Photo: Saijan Lomakartanon ohjelmapalvelut.

Green Activities Criteria

To be granted the Green Activities certificate, an establishment must comply with stringent sustainability requirements. In order to monitor their fulfillment, a set of criteria related to six (6) topics has been developed. On this page, all criteria required for the Green Activities certificate are presented.

Imperative and guideline criteria

Green Activities criteria are divided into two categories:


The imperative criteria define the basic requirement that the applicant must meet already when first applying for the certificate. However, if some activity described in the imperative criteria is not included in the services offered by the establishment, the criteria related to it may be excluded. The Green Activities jury may also grant an exception for individual criteria based on well-justified causes.


Starting from the first re-application, the establishment must meet all the imperative criteria as well as an annually growing number of guideline criteria. The number of guideline criteria required in each re-application is presented below. PLEASE NOTE: As the number of available guideline criteria depends on whether chapter 6 is considered or not, the required number of guideline points is different for establishments with and without tourism animals.

Green Activities Criteria from 1.1.2022


Environmental management refers to managing and developing the environmental and sustainability work of the establishment. The commitment and encouraging attitude of the management to sustainability issues form the basis of creating an environmentally responsible atmosphere and spreading it to all members of the staff. In order for its environmental work to become systematic and keep evolving, the establishment needs environmental management tools such as a sustainability policy and an Environmental Manager.

  • The management is involved and has appointed an environmental manager from among the staff of the establishment.
  • The establishment has formulated a sustainability policy.
  • The establishment has formulated objectives and an annual action plan for continuous improvement.
  • All documentation concerning Green Activities is kept and maintained in a binder ready for inspection.
  • The establishment establishes active collaboration with relevant local stakeholders.
  • The establishment calculates its carbon footprint using a carbon measurement tool.
  • The establishment sets a target to reduce its carbon footprint by at least 5% annually.
  • The establishment has reached its target of at least 5% reduction in emissions in the past 12 months.
  • The establishment offsets its greenhouse gas emissions with certified climate offsetting projects.
  • The establishment is verified carbon neutral.
  • The establishment offers its guests a possibility to compensate the emissions caused by their visit through an internationally recognised carbon scheme.


Cooperation and free flow of information between the management and staff are prerequisites for long-term sustainability work in any company. It is crucial that the sustainability initiatives are supported by the management, and that the members of staff are committed to Green Activities actions in their daily work. They must also be able to inform the guests about the sustainability work of the establishment.

  • The management holds periodic meetings with the staff to brief them on issues concerning existing and new environmental initiatives.
  • The environmental manager participates in meetings with management for the purpose of presenting the environmental developments of the establishment.
  • All staff members receive yearly training on environmental and other sustainability issues relevant to their job description.
  • Information is displayed in the staff area/ otherwise available to promote responsible behaviour.
  • The establishment provides its staff with the opportunity to evaluate its environmental and/or socio-cultural performance.
  • The establishment encourages its staff to use environmentally friendly means of transport when commuting to work.
  • The establishments offer its staff free/subsidised opportunities/spaces to exercise during/after working hours.


Environmental and sustainability related education is an important part of the operations and sustainability efforts of a Green Activities establishment. Involving the customers is one of the goals of environmental education as it aims to encourage individuals and communities to participate in environmental activities. From the establishment’s point of view, involving the guests is crucial, and it can be achieved by raising their environmental awareness and encouraging them to carry out concrete environmental actions in their daily lives.

  • Green Activities certificate is displayed in a prominent place.
  • Information about Green Activities is visible and accessible to guests.
  • Information about Green Activities and environmental information is available on the establishment’s website, social media and other online communication channels.
  • The establishment keeps guests informed about and involved in its environmental work and encourages them to participate in environmental initiatives.
  • Staff members are able to inform the guests about Green Activities and the establishment’s current environmental/sustainability initiatives.
  • The establishment informs and encourages guests to use sustainable transportation alternatives.
  • The establishment provides its guests with the opportunity to evaluate its performance, including sustainability performance.
  • The establishment has made a marketing/awareness raising campaign about the environment within the past 12 months.
  • Communication about environmental and other sustainability issues is included in the company’s annual communications plan where various target groups are included.
  • The establishment rewards its customers for environmental actions taken during their visit.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the promotion of sustainable development in the society through the establishment’s actions. An establishment that is aware of its CSR is committed to obeying the laws and decrees as well as international treaties, and understand the impacts of its activity on the surrounding society.  Responsible business operations include respect for human rights, fighting all kinds of discrimination, commitment to openness and monitoring of activities, as well as reporting on them. An important part of Corporate Social Responsibility is also respecting the collective labour agreements, as well as expecting the same of supply chains and main business partners.

  • The establishment confirms that it follows all relevant international, national, and local regulations, regarding environment, health, safety, and labour.
  • The establishment ensures that all its employees, trainees and volunteers are covered by insurance against injury at work.
  • Plants and animals, as well as historical and archaeological artefacts, are not sold, traded, or displayed, except those which are permitted by law.
  • The establishment requires that its subcontractors comply with regulations regarding labour rights.
  • The staff has received training about inclusivity within the past 12 months.
  • The establishment offers accessible services and information related to accessibility for people with physical disabilities.
  • The establishment has taken into consideration sensory disabilities/limitations in designing its premises/products/services.
  • The establishment is equitable in hiring women and local minorities, including in management positions.


Finnish nature is one of our greatest assets and tourism attractions. A person’s relationship to nature is at the root of how they treat the nature and environment, and how they act when in it. All activities of Green Activities certified establishments must be based on the sustainable use of nature.

  • The establishment is committed to the principles of sustainable tourism and the commitment is mentioned in the establishment’s Environmental Policy.
  • The establishment is committed to complying with the regulations concerning activities in nature, and clearly communicates this commitment to its customers. The commitment is mentioned in the establishment’s Environmental Policy.
  • The establishment has developed a safety plan including risk assessment for all the itineraries it offers.
  • The establishment describes the routes of its outdoor activities and gives clear indication of their level of difficulty in advance. Customers are informed in advance about essential equipment for participating in the activity safely.
  • The establishment ensures that guiding staff are well acquainted with the area as well as local customs, traditions, and conditions. To ensure compliance with local customs, the establishment works closely with local stakeholders.
  • The establishment encourages its customers to extend their stay and make use of other facilities and activities offered in the area by providing additional information on the destination, its attractions and activities in advance.
  • The establishment ensures that its guides have appropriate professional training or equivalent working experience and knowledge of activities offered. All guides have up-to-date first aid skills.
  • Everyman’s rights and responsibilities are communicated to the customers.
  • The establishment is committed to protecting and enhancing biodiversity in its area of operation. Establishment staff understand the importance of biodiversity and are able to explain it to customers.
  • The establishment follows all regulations and instructions related to making fires in compliance with Everyman’s Rights and Forest Fire Warnings. In all its activities, the establishment strives to prevent forest fires.
  • The establishment regularly monitors the impacts of its activities on the natural environment. If necessary, observed negative impacts are reported to the authorities and routes are changed.
  • The establishment uses reusable tableware.
  • The establishment uses eco-labelled detergents and tissue papers. Detergents are used in an environmentally friendly way.
  • The establishment aims to minimise all waste generated by its activities, as well as sorting and recycling it in accordance with the Municipal Waste Regulations.
  • Motorised vehicles are quiet and produce low emissions. Motorised activities are always conducted along marked trails.
  • Motorised activities constitute maximum 50% of all itineraries offered during any given season.
  • The establishment does not offer activities that aim to attract wild animals for photography and/or observation by playing sounds, feeding, or otherwise interfering with their natural movement.
  • The establishment does not offer any motorized activities.
  • The establishment encourages its guests to travel to the area using environmentally friendly means.
  • The establishment monitors the total number of visitors to the area and if necessary, informs relevant authorities about signs of overuse.
  • The establishment works in collaboration with local communities and offers local inhabitants and visitors opportunities to contribute to the maintenance and development of the area.
  • The establishment encourages its guests to use eco-labelled products and services.
  • The establishment does not use any single-use tableware.
  • Locally produced/organic foodstuffs and ingredients are regularly used in catering to the guests.
  • Guests are encouraged with concrete actions to pick up trash during/after the tours.
  • New tours and their meet-up/finishing points have been designed to coincide with the timetables and routes of public transport.
  • The establishment tells about its commitment to the principles of responsible and ethical Sámi tourism in its responsibility policy and/or website.
  • The establishment has a charging station for electric cars in its premises.
  • Member(s) of staff have received the voluntary tourism safety training provided by the Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK).
  • Member(s) of staff are trained as /are training to become wilderness guides.
  • Member(s) of staff are trained as /are training to become registered National Park guides.
  • When promoting activities, the carbon footprint of each tour is presented. The calculation tool and method (included/excluded emission sources) are clearly presented.

Activities based on the use of tourism animals are often a central part of the programs offered by activity program operators. The Green Activities criteria require that the establishment is committed to procedures and practices that enhance tourism animal welfare.

  • Each dog has a safe doghouse that provides adequate warmth and aeration.
  • The enclosures are cleaned at least once a day.
  • The dogs are kept in a safe enclosure.
  • The kennel is under 24/7 surveillance.
  • Dog faeces are collected to a site where their environmental impact can be managed.
  • The harnesses are clean, intact and fitting.
  • The equipment for transporting dogs is in safe and in a good shape, and undergoes regular check-ups.
  • The staff has written instructions for feeding the dogs.
  • The staff has written instructions for watering the dogs.
  • Dogs receive regular exercise throughout the year, weather conditions permitting.
  • During the season, the dogs have at least 8 rest days/month. A log is kept on exercise, work and rest days.
  • The establishment has formulated and described in writing guidelines for how each dog’s eagerness to work is monitored. Dogs are never in any way forced to work.
  • Lead dogs are never fastened solely by the collar/ neckline in order to keep the team straight.
  • A dog must be at least 1 year old before it starts to work.
  • Training is started at least 3 months before carrying out full-length tours.
  • The kennel has a plan for the retirement/re-homing of dogs for when they no longer can work / if they aren’t suitable for sledding.
  • For each dog, at least the following information is logged: pedigree, health details, medication, vaccinations and de-worming, training, behaviour, breeding, retirement, euthanasia.
  • Each dog is fitted with a microchip (dogs that were born/acquired after September 2021), vaccinated and de-wormed, and its health is regularly monitored. Nails are regularly trimmed also during the off-season months.
  • The establishment has an emergency plan in case of dogs getting injured.
  • The kennel is equipped with a first aid kit for dogs and has the possibility of placing sick/injured dogs indoors.
  • The establishment has a written policy for putting down dogs.
  • A log is kept of all dogs that have died/been put down in the kennel, including the cause of death/euthanasia.
  • The breeding of dogs is planned and a log is kept on it.
  • The kennel has an indoor whelping area that provides a stress-free, dry, and warm place for the bitch and the pups apart from other dogs.
  • Pups and young dogs are socialised and taught to interact with people and other dogs.
  • The staff consists of animal tourism professionals who have either a degree from a vocational training institute or several years of working experience.
  • The establishment ensures that all its employees, trainees and volunteers are covered by insurance against injury.
  • The establishment has a training plan that ensures that all personnel working with animals are aware of animal welfare related issues.
  • The establishment has a plan in case of injury/death of owners/kennel manager.
  • The establishment tells its customers about animal welfare and has a plan for this communication.
  • Commitment to animal welfare is mentioned in the establishment’s sustainability policy (Green Activities criterion 1.3.).
  • The dog run/exercise area includes a cooling pool or sprinkler.
  • The kennel has a run of at least 1000 m2 or am automatic walker.
  • No dogs are kept permanently in chains.
  • The dog enclosures are at least 1,5 times the minimum size dictated by law.
  • Dogs are provided with stimuli in the enclosures or dog run.
  • On overnight safaris, all dogs have an insulated, sheltered sleeping place.
  • During off-season, dogs have the possibility to exercise/ run free every day (weather conditions permitting).
  • Training is started at least 3 months before the start of the season.
  • The kennel has a retirement plan for healthy dogs that cannot work anymore.
  • The kennel has managed to provide /find a retirement home for all the retired dogs within the past 12 months.
  • All dog faeces are composted/ used to produce biogas.
  • There are members of staff permanently living within the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the kennel.
  • During safaris, one guide is responsible for maximum 6 teams.
  • All members of staff taking care of dogs have a professional degree from a relevant field.
  • All staff participating in safaris have an employment contract with the establishment.
  • All trainees are students of veterinary science, animal husbandry or wilderness guiding.
  • The staff participate annually in training and seminars on working dog health, nutrition, training, or breeding.

The listed criteria apply to all the establishment’s reindeer in tourism use, regardless of whether they have been granted the tourism reindeer status (“piltta”). Tourism use refers to all activities that limit the animal’s free movement or natural behaviour in order to enable tourism activities (rides, photography or meeting tourists etc).

  • The enclosures are sufficiently large so that all reindeer have access to clean snow, and they can give way to other reindeer when necessary.
  • The enclosures contain trees/poles/ other structures that the reindeer can rub their horns against.
  • The reindeer have the possibility of withdrawing out of people’s sight while in the enclosures.
  • All the reindeer in tourism use are released into the wild annually.
  • The farm has a separate enclosure / indoor space for sick or convalescent reindeer. Guests don’t have access to this area.
  • Reindeer are not kept tied down around the clock except for when in training.
  • Reindeer that are tied down are always supervised by the staff.
  • The farm has taken measures to prevent the access of guests to reindeer in training without staff supervision.
  • The reindeer are fed at least twice a day. Efforts are made to use as natural feed as possible.
  • Feeding is organised in a way that ensures that all individuals get enough to eat.
  • After feeding, the reindeer always have at least 2 hours to ruminate before work.
  • In the snowy season, the reindeer always have access to clean snow.
  • In the snow-free season, the reindeer are watered at least twice a day.
  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines are only used to treat injury/ illness, never to maintain physical ability.
  • The reindeer are castrated only by a professional in reindeer husbandry.
  • Sick / convalescent reindeer are never made to work.
  • Medication, deworming and treatment of illness is carried out according to instructions by a vet.
  • The contact details of veterinarian are accessible to all members of staff.
  • On sleigh rides, maximum 3 people are allowed in the same sleigh. The number of people depends on their size, max 2 full-size adults may be allowed.
  • The daily working time that the reindeer is harnessed (including breaks) may not exceed 8 h. Pulling shifts may be maximum 2 hours at a time.
  • The reindeer have a break between laps. If the length of the working day exceeds 4 hours, it includes at least one longer (minimum 30 min) break.
  • During longer breaks, the reindeer are tied down separately, and the customers are not allowed to approach them.
  • During the sleigh ride season, each reindeer have at least 1 rest day per week, when it is allowed to roam free in the enclosure.
  • The farm explains the basics of reindeer welfare on its website.
  • In conjunction with order confirmations, customers receive clear instructions on how they should act during their visit to the farm.
  • Customers are not allowed to approach the reindeer unsupervised.
  • Visits to the farm include a talk on how one should act when approaching reindeer and what is allowed / prohibited.
  • Staff are instructed to interfere with disruptive behaviour of guests.
  • Each reindeer has a designated, fitted harness.
  • The condition of the harness and other equipment is monitored daily, and if necessary, reparations are made.
  • The farm has a space where wet harnesses can be dried overnight.
  • The equipment used for transporting the reindeer is safe and spacious enough.
  • Routes are planned so that they are safe to both reindeer and people. Routes are checked and maintained daily.
  • The establishment maintains a log of at least the following details: the animals’ working shifts and rest days, individual feeding and medication, changes in health, dangerous / exceptional situations.
  • The farm has a designated farm manager who is a professional in reindeer husbandry.
  • Training of reindeer is carried out under the supervision of the farm manager.
  • The establishment has a written contingency plan in case the farm manager is unable to take care of their duties due to illness or other reasons.
  • The establishment has a written staff induction plan in order to ensure that all staff members are familiar with procedures in case of exceptional situations.
  • All hired employees have a valid First Aid certificate (corresponding to Finnish Red Cross EA1 level or higher).
  • If the farm uses trainees, they are never solely responsible of taking care of reindeer, guiding or customers.
  • Castration is only carried out in the presence of a veterinarian.
  • In conjunction with castration, reindeer are given pain medication.
  • According to the work log, the reindeer have had at least 2 rest days per week during the previous winter season.
  • During rest breaks, reindeer are unleashed from the sleds.
  • The establishment announces on its website that max 2 people will be allowed in one sleigh.
  • The establishment announces on its website that the length of a reindeer’s working day never exceeds 4 hours.
  • The farm displays written guidelines for how to behave near the reindeer. The instructions are presented in at least 2 languages.
  • Customer feedback is collected in a planned manner through the use of a feedback form that contains questions related to reindeer welfare.
  • Concerns that have been raised in the customer feedback are reviewed with the staff and a written plan is made to address them.
  • The establishment has prepared alternative routes from which the daily route will be selected based on the prevailing weather and trail conditions.
  • All members of the staff receive a salary (no unpaid trainees / volunteers are used.)
  • All members of the staff are professionals (all have professional training or several years’ experience from the field).
  • Trainees are students in reindeer husbandry or a tourism degree program.
  • Within the last 12 months, the staff has been offered training related to safety or reindeer care /health / handling etc.