The European Green Capital Award is the result of an initiative taken by 15 European cities (Tallinn, Helsinki, Riga, Vilnius, Berlin, Warsaw, Madrid, Ljubljana, Prague, Vienna, Kiel, Kotka, Dartford, Tartu & Glasgow) and the Association of Estonian cities on 15 May 2006 in Tallinn, Estonia.
The European Green Leaf Award was born out of the success of the European Green Capital Award and the need to recognise cities of a smaller size in 2015. The competition is open to all towns and cities across Europe with a population of 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants.
The overarching message that the Award scheme aims to communicate to the local level is that Europeans have a right to live in healthy urban areas. Cities should therefore strive to improve the quality of life of their citizens and reduce their impact on the global environment.
Each year, one city is awarded the Green Capital title and up to two cities are awarded the Green Leaf title with the mission of showcasing the cities’ green actions to a wider audience, as well as given funds to further develop those actions.
The objectives of the European Green Leaf Award are threefold:
- To recognise cities that demonstrate a good environmental record and commitment to generating green growth;
- To encourage cities to actively develop citizens’ environmental awareness and involvement;
- To identify cities that are able to act as ‘green ambassadors’ and to encourage other cities to progress towards better sustainability outcomes.
EU cities are assessed by a Panel of Experts on the basis of 12 environmental indicators:
- Air Quality
- Sustainable Land Use and Soil
- Waste and Circular Economy
- Nature and Biodiversity
- Green Growth and Eco-innovation
- Climate Change: Mitigation
- Climate Change: Adaptation
- Sustainable Urban Mobility
- Energy Performance
- Environmental Governance
On 14 February 2022 the Applicant City Workshop took place, which provided cities with an overview of the application process, the Green City accord, as well as key elements for a winning bid based on the previous winner Tallinn. To access the recording of this workshop, click here and to view the workshop presentation click here.
Various toolkits have been developed as part of this initiative that provide examples about how your city can manage waste, reduce energy demand, become more resilient, amongst others. The toolkits can be found here.
Below are some tips to follow when getting started with your application:
All European cities that comply with the eligibility check may apply by submitting an online application via EU survey.
Key dates are:
- 28 April – 29 June 2022: Assessment of applications by the Expert Panel
- 30 June 2022: Announcement of finalist cities
- October 2022: Finalist cities make presentations to the Jury
- October 2022: Awards Ceremony to announce the winner.