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Copenhagen Launches New Green Economy Initiative

There is a need to change the mindset of tourists and encourage green choices. Data show a large willingness as 82% say they want to act sustainably, but only 22% have changed their behaviour[1].


This is why Copenhagen’s official tourism organisation introduces CopenPay - a new initiative transforming green actions into currency for cultural experiences. It is Copenhagen’s ambition to inspire visitors to make conscious green choices and help bridge the large gap between the desire to act sustainably and their actual behaviour.


CopenPay rewards actions such as cycling, participating in cleanup efforts, or volunteering at urban farms with access to a variety of enriching experiences and everyday wonders of Copenhagen. This includes complimentary guided museum tours, free kayak rentals, and even a free vegetarian lunch made from local crops.


For instance, visitors arriving at the National Gallery of Denmark with plastic waste are invited to a workshop and turn it into a piece of art. Similarly, taking public transport or a bike to Copenhagen's iconic heating plant grants a unique experience of skiing down its slope on the building’s roof.


“It is a core task for us to make travelling sustainable. And we will only succeed if we

bridge the large gap between the visitors’ desire to act sustainably and their actual behaviour. It might sound simple, but it is not. We want visitors to make conscious, green choices and hopefully end up getting even better experiences while they visit. Through CopenPay we therefore aim to incentivize tourists' sustainable behaviour while enriching their cultural experience of our destination. It is an experimental and a small step towards creating a new mindset amongst travellers and one among many initiatives we are doing to make travelling more sustainable”, says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, CEO at Wonderful Copenhagen.


The simplicity of the system allows easy participation: tourists can show a train ticket, arrive on a bicycle, or present other simple proof of green actions to redeem their rewards. This summer, all tourists are invited to partake in CopenPay, with regular updates on available attractions and rewards at


Launching with over 20 attractions this summer, CopenPay not only aims to enhance the guests' local experience but also to inspire other destinations.


“We must turn tourism from being an environmental burden into a force for positive change, and one important step in this transformation is to change how we move around on the destination, what we consume, and how we interact with the locals. With CopenPay we want travellers as well as local attractions to focus on the change and the choices, we need to make” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen and concludes “Since travelling is international, our success is dependent on the choices of people and destinations elsewhere. We therefore also strive to inspire sustainable behaviours and cultural appreciation worldwide,” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen.


“I am thrilled to see an initiative like CopenPay that combines our rich cultural life with a strong commitment to sustainability. By converting green actions into currency for cultural experiences, tourists are given a unique opportunity to explore Copenhagen in a way that benefits both the environment and the local community. This aligns perfectly with our values and ambitions to promote sustainable solutions in Copenhagen,” says Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Sophie Hæstorp Andersen.

The hope is not only to continue the pilot project, but also to inspire other cities around the world to introduce similar initiatives.


Facts about CopenPay:

·       Pilot project will run throughout Copenhagen's high season from 15 July to 11 August

·       Website: launching 15 July

·       A wide range of attractions take part in the pilot project including: The National Museum, The National Gallery of Denmark, The Museum of Copenhagen, The running club Sparta, Green Kayak, Copenhill, The urban garden, Bike rental from Donkey Republic and many more.


Facts About Copenhagen:

·       Population in Copenhagen: 602 t. residents

·       Bicycles: 750,000 (4 times more than cars)

·       Commuting: 62% of all citizens commute by bicycle

·       Cycling Infrastructure: 382 km of cycle lanes

·       Hotels: Majority of hotel rooms in the city are eco-certified

·       Tap Water: Potable and safe to drink

·       Canals: Clean enough for swimming

·       Electricity: More than 70% sourced from renewable energy

·       District Heating: Primarily powered by biomass

[1] Kantar, Sustainability Index 2023


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