In a three-part delivery to the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT), COWI will work to increase protection of nature and the environment, social responsibility and sustainability.
Together with its members, the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) wants to make outdoor life even greener and for the implementation of a new sustainability strategy, the organisation has asked COWI for assistance.
“Planning for a simple outdoor life is our key contribution to a climate-friendly society, and we look forward to COWI challenging us in terms of how to make an extra effort that really makes a difference,” says Secretary General of the Norwegian Trekking Association, Dag Terje Klarp Solvang.
Among other things, the parties will work together on the new strategy and COWI will assist in defining parameters. The parameters will map everything from consumption of green energy in cottages to environmentally friendly transport, communication on sustainability and inclusion.
“Quantitative targets will make it easy for DNT to see if they reach their goals, and it will be easier to see progress in their sustainability activities. Specific examples include mapping the energy consumption of cottages, or what type of transport is used for maintaining cottages,” says Rina Brunsell Harsvik, Project Manager at COWI.
DNT is regularly involved in public consultations and COWI will assist in matters regarding nature conservation.
“The variation in the Norwegian landscape contributes to creating significant variation in the basis for living, ecosystems, habitats and biological diversity. For that reason, it’s important that large actors like DNT use their voice and nationwide presence,” says Project Manager Aksel Dvergsten, Ecologist and Discipline Leader at COWI in Norway.
In line with DNT’s vision to provide experiences in nature for life, COWI will contribute to DNT caring for nature in the best possible way. Treks make demands on nature and put pressure on the ecosystem, not only if we use motorised vehicles in nature or use diesel units to power cottages, but also regarding the use of materials.
“Circular economy means utilising all resources in the best possible way and generating as little waste as possible. Upcycling, which gives materials a higher value than what they originally had, is an important part of circular economy. For example, combining old window bars to form a new wall panel. Another issue is whether to construct new cottages or buy existing cottages and fit them out for tourists,” says Harsvik.
DNT run cottages, organise activities and set up trails in vulnerable nature. With that comes great responsibility and the organisation needs to make sustainable decisions in order to stay relevant in the coming years, concludes Secretary General of the Norwegian Trekking Association, Dag Terje Klarp Solvang.
"COWI will help prioritise and specify our goals. That will allow us to make the right decisions, measure our progress and communicate the good work done by DNT volunteers to an even broader audience,” he ends.
Rina Brunsell Harsvik
Spatial planning and Landscape architecture, Norway