Sustainable Nature Tours for a Better Future
At Taiga Times Ltd, we take our responsibility to the environment seriously.
Our top priority is to teach others how to protect and preserve nature for future generations.
We understand that nature belongs to everyone, and we aim to make sure it remains that way through our responsible actions.
All our nature tours are designed to be sustainable ecologically, socially, and economically.
In recognition of our efforts, Taiga Times has been awarded sustainability certifications such as Visit Finland's Sustainable Travel Finland and Green Activities. We will continue our commitment to environmental responsibility.
Photo by: Harri Tarvainen / Visit Finland
The Green Activities program and certificate are specifically designed for operators of activity programs, with the goal of increasing environmental awareness and reducing the environmental impact of their activities. Companies that seek this certification must commit to meeting a set of sustainability criteria and regularly reporting on their progress. You can find more information about the program on the GreenKey website (https://greenkey.fi/en/green-activities/)
Sustainable Travel Finland
The Sustainable Travel Finland program, developed by Visit Finland, is designed to promote sustainable practices within the Finnish tourism industry. The program provides tourism companies and destinations with a set of guidelines and tools for implementing sustainable measures in their daily operations. The Sustainable Travel Finland label is only awarded to companies and destinations that have completed the program and met the required criteria. Additional information about the program is available on the Business Finland website (https://www.businessfinland.fi/en/do-business-with-finland/visit-finland/sustainable-travel-finland-label)
We Speak Gay
We are proud to be a part of the We Speak Gay community. The We Speak Gay service is dedicated to promoting LGBTQ+ friendly and inclusive communication in the tourism industry. Its aim is to help companies visually and verbally express their values and attitudes, creating a safe and welcoming environment where everyone feels valued and respected. As members of the We Speak Gay community, we are committed to working towards a more diverse and inclusive society and making Finland a global leader in LGBTQ+ friendliness. You can find more information about the We Speak Gay community on the gaytravelfinland website (https://www.gaytravelfinland.com/wespeakgaycommunity/)
Photo by: Arvi Tyni / Vastavalo
Principles of Sustainable TourismThe Taiga Times team is proud to be in partnership with Metsähallitus (Parks & Wildlife Finland) and to follow the Principles of Sustainable Tourism.
Here are the principles and examples of the actions we do:
- Support the preservation of valuable features at the sites and promote their protection:
We inform our guests of the values of the site and their protection and encourage visitors to act responsibly.
We mainly use existing routes and service structures. We take account of local natural and cultural values.
We ensure that tourism does not compromise natural or cultural values and, we prevent any harmful impacts proactively.
- Minimize the load on the environment:
We promote opportunities to travel to the meeting point on public transport or by foot.
We operate with energy and material efficiency. We enable and encourage visitors to act in an environmentally friendly manner.
- Strengthen local aspects:
Local knowledge, research information, experience and culture provide a starting point for delivering experiences.
Our guidance provided is of high quality, and the guides know the area and local conditions well.
We increase the appreciation of the local national parks by providing high-quality tourist services. We cooperate with local businesses.
- Promote the use of the sites to increase health and well-being:
We encourage travellers to engage in versatile natural experiences in Finland with us.
We ensure the safety of all sites and services and our services promote equality.
We enhance visitors’ opportunities to increase their social, psychological and physical well-being.
- Promote growth and job creation in the local economy:
We offer visitors high-quality services based on the attraction of the site.
We cooperate actively with other operators. We provide easily accessible and interesting information on our services in advance.
We entice visitors to extend their stay in Finland by providing them with travel inspiration and assistance in trip planning.
- Communicate together the values and services of the site:
We are committed to the values of nature destinations.
We communicate consistently and responsibly with different target groups both in Finland and abroad.
We collect feedback from stakeholders to improve customer satisfaction and our activities.
Photo by: Harri Tarvainen / Visit Finland
As a sustainable company, Taiga Times takes into consideration three aspects of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic.
In terms of ecological sustainability, Taiga Times takes several measures to mitigate harm to nature and protect the environment. We prioritize using designated trails and recyclable materials in our activities. We also educate our guests on the Leave No Trace principles of camping, which is a powerful way to prevent harm during their stay.
We actively reduce waste by not using single-use plastic items, lending raincoats and other gear instead of disposable items and always cleaning up after ourselves. We also cook with locally and organically sourced ingredients to reduce food waste and minimize our environmental impact.
In addition, we encourage guests to use public transportation or travel by foot to the meeting point and use diesel cars for only one transfer service. We also carefully select destinations that are off the beaten path to balance the flow of international visitors and reduce impact on more popular areas.
Photo by: Harri Tarvainen / Visit Finland
Socio-CulturalIn terms of socio-cultural sustainability, Taiga Times is committed to treating all guests, employees, and locals with respect and equality, regardless of their cultural background, sexual orientation, gender expression, political interests, or religion. We also value learning from different cultures and strive to respect the diversity of all people.
As part of the We Speak Gay community, we actively promote LGBTQ+ friendly and inclusive communication in the tourism industry, and work towards a more diverse and inclusive society.
We also work closely with local businesses and require our partners, both in Finland and abroad, to also be committed to sustainable actions.
Photo by: Juho Kuva / Visit Finland
EconomicalEconomical sustainability is an important aspect for our business as it enables us to grow, support the local economy, and contribute to the government's economy through paying taxes, hiring people, and paying all the necessary fees. We have priced our tours in a way that allows us to pay our guides and other cooperation businesses fairly. Additionally, we always pay our 24% VAT and other taxes to maintain the Finnish economy and pay fees to Parks & Wildlife Finland to preserve the natural environment for business use.
In addition, purchasing local products and services supports local businesses, which is why we make a point of using local rental gear, wilderness huts and other services, and buying locally produced Finnish food. By investing in quality items that are long-lasting and by avoiding disposable items, we also help to support local producers and small businesses. By supporting local businesses, we in turn can ensure the local economy is developed and it also helps us to keep our costs sustainable in long run.
Photo by: Visit Finland
What can you do to travel sustainably?
There are many ways you can contribute to sustainable travel. Some examples include:
- Choosing responsible tour operators and accommodations that prioritize environmental and social sustainability.
- Using public transportation or low-emission means of transportation while traveling.
- Offsetting your carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits or planting trees.
- Being mindful of the environmental impact of the activities you choose while traveling, such as avoiding activities that exploit or harm wildlife.
- Supporting local communities and businesses by choosing locally-owned accommodations, eating at local restaurants and buying local products.
- Minimizing waste by avoiding single-use plastics and properly disposing of waste.
- Being respectful of local cultures, customs and heritage sites.
- Taking care of the places you visit and following the Leave No Trace principles.
- Educating yourself about the local environment and culture and being aware of your impact on it.
- Planning your trip in a way that reduces your environmental impact as much as possible, whether that means taking fewer flights or traveling during the shoulder season.
For more tips on how to travel sustainably, you can check out our blog post "10 ways to travel more responsibly" on our website and you can also read many resources from sustainable travel experts and organizations.