Piispala accreditated as Finland’s 100th sustainable travel company

Piispala has become the 100th company in Finland awarded with the Sustainable Travel Finland label. To get the label, companies must satisfy Visit Finland’s sustainable travel criteria, which cover economic, ecological, social and cultural sustainability.

The Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) label is designed to promote responsible tourism in Finland, harmonize the communications about Finland as a destination for sustainable travel, and allow international travel trade to easily identify sustainable tourism providers. STF also encourages collaboration between the government, regional tourism bodies and companies, enabling all parties are working together to ensure a responsible and sustainable future for tourism in Finland.

An wooden door with some green tree leaves in the front

 

Our journey to sustainable and responsible operations

Ever since Piispala started its operations in 1982, the surrounding nature has been respected and valued greatly. On this basis, nature has been taken into account in the development of the area and operations. The wooden buildings have been designed and built in a way that they preserve the original landscape by blending into it instead of disrupting it. Respect for the environment has always been present in Piispala’s operations.

Recycling, economical usage of energy and water, waste minimization and supporting the wellbeing of the community have been part of our operations from the very beginning. Already for a decade our maintenance and cleaning staff has been using electric cars to move around the area, and in 2017 solar panels were installed on the roof of our ice rink.

Learning and developing on the way to responsibility

We feel that we can promote and further develop our responsible operations by influencing many things at present and in the future. We have set plastic recycling and more efficient recycling as concrete goals for the near future. We are pleased to see that after adding instructions and recycling options to our accommodation facilities, our customers have begun to sort waste conscientiously. We thank our customers for that!

In the future, we want to further increase the use of solar energy and establish an electric car charging point in our area. We will develop communication and diversify our communication channels. We want our customers and stakeholders to be able to acquire information regarding our operations easily and freely both while staying with us and along the journey as our customer or cooperation partner. We are also developing on-site guidance so that it will be more accessible.

Networks and communities

Whenever possible, we strive to hire local workers and utilize local products. We also price our products sustainably. We have set lower prices for children and youth, and let our customers (such as other companies) know that by buying our services, they support Finnish youth work.

We have always strived to make our operations year-round and to make the seasons longer in various ways. Having a year-round business is still a main target for development because we want to reduce the number of fixed-term employment. For this reason it is important to diversify our products so that they can support year-round tourism. We have created different seasonal products by taking advantage of the changing season and with all target groups in mind. As an essential part of our products, we emphasize appreciation for biodiversity and let foreign tourists know about everyman’s right to roam free.

We want to involve local people as well as residents of neighbouring municipalities in the process of deciding what kind of services we will provide. Their needs will be considered in the decision making. We would also like to work together with educational institutes more often by offering topics for theses and opportunities for internships. We want to develop cooperation with other tourism operators in the area and turn the northern part of Central Finland into an attractive and diverse destination for different customer groups.