ESPOO – AN INNOVATIVE PROMOTER OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Espoo is one of the most sustainable cities in Europe and a pioneer of sustainable development. Espoo has an ambitious objective to be carbon neutral by 2030. In addition, major corporations in Espoo, such as Neste, are some of the most responsible companies in the world. This is complemented by Visit Finland’s Sustainable Travel Finland programme (STF), aimed at destinations and travel operators in the region. Espoo is one of the pilot regions together with Helsinki and Vantaa.
Sustainability is important for travel operators in Espoo and the entire city. Espoo’s travel operators have been pioneers of sustainable tourism for a long time. Responsibility has already been a leading theme in Visit Espoo’s operations but, going forward, it will be recorded as the core of the strategy. The STF programme has increased our partner companies’ interest in responsibility and communicating their existing responsibility measures.
“Currently, we are creating a sustainable tourism roadmap for Espoo, which will be based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, among other things. Espoo is committed to reach the goals by 2025, and as representatives for tourism, we want to support the city’s long-term work in sustainable devel-opment. Going forward, we want to highlight responsibility more in our own communications and offer visitors the possibility to make responsible choices. We are proud to tell the incredible responsibility stories from Espoo’s travel operators,” Miikka Valo, Head of Espoo Marketing Oy’s Visit team says.
Sustainable tourism in Espoo
In Espoo, it is possible to enjoy sustainable events, services and culture around the year. The city’s beautiful nature beckons you to enjoy activities on land and at sea. The West Metro takes you to nearby forests, museums or the seaside, while city bikes and rowboats are available during summers as means of sustainable transport around the metropolitan area. Espoo is an innovative actor within sustainable development, and Visit Espoo, together with its partners, wants to be an integral part of this with its choices and operating methods.
“We are happy to be selected as part of the STF programme. Through it, we have received a lot of new competence and many ideas for our own operations, and I believe that the area’s companies have benefited from the trainings. As part of the Last Mile project, we have cooperated with local actors to develop innovative services of the sharing economy, such as an uber for boats, for tourists,” Valo explains.
Espoo was 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. Visit Espoo has joined in with its own commitment. At Visit Espoo, sustainability is detectable particularly in the everyday small acts, both at the office and events. In addition to recycling and other daily acts, Visit Espoo’s own events utilise the same nametags, serve vegetarian and local food and try to minimise food waste. “On the congress side, we have communicated our responsibility work in the connection of, for example, hospitality events, where we serve vegetarian dishes or local fish to the delegates. This is Visit Espoo’s own commitment within the Commitment 2050 programme,” Valo clarifies.
Espoo’s restaurants serve Fair Trade products and locally produced food. The popularity of city bikes and boats is growing steadily. People’s awareness has increased, and Visit Espoo wants to communicate information about its sustainable travel operators and destinations as well as green events and meeting places. Tips for sustainable travel and greener meetings are available at visitespoo.fi.
Espoo Marketing Oy/ Visit Espoo, Miikka Valo
tel. +358 43 824 6038