Kemi is a truly green town. We want to adhere to the principles of low carbon and sustainable development both in our own and our interest groups’ operations.

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Biking routes extend to the woods in Kemi.
Biking routes extend to the woods in Kemi. PHOTO: JANICA KARASTI

Kemi – First Environmentally Certified Municipality in Mainland Finland

Kemi is the first municipality in mainland Finland to receive the ISO 14001: 2015 environmental certificate. In February 2019, the following council bodies received the certificate:

  • Central Administration: City Office
  • Education and Cultural Services: Sauvosaari School
  • Social and Health Services: Sauvosaari Hospital’s medicine handling process, Leipätehdas activity centre for the developmentally handicapped
  • Technical Services: Machine depot, central warehouse, general energy efficiency 

The certificate was granted by Bureau Veritas Certification.
It was extended to further services in March, 2020. The newly included services are:

  • Central Administration: Acquisitions
  • Education and Cultural Services: Kemi Lyceum, as well as Hepola, Karihaara, Kivikko, Koivuharju and Syväkangas schools

Thus, all Kemi’s schools are the first in Finland to receive the environmental certificate.

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Energy Performance Agreement

The City of Kemi joined the municipal energy efficiency contract system in February 2008. The signing of the energy efficiency agreement between the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and Kemi City Council in 2017 was approved by the executive committee of Kemi City Council.

The main goal of the agreement is to cut the energy consumption of towns by 7.5 percent in 2017–2025. Energy efficiency agreements are based on the Energy Services Directive, which entered into force in May 2006 and obliges the public sector to set an example in promoting energy efficiency.

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Environmental Policies

Approved by Kemi City Council on August 27th 2018.

Environmental policies are part of the environmental system and strategy of the City of Kemi. They are set up to ensure environmental protection. The aim is to increase the knowledge of all employees, residents, companies, organisations and other interest groups in Kemi regarding environmental impacts, and to incorporate an environmentally friendly attitude into all activities.

The City of Kemi is committed to preventing environmental pollution and working towards improving environmental protection and fulfilling legal regulations and environmental obligations. Environmental effects are taken into account in all planning, activities and decision-making in Kemi. All employees and trustees of the City of Kemi are responsible for taking environmental issues into account in all their tasks and decision-making processes. Kemi City Council’s environmental policies are also directed at the operations of subsidiaries, service providers and other interest groups.

Environmental policies are ratified by Kemi City Council. The implementation of environmental policies is included in the council’s budget planning and annual management plans and programs. The implementation of objectives and measures is monitored by area of responsibility and reported to the city council alongside financial statements.

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Green and Sustainable Kemi Project

The aim of the Green and Sustainable Kemi -project is to create city-wide environmental policies and a programme. The project covers all sectors and interest groups.

By decision of the city council in December 2017, Kemi committed itself to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030). 

In 2018, Kemi City Council signed the 2050 commitment, a national commitment to sustainable development. Following the 2050 commitment, the council guarantees that it will reduce its use of plastic and increase recycling.

The Green and Sustainable Kemi operation model is also included in the council’s urban strategy. The Green and Sustainable Kemi -project was set up in June 2018 in order to ensure that the council sticks to its commitments and strategy.

The goal of the project is 

  • to create replicable environmental policies and a program for the City of Kemi,
  • to make sure that local industries and interest groups operate in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and low carbon, 
  • to raise awareness about environmentally friendly methods that adhere to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental standards.

The total cost of the project is EUR 365,812, of which the Regional Council of Lapland contributed EUR 274,359 of funding received from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Finnish state. The sum is at most equivalent to 75% of the eligible net costs of the project. The project started on 1.6.2018 and it will continue until 31.12.2020.

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A project that promotes year-round urban farming and local food production in Kemi 

The aim of this project is to promote year-round urban farming, try new types of farming methods and create a local model for utilising food waste. 

The project supports the Green Kemi goals of the council’s urban strategy while also adhering to the partnership agreement between the City of Kemi and the Lappia Education Consortium.

The indirect goals of this project include increasing social well-being and local participation, and promoting low carbon activities and the sustainable development goals of the UN Agenda 2030. 

The project explores technical solutions for urban farming. What does Kemi City Council need to set up an allotment garden, an edible park, roof gardens or a shared greenhouse? Can industrial waste heat be utilised in greenhouse farming?

The aim is also to educate and advise locals on cultivation issues.

The project brings together sales sections, restaurants and local food producers to reflect on potential methods for utilising food waste. The main goal is, of course, to reduce food waste, promote sustainable development and support low carbon activities. 

There are also plans to test social kitchen and shared table formulas at a planned food waste management market. The idea is for the market to have a local grocery store where local producers can sell their products.

As a result of this project, Kemi’s CO2 emissions will be reduced, the local economy will grow and food production will become more self-sufficient. The skills, involvement and environmental awareness of the local population will improve.

The urban farming activities within this project will be developed in co-operation with the Lappia Education Consortium. The project will also help Lappia strengthen its expertise in aquaculture, urban farming and putting new models into practice.

The total cost of the project is EUR 449,880, of which the Regional Council of Lapland has provided EUR 359,904 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Finnish state. The sum is at most equivalent to 80% of the eligible net costs of the project. The project will run from 1.1.2020–30.6.2022.

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