Tampere joins the Carbon Neutral Municipalities network – the entire city region aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030

Press release 2019-04-05 at 9:22

Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, The City of Tampere and Tampere City Region 

Tampere 556
© Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere

Tampere City Region is strengthening its commitment to strict carbon neutrality targets. As the central city of the region, Tampere joined the Carbon Neutral Municipalities (HINKU) network by decision of its City Board on 1 April. Of the other municipalities in the city region, Lempäälä, Nokia, Pirkkala, Vesilahti and Ylöjärvi were already members of the network. Kangasala and Orivesi are still in the process of preparing their decisions.

The members of the Carbon Neutral Municipalities network are committed to reducing their emissions by 80% from the 2007 level by 2030. The remaining 20% will be sequestered in carbon sinks and compensated for. The regional climate package is a burden-sharing agreement according to which each municipality will carry out individual emissions reduction measures ideal for them.

With an annual population growth rate of over 1% (approximately 4,000 inhabitants a year), the Tampere City Region must manage its growth in a sustainable manner across municipal boundaries.

“The appealing Tampere city region is home to 0.4 million people. We are one of Finland’s two growing metropolises, which is why we must take bold action to achieve carbon neutrality. The Tampere region is the largest unified region in the Carbon Neutral Municipalities network. The network will provide us with the support, knowledge and expertise that we need to become carbon neutral by 2030,” says the Mayor of Tampere Lauri Lyly.

The municipalities of Tampere City Region have been engaging in climate cooperation across municipal boundaries for nearly a decade now. In December, the regional government decided to commit to a shared goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

“Presenting the Tampere city region as a unified pioneer region in climate change matters serves to further increase the attractiveness of the already appealing economic area in both Finland and outside of our borders. The ambitiousness of the targets and the uniformity of the commitment are wholly unique across the globe, which is something that Finland should take pride in,” says Professor Jyri Seppälä, the national director of the Finnish Environment Institute’s Carbon Neutral Municipalities project.

Collaboration for reducing emissions from traffic and heating

According to the calculations of CO2-raportti, Tampere produced approximately one million tonnes CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, meaning 4.4 tonnes per resident. The greatest emissions sources were road traffic and district heating. Compared to 2010, the emissions have been reduced by 28%. The areas in which emissions have been reduced the most are electricity consumption and the heating of buildings.

According to calculations conducted for Tampere City Region by Tietotakomo, the region’s total emissions in 2016 were approximately two million tonnes CO2e, or 5.2 tonnes per resident. The areas in which emissions need to be reduced the most during the Hinku period of 2007–2030 are electricity, traffic and district heating.

Through land use planning, the municipalities of the Tampere region aim to make their urban structure denser, diversify the use of land areas and create the preconditions for environmentally responsible business activities. Furthermore, energy production and consumption will be steered towards renewable energy sources and the energy-efficiency guidance of regional construction will be developed.

The municipalities also aim to increase environmental awareness by integrating climate issues to early childhood education and basic education.

“The region’s municipalities have strengthened their climate leadership and set their sights high. However, reaching the targets will not only require the contribution of pioneering municipalities, but everyone from municipal residents, companies and other actors alike,” says Tampere City Region’s Development Manager Ritva Asula-Myllynen.

The Finnish Environment Institute will complete its calculations of the development of the emissions of all Finnish municipalities from 2005 to 2017 by the end of the year.

More information

Environment and Development Director Kari Kankaala, City of Tampere
tel. +358 (0)50 351 3020, firstname.lastname@tampere.fi

Development Manager Ritva Asula-Myllynen, Tampere Cit y Region
tel. +358 (0)50 4630 732, firstname.lastname@tampereenseutu.fi

Director of the Carbon Neutral Municipalities Project Jyri Seppälä Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), tel. +358 (0)295 251 629, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi

Notable emissions reduction measures and upcoming projects of Tampere City Region municipalities


Upcoming: The municipality’s growth is primarily centred around pedestrian and public traffic zones. Once Kangasalan Lämpö’s new bio heating plant is completed, the majority of the municipality’s district heating will be produced with renewables. Environmental and climate education will be carried out at schools and in early childhood education in ways appropriate for each age group.

For more information, please contact: Energy Expert Kirsti Raulo, tel. +358 (0)40 133 6268, firstname.lastname@kangasala.fi


Upcoming: Lempäälä is investing in biofuels in its district heating production; the commissioning of a new woodchip heating plant in the city centre in 2018 was also a part of these efforts. Other efforts include the ongoing Energy Self-Sufficient Lempäälä (LEMEN) project. Some of the project’s solar panel fields have already been constructed, with more to be constructed in the Marjamäki industrial area. A new energy-efficient Lempäälä Building is under construction in the centre of Lempäälä, and the municipality has also started the planning of a new energy-certified upper stage comprehensive school. Municipal residents and companies will also be asked to come up with necessary measures during the Towards Carbon Neutral Lempäälä theme year.

For more information, please contact: Environmental Manager Kati Skippari tel. +358 (0)40 133 7804, firstname.lastname@lempaala.fi


Upcoming: A new industrial-scale and multidisciplinary bio- and circular economy business area is being built in the ECO3 area. Notable construction projects to be completed in the area in 2019–2020 include a Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto Oy biogas plant and a Nokian Vesi Oy wastewater treatment plant. The city will also increase the use of environmentally friendly gas-powered cars in its own operations.

For more information, please contact: Environment Protection Manager Raimo Tuohisaari, tel. +358 (0)40 779 9287, firstname.lastname@nokiankaupunki.fi


Upcoming: The City is investing in the improvement of public transport connections and school transport. Climate work is being supported with efforts to increase walking and cycling as modes of transport and through a land policy that will result in denser services and housing. Additionally, district heating will be produced by using renewable energy and village schools and daycare centres will be switched over to woodchip and geothermal heating. The adoption of solar power is being planned for the wastewater treatment plant.

For more information, please contact: Environmental Secretary Tarja Viteli, tel. +358 (0)50 542 0514, firstname.lastname@orivesi.fi


Upcoming: Pirkkala’s climate work is characterised by an emphasis on sustainable urban structure, saving energy and smart mobility measures. Climate education also plays a major role in the municipality’s climate work. Pirkkala also boasts a good number of companies offering environmental solutions. Projects in the next few years include the general planning of the tramway, which the municipality of Pirkkala will be contributing to.

For more information, please contact: Environmental Manager Vesa Vanninen, tel. +358 (0)50 352 1939, firstname.lastname@pirkkala.fi


Upcoming: The climate assessment of the city’s master plan will be completed in 2019. The first section of the new tramway will begin operation in 2021. The Naistenlahti power plant will undergo a major boiler renewal in the early 2020s, which will significantly increase the share of renewable energy. The Canemure project is seeking ways of increasing the number of users of regional public transport in areas where the use of public transport services is low. The EKAT, STARDUST and AREA21 projects aim at improving the energy-efficiency of the built environment and promoting electric vehicles in collaboration with the City, companies and other interest groups.

For more information, please contact: Energy and Climate Specialist Elina Seppänen, tel. +358 (0)40 800 72 53, firstname.lastname@tampere.fi


Upcoming: An environmental permit for the construction of a biogas power plant has been granted for the municipality of Vesilahti. Vesilahti’s most notable public buildings are heated with locally produced woodchips. There is a major woodchip production plant operating in Vesilahti, which also supplies biofuel to other municipalities in the Tampere region.

For more information, please contact: Environmental Manager Kati Skippari tel. +358 (0)40 133 7804, firstname.lastname@lempaala.fi


Upcoming: In regard to energy production, the City has switched over to geothermal heat, woodchips and solar power in ten of its properties so far. The city centre is being developed and the appeal of public transport services is being improved by way of increasing feeder parking and bike shelters. The City is determined in its efforts to carry out its pedestrian and cycling development programme.

For more information, please contact: Environmental Director Pentti Keskitalo, tel. +358 (0)50 570 2483, firstname.lastname@ylojarvi.fi

The pioneering Carbon Neutral Municipalities network is now 50 municipalities strong and growing

The Carbon Neutral Municipalities network currently consists of 50 municipalities. The municipalities of the Carbon Neutral Municipalities (HINKU) project have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from the level of 2007 by 2030. The combined population of these municipalities is 1,194,000. A number of additional municipalities are also currently considering joining the network.

Target group: