For a bucket-list getaway that doesn’t cost the Earth, head to Kiruna in Swedish Lapland. Here, among majestic mountains and below the dancing northern lights, sits Camp Ripan, a Nordic hotel and spa whose strong sustainability credentials have made it a green go-to for experience-seekers everywhere.

A magical destination known as a winter paradise; Kiruna is a gateway to a multitude of experiences. And, whether it’s an arctic dinner at the Ripan restaurant, an adrenaline-inducing dog sledding experience, or a relaxing session at the hotel’s award-winning Aurora Spa, sustainability is woven into each of them.

“For us, long-term sustainability is just as important as being a great host. Our guests come from every corner of the world to experience our Arctic nature and culture, and we strive to offer a stay in this beautiful part of the world combined with environmental awareness,” explains Frida Lind-Oja who is a partner at Camp Ripan.

This awareness is a constant part of daily operations at Camp Ripan. The team is always looking for new ways to reduce any negative environmental impact and this is reflected in everything from the choice of suppliers to how the facilities are designed. In fact, all furniture and materials used are either locally, regionally or nationally sourced and always within Scandinavia. A lot is even made on-site using wood from local birch trees.

Camp Ripan also has the latest technology within water and energy use, including heat recirculation. “Thanks to our modern ventilation system, we’re able to capture heat from our kitchen and spa and repurpose it in other areas,” explains Lind-Oja.

Camp Ripan: Serious about sustainability

Photo: Jonas Sundberg

Trust the swan

A great hallmark of all this work is the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. This eco-credential is given to businesses that make it easy for consumers to make sustainable choices and was first awarded to Camp Ripan in 2015.

What separates the Swan from other credentials in the same category is the overarching focus on lifecycles, ensuring that businesses aren’t just moving their environmental impact from one place to another. It also considers aspects such as how goods like toilet paper are transported from A to B, as well as what climate footprint restaurant-served food has. Ultimately, receiving the Swan Ecolabel is hard, but choosing it is easy as customers who engage with a Swan-marked establishment know for sure that they’re supporting the greater good.

Come to stay

Somewhat unusual for a hotel, Camp Ripan is made up of 90 cabins dotted around a larger area, giving a sense of privacy and peace. Modern, comfortable and cosy, the cabins are like small oases with private entrances, yet still near the Ripan restaurant and other service offerings.

In the restaurant, guests can sit down for an authentic dinner cooked in a climate-friendly kitchen with the most local and ethical produce available. The best part? No food goes to waste. That’s thanks to a modern compost machine which turns edible leftovers into fertilisers that can be used to grow new produce.

“You’ll enjoy a taste experience for all the senses, made with ingredients that serve both you and the planet well. We buy organic and local in line with the seasons, and we have a close partnership with local suppliers for anything from game to vegetables and berries,” explains Camp Ripan’s second partner, Dennis Lind. “In a year, we normally purchase around 200kg of berries like cloudberries or lingonberries that have been hand-picked by our own staff during their spare time. I’m not sure if it gets more local than that”.

Camp Ripan: Serious about sustainability

Photo: Björn Wanhatalo

Make memories in Kiruna

Finally, of course, there’s the Aurora Spa. Well worth a visit, this relaxing hub has been awarded Best Unique Spa Experience by World Luxury Awards. Here, nature takes centre stage with the materials used throughout the spa representing the surrounding land and elements.

Combined, the stone, wood and water create the perfect calm setting for recreation, while large panorama windows bring the tantalising beauty of the winter-white lands¬cape inside. You can also opt to venture outside to feel the cool caress of the polar air across your cheek while en¬veloped by the warming comfort of the outdoor pool. If you’re lucky, you may even be entertained by the colourful dance of the northern lights.

Guests can also spend time outdoors enjoying all sorts of winter activities in the area’s snowy landscapes, from snowmobile adventures and cross-country skiing to northern light tours and even dedicated moose tours.

“Camp Ripan is also a fantastic place to host conferences, big or small. The activities mentioned lend themselves perfectly to team-building fun, and the hotel is a great venue for meetings. We offer package deals and encourage anyone who’s looking to grow their team to book their next off-site with us,” says Lind-Oja and concludes: “We’ll be waiting with open arms.”

Camp Ripan: Serious about sustainability

Visit the award-winning Aurora Spa. Photo: Björn-Wanhatalo

Instagram: @campripan

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