Sustainability is important for travel operators in Espoo and the entire city. Espoo is an innovative actor within sustainable development. Espoo’s travel operators have been pioneers of eco-friendly tourism for a long time. As a visitor, you can act in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner as well.
ESPOO IS A SUSTAINABLE CITY
Espoo is one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. According to an international comparative study conducted in spring 2016 and a 2017 monitoring study, Espoo was the number one sustainable city in Europe two years in a row. The study compared more than 140 cities and examined their financial, sociocultural and ecological aspects. Espoo’s goal is sustainable future.
Visit Espoo and many local tourism companies are involved in Visit Finland’s Sustainable Travel Finland programme (in Finnish). In the future, sustainable tourism will play a significant role in the strategy of Visit Espoo and the local tourism companies. Sustainability will be visible in the companies’ everyday operation, from recycling to power production, and their efforts to provide as accessible services as possible, both physically and digitally.
Visit Espoo is currently developing a sustainable tourism road map. Tourism in Espoo is growing sustainably and Finland’s tourism strategy is being implemented in co-operation with other operators. One of the goals is to make our partner tourism companies commit to responsible and sustainable business operation by 2022.
Sustainability consists of three sub-categories: ecological sustainability, financial sustainability and sociocultural sustainability. All three areas of sustainability are important in tourism. These categories can be presented in the form of concrete questions, for example: 1) How does the company recycle or what kind of energy does it use?; 2) Are the company’s operations sustainable financially, i.e. is year-round tourism possible? and 3) Are the tourist region and its sites and digital services fully accessible?
Visit Espoo wants to provide sustainable tourism services year-round. Espoo is a diverse and inclusive tourist region, and we believe that tourism belongs to everyone!
CO-OPERATION WITH VISIT FINLAND AND THE CITY OF ESPOO
In spring 2019, Visit Finland updated its principles of sustainable tourism together with its stakeholders. Tourists are also welcome to respect these principles by making the Sustainable Finland Pledge on Visit Finland’s website.
The city of Espoo has committed to becoming a forerunner and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2025. The goal is to make Espoo financially, ecologically, socially and culturally sustainable. Learn more about Espoo’s sustainability work on the city’s website. Promotion of sustainable tourism is also mentioned in the plans of Sustainable Espoo, the inter-administrative development programme of the city of Espoo.
Espoo was also the first city to join the Finnish Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development. Its objective is to make Finland a wellbeing place that guarantees nature’s carrying capacity and is globally responsible. The city of Espoo has committed to being a forerunner of sustainability. All the city’s operators are encouraged to join this commitment.
Visit Espoo has joined in with its own commitment. Visit Espoo is responsible for organising all the receptions granted to the international scientific congresses of the city of Espoo. At such events, we have committed to serving locally produced food and vegetarian food, especially seasonal vegetables and fish from the local waters. We do not serve red meat. Simultaneously, we have committed to reducing food waste. Read our commitment at sitoumus2050.fi.
ESPOO IS A FAIR TRADE CITY
In spring 2019, Espoo was granted the status of a Fair Trade City as one of the first cities in Finland. Visitors have also the opportunity to enjoy Fair Trade goodies in the many cafés and restaurants that have committed to the principles of Fair Trade in Espoo.
MAKE SUSTAINABLE CHOICES
When visiting Espoo, try to choose sustainable alternatives regarding accommodation, sites or conference locations. The Visit Espoo service search tool uses a leaf symbol to let you know if an operator is eco-certified and sustainable. On the website, you can also select a view that shows only eco-certified operators for each category: for example, eco-certified hotels or programme services.