Nuuk, Greenland, August, Tuesday 31st, 2021. Greenland’s largest city, with some 18,000 residents, is a city of vitality, surrounded by immense nature and filled with vibrant Greenlanders leading fascinating lives of old traditions, modern twists, and diverse influences. Home to gourmet restaurants, fashion boutiques, and the Northern Lights inspired Katuaq Cultural Centre, Nuuk is the centre of modern Greenland.
The EarthCheck Sustainable Destinations program helps destinations measure and monitor their environmental and social impact and prepare and track that performance against their own targets and the performance of other communities. Their recognition supports Greenland’s ambition to become a leader of sustainable tourism destinations worldwide.
To achieve certification, Nuuk has met EarthCheck’s rigorous environmental standards across twelve key performance areas spanning greenhouse gas emissions; energy efficiency; air quality; ecosystem conservation; transport; waste management; and cultural and social management.
“Economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability is an important area of focus for us. We’ve worked to document this for more than two years, so I am most happy that we’ve now been recognised. It wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated employees, a progressive business community and committed citizens. A great ‘thank you to all”, says Nuuk Mayor Charlotte Ludvigsen, a member of the Inuit Ataqatigiit party.
A critical piece of the certification was developing a formally constituted and mandated destination authority charged with implementing Nuuk’s sustainability policy, managing their EarthCheck benchmarking, and leading their sustainability action plan. Nuuk has taken a collaborative approach in forming its destination authority, representation from multiple organisations with a keen interest in tourism is designed to ensure the greatest outcomes across the economy. Sermersooq Business, a business development department in the Sermersooq Municipality, leads this team with Nukissiorfiit (the National energy company), Municipal Environment department, Statistics Greenland, Visit Greenland, Nuuk Water Taxi and Greenland Escape (the last two representing the tourism industry of Nuuk).
“Increasingly, we have seen an international demand for sustainable tourism destinations. With Nuuk’s achievement, we aim to become an attractive destination to visit. We expect this to be reflected through our tourism statistics, which will also contribute to the economic growth of our tourism industry, whilst bringing positive benefits to our city’s liveability.” says Business Manager, Emil Skjervedal.
EarthCheck Founder and CEO, Stewart Moore, noted that places where people want to visit and live – and that are sustainable – do not happen by chance: they are a product of visionary thinking, passion and commitment by industry and community leaders.
“I would like to congratulate the destination authority team and the residents of Nuuk on their achievement. Nuuk is a valued member of a global group of tourism destinations that dare to make a difference. Achieving sustainable tourism requires collaboration, determination and systematic planning across the destination,” Mr. Moore says. “The Capital city of Nuuk now joins a select group of leading destinations across the world that are taking a holistic and strategic approach to destination management, planning and marketing.”
Broad recognition will boost up tourism
Nuuk’s tireless work to make tourism more sustainable hasn’t gone unnoticed. TIME Magazine recently praised the city’s efforts in their commitments to sustainability, with other publications recognising the positive winds of change occurring in the region. With the certification from EarthCheck, the path towards a more sustainable future has been made more transparent.
Nuuk is the capital of Greenland, balancing commerce and culture with fresh air and stunning views. Nuuk’s embrace of both the traditional and modern can be seen in the city’s dynamic cultural life and way of life. The city bursts with local entrepreneurs, nature-oriented foods and sustainable activities, that makes this city an ideal destination for eco tourists.
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