City of Lappeenranta celebrates its European Green Leaf Award year’s achievements in an international closing event on December 10th


The European Green Leaf Award year 2021 has been active in the City of Lappeenranta. The ambitious climate work in Lappeenranta continues although the city’s 2021 European Green Leaf Award year is ending soon. In the award year’s closing event on December 10th, it is time to turn a new leaf and look forward to the future.

An international look into the future

The award year’s closing event is a day full of program. Future is the theme of the closing day, and it gathers experts and citizens in an international live stream “Turning a New Leaf – A Look into the Future” at 12:30–2 PM (EET). The virtual event is open for everyone, and it will be streamed on the YouTube channel of the City of Lappeenranta.

The international live stream is hosted by the City of Lappeenranta’s environmental director Ilkka Räsänen. The event consists of video greetings about future sent to Lappeenranta from Europe. Virginijus Sinkevicius, Commissioner for the Environment, will send greetings from the European Commission, and speak about the environment, oceans, and fisheries. Finland’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Emma Kari, will present greetings to Lappeenranta from the Ministry of the Environment.

The live stream also includes keynote speeches. Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra’s director Mari Pantsar will give a speech about hope. Professor and director Anne Toppinen of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science will speak about the built sector’s future of decarbonization, and dean Riina Salmimies from the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology will discuss life on this planet and beyond. Chairman of the City Council, Sanna Koskenranta will present greetings from Lappeenranta, the Climate Capital of Finland. The live stream also includes Gabrovo’s mayor Tanya Hristova’s presentation of life in 2050 in Gabrovo – the Bulgarian city that also won the 2021 European Green Leaf Award. The virtual live stream ends in a video presentation of the highlights of Lappeenranta’s award year.

Besides the live stream, other activities and program of the closing event day include the opening ceremonies of a renovated children’s playground and of a new health path in the nature. In the city center, a Christmas star will be lit to represent sustainable Christmas preparations and the European Green Leaf Award year. In addition, a lecture and discussion “Life in Finland’s Climate Capital Lappeenranta in 2050” will be held in Finnish. The day also includes ecological Christmas crafting for the youth. The closing event day ends in a documentary screening of Walk the Tideline (Meren tuomat 2021).

European Green Leaf – A rewarding year

In Lappeenranta, the European Green Leaf Award year has consisted of close collaboration between the city, its citizens and event organizers. As a result of active cooperation, the award year has been full of actions, activities, and innovative services. For example, the city has repaired and built nature trails and encouraged citizens in local climate action. In addition, the City of Lappeenranta has installed electrical bikes’ charging stations and smart trash cans around the city center.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the city of Lappeenranta has organized over 70 events during its European Green Leaf Award year. The main events were organized during fall from August to October.

The European Green Leaf Award year has accelerated the response to global environmental challenges. We have been able to gain national and international awareness for the city of Lappeenranta and our actions, says Lappeenranta’s environmental director Ilkka Räsänen.

– The award year has been filled with great openings, events and operations, and memorable moments. The European Green Leaf Winner title has permanently made Lappeenranta one of the European green pioneer cities, Räsänen tells.

While the award year is coming to an end, the City of Lappeenranta is already preparing for the challenges of the future. During the award year, also a new city strategy has been developed for Lappeenranta. It aims to promote responsible solutions in an even wider and more diverse way.

Live stream link:

Turning a New Leaf – A Look into the Future

More information:

Kati Korhonen, Project Manager, Green Leaf

Tel. +358 40 354 2799, kati.m.korhonen(at)lappeenranta.fi

Ilkka Räsänen, Environmental Director

Tel. +358 40 081 5284, ilkka.rasanen(at)lappeenranta.fi