Lahti – European Green Capital 2021 calls to action for sustainable future
As a European forerunner in tackling environmental issues, the City of Lahti leads by example and calls for Finnish municipalities and other actors and stakeholders to join forces in climate action.
Lahti European Green Capital 2021 is developing a year-long themed programme in cooperation with a wide range of partners. The European Green Capital programme will focus on the city’s ambitious environmental goals, partnerships, funded projects, themed events, awareness-raising and visibility, and the everyday actions of ordinary residents.
“The aim is to involve municipalities in the climate law currently being prepared, as they play a huge role in climate action. Municipalities make a lot of decisions that have a significant impact on the climate. They decide on everything from how buildings are constructed in a city, how they are heated, and even what goes on to school menus. Municipalities also act as platforms for and the enablers and facilitators of environmental solutions. They are like the conductors in their local climate orchestra, with the various regional actors and stakeholders playing the part of the musicians. And even though the musicians might be excellent, the conductor is always needed”, says Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, describing the role of municipalities in climate action.
Developing the Green Capital together
The Green Capital project provides an exceptional platform and operational environment for different stakeholders and actors in society to jointly develop the solutions needed for future success. Businesses, higher education institutes, and local residents are all involved in delivering the year-long Green Capital programme. The Green Capital project takes a new approach to bringing together actors and stakeholders who would not ordinarily be developing solutions together.
“Today, cities can only achieve their ambitious environmental objectives through partnerships. And giant strides towards sustainable development can only be taken through the development of bold new partnerships between the public and private sectors, educational institutions and businesses, and by helping different volunteers to find each other. We want to lead by example to show that this is possible. We also want to challenge other cities in Finland and Europe to do the same”, says Programme Director Saara Vauramo.
The Green Capital project’s corporate partners participate through their own environmental innovations. The partnerships entered into so far are with Fujitsu Finland, Lassila & Tikanoja, Päijät-Häme Osuuspankki (OP Financial Group), Sitowise, LocalTapiola Wellamo, Osuuskauppa Hämeenmaa, Niemi Services, Wipak, and CGI. Further negotiations are taking place and the number of partners continues to grow. With the help of Green Capital project support, the funding from these partnerships will be directed at delivering the sustainability projects operated by actors and stakeholders in the Lahti region.
The involvement of local universities and educational institutions in the Green Capital project programme can be seen in new research projects, their own projects, the work of trainees, and in various events. Together, the University of Helsinki, LAB University of Applied Sciences, and LUT University will incorporate Lahti’s higher education expertise in the field of environment and sustainable development into a dedicated study module during the Green Capital year.
You can read more about the Green Capital project’s programme at greenlahti.fi. A documentary film about the project is available on the front page.
Saara Vauramo, Programme Director, tel. +358 (0)44 716 1585 firstname.lastname@example.org