Sustainability

The Inari Saariselkä 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. Because of this, local travel businesses are committed to operating in line with the principles of sustainable travel. 

Stepping on to the path of STF

Inari-Saariselkä Tourism Ltd participates in the Sustainable Travel Finland programme, which grants Sustainable Travel Finland labels developed by Visit Finland for travel companies and destinations. 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.

Sustainable Travel Finland -programme

Municipality of Utsjoki as the pilot project

The municipality of Utsjoki, which belongs to our travel region, has participated in the programme as a pilot project. Inari-Saariselkä Tourism Ltd was working in co-operation with the Inarijärven aarteet (Treasures of Inarijärvi) project in which uniform sustainability practices for international tourism were set for the region. The Regional Council of Lapland’s Välkky project, promoting low-carbon operations and financial sustainability is ongoing and the region is working in close co-operation with the project.

Utsjoki

The themes of sustainability are already part of actions in many travel companies in the area

Numerous travel companies already take matters related to financial, social, cultural and environmental sustainability into account in their operations. The project will promote the recording and implementation of such practices and related communications, in addition to identifying new ways of supporting operating models and reinforcing values.

Tips for a sustainable holiday

Before leaving for your holiday, switch off electric devices, close ventilation windows and turn down underfloor heating in the bathroom and other heating systems in your home. 
Consider whether to use your own car when travelling between service centres. In the Saariselkä region, a Ski Bus operates during wintertime in the areas of Saariselkä, Laanila and Kiilopää, with day tickets costing €5.
Do not waste electricity, heating energy or water: switch off the lights when they are not required, only heat the sauna when it is being used and do not leave windows open for long. Sort waste into appropriate bins. By recycling, you can conserve natural resources and save energy. 

Sustainable trekking year-round

Keep hiking and ski trails, cabins and fireplace areas clean – responsible travellers leave nothing behind: everything you bring with you must go back with you. Minimising the amount of litter that needs to be collected from outdoor areas with vehicles results in lower levels of emissions and noise pollution.
Select services that pay attention to various areas of sustainability: environmental, financial and social sustainability along with the promotion of traditions.

Visitor guidelines

Travel services with an emphasis on sustainability and authenticity

Sustainable actions in the area

Get to know sustainable actions in our travel area. Read about taken actions and future plans of the operators.

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Numerous accommodation providers operate with sustainability principles

In the Inari-Saariselkä region, numerous accommodation providers operate in line with the principles of environmental, social and cultural sustainability, even if the companies do not emphasise this aspect of their operations in their communications.
Social responsibility encompasses matters such as safety and the nurturing and appreciation of local culture. The safety of visitors is promoted via measures such as safety instructions handed out to guests, and clear and appropriate markings on hiking routes and nature trails.

Safety instructions

Sámi culture and sustainability

In our region, travel services that introduce Sámi culture, or are based on it, are only offered by entrepreneurs and families with a Sámi background, which guarantees that the information provided is correct and that visitors can enjoy authentic experiences. In Inari, visitors can learn about Sámi culture at the Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida and the Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos.

Ethical guidelines for Sámi culture

Pure ingredients

Our region’s strengths include the local food prepared using pure ingredients and served in numerous restaurants in the area. Restaurants that pay special attention to nurturing and celebrating local culinary traditions include Restaurant Aanar in Inari and Restaurant Deatnu in Utsjoki. These restaurants have taken measures to minimise food wastage and to organise recycling in a sustainable manner.

Where to eat

Activities and carbon neutral airport

Travel service providers take the principles of sustainable travel into account in their operations. As a rule, the use of motorised vehicles is prohibited in national parks. A wide range of physical activities and husky and reindeer safaris are offered. Examples of sustainable operations include the four-stroke snowmobiles used by Lapland Safaris, which have the lowest emission levels available on the market, and Visit Inari’s hybrid catamaran, which is in use on Lake Inari. 
Similarly to other airports operated by the Finnish airport operator Finavia, Ivalo Airport has been carbon neutral since the beginning of 2018. 

Things to do

Supporting local communities as a part of sustainability programme

Support for local communities is also part of the sustainability programme. Inari-Saariselkä Tourism supports the activities of Saariselkä’s voluntary fire brigade and hires people from the local ice hockey team for suitable tasks. In the municipality of Inari, young people can use the Ski Bus for free. We use local services, and travel companies operating in the region strive to create permanent jobs in the region and to encourage new residents to move to the area. We collaborate with local educational institutes.

Recycling points and waste management

In the area of the Municipality of Inari, waste management operations are carried out by Lapeco. The company’s website offers information on the location, opening hours and collection times of recycling points, recycling centres and recycling bins.
Urbaser Oy is responsible for waste management in the Municipality of Utsjoki.

Recycling points

Find the instructions to sort out waste here.

Sustainable service providers

Wilderness Hotels and Safaris

The first Green Key -hotel chain in Inari-Saariselkä travel region.
We are happy to tell that every Nellim Wilderness Hotels & Safaris destinations have been granted the Green Key – environmental label. We have been acting on behalf of sustainable travelling for almost two decades. For us it is important that the nature stays clean and diverse also for the future generations. That is why we have always chosen sustainable and ecological materials and adapted the newest technology and developed our actions to fit the needs of future. You can say that alongside of our red thread there has always been a green one next to it.

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Holiday Village Valle – UTSJOKI

Sustainable tourism and nature preserving actions is important to us and that is why we are constantly working on the subject and we aim to improve our actions in everything we can. Among other things the following actions are already in practice:
* Our hotel uses geothermal heating
* We make effort to recycle and minimize wastage
* We use local ingredients and local suppliers to prepare our food in our restaurant
* We don’t use disposable cutlery or dishes
* We use LED lights everywhere it is possible
* We respect the nature and waters in every action we take
* We don’t trash or disturb animals

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Aurora Village Ivalo

Aurora Village was the first destination in Northernmost Lapland to receive the valued Green Key – environmental certificate.
With this certificate the management and staff undertake to comply developing sustainable tourism and fulfilling the criteria of the Green Key certificate in everyday actions.

The certificate was granted on the 31st of August 2020.

Aurora Village is also apart of the Business Finland programme “Sustainable Travel Finland”.

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AT Nature – Inari

AT Nature began their Sustainable Travel Finland path during the summer. They are a part of the Finnish ECEAT (European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism)
* We compost our toilet and food waste. We use the composted substance to grow salads, herbs and decorative plants.
* We buy only renewable energy from the electricity company and we only use well dried wood or briquets in our burg, sauna cottage and activities to minimize the amount of particles.
* In our future plan we have our own solar power plant.
* We support the local ornithological association by giving 5€ on behalf of every guest we host.

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Angeli Reindeer Farm

Angeli Reindeer Farm wants to bring sustainability visible with the Green Activities certificate. Green Activities programme is the little sister of the Green Key programme and guides nature entrepreneurs to acknowledge sustainability development and tourism on their trips.
Our family of five are reindeer herders and we live close to nature and aim to be self sufficient. We have an arctic organic garden and our reindeer pasture freely according to the traditional Sámi reindeer herding. My company’s aim from the beginning has been to act sustainably. With all the actions I take I act respectfully towards the nature. We don’t build new for our guests but we let the our guests get to know the authentic home of a reindeer herder family, where the guest learns about the Sámi culture and gets to hear stories about the importance of the natures diversity for the local nature. When filling the Green Activities application I got to have a closer look to our actions. Are the visits unobstructed? Has it been informed on our website? Do you recycle? Can the guest recycle? I came across things that are self-evident to me but I hadn’t told to our guests, on our website or social media. Filling out the certificate gave me keys that I improved our website and ideas to use in our social media. In addition I get to take part in webinars about nature diversity and sustainability.
Anne Karhu-Angeli.
Nature entrepreneur. Reindeer herder.
Angeli reindeer farm

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Renniina-Reindeer Family and Workshop – Inari

Sustainability and nature protecting actions is a part of our everyday lives.
Fore example:
* Our reindeer farm uses ecological geothermal heating
* We pay attention to dividing and recycling carbage and we make effort to make as little wastage as possible.
* During our everyday life we aim to use local ingredients as much as possible.
* Growing plants, vegetables, root vegetables or spices we do not use chemically produced fertilizers but naturally produced fertilizers like reindeer excrement.
* We have ceramic tableware and washable cutlery.
* In handicratf we aim to use every small piece carefully.

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Inari-Saariselkä Tourism Ltd.

Inari-Saariselkä Tourism Ltd is a regional organization that has began to achieve the sustainable travel destination status according to the criteria of Visit Finlands Sustainable Travel Finland programme. This status requires that at least 51% of our members are apart of the programme and achieves the goals according to the criteria of the programme.
We hope that you acknowledge the principles of sustainable travelling during your holiday.

Health safety is sustainability

During these times you also need to take responsibility of the travel safety. To keep your mind calm and yourself safe please remember to follow the guidelines and restrictions provided by the government and companies. That’s what we do here in the Inari-Saariselkä travel region – work in tourism and restaurants according to the valid travel safety guidelines.

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