Sustainable sights and attractions are energy efficient and use renewable energy whenever possible. As for restaurant services, reducing food waste and having vegan and locally produced options on the menu make a difference. Another sign of a responsible attraction is accessibility, which means easy access for all visitor groups as well as offering free entries at selected times to enable visits for everyone.
Visitors’ means of arrival contribute usually the most to the sight’s carbon footprint. Think Sustainably criteria guide visitors to consider arriving by foot, public transport, or bicycle instead of their own car.
“Attractions and sights can inform their visitors of the best public transport connections, where visitors can park their bicycle or where the nearest city bike stop is located,” says Demos Helsinki’s Senior Advisor Satu Lähteenoja.
Vapriikki makes sustainable choices easy
Museum Centre Vapriikki is located by the Tammerkoski rapids in Tampere city centre. With its 200 000 annual visitors, Vapriikki is the second most visited museum in Finland.
Vapriikki has been improving its sustainability processes actively since 2018. A great number of visitors makes Vapriikki’s actions, such as recycling, add up quickly. Responsibility shows in various ways: “Most of our electricity is produced using renewable energy. We also contribute to our local environment by helping pollinators with insect hotels and pollinator-friendly plants in our garden,” describes Tomi Kumpulainen, Chief Curator at Vapriikki.
Besides the museum visitors, Vapriikki serves daily many people in its restaurants, meeting facilities and the museum store. “All of our customer facilities have new sorting bins. At our restaurants, fish on the menu is selected using WWF’s Sustainable Seafood Guide. We also prefer locally produced food and serve vegan options,” Kumpulainen says.
Attractions and sights can choose from 24 Think Sustainably criteria and implement what fit their operations best. Vapriikki wants to empower its visitors to make a difference. “Choosing the more sustainable option does not have to be anything less – instead it’s about small choices every step of the way. Our mission is to make sustainable choices nice and easy for our customers.”
Sustainable Moomin experiences
The world’s only Moomin Museum is located in Tampere Hall. The location provides a great base for the Moomin Museum’s own sustainability actions, as Tampere Hall is the first carbon neutral congress and concert centre in Finland. The museum shop and restaurants serving also Moomin Museum visitors have the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.
At the Moomin Museum, sustainability is about material flows. “We use and re-use recycled and eco-friendly materials in our exhibitions. We also aim to minimise plastic usage and use renewable materials, such as wood, whenever possible. As for our device and work clothing purchases, we favour more sustainable options,” tells Heikki Aittala, Service Manager at the Tampere Art Museum and the Moomin Museum.
Sustainability feels like a natural approach to the Moomin Museum also content-wise. “Connection to nature was important to Tove Jansson, the creator of Moomins, which shows in the characters and stories she created,” says Aittala.
Särkänniemi – sustainable memories of your life
Särkänniemi amusement park and experience centre has done sustainability work systematically since 1995. The amusement park was the first in its field to get ISO 14001 standard for environmental management system. In 2021, Särkänniemi was awarded the Sustainable Travel Finland label managed by Visit Finland as the first amusement park in Finland and one of the first companies in Pirkanmaa region.
Located by the idyllic Näsijärvi Lake, Särkänniemi amusement park is powered by 100 % renewable energy produced both at its own solar power plant and hydroelectric power plant at the Tammerkoski rapids. Maybe surprisingly, visitor arrivals make the biggest part of its carbon footprint. “Our goal is to increase arrivals by public transport, which we aim to achieve by collaborating with the city of Tampere and its public transport operators. We want to make it easy for the customer to arrive by foot or bicycle from the city center. Also the transition from the bus or tram stop to the entrance should be as convenient as possible,” says Ville Aarresuo, Development Director of Särkänniemi Oy.
Food and treats are an important part of the amusement park visit. At Särkänniemi, food is “fun food”, which means sustainable production and choices. “Our food is produced quickly and efficiently but minimizing food waste and optimising logistics make it as environmentally-friendly as possible. Every food court has vegan options and there is also one food court serving only vegan food. Our customers choose but it’s our duty to provide options with a smaller carbon footprint,” Aarresuo says.
In the future, Särkänniemi will be a part of a sustainable tourism service hub at Tampere. “Our mission is to create joyful experiences. Responsibility is a major competitive advantage that also our customers appreciate. Särkänniemi’s goal is to offer sustainable and ethical experiences around the year and be the top sustainable travel destination in Finland and Northern Europe.”