Wanås strives for sustainable conservation and is an EU Wildlife Estate. True to this name Wanås has, for over a century, believed that a successful business goes hand in hand with a strong sense of environmental stewardship. Being a family business ensures durability and preservation of the environment for posterity.
Wanås is eager to comply with the highest national and international standards of environmental sustainability. Since 1999, our forests have been certified by both the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and by Promoting Sustainable Forest Management (PEFC). The organic farm is also certified and supervised in accordance with the KRAV-label.
The restoration of habitats also plays a key role in the active conservation work done at Wanås. Our focus includes the restoration of natural lakes in the area, which have disappeared over time as a result of drainage projects begun in the area in the early 1930s. Over the past 20 years, Wanås has successfully created 15 ponds for wildlife and conservation purposes, which has helped important species of ducks, partridges, and pheasants thrive. To ensure a healthy diversity among plant species, Wanås prohibits monocultures of spruce and pine and aims for 20% coverage of trees in the forests we manage.
In 2009 the Wanås Foundation became a member of the Ecolabel network. Members commit to making ecologically sustainable purchases, establishing sustainable habits, and to continually educating their staff and visitors about the environment.
Wanås is located in Östra Göinge in Skåne in southern Sweden. Östra Göinge is a small municipality with approximately 13,500 residents. In this rural municipality the major employers in the area have traditionally been factories. Wanås is not only one of the few art activities available in the area, it is also the only one that is internationally known, and it is a major tourist attraction and a source of income. Wanås' staff, both skilled and unskilled workers at Wanås Konst and at Wanås Estate, consists primarily of people who live in the area.
Wanås Konst's educational activities are well-established and serve approximately 6,000 children each year. In recent years the focus has been on expanding the program to include children with special needs. By building a network of like-minded organizations and schools, Wanås Konst is working continuously to achieve our goal of being an inclusive center for outdoor education and activities.
In an effort to increase interest in the arts among children and adolescents, Wanås Konst cooperates with local preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, and universities and offers guided tours of the farm and art exhibitions. This educational work extends to the public, which is largely made up of visitors from the surrounding area.
Wanås is one of Scåne's most intriguing castles. The first known owner was the squire Eskild Aagesen (around 1440). Wanås geographical location put it in a vulnerable position during the wars between Sweden and Denmark. The castle was burned down during the Nordic Seven Years' War. In 1566 the castle was was rebuilt, and the ruins of the old castle were incorporated into the building. The drawings from 1680 largely mirror what the castle looks like today. To preserve the rich history available at Wanås, we are continuously renovating the historic buildings we use, and we are careful to maintain their appearance according to the old plans. This promotes local history and culture by providing public access to these historic sites, which contain exhibitions, educational activities, meeting rooms, a shop, and a cafe.
Wanås as a site is an excellent platform for intercultural exchange, which attracts between 60,000 to 80,000 visitors per year. The Wanås Foundation regularly hosts exhibitions of local, Nordic, and international artists and also works with neighboring schools where we encourage children, teens, and teachers to develop and participate in workshops at Wanås Konst. Wanås also offers local producers a place to sell their goods through Wanås Shop & Deli.
The main commercial activities at Wanås include organic milk production, forestry, controlled hunting, and organic meat production. The Wanås Foundation is a non-profit organization, but complements donor support with the sale of books and artwork, entrance fees, educational activities, and carefully selected workshops and conferences.
Our commercial profits are used for conservation, community, and cultural work. Our business, both in art and goods, gives local producers the possibility to sell their goods at Wanås Shop, whose selection focuses on creative, sustainable, and local products.
The Wanås Foundation has been a member of the Ecolabelling Network since 2009, which means a commitment to ecologically friend purchases and practices and an active pursuit of a more sustainable society. Ecolabel is Scandinavia's official organic label, and its goal is to provide opportunities for Nordic consumers to choose the best products on the market from an environmental perspective. Ecolabel wants to make environmentally friendly products and services a priority and an integral part of all procurement processes. In 2013 Director Mattias Givell is on the jury for Ecolabel's art competition Nordic Art Insight, whose purpose is to launch a debate on sustainable consumption.
At Wanås we use our consumer power to select environmentally friendly products by:
- Buying organically certified goods and services.
- Striving for sustainable exhibition production, transportation, and marketing.
- Increasing the environmental awareness of our staff and employees.
- By defining and positioning Wanås as a sustainable business and a sustainable tourist destination.