Sustainable Tourism

Sustainable tourism and responsible travel are at the forefront of the 50 Degrees North philosophy. We aim to create and maintain sustainable business practices that not only provide economic benefits for the local populations in our destinations, but also respect and protect nature, cultural heritage, and local values, with the aim of preserving all of these for future generations.

On the 25 May 2022, we received the Travellife Partner Award, recognition for the long-term efforts and frontrunner position of 50 Degrees North Nordic regarding sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. 50 Degrees North Nordic complies with more than 100 criteria, related to an operators’ office management, product range, international business partners and customer information. The Travelife standard is covering the ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility themes, including environment, biodiversity, human rights and labour relations; and is formally Recognised as in full compliance with the UN supported Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

During the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the 50 Degrees North Nordic was pleased to announce the signing of the Glasgow Declaration, formed collaboratively between the UNWTO, UNEP, VisitScotland, Tourism Declares and Travel Foundation, and uniting our sector in a shared commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.


Our Key Values and Sustainability Policy

  • Spreading wealth by promoting less visited destinations and local places, as well as promoting travel in low season (i.e. as an antidote to overtourism)

  • Supporting local people and their businesses to ensure socio-economic benefit and sustainability for local communities (i.e. rather than multinational corporations)

  • Preferring partnerships with operators who adhere to strict environmental, quality and safety standards set by recognised national certification schemes (where available). For example, choosing Nordic Choice hotels which are certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 environmental standards.

  • Promoting low emission transport options, e.g. the use of trains and other public transport, electric vehicles, electric snow mobiles and ships with a strong emission reduction strategy

  • Respecting the limitations of the destinations by minimising our impact on local nature, wildlife and culture

  • Actively contributing to the preservation of local nature, wildlife, cultures and landscapes

See our Sustainability Policy here.

Our Climate Action Plan

During the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, 50 Degrees North Nordic, along with 300 other tourism companies, became one of the founding signatories of the Glasgow Declaration. Here is our plan forward. Here is our plan forward.

shutterstock svalbard Polar bears

Our Green Offices

We aim to source local products and services as part of our daily office procedures. We use local printers and buy locally. We have a ban on single use coffee cups in our Melbourne office with a 50DN Keep Cup fund.

50 Degrees North promotes partnerships with local businesses in the destinations we travel rather using international chain hotels or companies. This also means that the people you meet on the ground are locals who know their area better than anyone and can take you deep under the skin of their home country or region. A good example of this is our Beautiful Norway tour, which is motivated by our desire to distribute wealth and employment opportunities more evenly by introducing travellers to areas, hotels, and service providers outside of the traditional and extremely busy routes. And the good news is that the experience is all the more wonderful and authentic for it.

Tips for Travellers

Bottled Water

It is time for a change, as in the Nordics, buying bottled water is completely unecessary. Tap water across the region is clean and potable. Bring a waterbottle on your trip, and you will always have freshh and clean water available FOR FREE. That will help keep our environment pristine.

#kranavatn (Iceland) #kranvann (Norway) #kranvatten (Sweden) #postevand (Denmark) #vesijohtovettä (Finland)

Recommendations regarding overseas travel & long flights

As Mark Twain famously wrote, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." We agree that meaningful, authentic travel is a fundamentally eye-opening experience that advances understanding and tolerance of other cultures.

However, when flying long distances to what will hopefully be a once-in-lifetime kind of extraordinary holiday (our specialty), we recommend researching and considering which airlines are the most fuel efficient prior to booking your flights. See for example the Atmosfair Airline Index 2017 for more details.

We also recommend compensating for travel related carbon emissions by making environmental donations (“carbon offsets”) to reputable, usually not-for-profit organisations. Below are some suggestions:

Furthermore, we also recommend public transport or independent drives over flying while in the destination. You get a much deeper understanding of the landscape of a country through the window of a train / ferry / car than you do by flying over it.

Charities and councils we support

We recognise the work done by the Arctic Council, which eight members states are Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, USA, Sweden and Finland. “The Arctic Council was formally established by way of the Ottawa Declaration of 1996 as a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. Read more

Kangaamiut from Sarfaq Ittuk. Photo - Lisa Germany, Visit Greenland

Image: Lisa Germany, Visit Greenland.