Natura Viva's sustainability policy
Natura Viva and sustainable development
Natura Viva was born from the desire to move in nature. The founders of the family business, Martti and Ilkka, have for decades spent much of their free time hiking in the wilderness of Lapland, and paddling both on the coasts and in the rapids. These experiences gave them the idea to offer similar experiences to others.
We feel that we are successful in our mission if we can make our customers feel comfortable and relaxed in the forest and by the sea. We hope that through pleasant experiences in nature, our customers will learn to appreciate their environment in their everyday lives. Our descendants should also have the opportunity to visit and enjoy the archipelago nature as we can in the present moment..
It is a matter of honour for us to provide high quality and safe services. We require paddling instructors to be at least qualified as paddling instructors. In addition to the official qualifications, we organise our own sport training and service training. We pay particular attention to the safety of our events. We support our learners to develop their skills in all disciplines. They hold the required certificates for their own sporting skills. In addition, we offer additional training for all our staff during the summer season. Our kayaks, SUPs, bikes and camping equipment are freely available to our students, who spend a lot of their free time practising their skills.
A large number of our clients come to try sea kayaking for the first time in their lives. Before the launch, we make sure that the client is in a good mood and that they get their questions answered. We also go over technique and safety issues with first-timers on the beach.
The scheduling of the excursions for groups is arranged to ensure that things run smoothly. This minimises safety risks due to carelessness. In the event of an accident/emergency, we will discuss the matter with staff and, if necessary, improve our operations. If weather conditions are unsafe at the start of an excursion or rental period, we will try to find a new time for the event.
We will seek to develop long-term working relationships with our partners. The aim is for all parties to benefit from the partnership and to operate in a transparent manner. Together, we can also provide a better range of services to our customers. We work with other service providers, regional tourism organisations, cities and municipalities, domestic and foreign tour operators and many other stakeholders. It is important to us that Natura Viva is a trusted and valued partner and we believe that by working together we can achieve much more than we could alone.
It is the responsibility of the company to organise its activities in a profitable way. Only this will enable the company to operate in the long term and to invest in other areas of sustainability. Natura Viva is constantly developing its activities and striving to achieve a better financial result. Business growth is planned in a sustainable way, without compromising current operations, quality of service or other responsibilities. Economically sustainable operations allow for the employment of new people and the possibility to develop the whole company in the long term.
The services and activities offered by Natura Viva are carried out in nature by the visitor himself and are low-emission. However, we are aware that transporting our customers to Vuosaari and Nuuksio National Park produces carbon dioxide emissions that are harmful to the environment. We are working to reduce the need for transport and in spring 2021 we are planning, together with Helsinki Guides, a responsible excursion for customers who want to explore Helsinki's marine nature. Participants will arrive with a guide in Vuosaari by public transport and first explore the local parks and beaches. Then, on a canoe trip in the archipelago, they will see why Finns have such a strong relationship with the Baltic Sea.
From the very beginning, our activities have been built around waterways.
The Baltic Sea is one of the most degraded seas in the world and it is important to us that we do not create extra pressure when we move around. We sort our waste properly and we expect the same from our customers. We only use environmentally safe products to wash the interior of the paddling centre and our equipment.
In 2021-22, in partnership with Lagoon and other seaside service providers, we participated in the Baltic Sea Plogging campaign, which aims to give everyone a chance to clean up the Baltic Sea. Throughout the summer, Vuosaari Melontakeskus offers the opportunity to reserve a free kayak for litter picking, and any litter found can be returned directly to the Melontakeskus.
We advise all visitors not to litter and to respect the protected marine areas. The rental facilities at the Kayak Centre will reduce the regional need to purchase kayaks for private use. We also want to extend the life of our equipment by selling used equipment for private use.
Most of our lighting, as well as the faucets in the restrooms, are motion-sensor controlled, so no unnecessary energy or water is wasted. We also check all taps and toilets for possible leaks on a monthly basis. Our lighting consists mainly of LED bulbs, and we upgrade the remaining bulbs to LED technology as they go out.
We also collect feedback from all our customers so that we can continue to improve our sustainability performance in the future.
To know that we are doing the right thing, we have applied for the Green Key and Sustainable Travel Finland programmes. We were awarded Green Key certification in March this year. We applied for and were accepted into Sustainable Travel Finland at the end of 2020.