The UN selects Espoo as a sustainability pioneer

Espoo to become a forerunner in the UN sustainable development goals

The United Nations has invited the City of Espoo to become a pioneer of sustainable development. Espoo commits to reach the UN’s goals by 2025.

Espoo has been selected in the UN Agenda 2030 programme for sustainable development that aims to ensure sustainable development goals (SDGs) on a global scale. The programme has 17 goals and 169 targets.

By commission of the UN, OiER (Organization for International Economic Relations) and UNGSII (Global Sustainability Index Institute) have created a leadership programme that involves 25 cities. Espoo was invited to the university cities category along with Cambridge in the UK, Heidelberg in Germany, Noida in India and Palo Alto in the United States.

The cities in the leadership programme are to be pioneers of sustainable development, engaging their industry, educational institutions and other actor groups, including citizens, in the efforts. Each city will be appointed to lead at least one of the 17 goals. Espoo’s operations will focus on learning, education, and innovation.

The pioneering cities will also introduce OiER and UNGSII researchers to their activities and expertise. At least 51 new doctoral dissertations will be completed through international cooperation. The cities will also receive customised action plans and recommendations, which will help reach the UN goals by 2025.

The cities involved in the leadership programme will co-create concepts, tools, and indicators that other cities of the world can use to achieve the sustainable development goals. In addition, each participating city will guide and support other cities – including mentoring one African or Asian city, which must commit to fulfilling the sustainable development goals by 2028.

The leadership programme was introduced at the UN High-level Development Forum held in New York between 12 and 18 July 2018. The Espoo City Board will make its official decision on the sustainable development leadership programme at the end of the holiday period in August.

More information

Markku Markkula, Chair of the Espoo City Board, tel. +358 50 464 2455,

Tuula Antola, Director for Economic and Business Development, City of Espoo, tel. +358 43 824 6393,

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