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European Green Leaf Award - About the European Green Leaf Award


The European Green Leaf Award was born out of the success of the European Green Capital Award and the need to recognise cities of a smaller size in 2015. The competition is open to all towns and cities across Europe with a population of 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants. 

The 2022 European Green Leaf title was jointly awarded to Valongo (Portugal) and Winterswijk (The Netherlands). 

The European competition recognises a city’s commitment to better environmental outcomes. The scheme has a particular focus on efforts that generate green growth and new jobs.



The European Green Leaf Award is presented on an annual basis by the European Commission in conjunction with the European Green Capital Award.

The objectives of the European Green Leaf Award are threefold:

  • To recognise cities that demonstrate a good environmental record and commitment to generating green growth;
  • To encourage cities to actively develop citizens’ environmental awareness and involvement;
  • To identify cities that are able to act as ‘green ambassadors’ and to encourage other cities to progress towards better sustainability outcomes.


Benefits of being a European Green Leaf City

European Green Leaf Award - Award Cycle 2024

The following advantages should convince you to participate in the European Green Leaf Award:

  • Positive media coverage 
  • Increase in international profile, networking and new alliances
  • New possibilities – green capitals have successfully exported their green products, processes and services
  • More emphasis on environmental projects through sponsorship
  • Momentum to continue improving environmental sustainability
  • Boost in local pride and feeling of belonging
  • Access to the European Green Leaf Network of previous winners and shortlisted cities to share ideas and experiences.

The Network

The European Green Leaf Network (EGLN) is a network of past and present European Green Leaf winners and those shortlisted for the Award. To this day, 23 cities have joined the Network: Bistriţa, Cornellà de Llobregat, Elsinore, Gabrovo, Galway, Gavà, Horst aan de Maas, Joensuu, Lappeenranta, Leuven, Limerick, Ludwigsburg, Mechelen, Mikkeli, Mollet del Vallès, Nyborg, Ringkøbing-Skjern, Torres Vedras, Treviso, Valongo, Växjö, Velenje and Winterswijk.

The European Green Leaf Network provides its members with the opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas and experiences with colleagues from other city administrations who have a similar high level of ambition and commitment to the environment.

The goals of the EGLN are outlined as follows:

  • Branding – to assist Network members to gain additional visibility and have the opportunity to showcase best practices
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Sharing of information and experiences with DG Environment
  • Undertaking shared initiatives

Every thematic meeting focuses on one of the six topic areas of the European Green Leaf Award. The Network has regular meetings in addition to the thematic meetings.

To date eight thematic EGLN meetings have taken place:

  1. 26th November 2020
    A focus on Nature Based Solutions (online)

    Cornellà de Llobregat

  2. 13th July 2020
    A focus on Sustainable Measures applied to limit Covid-19 (online)

    Cornellà de Llobregat & Horst aan de Maas co-chair

  3. 12th & 13th September 2019
    A focus on Sustainable Food Production and Consumption (Växjö)
  4. 26th & 27th March 2019
    A focus on Energy with Sustainable Urban Development (Leuven)
  5. 21st & 22nd February 2018
    A focus on Waste Management (Galway)
  6. 23rd March 2017
    A focus on Sustainable Food (Torres Vedras)
  7. 23rd June 2016
    EGLN Set Up Meeting (Ljubljana)
  8. 1st & 2nd December 2016
    A focus on Nature and Biodiversity (Mollet del Vallès)