Press release 8 April 2019
Today, the European Commission presented the winners of the European Sustainability Award 2019. The Åland Islands and the Development and sustainability agenda for Åland were the winners of the category public bodies under 100.000 individuals. The award ceremony was held as part of a High-Level Conference in Brussels hosted by the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and its Second Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.
This was the premier round of the European Sustainability Award with its objective to champion initiatives taken for the realization of the global sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Winners have been selected in a total of seven categories. The Development and sustainability agenda for Åland was the only winner from the Nordic countries. During spring 2016, the Development and sustainability agenda for Åland was developed together with individuals and representatives of all sectors of society within the network bärkraft.ax. Since the launch of the agenda in September 2016, the realization of the agenda and its vision Everyone can flourish in a viable society on the Islands of Peace has been ongoing. The agenda consists of one vision, strategic development goals for 2030, examples of possible indicators for monitoring these goals, and supporting structures for the realization of the agenda. A large part of the Åland society, both individuals and organizations, are part of this initiative.
“Congratulations to everyone who in different ways have contributed to this vast team effort. The restructuring in Åland is ongoing, and this award is a clear sign that the vision ‘Everyone can flourish’ has spread outside of the borders of Åland. However, it is important to remember that the goals that we are aiming to achieve by 2030 are far from reached yet”, says Micke Larsson, Sustainability Strategist for the network and its development and sustainability council.
“I am both very happy and proud that our common efforts on the Åland Islands have been recognized by the European Commission. We are working systematically and are putting the development and sustainability agenda into practice in the local society in Åland and within our own administration. We regard the work as very practical and concrete. Having a sustainability perspective is a wholesome way of conducting policy and to measure its results”, says Katrin Sjögren, chairperson of the development and sustainability council for the network bärkraft.ax as well as Head of Åland government.
Micke Larsson, Sustainability Strategist for the network bärkraft.ax, +358 457 3447331
Katrin Sjögren, Head of Åland Government , +358 457 5295100
Karin Rosenberg-Brunila, Senior Sustainability Pilot for the network bärkraft.ax, +358 457 3500 586
Julia Lindholm, Specialist Åland, Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, +32 476 94 35 29