Lithuania's capital - Vilnius - has earned the title of European Green Capital for 2025, surpassing Guimarães (Portugal) and Graz (Austria) in a prestigious competition hosted by the European Commission.
The selection process evaluated cities across seven key areas that significantly impact the quality of life: air and water quality, waste management, the advancement of circular economies, noise reduction, the promotion of biodiversity, and resilience to climate change.
The jury acknowledged that Vilnius has made remarkable strides in emissions reduction, employing a range of measures. These include the expansion of renewable energy sources and the modernization of heating infrastructure, all with the ultimate objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2030. Importantly, the city has seamlessly integrated its sustainability endeavors with the well-being of its residents. This integration is evident in initiatives aimed at ensuring clean air, pristine water, the preservation of biodiversity, the creation of green spaces, and much more.
This esteemed achievement as the European Green Capital will not only elevate Vilnius's status and visibility but also open doors to increased investment and EU funding. Furthermore, it will greatly benefit the meetings and events industry by attracting environmentally-conscious event organizers and enhancing the city's sustainability infrastructure.
The European Commission has been holding the European Green Capital elections since 2008. The idea, which aims to encourage cities to become more environmentally friendly and to create a healthier environment for citizens themselves, originated from a Memorandum of Understanding signed by fifteen European cities.
Stockholm was the first European Green Capital in the last decade. This year, Tallinn is the European Green Capital, while Valencia will be the European Green Capital in 2024. The Green Capitals become part of the Green Capital Network, a network of 36 cities, and continue to work together to implement ambitious city improvement ideas.