The first certified sustainable capital in the world

The first certified sustainable capital in the world
The first certified sustainable capital in the world

Nuuk becomes the first sustainable Capital in the world

Nuuk has, as the first Capital city in the world, achieved an extinguished recognition as a sustainable tourist destination through the organization EarthCheck. The mayor Charlotte Ludvigsen is thoroughly proud.

When measuring sustainable tourism, Nuuk has the rest of the capital cities beat. That is apparent after EarthCheck has given the Greenlandic Capital city a certification as a sustainable tourist destination.

“Economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability is an important area of focus for us. We’ve worked to document this for more than two years, so I am most happy that we’ve now gotten this recognition. It wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated employees, a progressive business community and committed citizens. A great ‘thank you’ to all”, says a proud mayor.

Sermersooq Business has together with great contributors been in a “Green Team” which consists of Nukissiorfiit, The Environmental department of Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq, Statistics Greenland, Visit Greenland, Nuuk Water Taxi and Greenland Escape.

“There is a big international demand for sustainable tourist destinations, and thus Nuuk will become a particularly attractive destination to visit, and this will be visible through a rise in the number of tourists, which will contribute to an economical growth in the tourism industry”, says Business manager Emil Skjervedal.

EarthCheck Founder and CEO, Stewart Moore, noted that places where people want to visit and live – and that are sustainable – do not happen by chance: they are a product of visionary thinking and commitment by industry and community leaders.

“I would like to congratulate the whole team at Destination Nuuk on their achievement. Destination Nuuk is a valued member of a global group of tourism operators who dare to make a difference. Achieving sustainable tourism requires collaboration, determination and systematic planning across the destination,” Mr. Moore says. “The Capital City of Nuuk will join a select group of leading destinations across the world that are taking a holistic and strategic approach to destination management, planning and marketing.”

Broad recognition will boost up tourism

Nuuks tireless work to make tourism more sustainable hasn’t been unnoticed. TIME Magazine has among others praised the effort and written about the exciting winds that have been roaring over Nuuk these past years.

And with the certification from EarthCheck in tow, the path towards a sustainable tourism has been made clearer.

How and why

How and why


Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, became the first GSTC certified capital in the world. This means that throughout every sector we are looking to improve economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects. 

Opening up to the world

In 2024, Nuuk will open its new international airport and welcome direct visitors from all over the world. 

Over tourism? Not on our watch 

The new international airport will increase the number of tourists traveling to Nuuk driving economic growth. However, it can also drive deterioration of the environment and local life quality, as we have seen in other places with over tourism.


To prepare Nuuk for the new international airport, we have teamed up with EarthCheck who is the world's leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. 

Data driven approach

Sermersooq Business collects relevant data from Nuuk relating to sustainability. This data has been analyzed by EarthCheck, where EarthCheck compares Nuuk’s data with similar destinations. 

You can see the exact results of this process in image titled "EarthCheck Benchmark Checklist"


Bronze Benchmarked

On November 6 2020, Nuuk celebrated becoming Bronze Benchmarked. This is an important step as it symbolizes the beginning of our sustainable journey as the first sustainable capital in the world.


Live stream link

Facebook Live

Our policy and action plan

Performance report

The performance report includes every parameter in Nuuk relevant to sustainability.

This document is available only in English. You can also find a summarized table of this report in the EarthCheck Benchmark Checklist above.



It is important for us that you are included in the process. If you have any feedback or complaints we encourage you to fill out the form below, and we will get back to you within 1 working day.


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Green Team

The Green Team identifies areas of Nuuk that are crucial for becoming a sustainable destination. The Green Team takes a holistic approach analyzing environmental, cultural, social and economic aspects to elucidate how these aspects affect Nuuk now and in the future.

This work is formalized in a sustainability risk assessment and action plan that will be publicly available for you. Most importantly, it will be open for your feedback and concerns.


From the left to the right you see Salik Hard, Magnus Biilmann Trolle, Claus Andersen-Aagaard, Frank Rasmussen og Asmus Jessen Rubæk.

Members not in the picture are Jesper Øraker, Anders Lykke Laursen, Mads Skifte og Simon Westermann

Green Team

Sustainability in tourism guidelines

Sustainability in tourism guidelines
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