Green governance in Tallinn: plastic reduction and public procurement

Green governance in Tallinn: plastic reduction and public procurement

4 December 2023
Panel at the Green Governance Conference in Tallinn
2 February 2024

The second General Assembly of the BALTIPLAST project had unfolded on 14-15 November 2023 during the Green Governance week in Tallinn, Estonia. The event was marked by active participation of the project partners in the co-creation discussions, workshops on the project solutions and shaping the upcoming pilots.

BALTIPLAST 2nd General Assembly

During the partner meeting in Tallinn, UBC Sustainable Cities Commission, leading the transfer activities of the project, presented together with the Lead partner HAW Hamburg the steps already taken in this direction. The presentation addressed the development of comprehensive learning materials and the currently constructed platform for sharing experiences and knowledge.

The second day of the event followed the BALTIPLAST project to the NEXPO spotlight stage of the Green Governance Week, where Challenges to Plastic Waste Management in the Baltic Sea Region and the BALTIPLAST project were introduced sparking fruitful discussion.

A notable part of this General Assembly was the cooperation and exchange of experiences in the three combined parallel workshops with the other transnational projects funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region: NonHazCity 3 and ChemClimCircle, tackling close fields of sustainable construction materials, and circular, chemical and climate-conscious approaches to public procurement.

Green Governance Conference

On 16 November, the BALTIPLAST project joined the Green Governance Conference organised as part of the European Green Capital 2023 activities. This Conference served as a platform to unite cities from the Baltic Sea Region and beyond for best practice exchanges and discussions on the challenges of transitioning to green governance.

Green Public Procurement was a central theme of the conference. The cities have acknowledged it for its pivotal role in green governance, sustainable consumption, and production. Municipalities across the Baltic Sea Region expressed growing appreciation for GPP, recognizing its potential for ensuring future sustainability and circularity.

The event has marked the great representation of the BSR municipalities from all around the region ranging from top politicians and decision makers to the practitioners from: Stockholm, Helsinki, Smiltene, Tallinn, Hamburg, Västerås and Riga.

Green Public Procurement highlights from cities

City of Helsinki represented by Katri Kuusinen presented the lighthouse example of procuring and building the first Nordic swan-labelled kindergarten. Helsinki also plans to pilot a project for a creative quarter, integrating Nordic Swan eco-label criteria into construction, aiming to evaluate its feasibility and promote sustainability.

The vise mayor of the City of Stockholm, Åsa Lindhagen brought into light the project in the elderly care home Väderkvarnen as a result of which the care home decreased the use of single-use plastics by choosing reusable alternatives, and stopped using shoe covers and fabric softeners saving tons of natural resource and downsizing their amount of waste, and the climate and environmental impact.

"Employees and residents reported a higher satisfaction than before the project. A true win-win situation,"
— Åsa Lindhagen

Deputy mayor of the City of Tallinn, Joosep Vimm shared the ambitious initiative of the City of Tallinn to curb the single-use plastic waste by showcasing successful practice, such as banning single-use items at events, reducing waste by 50%, and implementing innovative deposit schemes for reusable tableware during large-scale festivals, providing a blueprint for circular economy initiatives.

The event saw the launch of the NonHazCity Award, recognizing tox-free, circular, and climate-neutral buildings and building processes at municipalities.

The Green Governance Conference served as a dynamic forum, highlighting the growing importance of green public procurement. Participants stressed the significance of mandatory approaches, drawing inspiration from Lithuania, and emphasized the need for ambitious pilots to drive innovation in sustainability. The event left participants with actionable insights and inspiration for future sustainability endeavors.