Environmental Policy

A well-balanced connection with nature is the foundation of all Upitrek operations. Thus considering the environment constitutes an essential part of Upitrek business philosophy and is also of utmost importance to the success of the whole operation.

The basic business idea of Upitrek is to offer the tourist a range of products which are in concordance with Finnish nature. The products are specially designed to fuse into a harmonious whole with nature, special attention being paid to the immediate environment in which the activities take place.

Upitrek encourages its clients to show consideration for the environment: the visitors are offered a chance to take part in activities contributing to sustainable development.
The adequacy of environmental activities is regularly assessed by means of collecting customer feedback and studying key parameters.

Planning and realisation of tours and trips
The tours and trips arranged by Upitrek comply with the environmental regulations on ecological hiking given by the Forest and Park Service within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Finland. On Upitrek tours, the client is informed of local environment and culture, multiple use of forests and protection of nature, with a particular focus on regional characteristics. When Upitrek groups move in nature, they show consideration for the environment, avoid unnecessary noise, and do not leave any traces or rubbish in nature.

Waste disposal policy
The volume of waste is minimised by avoiding the use of unnecessary packaging material. The use of disposable plates and cups is also avoided. During the tour, all paper and cardboard packaging waste is burned. Easily decomposing garbage, such as coffee grounds and used tea bags, are composted or disposed of by means of "distributed composting". All other waste is taken back from the tour or trip. Back at the base, the waste is classified and recycled as far as possible. 

Clients are encouraged to support pro-environmental waste disposal methods. For toilet visits, composting toilets or earth-closets are preferred; in case these are not available, relieving nature is done at an adequate distance from brooks, wells and the like.

Purchases policy
In its purchases, Upitrek is committed to preferring durable, locally produced, high-quality products. Disposable products are avoided as far as possible. Ecologically sound products are acquired whenever possible. When selecting co-operation partners, preference is given to those having an environmental policy. In addition, subcontractors are informed of the firm's purchases policy.

Savings programme on energy and transportation
Use of energy
The most energy-intensive activities within Upitrek tours are transportation, the preparation of skiing tracks and the burning of firewood. Since the first two are taken care of by other service providers, and Upitrek is paying for the services, any energy saving is likely to cut down on Upitrek expenses as well.

Passenger transport
In passenger transport, public means of transportation are given priority, if this can be arranged without causing great discomfort to the client - with regard to the conditions determined by the distance, route and public transportation available. 

The environmental impact of transportation is measured by means of calculating the total of carbon dioxide produced per passenger kilometre. Of all greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide is the one with the greatest contribution to global warming.

In choosing the passenger transport medium, the idea is to make the most expedient choice for each case. Principally, the following means of transportation are used:

- Minibus seating 14 passengers, fuel consumption approx. 13 l diesel / 100 km, carbon dioxide emission 346g/km
- Minibus seating 8 passengers, fuel consumption approx. 9 l diesel / 100 km, carbon dioxide emission 239g/km
- Passenger car, fuel consumption approx. 7 l diesel / 100 km, carbon dioxide emission 165g /km
- Public bus transportation 

In the following example, the total carbon dioxide emission of a skiing tour is calculated. The group consist of six skiers and the duration of the tour is six days (and nights). 

Passenger transport 380 km, bus 8 persons = 90,8 kg CO2
Service transport 320 km, passenger car = 52,8 kg CO2
Total carbon dioxide emission = 143,6 kg CO2
Carbon dioxide emission / client = 23,9 kg CO2
Carbon dioxide emission / client / day = 4,0 kg CO2 

In conclusion, the carbon dioxide emission arising from passenger and service transport for each client during the skiing tour is four kilograms per day. For comparison, this amounts to what is caused by a thirty-kilometre tour in a normal passenger car.

The parties arranging and managing the shelters and rest stops (municipalities; Forest and Park Service) are compensated for firewood used up in making fire according to the number of people in the tour groups. This is likely prevent the making of unnecessary fires on the tour. The guide is responsible for not making the fire any bigger than necessary, and using adequate measures for putting out the fire. The amount of used firewood is controlled in connection with the billing coming from partner businesses.

Upkeep and maintenance of routes
When selecting the routes to be used, special attention has been paid to the terrain allowing a minimum of maintenance costs. In winter, the routes mostly follow ski tracks maintained by the municipality, snowmobile tracks used by Border Guards as well as lake areas. Upitrek works in co-operation with the service providers maintaining the ski track network; the maintenance party is informed of tour dates in advance, which allows the service provider to organise the upkeep in an energy-efficient way. In summertime, preference is given to using already existing routes and rest stops.