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Responsible Tourism In Reykjavík Iceland
Organisation : Iceland Tourism Cluster , Iceland

Companies participating in Responsible Tourism agree on a limited number of clear and simple measures of responsible tourism. The purpose of the incentive project is to maintain Iceland‘s status as an optimal future destination for tourists by supporting sustainability for future generations of the nation. Leaders from tourism companies have now signed a declaration on responsible tourism. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland, is the project’s patron. 

Agendas addressed
Local economies and employment
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Nurture a sharing economy
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Create and close local value chains
  • Apply innovative financing approaches
  • Implement sustainable procurement principles
  • Pursue a shift towards a circular economy
  • Wisely select and apply smart technologies
  • Accelerate sustainability and innovation through public procurement
  • Guarantee equal access to information & digital services
  • Support open data standards
  • Prepare policies for socio-cultural changes due to innovation
Context
Jón Ragnar Jónsson

The City of Reykjavik won the Nordic Nature and Environment Prize 2014 and was awarded the Greenest city in the world by Green City Times. The President of Iceland and the people of Iceland were presented with the first-ever Atkinson Center Award for Global Leadership in Sustainable Development for promoting the use of renewable energy while reducing it´s own reliance on fossil fuels. Reykjavík uses geothermal and hydropower for ALL electric consumption and heating and its allready limited emission of greenhouse gas will be further reduced by 35% in 2020. 

In Action

The Iceland Tourism Cluster and Festa – the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility operate the project in cooperation with the Tourist Board, SAF – the Tourism association, Promote Iceland, Regional Marketing Offices of Iceland, Visit Reykjavík and Safetravel Iceland. The companies involved in the project aim to:

• Demonstrate exemplary behavior and respect for nature.

• Ensure the safety of guests and treat them courteously.

• Respect the rights of employees.

• Have a positive impact on the local community.

The goals of the project operators’ promotional efforts are to:

• Establish a clear message from companies that they strive to be responsible.

• Highlight examples of good practice in sustainability and social responsibility in tourism.

• Provide an incentive to companies that have yet to consider sustainability practices and social responsibility.

• The declaration has been and will continue to be followed with training programs for companies on CSR and sustainability.

In Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, you can not only breathe clean air and drink unspoiled water straight from a stream but you can find equality and peace. We aim high in equal rights and to no surprise came first in the Global Gender Gap report in 2015. Scoring first in political empowerment and educational attainment. Our former president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the first female democratically voted as president in the world and our former female prime minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was named one of the 75th most powerful women in the world according to Forbes. 

We have been in first place in the Global Peace Index since 2011 and to no surprise, Yoko Ono selected Iceland for the Imagine Peace Tower. Icelanders score high above OECD Better life index average job employment and are according to the World database of happiness a happy nation with happy life years and satisfied with life.

Results

"Capture the energy in Iceland" is certainly a valid slogan as the country is said to be a global leader in sustainability. Reykjavik has the largest geothermal heating system in the world which makes the meeting spaces naturally eco friendly and the tap water is famous for being pure and untainted with chemicals and minerals. Meetings and events of the future will consider and incorporate social responsibility, sustainability and recycling initiatives when making decisions to choose destinations, hotels and venues Green meetings is a growing demand and in Reykjavík there are many conference hotels as well as the Conference Centre Harpa that have adopted strict environmental policies. Harpa is believed to be one of the most eco-friendly conference centre in the world. The building was designed to use most natural light through its glass facade, which covers three of the four sides of the building and results in significant reduction in power consumption.

Impact

The city promotes all year round cycling and is further building out its cycling path system with resting places and maps. Currently there are no taxes on importation of electric cars and there is free parking in Reykjavik, resulting in substantial increase in ownership of electric cars. There has been an increase by 700% in ownership of electric cars since the first electric charger station was opened in 2014, bringing the market share of pure battery electric vehicles to 2,74%.

In Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, you can not only breathe clean air and drink unspoiled water straight from a stream but you can find equality and peace. We aim high in equal rights and to no surprise came first in the Global Gender Gap report in 2015. Scoring first in political empowerment and educational attainment. Our former president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the first female democratically voted as president in the world and our former female prime minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was named one of the 75th most powerful women in the world according to Forbes. We have been in first place in the Global Peace Index since 2011 and to no surprise Yoko Ono selected Iceland for the Imagine Peace Tower. Icelanders score high above OECD Better life index average job employment and are according to the World database of happiness a happy nation with happy life years and satisfied with life.

Challenges and lessons learned

TBC - Followed by email 

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Contact

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19

E-mail: info@sustainablecities.eu
Website: www.sustainablecities.eu

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