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Sustainable travel

Sustainable travel at Vaakuna in Hämeenlinna

Hotel Vaakuna in Hämeenlinna holds the Sustainable Travel Finland label

Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna in Hämeenlinna has been granted the Sustainable Travel Finland (STF) label. The companies that have received this label meet the criteria created by Visit Finland, an organisation promoting tourism, which take into account the financial, ecological, social and cultural aspects of sustainability.

The purpose of the Sustainable Travel Finland label granted by Visit Finland and the development programme supporting it is to promote sustainable travel in Finland, communicate in a more harmonised manner about Finland as a country for sustainable travel and make travellers’ choices easier. The companies and sites receiving this label are audited regularly and are required to take environmental, social, cultural and financial sustainability into account in their operations.

“Sustainability grows from action. Renewable energy, functional recycling, ecological methods, favouring local food, avoiding food waste, more efficient use of water and electricity and cooperation with the local producers are examples of normal everyday actions of a sustainable travel business. In addition to these actions for the environment, social and cultural well-being aspects are considered in sustainable travel. This can be seen in areas such as respecting the local culture, accessible services and investing in the personnel’s well-being,” says an expert in sustainable travel, Virpi Aittokoski, from Business Finland’s Visit Finland unit.

In Hotel Vaakuna in Hämeenlinna, by the Lake Vanajavesi, sustainability can be seen on the breakfast table, for example, which offers a wide selection of products from local producers. Food waste is reduced through careful menu planning, which also takes into account comprehensive utilisation of the ingredients and correctly timed orders. Water consumption at the hotel has been monitored for several years now. The water flow in the hotel rooms has been adjusted so that it minimises water consumption while also ensuring the comfort of guests. Surplus items that are still in good condition, such as mattresses, are donated to charity. The staff’s well-being is ensured through means such as a safe working environment, free and comprehensive occupational health services, first aid and safety training, and the ePassi health and well-being benefit.

“We are constantly improving the sustainability of our hotel. We want our sustainability to be visible to our guests as concrete matters and actions,” says hotel manager Jani Aaltonen from Hämeenlinna’s Hotel Vaakuna.

“One area of the STF label is social and cultural sustainability. Concrete examples of our actions in this area are Gallery Vanaja, an art gallery managed by local artist Päivi Lartama that opened in our hotel premises in March, and our hotel personnel that have comprehensive knowledge of the local area, its sights and the activities available.

Customers are increasingly selecting their accommodation based on the management of sustainability and how the accommodation’s value base corresponds with that of the customer. Vaakuna has held the international Green Key environmental certificate for a long time now.

“Sustainability is at the core of our operations and a natural part of our daily work. Adding the STF label to our collection in addition to the Green Key certificate feels wonderful and motivates us to work even harder on our sustainability,” Aaltonen says with a smile.

Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Hämeenlinna will be renewed in the near future. The renewal projects support the hotel’s sustainability goals, as the energy conserving functions of the hotel ventilation and lighting systems will also be reviewed.

Further information:
Osuuskauppa Hämeenmaa, Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Hämeenlinna, Hotel Manager Jani Aaltonen, tel. +358 44 743 3371