Växjö Municipality, together with Belgian city of Leuven, won the European Green Leaf Award 2018. The European Green Capital Award for 2019 went to the city of Oslo. The awarding ceremony took place in Essen, Germany, on 2 June 2017.
The jury appreciated Växjö’s strong leadership in sustainable development. In 1996 Växjö made a commitment to be fossil fuel free. It was also the first Swedish city to use biomass for district heating and one of the first to start implementing Agenda 2030.
“It is fantastic that the EU Commission has drawn attention to Växjö and given us this award as an evidence that the environmental work we have done so far and the ambitions we have for the future makes Växjö the Greenest City in Europe”, said Anna Tenje, Mayor of Växjö.
The European Green Capital Award and the European Green Leaf Award recognise a city's commitment to a better urban environment. Cities with populations over 100,000 inhabitants are eligible to apply for the European Green Capital Award. The European Green Leaf is open to cities of between 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants.
Winners demonstrate well-established records of high environmental standards and a commitment to setting ambitious goals for future environmental progress, underpinned by the practical application of sustainable development.
The European Green Capital Award (EGCA) and the European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) saw a very high number of applicants this year, with 28 cities across Europe competing for the Awards. The five EGCA finalists of Ghent (Belgium), Lahti (Finland), Lisbon (Portugal), Oslo (Norway) and Tallinn (Estonia) and three EGLA finalists of Ludwigsburg (Germany), Leuven (Belgium) and Växjö (Sweden) were chosen by an international panel of experts.