The nature, the people and our cultural heritage are the most important assets we have in Umeå region. That is why we have chosen to work with sustainability as a tool in all parts of development, whether it be meetings and events, transports or the hospitality industry as a whole.


The work with and for sustainability takes place in many different levels in our region. A saying goes, "In Umeå, we are never as great as when we collaborate". Co-creation, collaboration and cooperation are part of the air we breathe, so we know it is by helping and supporting each other we will succeed. What characterizes the Umeå citizen is to be questioning and open to new ideas and impressions. Creativity, engagement and openness are other descriptions for the mentality that lives here. By strategic and goal-oriented work by the municipality and Visit Umeå, but also through the strength in engagemang and co-creation from our citizens - we are all becoming a little bit better every day.

Sustainable goals

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Visit Umeå works strategically with the 17 UN SDGs and Agenda 2030. The goals covers social, economical as well as environmental aspects. To work for a certification via Earth Check and at the company level use criteria set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council through Västerbotten Experience.

Sustainability audits and Västerbotten Experience

Västerbotten Experience is an investment for sustainable hospitality industry which has been going on since 2015. In our region, close to 40 businesses have been audited and received a VX-seal. All Västerbotten Experience-businesses have undergone a sustainability audit based on criterias approved by UN, produced by Global Sustainability Tourism Council.

Read more about Västerbotten Experience here




A few examples of Umeå’s sustainable work so far

Green Umeå – a network of businesses and organizations with sustainability as guiding star. 

Sharing City – Umeå contributes to development by testing new solutions and cooperations. Umeå municipality takes on complex challenges and challenges existing structures.

RUGGEDISED – Umeå is a part of the EU cooperation project lasting 2017-2021. During these five years, around ten different innovative climate smart solutions are tested, at the same time as new business models adapted to a sharing economy are developed.

Sveriges Bästa Idrottsstad – Umeå has been appointed ”The best sports city of Sweden” in 2018 and 2020. The strength of Umeå is both the width and the elite of sports and having the most amount of sports associations per capita in the whole of Sweden. 

Europas Miljöhuvudstad (European Green Capital) – Umeå has been nominated three times and been in the top final every time, most recently in 2018. The applications also have the positive effect of being a powerful force on the city’s sustainability work.

Fairtrade City – Umeå is a proud Fairtrade City since 2013. By working for fair trade and ethical consumption, Umeå wants to contribute to emproved working and living conditions for people living in countries with widespread poverty.

Viable Cities – A strategic innovation programme focused on smart, sustainable cities. Umeå municipalitys’ purpose is to, in broad collaboration, form a road map towards a carbon neutral Umeå 2030.

Nätverket Hållbara Restauranger (Sustainable Restaurants Network) – A national and local network of restaurants wanting to build a more sustainable restaurant industry. One local example is #svinngott (a pun of the Swedish words for really+waste+good/tasty), which is one way of making use of food that otherwise would have been wasted. 

Den koldioxidsnåla platsen (The Low Carbon Place) 2016-2022 – An ongoing project from Umeå municipality, aiming to make it easier for citizens to make more sustainable choices and lowering their climate impact from transportation, accommodation and purchases.

Projektet Klimatneutrala Umeå (Climate Neutral Umeå) 2030 – A project which, in broad collaboration, is forming a road map and identifying which actions Umeå needs to implement to reach and take responsibility for, the Paris agreement.

Gender equality – Umeå municipality has been working systematically with equality for 30 years, with many acknowledged projects and initiatives. The groundbreaking equality work has for example led to Umeå, within the EU program URBACT, taking the lead in a European network titled Gendered Landscape. Additionally, Umeå was the highest ranked region in EU Social Progress Index 2019.