The city of Lappeenranta (Finland) won the title of the greenest city in Europe, European Green Leaf Award 2021, in a competition organised by the European Commission. This year the title was given to two cities, so in addition to Lappeenranta, Gabrovo from Bulgaria won the title. The winners were decided on the evening of 8 October 2020 in Lisbon.
Cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants competed for the 2021 European Green Leaf Award. Other finalists were the Danish cities of Elsinore, Nyborg and Ringkøbing-Skjern. Cities with more than 100, 000 inhabitants competed of European Green Capital Award 2022. That title went to Grenoble from France.
According to the jury, the city of Lappeenranta has made a visible commitment to developing climate work. The aim is to achieve the city’s main goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Ilkka Räsänen, Environmental Director of the city of Lappeenranta, thinks that the award is a great recognition of the extensive and diverse work that the city has done over the years.
“This is an important sign to us that we have done things right. However, we still must continue our efforts to mitigate climate change more effectively together with residents, businesses and the LUT University.”
In addition to the European Green Leaf title, the city will receive a prize of 75,000 euros. The money will be spent to share the good practices of Lappeenranta and South Karelia and to take new initiatives to support energy and climate actions as well as biodiversity, says Mayor Kimmo Jarva.
“At the beginning of 2019, we had already started planning different events and activities for 2021 with different stakeholders. Year 2021 will include a wide range of local events, restoration projects in natural sites and a display panel presenting water-related topics in the Lappeenranta Harbour. We will also be organising international webinars and a few international conferences. This gives a boost to our goal of becoming a national and international green ambassador. This award enables and promotes the accomplishment of environmentally friendly actions now and in the future.”
City of Lappeenranta
Ilkka Räsänen, Environmental Director
tel. +358 40 081 5284, ilkka.rasanen(at)lappeenranta.fi
Mayor Kimmo Jarva
tel. +358 40 844 2000, kimmo.jarva(at)lappeenranta.fi