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Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life AS - Visitnorway.com
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Take only pictures and keep only memories

Norway is a country of outstanding natural beauty, with dramatic waterfalls, crystal clear fjords, majestic mountains, and spectacular glaciers. Preserving this landscape, its communities, and their way of life is essential for locals and visitors alike.

Norwegian philosophy is very much that conservation is everyone's responsibility. Enjoying nature and the outdoors is considered a national pasttime, and this is reflected in our attitude towards the preservation and use of the wilderness.

In practical terms, this means that even though large parts of mainland Norway consists of national parks and other protected areas, Norway's right of access makes sure you can enjoy nature more or less as you wish – even in these sensitive and vulnerable regions.

Originally an age-old tradition based on sustainable principles, long before anybody had ever heard the term, this has since been set down in law. Even today, it is still based on a long-term respect for nature and wilderness that is prevalent in Norway.

Today, knowledge of ecology and nature is much greater than it once was, but so is the wear and tear on both the landscape and the people. In order to protect both nature and community, landscape and businesses, we try to take the long view: What we enjoy experiencing today will be even more enjoyable to future generations, and it’s our job to make sure it’s still there when their turn comes.

Vega
Vega
Helgeland Reiseliv
Sognefjord
Sognefjord
Sverre Hjørnevik / www.fjordnorway.com
The Raumabanen Railway
Raumabanen
Leif J. Olestad
Horse and sleigh at Røros
Røros
Thomas Rasmus Skaug - visitnorway.com
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Some places are certified sustainable ...

Many places follow sustainable principles, but being certified as a sustainable destination is an honour few few qualify for. It takes years of work demonstrating their lasting commitment to providing the best possible experiences for their guests, while keeping the negative impact of tourism to a minimum. In addition, the destination must work to continually improve its business practices and relations with the local community, following principles of sustainability.

Sustainable destination

... and more are in the pipeline

Becoming a sustainable destination takes years of work, with the whole local community working together. These are the next in line, and are expected to be certified in the year to come:

The story of the fjords

Travel green

“The tussock”/Green Travel is a common navigation to all qualified environmental schemes used among tourism enterprises in Norway. The symbol helps you find environmentally certified activities and accommodations when planning your trip to Norway. Every time you see a tuft of grass on Visitnorway's pages, you know that the associated products and offers are a part of the scheme. This makes it easier for you to go green.

These certifications fall under Green Travel: Ecotourism Norway, The ecolabel Nordic Swan, Eco-Lighthouse, The Green Key, ISO 14001 and Blue Flag. Individually and collectively they guarantee that the labelled experiences follow strict rules and guidelines for the production and management of waste, energy, transport, use of chemicals and demands for subcontractors. These measures go beyond what the Norwegian law requires.

Green travel logo

A guide to environmental certifications in Norway

Make sure your holiday has the smallest footprint possible by looking for these labels and logos.

Ecotourism Norway

Ecotourism Norway logo

This national certification is awarded to businesses and operators that hold a high international level in ecotourism. Over 100 strict criteria on environmental performance, host-role, local community integration and purchasing must be met and often improved. The certificate is renewed every three years.

The ecolabel Nordic Swan

Ecolabel Nordic Swan logo

More than 5000 products in Norway are certified with Nordic Swan, which indicates that they satisfy strict demands within energy efficiency, materials, and chemicals, all the way from raw materials to end product and waste management.

Eco-Lighthouse

Eco-Lighthouse logo

The Eco-Lighthouse certification places demands on energy use, waste disposal, transportation, procurement and work environment. Over 5000 businesses in Norway are certified with this, which must be renewed every three years.

The Green Key

Global ecolabel, recognized by GSTC, for hotels, small accommodations, campsites and attractions. Certified businesses must meet strict criteria within among others the areas of waste, energy, water, procurement, green areas, CSR and staff involvement. The high standards are maintained through annual certificate renewal, rigorous application process and documentation and frequent audits.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 logo

ISO 14001 is given to enterprises that have a high-quality environmental managing system for organizational performance.

Blue flag

Blue Flag logo

Global, prestigious award based on a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access related criteria to be met and maintained, aimed at beaches and marinas. More than 4100 sites in 49 countries are awarded with the Blue Flag.

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