Do The North

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Do the North organises self-guided and guided kayaking adventures in the Saint Anna & Gryt Archipelagoes of Sweden. We offer easy access to a remote beautiful landscape with all practical aspects taken care of. We feel it is our duty as an operator to go above and beyond, ensuring that neither our operation nor our guests damage or disturb the area. Eco-friendly practices and protecting our precious nature have always been at the core of our philosophy. It is also our mission to support the local community in any way we can.
Member since: 18 May 2018

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

Our mission is to support the local economy as much as we possibly can. There are only a few
suppliers and establishments in the area and our guests make a substantial contribution to a number
of local companies, most of them small seasonal family businesses. We encourage our guests to visit
restaurants, kiosks, buy smoked fish etc. and provide useful details about opening hours and
services. Instead of having our own boat, we utilise local boat taxi services for solving problems with
broken equipment, health issues etc. Our culinary adventure use almost exclusively locally sourced
food, for example lamb from one of the islands, fish from the local fisherman, vegetables from the
mainland.
We also bring revenue and employment opportunities to a few businesses in the towns close to Saint
Anna. The supermarket in Söderköping supplies food for hundreds of guests every year. Our food
order includes many organic products. The majority of our guests stay the night before their trip in
Norrköping, resulting in many bookings for our collaborating partners, a locally owned hostel and
hotel.
Do the North has a small close-knit crew, we live and work together in Saint Anna for the season. We
find that a blend of local staff and foreign outdoors enthusiasts makes for the best all-rounded team.
Every season we go on several photo excursions together and collaborate on other outdoors projects.
We only employ local guides who've spent years exploring the area and feel a strong duty to protect
it. We prefer local drivers who with enthusiasm can share their knowledge and love of the area. At the
base our other staff members pack, maintain and clean equipment, in conjunction with utilising
outdoor skills like photography, wild cooking and foraging for research and marketing purposes. We
advertise locally for crew members on the main Swedish work agency "Arbetsförmedlingen".

Environmental responsibility

The very nature of our trips means minimal impact on the environment. The only energy used for
several days is physical strength, a couple of batteries for LED torches and gas for the cooker. Water
usage is also minimal, only drinking and cooking water. We supply eco-friendly dish liquids, shampoo
& soap, the sea is the only place to wash up until communal showers at the end.
We encourage our guests to use public transportation to our closest hub for communications
Norrköping, either shuttles from the airport or train. We offer a collective transfer service from
Norrköping to Saint Anna, but our guests also have the option to travel by public transportation (it is
however a remote area and it's not very practical).
Our guests receive detailed information in regards to minimising their impact on the environment. We
instruct, both verbally in a briefing and written in our Travellers Code of Conduct and Guide Book, to
strictly follow the codes of "the Right of Public Access", that regulate wild camping in Sweden. In our
area, that especially means fire protection, observance of bird sanctuaries and not disturbing wildlife,
and being respectful to the lands of farmers and locals who own and utilise some of the islands.
Although open fires are permitted in the area, in leu of the destruction fires cause every year, we
choose to discourage our guests from fire. The exception is our culinary adventures, which take place
outside the dangerous months for wild fires and under supervision of our experienced guides.
The County Administrative Board of Östergötland is the national government representative office in
the region. They're responsible for guidelines and information concerning environmental and animal
protection in Saint Anna. They provide info boards all over the area for a deeper understanding of
ecosystems and geology. We encourage our guests to really take the time learn more about the
fascinating natural processes that created the area and this unique brackish marine ecosystem.
Two of the areas our kayakers frequent, St.Anna–Missjö and Kvadöfjärden–Torrö are Marine Protected
Areas in accordance with the Helsingfors Convention (HELCOM). As a step in the process of living up
to HELCOM’s requirements, a collaborative plan “Acta S:t Anna” was developed concerning
protection of the ecological processes of the coast, archipelago and sea of Saint Anna.
The Administrative Council for HELCOM comprise landowners and representatives from the County
Administrative Board of Östergötland. They work to follow and further develop the guidelines
presented in “Acta S:t Anna”, and invite all concerned parties in the area to discussions on
sustainability and protection. As a kayaking tour operator we participate in these meetings, along with
other kayak rental companies, camp sites, restaurants, the coast guard etc. We focus especially on
sustainable tourism and fire protection, and Do the North supports a total fire ban in this very sensitive
environment (fires allowed only at permitted permanent sites).
We have been a member of the Swedish Ecotourism Association since 2006 and our philosophy is
very much in accordance with sustainable tourism and supporting local economies. We are a few
operators in the area, who this year are coming together to start up a foundation for preserving the
environment of Saint Anna and improving facilities and information in the area. This collaboration will
make a contribution per kayaker to the foundation. We are also organising a rubbish picking/movie
night in late August this year at one of the heavily visited points of interest in Saint Anna. It will be a
great way to bring locals and kayakers together and clean one of the most beautiful spots in the
archipelago.
We are virtually paperless. We market ourselves exclusively online and have an advanced backend
system with digital invoices and payments that interface with our accounting software, consolidated
food orders sent directly to the supermarket etc. We recycle and compost all our waste, and instruct
our guests to separate their rubbish and use available recycling stations. Over the years we have
learnt to use only absolute top quality kayaking and camping equipment. It's costly, but the life cycle
of these products surpasses lower quality gear manyfold. Also, quality outdoor brands often follow
strict environmental policies and support wilderness preservation projects. We actively search out
manufacturers with an ethos of sustainability and fair working conditions. We use many Swedish
brands, for example tents from Hilleberg, cookers from Trangia, staff clothing from Houdini.

Social responsibility

Saint Anna is steeped in history and culture, and our Guide Book includes lots of interesting places to
visit. There are two projects in the area for historical preservation, the Archipelago Museum at Tyrislöt
and the old school and seal processing factory on Harstena. We strongly encourage our guests to
visit, learn more and donate.
As most of our trips are self-guided, we give our guests detailed information about the nature, history
and culture of the area. We make sure that even without a guide, our guests will treat the environment
and locals with the utmost respect.
We focus especially on instilling a sense of thankfulness in our guests for the exceptional privilege to
roam free around these islands. We emphasise that all the islands are either privately owned or
protected nature reserves, and being a guest here means extreme respectfulness towards land,
animals and humans. We advice our guests of great ways to give back by supporting local
businesses.
Goals
Our most significant negative impact on the environment is transportation. By offering a wider range of
products we're able to channel transport to certain days, thereby using our collective pick-up services
more efficiently. By branching out more towards the northern European market, instead of mainly the
UK, we reduce air transport in favour of trains or cars.
We're also actively meeting with local landowners, finding ways to improve our practices in
accordance with their concerns, as well as communicating our philosophy and clarifying what
information our guests receive before roaming free. As a step in this collaboration we're starting up
the foundation mentioned above, and organising clean-up days on the islands.

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