About GD2023 Event Sustainability
At Green Destinations, we prioritize sustainability in all our events, including the upcoming Green Destinations 2023 Conference in Estonia. We diligently work with hosts and venues to ensure environmentally conscious choices are made at every step of the event:
We expect our conference venues to have environmental certification as a fundamental requirement. In addition, we encourage venues to actively engage in transparent sustainable business support programs, showcasing their commitment through a publicly accessible scorecard such as the Good Travel Seal (GTS) or the GSTC-aligned GTS+. This scorecard will be prominently displayed throughout the venue.
Waste & Recycling
Efforts are made to minimize the use of materials like paper, with a strong emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. We leverage digital solutions to reduce paper consumption and embrace a more sustainable approach.
At the conference, we serve a 100% vegetarian menu with 75% of the food sourced locally and seasonally, and 25% being organic. Our coffee and tea are Fairtrade, and we encourage the use of tap water instead of bottled. We prioritize local produce, including handpicked ingredients like blackcurrant, chanterelle, tomato, and ground elder. Leftover food is donated, and food waste is returned to agriculture—our sustainable approach to catering.
We select destinations with convenient access via public transportation or buses, both within the country and the wider region. Additionally, we are committed to offsetting the carbon footprint associated with travel by supporting carbon mitigation projects within the event’s destination, offering attendees opportunities to participate in carbon insetting.
Carbon Footprint Calculation with ClimateScore:
Together with ClimateScore, we are actively calculating and addressing our carbon footprint, working towards a more sustainable event. ClimateScore offers a comprehensive life cycle assessment tool that precisely calculates the CO2 impact generated by both our guests and the event as a whole. During the event, we will communicate the ClimateScore results, fostering awareness and encouraging collective efforts.
Delegate Engagement with TripDoodler:
Delegates now have the opportunity to acknowledge the event’s sustainability efforts through TripDoodler, a Danish impact platform. This tool allows for simple and objective ratings, helping us continuously improve our conscious choices on the go.
Tallinn offers convenient and eco-friendly transportation options, making it easy for delegates to explore the city and beyond. In collaboration with the City of Tallinn, we are pleased to provide free public transport for our attendees.
Thanks to Jolos, a full spectrum creative agency partnering with the hosts, the food and beverage choices prioritize sustainability. An emphasis on plant-based options, food optimization to reduce leftovers, and the donation of excess food to the Food Bank or as takeaways for guests. We also promote local farmers’ produce through storytelling, offer tap water instead of bottled water, and prefer Fairtrade coffee, tea, fruits, rice, quinoa, and sugar.
Nordic Hotel Forum
Nordic Hotel Forum is dedicated to environmentally responsible practices, holding the Green Key eco-label since 2010. The hotel operates in a building certified with the international sustainability and real estate quality mark, BREEAM In-Use. Additionally, Nordic Hotel Forum values diversity and actively supports charitable enterprises, including Minu Unistuste Päev MTÜ (My Dream Day charity foundation), the SOS Children’s Village, and other charities.
Port of Tallinn
Port of Tallinn is committed to hosting environmentally friendly events at the cruise terminal. Their initiatives include reusable name card holders and lanyards, avoiding single-use souvenirs, and prioritizing reusability and recycling in material choices. They also focus on electronic communication, eco-labeled paper, and responsible waste management. Port of Tallinn’s sustainable food and beverage offerings, as well as transportation efforts, further contribute to their eco-conscious approach.
What You Can Do
Minimizing Travel Carbon Footprint in Estonia
- Embrace Train & Ferry Travel: To travel sustainably to Estonia, individuals coming from neighboring countries like Russia, Belarus, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, or Lithuania can utilize international train connections or ferries from nearby Baltic Sea ports, respectively. These eco-friendly options provide a scenic and efficient way to reach Estonia while minimizing carbon emissions.
- Opt for Direct Flights: If train or ferry travel isn’t viable for your specific destination, prioritize direct flights from Tallinn Airport. Consider using Fly.Green, a CO2-neutral platform, to find flights with lower environmental impact.
- Extend Your Stay Responsibly: Prolong your visit to Estonia, either for remote work or leisure, as a refreshing way to balance your emissions. Participating in post-conference field trips within Estonia can be the perfect way to conclude the event, exploring the diverse natural landscapes and cultural heritage.
- Utilize Local Transportation: Leverage Tallinn’s complimentary public transportation provided for all conference attendees, including trams, buses, and trolleybuses, to move around the city and nearby areas in an eco-friendly manner.
- Choose Public Transport, Walking, or Biking: Opt for public transportation to keep your carbon emissions in check while traveling within Estonia. Explore the charming streets of Tallinn by walking or biking for an eco-friendly and immersive experience of the city’s rich history and architecture.
Mindful Accommodation and Dining
During Your Stay:
- Conserve Towels: When you reuse your towels during your stay, you significantly reduce the amount of water and energy needed to launder them. Each wash cycle for towels consumes a considerable amount of water and electricity. By using your towels multiple times, you not only conserve these precious resources but also contribute to reducing the environmental impact associated with the laundry process. Simply hang your towel after use and let it air dry to be used again.
- Responsible Water Usage: Turning off the tap while lathering your hands or during activities like brushing your teeth can make a substantial difference in your water consumption. Letting the tap run while performing these tasks wastes a surprising amount of water. Additionally, consider taking shorter showers to further reduce your water usage. These simple habits can collectively lead to significant water savings over time, helping to conserve this vital natural resource.
- Efficient AC Usage: Air conditioning is a significant consumer of electricity. By setting your AC to a reasonable temperature, such as no more than 6°C / 42°F cooler than the outside temperature, you reduce the energy required to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. It’s important to strike a balance between comfort and energy conservation. Also, consider using fans and optimizing natural ventilation to keep your living spaces comfortable without relying heavily on air conditioning, further reducing your energy consumption and environmental impact.
With Your Meals:
- Opt for Conscious Food Choices: Making conscious food choices can significantly contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly dining experience. By opting for vegetarian or vegan options, you reduce the overall carbon footprint associated with food production, as plant-based diets generally have a lower environmental impact. Additionally, choosing regional produce supports local farmers, reduces transportation emissions, and often results in fresher, seasonal, and more nutritious meals.
- Minimize Food Waste: Minimizing food waste is crucial in promoting sustainable consumption. Be mindful of portion sizes and try to consume only what you can comfortably finish. If you have leftovers, consider saving them for later consumption or repurposing them into new meals. By reducing food waste, you not only save money but also reduce the environmental burden of food production, packaging, and disposal. Moreover, consider composting food scraps to further minimize waste and contribute to a healthier ecosystem.
- Use Reusable Containers: Opting for reusable containers is a simple yet impactful way to reduce plastic waste. Single-use plastic bottles contribute significantly to plastic pollution and environmental degradation. By using durable, reusable containers for beverages and food storage, you can significantly reduce your plastic consumption. Additionally, consider investing in a reusable water bottle and carrying it with you to stay hydrated throughout the day, further reducing the need for disposable bottles. This small change can make a significant positive difference for the environment.
Share Your Feedback
Sharing your feedback about the sustainability practices of the places where you stay and dine is an excellent way to encourage and support businesses committed to sustainable practices. Platforms like TripDoodler provide an opportunity to specifically highlight and acknowledge these efforts. By taking a few moments to provide feedback and ratings, you contribute to a culture of accountability and awareness within the tourism and hospitality industries.