Responsible and sustainable travel is not just about being environmentally friendly, although this plays an important part. It also concerns local partners, local economies, local practices and respect for local cultures, languages and religions.
There is no such thing as ‘no impact’ tourism. By travelling to a destination, by interacting with a local community and by visiting some wonderful locations we will always leave a physical, environmental and mental impression. Our role is to ensure that impression is small, respectful, thoughtful and careful.
We care about the local communities within which we operate and want them to be there in years to come. We care about the local economy and want the money you spend to be used to employ local people, to support local companies and engage in local projects. We understand that travel and tourism can have a negative impact, but we want to ensure all our interactions are positive, that the steps we take are done so in a way that is respectful to those affected by our movements.
Sustainable travel is making sure the programs we create today are there for future generations. Environmentally, economically and culturally we must dynamically assess what the impact of our actions is locally, on the wider community, on you (our clients) and on our company.
Luckily we operate in an environment where most people, most companies and most communities are already aware of sustainable, responsible and environmentally friendly practices.
Here are just a couple of examples:
- Our partners source electricity from renewable sources, but are aware that windfarms and hydroelectric dams create other problems. There is always an impact from large infrastructure.
- Locally produced and organic food is important for the local community to experience the benefit of tourism.
We want to leave tiny footprints. The chances are that stepping into nature for just a few seconds, an animal somewhere nearby will have sensed your presence and altered their behaviour. Experiencing nature, seeing local wildlife and enjoying the outdoors is a really important part of any holiday. Our job, as a guest in the wilderness, is to keep these disturbances to a minimum.
Our behaviour and your behaviour on holiday leaves lasting impressions of us as individuals, of us as a company and of us as a nationality. We should be proud of who we are and where we have come from. It is extremely important to understand and respect local cultures and customs which can often be very different from our own. We ask our local partners to be proud of themselves as individuals, to be proud of their cultures and to be proud of their environment; after all, this is what we have come to experience.
English is widely spoken across Scandinavia and will no doubt be the language used to interact with the people taking care of you locally and members of the local communities. Be sensitive to the fact that English is unlikely to be their primary language. Take the time to learn a few words as this goes a long way to breaking down cultural and language barriers.
Working in Scandinavia we are lucky to be surrounded by sustainable practices on a daily basis and it is built into everyday life. Recycling is second nature, sourcing locally produced and seasonal food is all part of the experience as the menu changes with the seasons. Organic food is often second nature; moose, reindeer and fish roam free through the forests, across mountains or swim in unpolluted lakes and rivers. This is as far from industrial farming practices as you can get.
The indigenous Sami population carefully manage their reindeer herds and sustainable hunting and fishing practices are carefully monitored by local and state authorities.
Our office procedures include recycling, only printing where necessary and using electricity only where required. We have installed energy efficient lighting and electrical equipment is not left on standby. Careful consideration is given to our travel plans to make sure our arrangements are the most efficient and environmentally friendly.
Nobody is perfect and we believe we can always do better. We can all do our bit and together, as a team, we can make a huge difference to the destinations we feature. We can’t stop change; humans, animals and nature all evolve. We simply want our impact to be minimal.