Navigation path

High level navigation

Green Week 2016 - 30 May to 3 June

Throughout the week, online debates, twitter chats and events were held around Europe to showcase how investments can create a greener future. The many facets of green investment were featured, with each day highlighting a different aspect of the theme. A wide variety of stakeholder organisations and partners took part:

  • Monday looked at how investing for greener cities can improve the quality of urban life;
  • Tuesday explored ways of securing investments in the countryside, which provides so many of the resources that our society needs.
  • Wednesday focused on mobilising financing for green investments and looked at how the financial system could be moved further towards sustainability;
  • Thursday was dedicated to oceans and exploring the potential of the blue economy;
  • On Friday, the scope widened, taking a more global outlook and discussing investments for future generations.

More than 140,000 people across the globe took the time to go to one of the more than 182 Green Week partner events, which took place in 31 countries, and hundreds of thousands more engaged online via twitter chats, online debates or joined conversations in social media.

What did we learn?

EU Green Week has brought many insights and inputs. The main message to take away is that green investments pay dividends – literally. The participants also concluded that the idea of a ‘trade-off’ between the economy and the environment is out-dated. Our future will be built on investments that integrate economic opportunity with sustainable environment practice.

Want to know more? Read Commissioner's Vella final conclusions and check out the daily reports.

Daily reports

Success stories

Investing in education to reduce e-waste

Energy waste (e.g. batteries and phones) is one of the fastest growing forms of waste in EU landfills. To ensure proper collection and recycling, Slovenia began a public relations campaign about e-waste. This involved a multimedia truck visiting over 200 schools to show how e-waste should be collected. Open days were also hosted at local collection points to answer people’s questions. In the end the campaign reached more than half of the Slovenian population and helped collect more than 540 tonnes of e-waste. It proved that investing in citizens’ awareness is an essential step in making a greener future a reality. 

Click here for more information

Coffee farmers learn that investing in conservation can help their incomes too

In Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains, population growth has put a strain on this biodiversity hotspot. One of the goals of an EU-supported project was to make the local community members realise the value of their ecosystems and teach them how they can benefit from them in a long term by using them sustainably. A financial mechanism was put in place to support investments in community-based tourism for the local national park, improving land management, and promoting sustainable farming to coffee farmers in partnership with the WWF. Pressure on the park's natural resources is now reduced, while local people have improved their incomes and quality of life. 

Click here for more information

Investing in green skills stimulates jobs and grow

Staying up to date on the techniques needed to make energy saving renovations is essential for master craftsmen. In southern Denmark, the Green Business Growth in SMEs programme helps master craftsmen to retrain so that they can propose greener building methods to their customers. In addition to skills training, the SMEs received marketing support packages. The programme created 165 new green jobs between 2010 and 2013. While the support from the EU Regional Investment Fund has now ended, the project continues to promote energy efficiency in buildings

Click here for more information

Volunteers invest time and effort to make our future green

One of the key forces behind the success of the EU’s LIFE conservation programmes is the active role of volunteers. Those unsung heroes carry out countless tasks, enabling projects to be implemented in a cost efficient way and ensuring their long term sustainability once the EU funding period is over. Their enthusiasm and skills has helped restore wetlands in the Belgian Lorraine, combat invasive plant species in Portugal and create bear habitats in Spain. Some, like members of a Spanish scuba diving clubs, are helping monitor marine vegetation and combine work on projects with personal passion. For others, investing time in volunteering work is a way to rediscover their culture and traditions – people helping combat deforestation on the island of Réunion were keen to learn about the species of plants that are part of their natural heritage, and were used by their ancestors for healing purposes.

Click here for more information

Investing in education to reduce e-waste

Energy waste (e.g. batteries and phones) is one of the fastest growing forms of waste in EU landfills. To ensure proper collection and recycling, Slovenia began a public relations campaign about e-waste. This involved a multimedia truck visiting over 200 schools to show how e-waste should be collected. Open days were also hosted at local collection points to answer people’s questions. In the end the campaign reached more than half of the Slovenian population and helped collect more than 540 tonnes of e-waste. It proved that investing in citizens’ awareness is an essential step in making a greener future a reality. 

Click here for more information

Coffee farmers learn that investing in conservation can help their incomes too

In Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains, population growth has put a strain on this biodiversity hotspot. One of the goals of an EU-supported project was to make the local community members realise the value of their ecosystems and teach them how they can benefit from them in a long term by using them sustainably. A financial mechanism was put in place to support investments in community-based tourism for the local national park, improving land management, and promoting sustainable farming to coffee farmers in partnership with the WWF. Pressure on the park's natural resources is now reduced, while local people have improved their incomes and quality of life. 

Click here for more information

Overview of the Week

Download PDF

Videos

Photos

Green Week 2016 - Day 1
Green Week 2016 - Day 2
Green Week 2016 - Day 3
Green Week 2016 - Day 5