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European Green Capital Award

European Green Capital Award 2015

The aim of the European Green Capital Award is to support and motivate European cities to improve their environment by awarding those that are making active and innovative efforts to achieve a more sustainable and healthy environment. Bristol Green Capital Partnership was instrumental in helping Bristol to win the award in 2015, pulling together the work, impact and expertise of the cities hundreds of grassroots projects, businesses, community organisations and the two universities. Bristol Green Capital Partnership was also critical to the success of the year, engaging and empowering its members through a programme of projects, events and communications, whilst continuing to enable collaboration and collective action through its networks and groups.

Bristol 2015

Bristol’s year as European Green Capital was a a city-wide initiative with many organisations involved, and to facilitate this a new company was established – Bristol 2015 Ltd. Bristol 2015 Ltd worked closely with Bristol City Council, the Bristol Green Capital Partnership and directly with UK, EU and international partners who included educational and arts and cultural institutions, business networks, visitor and tourism bodies and many more. As a short term company with an independent board, Bristol 2015 raised funds, planned and delivered a programme with key strategic partners in the city – providing a platform for the year to raise the profile of the existing work and innovation in the city.

Bristol Green Capital Partnership also featured in the ‘Bristol Method’, created by Bristol 2015 Company in collaboration with city organisations and individuals. The Bristol Method is a knowledge-transfer programme aimed at helping people in other cities understand and apply the lessons that Bristol has learned in becoming a more sustainable city, not just in 2015 but over the last decade.

In 2014, Bristol Green Capital Partnership Community Interest Company (CIC) was established to enable the aims of the Partnership  –  receiving support from Bristol 2015 Ltd to help accelerate and focus this transformation.   

The Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC entered a new phase in its development in January 2016 with a new business model and core funding from an initial set of strategic partners that form the Board of Directors, with two additional Directors elected from the wider membership of over 800 pledge organisations. The Community Interest Company continues to support Partnership members and promote environmental sustainability throughout Bristol and the West of England, providing a leadership voice and enabling collaboration and collective action across sectors towards the shared vision.

Why Bristol?

On the third attempt, Bristol was awarded 2015 Green Capital status as a city that can:

  • Demonstrate a well-established record of achieving high environmental standards
  • Commit to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development
  • Be a role model – part of an ever growing group of cities that aim to inspire and promote best practices to all European cities.

The award was made based on a technical assessment and independent evaluation, based on a bid that was submitted by Bristol City Council and Bristol Green Capital Partnership. Bristol Green Capital Partnership was instrumental in helping Bristol win the European Green Capital Award, pulling together the work, impact and expertise of the city’s hundreds of grassroots projects, businesses, community organisations and two universities. You can read the bid in full here.

History of the Award

The European Green Capital award is the outcome of an initiative taken by cities with a green vision and the concept was devised at a meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, held on 15 May 2006, on the initiative of Tallinn’s former mayor, Mr Jüri Ratas.

Once a year as of 2010 a European city will be awarded the title of European Green Capital by a panel of environmental experts. The experts award the title to a European city that has successfully introduced concrete and innovative improvements to its urban environment.

Children leaping into the harbour bath at Islands Brygge - Sharing Copenhagen 2014 #sharingcph

Children leaping into the harbour bath at Islands Brygge – Sharing Copenhagen 2014 #sharingcph

Previous and future winners of the award include:

  • 2010 – Stockholm, Sweeden
  • 2011 – Hamburg, Germany
  • 2012 – Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
  • 2013 – Nantes, France
  • 2014 – Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2015 – Bristol, UK
  • 2016 – Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2017 – Essen, Germany

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