Socio-cultural and ethical sustainability
Going Green LLC is a social enterprise that focuses on promoting sustainable tourism. As a social enterprise, we spend at least 50 % of our profits on developing our operations or donating them to a designated recipient. The company is owned by the Finnish Association for Environmental Education (FEE ry), and its board of directors decide on the use of profits and paying dividends. The profits of 2020 we fully spent on developing the operations of Going Green LLC. Of the profits of 2021, 4.000,00 Eur were spent on the environmental education activities of FEE, and the rest (1.367,95 Eur) were spent on developing the operations of Going Green LLC.
The sustainability programs run by us oblige the participants to follow criteria related to environmental, economic and social responsibility, and in our own operations, we follow the same criteria. From the economic point of view, our biggest responsibility is using our budget, made up of program participation fees, responsibly for the benefit of our customers – our most important stakeholders. This is done with the help of digitalisation. Our most important social obligation is treating both our staff and our customers in a fair and equitable manner. From the environmental point of view, the most important factor in our operations are the emissions caused by our office and travel.
Staff occupational health, safety and well-being is looked after according to the plan made with occupational health care. In order to support well-being at work, we offer our staff flexible working hours and the possibility to work from home. Since spring 2021, all our employees are hired on a permanent contract. The personnel, including the Managing Director, commute to work by public transport or bicycle. Our staff also have free access to the gym located in the premises of our office building. Because we especially value the meaningfulness of work, we pay attention to constantly developing our operations and knowledge.
The Green Key, Green Activities and Blue Flag certificates are all verified by a third party, either the jury or an external auditor. Our team processes the applications and carries out some of the audits. To ensure equitable treatment of all our customers, we have created an operations model for processing the applications and carrying out the audits. In order to align the prerequisites for demonstrating adherence to the criteria, we organise frequent meetings with the jury and external auditors.
The office of Going Green LLC is located in the premises of the Regus serviced office in the Fennia House building, near the excellent services of the Pasila station and the Mall of Tripla. Pasila is a transport hub within a short walk from the office. The recently renovated rental space is equipped with modern technology and energy efficient solutions in for example lighting, taps and ventilation. As part of our environmental sustainability work, we sort and recycle our paper, cardboard, metal, organic and e-waste. Upon our request, our landlord is also investigating the possibility of recycling plastic packaging waste in the premises.
From the environmental point of view, the emissions caused by travel are the most significant component of Going Green LLC’s ecological footprint. According to the international Green Key rules, travelling to on-site audits is obligatory. In autumn 2021, we shifted the perimeter of the audit area covered without flying to the north of Rovaniemi from the earlier Kajaani-Kokkola line. To sites in Rovaniemi and anywhere to the South of it, we travel overland. If there is no feasible connection by public transport from the nearest train station or airport, we cover the rest of the journey by rental car. To sites in Southern Finland, our auditors mostly travel by private car, but due to geographical division between auditors, the distances driven as well as the emissions caused remain reasonable. Since 2019, we compensate the emissions caused by our air travel. These emissions for 2020–2021 were 4 t CO2e, and were compensated through the certified Nordic Offset program with Ekovilla as the designated compensation initiative.
In conjunction with the 2021 criteria update, we reviewed the Green Key application process and started developing it. Our aim is to streamline the process through digitalisation in order to save resources of both customers, staff and auditors. We strive to minimise the CO2 emissions caused by data storage by keeping our data up-to-date.
In making this sustainability policy, we have made use of the KETA survey carried out by Kirsi Somera in 2019–2020 as part of her studies in the SYKLI Environmental School of Finland. Based on the results of the survey, we are looking into applying for an eco-certification of our office. We will gladly answer questions related to the sustainability of our operations.