Agnico Eagle Finland works in close cooperation with other companies in Kittilä. We have decided to help local travel businesses with environmental certification because the coronavirus epidemic interrupted the winter season in Lapland at its peak, impacting local business-development projects.

“We have offered grants to travel businesses in Levi that they can use to pay their auditing fee and the annual environmental certification fee for the year,” said Tommi Kankkunen, the general manager of the Kittilä mine, continuing, “Levi and the many local services available there are really important to us, and we want to do our share to help companies cope during this difficult time.”

Businesses in Levi have already been developing their operations with sustainability in mind for ten years. The objective now is for the Levi holiday destination to be among the first travel destinations in Finland to be recognized with the “Sustainable Travel Finland” label by Visit Finland.

Kideve Kittilä Development’s Director of Economic Development Katariina Palola reports that smaller businesses too, have now started participating in environmental certification programs. The first Green Activities environmental certificate in the world was given to Discover Lapland, an excursion agency based in Levi. Another environmental certification program that would suit Levi-based businesses is the Green Key eco-label.

“At Kideve, we are running an ERDF-funded (European Regional Development Fund) project that allows us to organize workshops on environmental certification for businesses. In a community-led project, we cannot, however, pay for environmental certificates for individual businesses, and, at the moment, cash flow has been diminished for many businesses. The support offered by Agnico Eagle is important for the travel businesses, and it encourages them to develop their business in a more sustainable direction,” says Palola.