be granted the label, more than half of its member companies must join the programme and meet the targets set in it.

Many of the companies located along northernmost Lapland have already taken matters related to financial, social, cultural and environmental sustainability into account in their operations. There is total of 14 certified organizations in the region at the moment. All local organizations mentioned here, have a Sustainable Travel Finland -label. Many others have Green Key -label and are also on their Sustainable Travel label bath.

Promoting environmental sustainability

What is environmentally sustainable traveling? In northern Lapland there are local companies like Kiilopää, Lapland hotels Riekonlinna or Visit Inari which aim at reducing water and energy consumption, regularly monitor it and take measures to achieve it. There are companies like Nuorgam Holiday Village that recycle as efficiently as possible and minimize the amount of waste generated. Youth and Holiday Center Vasatokka minimizes food waste and the biowaste in their composter is turned into soil, which is utilized again for plantations. 

When you think of sustainable travel, the first thing that comes to mind is usually environmentally friendly ecological practices. Most of us are able to name at least some environmentally friendly practices. For instance in our area there are companies like Luontoloma or AT Nature which only use eco dishware instead of disposable. Nuorgam Holiday Village has equipped their snowmobiles with low-emission four-stroke engines: power and speed are limited by using the ECO mode.

We understand that using local products and ingredients is ecologically more sustainable than bringing them abroad. Visit Inari and Holiday Village Valle for example use local ingredients as much as possible, such as reindeer meat, elk meat, fish, mushrooms, and berries, in their food services.

But when it comes to sustainable travel both economic and social sustainability and maintenance of traditions are at least as important.

Social and cultural sustainability

What is social sustainability on customers point of view? For example AT Nature is committed to treating all guests equally and with respect for their individuality. AT Nature is a member of the LGBTQ friendly We Speak Gay Community. There are companies like Luontoloma to whom the safety of their customers is the cornerstone of the operations: they only take small groups on their activities to promote customer satisfaction and safety.

Social and economical sustainability is important to a local community. Companies which collaborate with other local businesses and subcontractors whenever possible, are promoting local culture and lifestyle. For example a local carpenter has made the tables and shelves to Jávri lodge. Jávri uses local guides and co-operates only with companies which take care of animals (husky and reindeer) welfare.

Sustainable organizations encourage their customers for more sustainable choices. There are companies which offer activities and experiences that take place in nature and are powered by each guest’s own muscles and bodyweight. Kiilopää‘s summer activities only take place on marked routes, preserving nature. Nuorgam Holiday Village encourage guests to follow marked trails and guide them in respecting nature according to the Hiking Etiquette guidelines. Youth and Holiday Center Vasatokka highlight the actions of sustainable choices and invest in environmental education content as part of their programs. 

Responsibility as an employer is another key element of sustainable and socially responsible company. There are companies like Lapland Hotels and Visit Inari for example which note that engaged, motivated, goal-oriented and satisfied personnel are the key. They invest in good management and measures designed to promote commitment to operating culture. Promoting year-round operations enables them to create permanent jobs in the long term contributing to the region´s tax revenue and well-being.

Programme services based on Sámi culture in northern Lapland area are only provided by entrepreneurs and families with a Sámi background. To ensure cultural sustainability the Sámi Parliament of Finland has published the ethical instructions of regarding tourism in the Sámi region.

In Holiday Village Valle in Utsjoki travellers can experience the authentic Sámi culture, especially in the colors and decorations of the restaurant and in the menu. Holiday Village Valle favors local ingredient providers and associates.

Lets make travelling more sustainable together.

Choose wisely: Get to know companies that have Sustainable Travel Finland label or are on the sustainable travel bath in Northern Lapland area.

Certified Companies in the region