Nature, people and our cultural heritage are our most important resources in the Umeå Region. That is why we have chosen to work with sustainability as a tool in all development; whether it concerns public transport, our social commitment or the hospitality industry.
In recent decades, Umeå as a city has in various ways worked with sustainability, partly in the daily activities that are conducted within the municipality and partly by initiating projects that in various ways help us develop in the right direction.
SEE Sustainability Week is an annual event week held in the counties of Västerbottens and Norrbotten. SEE is shortening for Social, Economic and Ecologically sustainable development. The week is just one of all the examples of what we do. On the platform www.greenumea.se you can read more about our green efforts.
An international jury appointed us as Sweden's Climate City 2016. The prize is awarded by the World Wildlife Fund and we achieved it for our ability to turn climate strategy into action and engage the residents of the municipality and companies to act climate-smart. Something we are very proud of and that made us even more eager to continue our work. Sustainability is an ongoing process and our goal is to identify areas where we can improve.
At Visit Umeå, we continuously work to become a sustainable destination. The work is ongoing amongst hotels, restaurants and other companies in our region, as well as within our own organization. We are pleased that so many of the companies in the tourist industry have actively chosen to work with sustainability as a tool for development. Read more about the network Sustainable restaurants.
In 2016, we underwent an inspection and since then we work on the basis of the measures proposed in the report. The audits were carried out according to the Global Suistainable Tourism Counsel (GSTC) criteria approved by the UN, where they look at both environmental and social and economic aspects.
Region Västerbotten has since 2015 strategically worked on sustainable development of the visitor industry. The work is ongoing through the project Västerbotten Experience center. In 2019 sustainability inspections among companies are carried out within the project.
Many of the hotels in the region work with sustainability in various ways through certifications and diplomas. If you would like a sustainable stay, Umeå offers serveral options:
Scandic Umeå Plaza and Scandic Umeå Syd are Swan eco-labeled. Profil Hotel Aveny, Elite Hotel Mimer Umeå, Best Western Hotel Botnia and First Camp in Nydala all have Green Key environment certification. Hotel Björken and Clarion Collection Hotel Uman are ISO 14001 certified. The hotels U&Me and Stora Hotellet are part of the Blå Huset Group, which has a well-developed sustainability work, and with strong ambition, development is always moving in the right direction. If you would like a glorious excursion outside the city, we can recommend Stora Fjäderägg, STF Vandrarhem (youth hostel) on the island of Holmön, Granö Beckasin, Berguddens fyr, Wallhalla B&B, Presteles Trädgårdskafé & Logi or Lothuset Gästhem.
It is no secret that Umeå has a vibrant restaurant scene. Several businesses have their own environmental policies, as for example Gotthards Krog, which is almost self-sufficent in vegetables from the very own vegetable cultivation by Umeälven. However, if you would like to try environmentally certified restaurants, visit Restaurang TC, which is Swan eco-labelled or the KRAV certified Gamla Bibliotekscaféet. Another sustainable lunch alternative is Kummin Restaurang & Catering, which is located in Nolia Sports and Exhibition Center. The business has been certified by KRAV for several years. The Sustainable Restaurants network wants to create a more sustainable restaurant industry. In Umeå, Gotthards Krog, Rex and Hunger & Törst, Tapas Bar & Deli and also Måltidsservice, which provides meals to schools in the Umeå Municipality, are members. In September 2018, both Gotthards Krog and Tapas received awards for their sustainability work. In the region, there are also several farm shops that focus on sustainability.
Countryside is always on the doorstep in our region. There is, of course, something special about dancing to nature´s tune! Granö Beckasin works to the key concepts of quality and care for nature. This is mirrored in all the company´s operations and activities. Try a delightful raft ride on the Umeälven river. There are no motors. Your only accompaniment is bird song and the swash of wawes. The activity has Nature´s Best certification. In the winter, try instead a dog sled tour with Aurora Borealis Adventures, which also adheres to the criteria stated by Nature´s Best.
Three airlines use Umeå Aiport for services from and to the rest of Sweden. BRA was the first domestic company to achieve ISO 14001 certification. SAS and Norwegian also work actively with sustainability issues. Getting a train to Umeå is fuss-free. Book your ticket via SJ or directly from Norrtåg. From Vasa in Finland, a Wasaline ferry crosses the Kvarken (part of the Gulf of Botnia) in just four and a half hour. Once in Umeå travelling sustainably is easy on our electric buses, with the company Hybricon or using one of the city´s taxi companies such as Umeå Taxi. UmeEcoRide – Powered pod-taxi in the sign of sustainability offers transportation and tours. UmeEcoRide wants to help create a better living environment both environmentally and socially. Another climate smart alternative is the electric bike that you can rent in Umeå. Join and test a U-Bike.