Lappeenranta is a municipality located in south-eastern Finland with its urban centre situated on the shores of Lake Saimaa. This location makes it the region’s main centre for tourism. The municipality has 72,690 inhabitants and covers an area of 1,724 km2 of which 290 km2 is water. The municipality has four district centres of which the largest is its central urban settlement.
Lappeenranta is known as the International University City in Finland, with approximately 6,000 students attending LUT (Lappeenranta University of Technology). The University with the City provides a world-class research and innovation environment for companies in areas such as clean energy research, sustainability, circular economy and water technology.
Lappeenranta is one of the main growth centres in Finland and a strong centre of bio-based industries with 12% of the workforce employed in the environmental and cleantech sectors. The city is known as the Commercial Centre of South-East Finland and as the meeting point of the EU and Russia, being approximately 200 km away from both Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The municipality is also a key centre for the pulp and paper industry.
The municipality is involved in a large variety of national and international projects, which focus on emissions reduction, energy usage, and the discharge of nutrient loads to Lake Saimaa.
Lappeenranta has been nominated twice, in 2014 and 2016, as Earth Hour Capital of Finland by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). In 2016, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities awarded the city for its long-time campaign and actions against climate change. Lappeenranta was also the world’s first city to start using only EKOenergy certified electricity with zero emissions.
In 2018, the municipality launched its Lappeenranta 2033 Strategy which guides the city’s operations. This includes the key strategic goal for the city, Green Lappeenranta, which aims to develop Lappeenranta into a model city for environmentally friendly actions in which business growth is based on a clean-living environment and a waste-free world. The municipality’s brand, Lappeenranta Greenreality, places emphasis on real actions and results. It is a shared brand with regional public actors, academia, citizens and companies. The City is active in several regional, national, and international networks, and runs the Greenreality Lappeenranta Network, which is a business-driven coalition of regional enterprises, municipalities and academia.