Progress of sustainable tourism in Lappeenranta in 2024

Lappeenranta City is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The carbon neutrality goal is monitored using a single strategic metric (CO2 emission reduction). The goal is implemented through a climate program and the NetZero Cities action plan developed in 2023. You can find the action plan at Lappeenranta Climate Card (in Finnish): Lappeenrannan kestävyysvahti/Ilmasto (

Lappeenranta, GoSaimaa, and the town of Imatra have signed the Glasgow Commitment: The goal of sustainable tourism collaboration in South Karelia is to halve the carbon footprint of tourists by 2030, following the Glasgow Declaration on climate. The baseline is 0.09 kg CO2 e/km (4-10/2022), and the objective is to reduce the tourist's carbon footprint to 0.045 kg CO2/km.

Lappeenranta's tourism and event services monitor the implementation of the tourism climate commitment and action plan, working collaboratively within the organization.

Sustainable travel

The goal of halving the carbon footprint of travellers by 2030 is being promoted by marketing arrivals to the destination through using public transportation and by developing local transit. Lappeenranta is now the regional transport authority, but according to GoSaimaa's measurements, the tourist's carbon footprint has not changed since 2022.

The sustainable tourism park concept, located in the cultural landscape of the fortress, is one step towards revitalizing tourism. With this concept, the destination's and its residents' well-being is promoted by planting trees in the fortress and harbour area, beloved by city dwellers and visitors. It is easy to guide visitors to the central Saimaa Unesco Global Geopark destination of the fortress, and they can easily reach it on foot or by bicycle. 
Both residents and visitors have a special connection to the diverse old town, whose distinctive features are enhanced by these measures. The new plantings also help preserve the wooded silhouette of the fortress and create shade in the grassy areas, which are used extensively for relaxation and various events.


The year-round nature and services of the fortress and harbour

The year-round nature and services of the easily accessible tourism area of the fortress and harbour are developed in cooperation with partner companies. The Sandcastle’s guaranteed activities week program, which can be purchased digitally, grows and evolves annually, currently running from June 24th to August 11th, 2024. Visitors can explore nearby natural sites in the Saimaa UNESCO Geopark in the city centre and nearby islands, using rental equipment alongside guided tours. The sustainable alternative to the street train, a sightseeing tour bus, started in the summer of 2024. 

Additionally, the Winter Harbour concept promotes movement on the frozen Lake Saimaa through versatile trails and events to highlight local actors and develop new activities. The Winter Harbour project was implemented as a six-week package during the spring of 2024.


Celebrating sustainably

The city collaborates with sustainable mobility events like the Saimaa Cycle Tour. In 2025, the Saimaa Cycle Tour will expand to a three-day event in Lappeenranta, and a new trail running, off-road triathlon, and mountain biking event will take place in Rauha during the same autumn.

Guidelines for sustainable events encourage carbon-neutral practices in event venue rentals and partnerships. Event organizers can utilize the city’s equipment, and discounts are available for renting event spaces if they follow sustainable event guidelines and provide bicycle parking. Event organizers must now submit their plans to event services alongside environmental considerations, focusing on responsible practices, especially in food-related events.