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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:

IMPERATIVE CRITERIA

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.

GUIDELINE CRITERIA

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.

Green Activities Criteria from 1.1.2022

Green Activities criteria and explanatory notes 2022 in English

1. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Ympäristöjohtaminen on yrityksen ympäristötyön hallintaa ja kehittämistä. Johdon sitoutuminen ja kannustava ote ympäristötyöhön luovat perustan ympäristövastuullisen ilmapiirin leviämiselle koko henkilöstön pariin. Jotta ympäristötyö olisi suunnitelmallista ja kehittyvää, yritys tarvitsee ympäristöjohtamiseensa apuvälineitä, kuten yhteisen ympäristöpolitiikan ja konkreettista ympäristötyötä ohjaavan toimintasuunnitelman sekä avainhenkilönä toimivan ympäristövastaavan.

  • 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.

2. STAFF

Johdon ja henkilökunnan välinen yhteistyö ja sujuva kommunikaatio ovat pohja yrityksen pitkäjänteiselle ympäristötyölle. On tärkeää, että ympäristötyöllä on johdon tuki, ja että henkilökunnan jäsenet sitoutuvat Green Activities -toimintaan osana päivittäistä työtään ja osaavat informoida asiakkaita yrityksen tekemästä ympäristötyöstä.

  • 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.

3. GUEST INFORMATION

Ympäristökasvatus on tärkeä osa Green Activities -kohteen toimintaa ja ympäristötyötä. Osallistaminen on yksi ympäristökasvatuksen päämääristä, jonka tavoitteena on kannustaa yksilöitä tai yhteisöjä mukaan ympäristötyöhön. Yrityksen näkökulmasta asiakkaiden osallistaminen on keskeisessä asemassa, ja siihen pyritään toisaalta lisäämällä heidän ympäristötietoisuutta ja toisaalta innostamalla heitä konkreettisiin ympäristötekoihin.

  • 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 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.

4. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Yrityksen yhteiskuntavastuulla tarkoitetaan kestävän kehityksen edistämisestä yrityksessä. Yhteiskuntavastuullinen yritys sitoutuu noudattamaan lakeja, asetuksia ja kansainvälisiä sopimuksia, ja ymmärtää toimintansa vaikutukset ympäröivään yhteiskuntaan. Vastuulliseen yritystoimintaan kuuluvat ihmisoikeuksien kunnioittaminen, kaikenlaisen syrjinnän vastustaminen, toiminnan avoimuus ja valvonta sekä toiminnasta raportointi. Tärkeä osa yhteiskuntavastuuta ovat myöskin työntekijöiden oikeuksia turvaavat sopimukset ja niiden ulottaminen myös alihankintaketjuihin ja yhteistyökumppaneihin.

  • 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.

5. ACTIVITIES

Suomalainen luonto on yksi suurimpia matkailuvalttejamme. Ihmisen luontosuhde vaikuttaa tapaamme kohdella luontoa ja ympäristöä. Green Activities-yritysten toiminta perustuu luonnon kestävään käyttöön.

  • The establishment is committed to the principles of sustainable tourism. 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. Customers must be informed about the major GPS coordinates of the routes (start/end point, refreshment points, turning points), mobile phone coverage and emergency numbers.
  • The establishment describes the routes of its outdoor activities and gives clear indication of their level of difficulty in advance. Customers are informed about essential equipment for participating in the activity safely. Information is available in all the languages in which services are offered.
  • The establishment ensures that the staff are well acquainted with the area as well as local customs, traditions, and conditions. 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 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 must follow all regulations and instructions related to making fires in compliance with Everyman’s Rights and Forest Fire Warnings. In all its activities, the establishment must strive 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 must use eco-labelled detergents as well as tissue papers. Detergents must be 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. The establishment instructs its customers on handling and sorting waste properly, as well as advising on the location of toilets in nature.
  • Motorised vehicles must be quiet and produce low emissions. Motorised activities must be 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. The establishment is committed to informing relevant authorities if it notices signs of overcrowding and negative impacts of tourism on local environment or culture.
  • 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. Feedback from the local community is actively collected.
  • 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 offered to the guests.
  • Guests are encouraged with concrete actions to pick up trash during the tour or after it.
  • When designing new tours and choosing their meet-up/finishing points, the timetables and routes of public transport are considered.
  • The establishment is committed to the principles of responsible and ethical Sámi tourism and communicates this in its responsibility policy and/or website.
  • The establishment has a charging station for electric cars.
  • 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 communicated.
6.A TOURISM ANIMAL WELFARE: SLED DOGS

Matkailueläimiin perustuvat aktiviteetit ovat monesti keskeinen osa luonto-ohjelmapalveluja tarjoavien yritysten tarjontaa. Green Activities -kriteeristö edellyttää, että yritys on sitoutunut matkailueläinten hyvinvointia edistäviin toimintatapoihin. Ensimmäisenä on kehitetty vetokoiria koskevat hyvinvointikriteerit, jatkossa ne tullaan tekemään myös matkailuporoja käyttäviä yrityksiä varten.

In addition to filling the criteria, the applicant must submit the following information annually:

Number of dogs

Declare the number of dogs permanently living in the kennel and specify:
total number of dogs: _________
0–1 year-olds: _________
working dogs: _________
senior dogs: _________

In the past 12 months
number of dogs born__________
number of dogs died/put to sleep __________
number of dogs sold/adopted __________

Suppliers: state the name(s), company name as well as number of dogs of sub-contractor(s) used during the high season:

Name_______________

Company__________________
Number of dogs __________

Kennel Manager ______________

Number of staff (permanent/high-season)? ___________/____________

Latest visit by the supervising veterinarian? Date: __/__/20__.’

 Statement of the veterinarian to be attached to the application.

Latest visit and report by Tukes  (if carried out within the past 12 months). Date: __/___/20__

  Tukes report.

  • Each dog has a safe doghouse that provides adequate warmth and aeration. The doghouse floor must be elevated and insulated against cold, and it mustn’t become submerged during snow melting time. Doghouses must be equipped with sufficient bedding, especially in the winter. The doghouses must be regularly cleaned and disinfected annually.
  • The enclosures are cleaned at least once a day.
  • The dogs are kept in a safe enclosure. The grouping of dogs is planned keeping in mind the specific needs of each individual. The maximum number of adult dogs kept in the same enclosure is 4.
  • The kennel is under 24/7 surveillance. In the premises of the kennel or in its immediate surroundings, there must always be at least one person who can get to the site within 20 minutes if necessary.
  • Dog faeces are collected to a site where their environmental impact can be managed, e.g. an area with a compacted bottom or a transportable container. There is a management plan for the final treatment and disposal of the faeces that prevents leakage of seepage water into groundwater.
  • The harnesses are clean, intact and fitting. Tuglines must be covered (not made of bare wire). When necessary, additional equipment is used, e.g. booties and coats. Coats must be wind-proof and lined. On overnight trips, dogs should have lined coats for sleeping outdoors.
  • The equipment for transporting dogs must be in good shape, safe and undergo regular check-ups.
  • The staff has written instructions for feeding the dogs. High-quality feed is used (minimum fat content 15 %, minimum protein content 30 %). In the winter season, the dogs must receive food at least 2 x day, one of these may be in liquid form.
  • The staff has written instructions for watering the dogs. In the winter, this must take place at least twice a day, during non-frost months water must be available at all times. Dogs must be given liquids, eating snow does not replace watering. During warm weather, water in bowls must be replaced minimum twice a day.
  • Dogs receive regular exercise throughout the year, weather conditions permitting. Outside of sledding season, the dogs are given exercise at least 16 times a month, minimum 45 min at a time. Exercise may be in the form of pulling, walking on leash or in a walker or moving freely in a run that is at least 500m2. The maximum temperature for pulling exercises is +15/ +20 C° depending on breed. Exceptions may be granted if it doesn’t risk the wellbeing of the dogs. On short-coated breeds, coats must be used when the temperature, including wind chill factor, falls below -25 C°.
  • The dogs are exercised and used for work bearing in mind each individual’s physical condition and eagerness to work. A log is kept on exercise, work and rest days. During the season, the dogs must have at least 8 rest days/month.
  • The establishment has formulated and described in writing guidelines for how each dog’s eagerness to work is monitored. Dogs may not be forced to work in any way.
  • 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 must be fitted with a microchip (dogs that were born/acquired after September 2021), vaccinated and dewormed, and its health must be regularly monitored. Nails must be regularly trimmed also during the off-season months.
  • The establishment has an emergency plan in case of dogs getting injured. The plan must include:
    • Rescue plan to evacuate dogs from the kennel (in case of fire etc)
    • Written instructions on taking care of the dogs in case of regular personnel getting injured/ill ( e.g. recognising individual dogs etc)
    • Contact information for the nearest/regular veterinarians must be easily available to all staff members
    • Plan on how an injured dog can be transported to a veterinary clinic
  • The kennel must be equipped with a first aid kit for dogs and the possibility of placing sick/injured dogs indoors (e.g. at home or in a convalescence pen with 24/7 surveillance).
  • The establishment has a written policy for putting down dogs. The policy must include the acceptable grounds for euthanasia as well as a procedure for disposal of the remains. It is recommended that euthanasia is only performed by a veterinarian. Healthy and fit litters born accidentally may not be put down. Instead, efforts must be made to find them a home.
  • A log must be kept of all dogs that have died/been put down in the kennel, including the cause of death/euthanasia. In case of suspected infectious disease, an autopsy must be performed. If a dog is shot it mustn’t be done in front of other dogs.
  • The breeding of dogs is planned and logged. Accidentally produced litters are avoided by all possible means. Healthy and fit to live accidental litters are not put down. Instead, efforts are made to find them a home.
  • There must be 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 must be socialised and taught to interact with people and other dogs. During the audit, the establishment explains how socialisation is taken care of and monitored. By careful teaching and socialising of young dogs many kinds of problem behaviour can be avoided or minimised.
  • The staff consists of animal tourism professionals who have either a degree from a vocational training institute or several years of working experience. In case trainees are used, they must never be solely in charge for looking after the dogs or carrying out activities.
  • 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 plan must indicate who will take responsibility for the operations in case the owners cannot do it.
  • The establishment communicates to its customers regarding animal welfare and has a plan for this communication.
  • Commitment to animal welfare is mentioned in the establishment’s responsibility policy (Green Activities criterium 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 in chains.
  • The dog enclosures are at least 1,5 times the minimum size dictated by law.
  • Dogs are provided with stimuli (elevated platforms/climbing structures, searching for treats, fetching ball, learning tricks or similar) in the enclosures or dog run.
  • On overnight safaris, all dogs have an insulated, sheltered sleeping place (doghouse or similar).
  • During off-season, dogs have the possibility to exercise/ run free every day (weather conditions allowing).
  • Training is started at least 3 months before the start of the season.
  • Retired, healthy dogs remain in the kennel, or the establishment has an adoption or sponsoring programme so that guests can commit to taking care of the expenses of retired dogs. If the establishment has an adoption programme, it must include rehabilitation to indoor living as well as instructing and minimum 6 months of monitoring of adoptive homes. If the adoptive home cannot keep the dog, the kennel must be committed to either taking it back to the kennel or finding it a new home.
  • All dogs that retired within the past 12 months have either been placed in the kennel, given to adoption or a sponsor paying for their expenses has been found.
  • Dog faeces are composted in a centralised manner or delivered to a biogas factory if there is one in the area.
  • Staff are permanently living within the premises or in the immediate vicinity of the kennel.
  • During safaris, one guide is responsible for maximum 6 teams.
  • All staff taking care of dogs have a professional degree from animal husbandry, wilderness guiding or other relevant field.
  • All staff participating in safaris are employed by the establishment (no unpaid volunteers or trainees are used in carrying out safaris).
  • All trainees are students of veterinary science, animal husbandry or wilderness guiding.
  • The kennel manager and/or staff participate annually in training and seminars on working dog health, nutrition, training, or breeding.
6.B TOURISM ANIMAL WELFARE: TOURISM REINDEERS

The listed criteria apply to all the establishment’s reindeers 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).

Background information:

Number of reindeers in tourism use during the past 12 months:
Reindeers in training: ______
Reindeers in tourism use: ______
of which reindeers with the tourism reindeer status:_________

Manager of the farm____________________

Number of staff (permanent/seasonal): __________/___________

Latest visit by the Animal Welfare Officer: Date: __/__/__
The Animal Welfare Officer’s report must be presented in the audit.

Latest inspection and report by TUKES (if there has been a TUKES visit in the past 2 years)
Date __/___/20__

Reindeer farms used as subcontractors in the past 12 months:
Company name: _____________________________
Number of reindeers rented______________

  • 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 presents in a visible place on the most common approach routes the written guidelines for how to behave with the reindeer. The instructions are presented in at least 2 languages.
  • Customer feedback is collected in a planned manner through the use of a questionnaire / feedback form that contains questions related to the guest’s perception of the welfare or handling of reindeer/ information regarding them.
  • 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.