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Sustainable Espoo

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Sustainable Espoo 

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 and as a visitor, you can act in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner as well!

Tips for responsible visitors

Espoo is a sustainable city 

Espoo is one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. According to an international comparative study conducted in the spring of 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 a sustainable future. 

Sustainable tourism 

Visit Espoo and many local tourism companies are involved in Visit Finland’s Sustainable Travel Finland program (in Finnish). Sustainable tourism plays a significant role in the strategy of Visit Espoo and the local tourism companies. Sustainable practices are visible in the companies’ everyday operations, from recycling to power production, and their efforts to provide as accessible services as possible, both physically and digitally. 

Visit Espoo published the Sustainable Tourism Roadmap 2021-2030 as tourism in Espoo is growing sustainably, and Finland’s tourism strategy is being implemented in cooperation with other operators. One of the goals is to make our partner tourism companies committed to responsible and sustainable business operations. 

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) Is the tourist region, its sites, and services digitally fully accessible? 

Visit Espoo wants to provide sustainable tourism services year-round. Espoo is a diverse and inclusive tourism region, and We believe that tourism belongs to everyone! 


Espoo tourism companies and organisations have long been leaders in eco-tourism, with eco-credentials including:

2004: Scandic Espoo was Finland’s second hotel ever to receive the Nordic Swan Eco Label.

2004: Dipoli Congress Centre was Finland’s first conference venue to receive WWF Green Office certification.

2009: Espoo was among the first cities in Finland to be awarded the status of Fairtrade City. Visitors can enjoy Fairtrade gastronomic delights in Espoo restaurants and cafés committed to Fairtrade.

2013: April Jazz festival was one of Finland’s first events to receive an EcoCompass certificate.

2013: Haltia – the Finnish Nature Centre opened with its state-of-the-art heating and cooling system.

2015: Sello Shopping Centre was Europe’s first shopping centre to receive LEED EB PLATINUM green building certification.

2018: Global Destination Sustainability Index international benchmarking ranked Espoo the world’s ninth most sustainable conference and congress city.

2020-2021 Visit Espoo / Enter Espoo was running CarbonWise project which made companies aware of their carbon footprint and parameters it consists of, finds ways to decrease it and builds up a competitive advantage based on a carbon wise strategy. Project helped companies to calculate carbon foot print and to make plans to reduce the emissions. Also 12 companies were helped to get to certificate of excellence in the ecological matters.

2021: Visit Espoo published the Sustainable Tourism Roadmap, with the main focus on the long-term sustainable tourism destination building

2021-2023: Enter Espoo/ Visit Espoo is running Sustainable growth for tourism companies project to support the development of sustainable tourism and the practical measures, and helping companies to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

2022 Visit Espoo signed Glasgow Declaration.

2022: Haltia Lake Lodge was awarded The Best Sustainable Boutique Hotel in Europe 2022 by the Boutique Hotel Award. The judges applauded Haltia Lake Lodge for its beautiful natural setting and thoughtfully sustainable approach. Once a council dormitory building, the Lodge itself has been transformed into a luxurious sanctuary in the tranquil Finnish forest.

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. 

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 program 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 organizing 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  

Hero Image: Marjaana Tasala