Galway was officially launched as the 2017 European Green Leaf at a conferring ceremony at City Hall recently.
The European Green Leaf Award is an initiative of the European Commission and was launched in 2015 building on the success of the European Green Capital Award. The Green Leaf competition is aimed at smaller cities with 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants that show a strong commitment to green growth, sustainable urban environment and ambitious plans for the future.
Galway is the first Irish city to receive this title. It was awarded to two cities in 2015, the Spanish city of Mollet del Vallès and the Portuguese city of Torres Vedras.
RPS was reappointed by the EU Commission in October 2016 as Secretariat for European Green Capital and European Green Leaf Awards to manage the awards in terms of technical assessment and communications.
From left to right: Louise Connolly, Barry Walsh, Serena Byrne, Brenda McEvoy (all RPS), Ben Caspar and Joanna Drake (EU Commission), Cllr. Noel Larkin (Galway City Council Mayor), Nicole Wanders-Wengler (EU Commission), PJ Rudden (RPS) and Brendan McGrath (CEO Galway City Council)
Image: Andrew Downes, XPOSURE
Speaking at the event, Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General DG Environment said that Galway can become an ‘ambassador for change in Europe’. She commended Galway’s application and success in winning the Green Leaf Award for having highlighted a sustainable approach, holistic methods, strategic goals and adopting a long term approach.
“European Green Leaf not only celebrates our past environmental achievements, but also challenges our city to continually improve the quality of life of our citizens and reduce our impact on the global environment,” said Dr. Sharon Carroll, Project Co-ordinator for Galway’s Green Leaf 2017 programme. “Galway city has always led the way with environmental initiatives, from our progressive waste management practices to our active education and awareness programmes. The European Green Leaf jury recognised the potential of Galway city to act as a green ambassador and to promote the concepts of sustainable cities and sustainable communities throughout Europe.”
A series of projects and events will be delivered as part of Galway City's European Green leaf year and more information is available on the Galway City Council website here. Galway is also designated a European Region of Gastronomy 2018 and European Capital of Culture 2020.