Foto Ron Rensink

International Sustainability Congress 2022: Municipalities Growing Greener

October 20th and 21st, 2022


We are proud to invite you to our International Sustainability Congress: Municipalities Growing Greener, hosted in the Achterhoek municipalities of Winterswijk and Aalten. In two days you will learn and see more about the European Green Leaf Award, the Sustainable Development Goals and how municipalities can embrace sustainability.

European Green Leaf Award

On the 9th of September 2021, Winterswijk was the smallest municipality ever to win the European Green Leaf Award 2022. The European Commission established this award in 2008 for smaller municipalities and cities (20.000 to 100.000 inhabitants), which distinguish themselves in terms of the environment and climate.

The jury was impressed to see the city of Winterswijk being presented by its inhabitants in person, who are at the core of the city’s sustainability strategy. Their presentation convinced the jury that Winterswijk is genuinely committed to making green transition happen on the ground. This small city in the Netherlands, with 30,000 inhabitants, punched above its weight presenting advanced initiatives to drive the ecological transition. Among them, the “energy tables”, joint meetings with local stakeholders from business to private that help steer the local energy transition, or a revolving fund for citizens to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. The city does not shy away from big neighbours abroad in order to achieve greener energy supplies and gives impetus to recycled materials in the building sector.

In the year 2022, there are a lot of activities to raise awareness about sustainability and to make Winterswijk an even greener municipality.  During the international congress we would like to show you our sustainable examples. 

Sustainable development goals

The sustainable development goals are seventeen development goals to make the world a better place. They are a global compass for challenges such as affordable and sustainable energy, responsible consumption and production and the climate crisis. The challenges also include issues such as poverty, education and peace.

Municipalities are an indispensable link in giving substance to the SDGs. That is why Aalten is a GlobalGoals municipality and has joined the VNG campaign ‘Gemeenten4GlobalGoals’.

On June 28th, 2022, the municipality of Aalten was declared the winner of the Gemeenten4GlobalGoals elections in the category of Connector. This because of the project redevelopment Admiraal de Ruyterstraat and Dijkstraat.

The municipality of Aalten was awarded because in this project, in an innovative and impactful way, various parties were brought together to implement the Global Goals in the project.