The first phase of the competition will compare sustainable urban development to future objectives in 12 sub-areas. In addition, the cities can showcase their own best practices; Lahti’s examples include the continuous city planning process, a project to make the management of storm water more efficient in the Ranta-Kartano area and in Hennala, and the CitiCAP project for personal carbon trade for citizens. Lahti is planning services and solutions that enable a carbon-neutral lifestyle. This will be tested with a sample of a thousand city inhabitants in 2021.
Lahti is growing as a bold environmental city, with the objective of creating the best conditions in the metropolitan area for providing residents with a sustainable everyday life. In line with the strategy, the budget allows the development of the Lahti region to become an increasingly diversified environmental city, seeking solutions to global environmental challenges in cooperation with universities, businesses and residents.
Expenditure on the environmental operations is at an annual level of around EUR 3.7 million for the city of Lahti, and an estimated total of EUR 40 million for the Lahti Group. The city of Lahti is an active player in the Smart & Clean Foundation and in international environmental networks. Locating their business in Lahti is also of interest to international cleantech players, with several companies headquartered in the area.
A major energy transition is underway in Lahti, which will cut a significant part of the region's greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs for the local bioeconomy. The most significant change will occur in the autumn of 2019, when the Kymijärvi III bioheat plant will be completed and the production of zero-emission bioenergy will begin.
Lahti Energy is abandoning the use of coal in 2020, when district heating is produced with recycled fuel and responsibly supplied biofuel. At the same time, the electricity generated by Lahti Energy will become almost completely zero-emission. By 2020, CO2 emissions from energy production will be reduced to 20% from the 1990 levels.
European Green Capital Award 2021 competition
The European Green Capital Award (EGCA) is a competition for cities with more than 100,000 residents, organised by the European Commission.
The application period for the 2021 European Green Capital Award will end on 18 October 2018. Between 10 and 20 European cities have entered the competition each year, from which 3–5 finalists have been selected for the final round. The winner will be awarded a cash prize of EUR 350,000. The finalist cities will be announced in early April and the winner in May-June 2019.
In the final round, the cities must present an operational and communication plan for the year of the event. Lahti reached the finals in the 2019 and 2020 European Green Capital Award competitions.
Saara Vauramo, Environmental Director, tel. +358 44 7161585