Espoo awarded the Energy Globe World Award

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2019-02-25 7:48

The City of Espoo with its local partners and networks was awarded a prize in the Energy Globe World Award event in Yazdi, Iran on 29 January 2019. It is one of the most prestigious awards in the energy and environment sector.

The award gives recognition to the long-term work done in Espoo for the sake of sustainable development, particularly with regard to energy collaboration. One of Espoo’s key strategic goals is to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. Espoo also has a pioneer role as one of the UN’s cities of sustainable development. To reach the goals set by the UN, the city’s activities put a special emphasis on learning as well as research and innovation activities that produce new solutions.

- The Sustainable City award gives recognition to Espoo for the versatile and fruitful collaboration with various actors in the energy sector when it comes to, for example, developing and implementing solutions related to emission-free heat generation, energy efficiency and emission-free traffic”, says Pasi Laitala, Director for Sustainable Development of the City of Espoo.

Founded in 1999, the Energy Globe Award is currently one of the most prestigious awards in the energy and environment sector. The award was received by Markku Markkula, Chair of the Espoo City Board, and Taina Tukiainen, professor at Aalto University and VTT representing the city’s partners.

In his speech, Markku Markkula highlighted the contributions and responsibility of all communities and citizens in solving major societal challenges.
- The challenges are considerable, but innovations and the efficient use of digitalisation generates results. Espoo’s collaboration with its partners sets a great example for everyone – through our city’s activities, we demonstrate how the UN’s Agenda 2030 is implemented. In the meantime, this creates considerable global opportunities for businesses in our city as well as new jobs, Markkula says.

Award-winning projects are global models

The award was granted by the Energy Globe Foundation whose aim is to promote the sustainable use of materials and resources. The foundation’s activities are steered by an international negotiation committee and a jury whose chair is the Indian Maneka Gandhi.

For over twenty years, the foundation has encouraged actors in different regions and cities to develop, present and spread their innovative projects to be utilised globally. Now, the best projects out of 2,000 were on display in Yadzi. The categories are according to the classical elements which used to form the basis of the world: earth, water, air and fire. Further awards were granted to a sustainable city as well as a group of young people for their exemplary, self-reliant actions to end the use of plastic. This time, particular attention was paid to rewarding people who were actively and effectively involved in civic activity. Perhaps the most impactful was the story of an Indian who developed wells. The winners of the other categories were from Kenya, Afghanistan and Germany.

A conference to honour the award’s 20th anniversary will be held next autumn. The chair of the foundation, Wolfgang Neumann from Austria, will come to Finland in the coming weeks to clarify the possibility of organising this event in Espoo as part of Finland’s programme relating to its EU presidency. In such case, the focus would be on companies, technology and research activity.

Energy Globe Award, Taina Tukiainen and Markku Markkula
The award granted to the City of Espoo was received by Markku Markkula, Chair of the Espoo City Board, and Taina Tukiainen, professor at Aalto University and VTT representing the city’s partners.

Group photo, Energy Globe Winners 2018
A group photo of the winners. The Global Energy Award is an annual prize granted to representatives of four categories – earth, water, air and fire – as well as to a project by young people. In addition, a prize was awarded to a sustainable city in 2018 – Espoo.

Control group members of the Sustainable Espoo programme with the Energy Globe World Award.
The Espoo Story, the city’s strategy, is implemented with cross-administrative development programmes. Of these, the Sustainable Espoo programme will support the development and implementation of economically, ecologically, socially and culturally sustainable solutions. No wonder, then, that the Sustainable Espoo control group was delighted with the award. Alongside Markku Markkula and Taina Tukiainen, the award is held up by Sirpa Hertell, Programme Chair, and Pasi Laitala, Programme Manager and Director for Sustainable Development. 

More information

Markku Markkula’s speech in the award ceremony in Yazdi, Iran (pdf, 454 Kt)

Energy Globe National Winners from 182 countries (pdf, 3724 Kt)

The competition’s website

The Sustainable Espoo development programme of the City of Espoo,