City of Helsinki launches local sustainability program

City of Helsinki launches local sustainability program

eTurboNews Syndication:

According to a survey completed by the City of Helsinki in 2018, two thirds of residents identified the climate crisis as their major concern when taking into consideration the future of the town. In response, Helsinki Sustainably has launched Think, the world’s first online service that allows making sustainable choices as easy as utilizing an app.

Think Sustainably provides residents, visitors and companies with practical tools to rethink their daily behaviour and make more sustainable lifestyle and business decisions.

Services filtered through the web program include restaurants, shops, events, accommodation and experiences, each benchmarked against tailor-made criteria produced by the town of Helsinki in collaboration with the independent think tank Demos Helsinki, local interest sustainability and groups experts. The service also contains a route planner feature that allows choosing emission-free transportation options to the wide selection of experiences available in the town. The route planner provides CO2 emissions in grams per person per trip. Gathering feedback from users currently, the Think Sustainably service is publicly available with plans to roll the programme out further and review its impact in 2020.

Cities house over fifty percent of the world’s population and so are in charge of over 70 % of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions (C40). THE TOWN of Helsinki recognises that cities are in the forefront of combating climate change and implementing innovative policies. THE TOWN knows the necessity of systemic change in habits and the programme may be the latest initiative to aid its 2035 carbon neutral target. In developing Think Sustainably, THE TOWN has recognised the initial role that cities play in creating answers to enable change in everyday lifestyles to handle the global climate crisis.

Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, the Director of the populous city of Helsinki’s Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative said:

“The shift towards carbon neutrality requires both major structural changes and everyday actions. Individual choices matter: In accordance with recent studies, so as to stop further climate warming, every Finn should reduce their carbon footprint from 10.3 tonnes to the year 2030 5 tonnes. If one individual in each one of the 2.6 million households existing in Finland would reduce their carbon footprint by 20 %, we’d reach 38 % of the goals set for Finland in the Paris climate agreement for reducing emissions.”

The procedure for developing the Think Sustainably service included researching the most important factors of ecological sustainability linked to different service categories. These handled greenhouse emissions due to energy production mostly, the impacts of food and mobility, waste management, factors linked to circular economy, protecting biodiversity, accessibility, and employment and preventing discrimination. The criteria encourage all of the service providers to boost their action towards a sustainable method of operating and contains already led to several providers making changes such as for example switching energy and heating contracts to more green options. The purpose of the criteria was and to be accessible to numerous several types of service providers as the City of Helsinki believes that everyone must have the chance to participate a more impressive wave of change.

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Tia Hallanoro, Director of Brand Communications & Digital Development at Helsinki Marketing said:

“Locals in Helsinki have become worried about climate crisis, over two thirds folks think it’s probably the most worrying thing affecting our future. Many feel frustrated that there’s nothing they are able to do to avoid it. There’s an excellent demand for the frustration to be channelled into something productive which allows us to rethink our lifestyle and consumer patterns. As a ongoing service, Think offers you concrete tools for that Sustainably. We are in need of everybody up to speed certainly.”

In June 2019, Helsinki was crowned as the utmost innovative region in the EU by the European Commission, and is really a European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019. The populous city may be the first European city and, the next globally (after NY) to report voluntarily to the UN on its implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and leads just how in tinkering with sustainable policies and initiatives. Besides offering emission-free public transport options through the entire centre of the populous city, Helsinki houses Flow Festival, among the world’s leading carbon neutral music festivals; the Nordic region’s first zero waste restaurant Nolla, and non-profit foundation Compensate that was established to fight climate change through the use of compensation payments to donate towards international carbon sink projects.

Laura Aalto, CEO at Helsinki Marketing, said:

“Helsinki may be the perfect test-bed for solutions which can be scaled-up for the world&rsquo later;s megacities. Operating such as a city-scale laboratory, Helsinki is wanting to test out policies and initiatives that could not be possible elsewhere. The populous city can effect change in this manner due to the compact size, well-functioning infrastructure and well-developed knowledge-economy cluster. Helsinki isn’t finished developing its sustainable policies but is preparing to make systematic efforts, both small and big, which work at achieving a far more sustainable world, hopefully that others can study from our experiments also.”

The version of Think Sustainably launched in June 2019 is really a pilot service and for the present time includes 81 participating providers. The programme will undoubtedly be further developed to add a larger selection of sustainable choices from restaurants to mobility.

Author: George Taylor

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.