Espoon kaupunki - Esbo stad

Espoo strives to increase its carbon handprint

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In order to build a sustainable future, we need to collaborate with companies, research institutes and local residents, said Mayor of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä in his opening speech at the Energy Globe World Awards in Hanasaari, Espoo.

Espoo's goal is to ensure that city's carbon handprint is greater than it's carbon footprint. "In other words, we will not only focus on our own carbon footprint; we want to be actively involved in building a sustainable future at global level,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. (Photo: City of Espoo/Heidi-Hanna Karhu)
Espoo's goal is to ensure that city's carbon handprint is greater than it's carbon footprint. "In other words, we will not only focus on our own carbon footprint; we want to be actively involved in building a sustainable future at global level,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. (Photo: City of Espoo/Heidi-Hanna Karhu)

The City of Espoo and companies are working together to build a sustainable future in an entirely new way, through networking. The aim is to promote sustainable development and to support people’s well-being in Espoo.

“Our collaboration model has attracted interest elsewhere in Finland and also abroad. We are more than happy to tell about our approach, and we invite everyone to freely use it and refine it,” Mäkelä said.

Investments in carbon-neutral solutions will create jobs and strengthen the city’s economy. For example, there are plans to ensure that Espoo’s district heating becomes carbon-neutral in the next decade. This will be a major contribution to clean solutions. “We believe that these solutions will also be successful elsewhere, multiplying the effect of our local solutions.”

“Our goal is to ensure that Espoo’s carbon handprint is greater than our carbon footprint. In other words, we will not only focus on our own carbon footprint; we want to be actively involved in building a sustainable future at global level,” Mäkelä said.

“The UN’s forerunner cities have to find entirely new sustainable solutions”

Espoo was the first city that committed itself to the UN’s global SDG Cities Leadership Platform in the autumn of 2018, alongside 24 other cities. The participating cities are committed to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2025.

During the programme, Espoo aims to work with its partners to develop significant pioneering solutions, products and services that could help tackle the challenges of sustainable development on a global scale. The City of Espoo wants to fulfil its role as a forerunner both nationally and internationally. The city will prepare and present a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) regarding its pioneering work at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, to be held in New York in July next year.

“One example of our work is Fortum’s decision to discontinue the use of coal and make district heating carbon-neutral. It will be the most remarkable climate action in Espoo. Gasum, Neste and St1 have also made significant investments in renewable energy in Espoo. Our other important partners include the Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation and the Climate Leadership Coalition,” Mäkelä said.

The world’s most prestigious award ceremony within the energy sector, the Energy Globe World Awards, will be held in Hanasaari, Espoo, on 12 and 13 November 2019. The event will be organised by the Energy Globe Foundation whose aim is to promote the sustainable use of materials and resources. In January, the foundation gave the City of Espoo an award for the sustainable development efforts it has made in cooperation with energy companies.

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Espoo's goal is to ensure that city's carbon handprint is greater than it's carbon footprint. "In other words, we will not only focus on our own carbon footprint; we want to be actively involved in building a sustainable future at global level,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. (Photo: City of Espoo/Heidi-Hanna Karhu)
Espoo's goal is to ensure that city's carbon handprint is greater than it's carbon footprint. "In other words, we will not only focus on our own carbon footprint; we want to be actively involved in building a sustainable future at global level,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. (Photo: City of Espoo/Heidi-Hanna Karhu)
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A networked Espoo comprising five city centres will be a pioneering responsible and humane city that is a good place to live, learn, work and do business in and where residents can have their say in matters.

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