Aurora Village is a small family-owned business with year-round services based on the Northern Lights and midnight sun, during the summer. At Aurora Village, you will get to enjoy the peace of nature, environmentally friendly activities, restaurant services, and sauna facilities.
We truly value looking after our environment, employees, and animals, and is also very important for us to support the local culture and local partners. We also want to develop ourselves to be even better day by day, and therefore it was important for us to apply for the Green Key award. Now, we can proudly say, that Aurora Village was the first destination in the Northern Lapland region to receive the Green Key international environmental award in 2020.
What is the Green Key award?
The Green Key award is meant for the tourism industry in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation. By staying in a Green Key establishment, the customer can be certain that they are helping to make a difference on an environmental level. The high environmental standards expected of all the Green Key establishments are maintained through strict documentation and frequent audits.
Green Key is eligible for tourism establishments, such as hotels, hostels, small accommodations, campsites, holiday parks, conference centers, restaurants, and attractions. Aurora Village holds the Green Key international environmental award since 2020 and we are determined to keep improving our establishment and follow and improve our Green Key guidelines. (Green Key Global.)
Our Green Key principles
We at Aurora Village want to look after our environment, employees, animals, local culture, and local partners. In this article, we will highlight some of the most important Green Key principles for us. We also have a written environmental policy, which can be found on our website here.
We care about our people
We want to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and staff and therefore our whole staff is trained accordingly. We are also committed to improving our processes with feedback from both staff and customers and the management of Aurora Village is committed to environmental work and has appointed an environmental officer to the site.
For us, it is important to ensure that all our employees have the same rights and guarantee equal treatment at Aurora Village. We also require our subcontractors to comply with labor rights legislation. We believe it is important for our customers to learn about local culture, local history, and the nature of Lapland. During guided tours, we inform our customers about the surrounding nature, its rare purity, and how to preserve it.
We strive to work in good spirits with local residents and also organize events for them. We also offer our facilities for meetings and well-being days for local businesses and organizations. Aurora Village is also a part of the Tourism Association of our region in Lapland, through them we participate in the regional planning and development of sustainable tourism.
We care about the animals and the environment
We are committed to working towards climate change adaptation and mitigation. For example, we have a plan to reduce water consumption, detect leaks and save heating in empty premises. We aim to reduce waste on an annual basis and use disposable containers judiciously, for example when selling takeaway portions to our customers. We have done several actions to improve our environmental footprint within the past years, such as improving our waste collection on the premises and getting a charging point for electric cars to use if needed.
Our staff respects the fragile nature of Lapland in all their activities and we strive to continuously improve our operations to minimize our damage to nature more effectively. We take care of the cleanliness of our environment and use, for example, paths already established in our immediate surroundings (e.g. paths used by animals) to reduce soil erosion.
Our activities in the local environment are planned and continuously improved. In this way, we aim to minimize potential environmental damage in all our activities. To compensate for our motor activities, we use some of the revenue from snowmobile safaris for improving the well-being of the surrounding nature, e.g. by planting trees and adding bird boxes.
We carry out our own forest management work, such as thinning. The thinned trees are recycled and used for example as firewood at Aurora Village. We minimize the use of environmentally harmful chemicals and compounds in our operations and actively monitor and limit our emissions.
Our restaurant serves a lot of organic and local products, and we do not use any endangered or protected meat, fish, or seafood products in our restaurant. Our staff is also collecting natural ingredients for restaurant use, such as berries and mushrooms.
We take excellent care of the welfare of animals used for tourism purposes. We want to reduce the stress on the reindeer and ensure, that they get the peace and quiet they need between activities. We have built a new route, which is undisturbed and natural, thus improving the experience and safety of customers. The feeding machine minimizes the waste of reindeer food.
Together we can make a change – how can you help to support the environment while visiting us?
We encourage our customers and you to get involved – as we believe, that together we can make changes that last.
In all of the Aurora Cabins, has an information folder to inform guests about how they can save energy and water when staying with us. Each room has a light switch with a sticker reminding you to turn off the lights. Every cabin has its own water heater, which gives hot water for about 10 minutes, and needs another 10 to fill up and the hot water can be used again. We also have a recycling option in all the cabins.
We want to reduce use of plastic bottles. Therefore, all of the cabins include water glasses and glass carafes. Our tap water is drinkable and it’s brought to you from our natural underground water reserve. It is tested and monitored regularly to ensure the quality.
We want to make it easier for our customers to walk, use snowshoes and bicycles in the nature around us, so we have marked some of the nearby forest routes. This also helps to slow down soil erosion in the surrounding area in long term, so we appreciate when our customers uses these routes. Selecting more eco-friendly activity options is helping as well. During the winter season, there are snowshoes hanging outside each cabin that our guests can use free of charge. We urge all our guests to bring their own trash out of the wild and away from our campfire sites.
Our souvenir shop sells a variety of local handicrafts made of wood, in case you would like to support the local community. At our restaurant, we use organic and local ingredients as much as possible. We do not have public transportation to Aurora Village, but we do offer airport shuttle services and we are happy to give more info about public transport options in our area.
The greener future in Aurora Village: Plan for 2023 onwards
We have annual checks and procedures to improve our environmental impact.
In autumn 2022 we started guided horse back rides from our own stable in partnership with Polaris Point Horses, a local operator with whom we have long-standing cooperation. This will minimize the environmental impact of the previous transport we had and serve the local villagers who have previously visited Polaris Point about a 30-minute drive away.
In addition to the local ingredients already picked and used in our restaurant, our aim is to collect wild herbs from the local area and use them in our restaurant. We are also looking to support a local bee farm and buy organic honey for our restaurant.
In the future, we want to minimize our environmental impact even more and continue to support and collaborate with local businesses. If there is any feedback or questions on your mind, please do not hesitate to contact us!