Green transformation

Green transformation

Sustainability and the green transformation do not concern the natural environment of Tallinn alone, but are a central principle of the entire society and economy. The way of life of the people living in Tallinn is environmentally friendly because they feel responsible for the future: every generation must create and maintain a good living environment for their children. Tallinn will adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to climate neutrality by the middle of the century. There is clean air and water in the city and the biodiversity of urban nature is protected. The citizens care about the environment, live in a resource-efficient manner and consume according to the principle of circular economy. The knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of the citizens turn Tallinn into a pioneering city with a good living environment.

Climate-neutral city

In each of its decisions, Tallinn follows the objective of climate neutrality, reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 (compared with 2007), and will be a climate-neutral capital by 2050. The City of Tallinn is planned in consideration of carbon neutrality. Mobility functions on non-fossil fuels. Buildings are resource-efficient and climate-neutral energy is used in them. Clean energy is used in production. Tallinn adapts to climate change and extreme weather conditions using nature-based solutions and making buildings and infrastructure more climate-resistant. Climate neutrality is regarded as a cross-sectoral topic, which is specified in the development document on sustainable energy economy and climate.

Fertile ground for green innovation

Green transformation means a change in the mindset and values of the society as a whole. Tallinn has a good environment in which companies, non-governmental organisations, government organisations and residents can launch green innovations. Green innovations may be technological and process-related, organisational and social – it is possible to reduce environmental impact and improve wellbeing with a variety of initiatives. The people of Tallinn act responsibly towards the future and find solutions to the challenges of green transformation together by cooperating with the leaders of this sector and research institutions throughout the world.

Biodiverse and blossoming urban nature

Tallinn stands out among European capitals with its clean air and species richness thanks to its biodiverse nature and extensive green network. The cohesive green network – parks, forests and private gardens – increases the biodiversity and offers the city people an exciting natural environment, leisure opportunities and protection against extreme weather conditions. Plants are allowed to blossom. The urban space is designed using green material that is more suitable for biodiversity, especially for pollinators. Overburdening natural biotic communities is avoided in order to give them the chance to recover themselves. Stormwater is treated using innovative and natural solutions so that it can be used for the needs of citizens as well as for increasing the viability of urban nature. Seawater and all springs, rivers and lakes of Tallinn are in an ecologically good condition. We improve the health of citizens and food safety by increasing natural biodiversity.

By 2035

Natural surfaces will make up at least 65% of Tallinn’s area


2020: 67%

Circular economy

Tallinn has transferred to circular economy. Less waste is generated in the city as a result of more informed production and consumption: the majority of municipal waste is recycled. Among others, less food is thrown away and the city's food circulation system is well thought out. Resource-efficient industrial enterprises use materials sustainably and take responsibility for re-processing their products. The life cycle of each product and service and their recovery have been thought through in consideration of environmental impact. Environmentally friendly materials, which can be recycled well, are produced and consumed in Tallinn. Waste is collected in an environmentally and consumer friendly manner. Collection of waste by type is organised in the places where waste is generated (including in the public space). As a maritime city, Tallinn gives a lot of attention to reducing marine debris.

By 2035

The share of materials in circulation will increase


2017: 8,7%

Key fields

Environmental protection
In order to conserve natural resources, Tallinn is moving towards developing a circular economy by minimising the use of mineral resources for production with the help of the entire society and recycling materials as much as possible. We collect and manage data on the natural environment and work out guidelines in order to maintain the biodiversity and diverse urban nature. An increased environmental awareness will encourage people to act sustainably.
Urban planning
We are fostering climate neutrality, a healthy environment that is full of life and the achievement of resource efficiency by shaping a compact and varied urban space that enables the use of various modes of transport. Heritage board helps to maintain the historically valued urban space for the generations to come.
Increasing the share of sustainable modes of transport and transitioning to alternative fuels will decrease CO₂ emissions and conserve the environment. Reducing aboveground parking and speed limits in calm traffic areas and encouraging attractive and environmentally friendly modes of transport will make calm traffic areas more attractive and the air cleaner. Good public transport and light motor road connections increase the value of homes.
City property
Designing new optimal spatial planning and energy efficient urban buildings and contributing to making homes in Tallinn more energy efficient supports climate neutrality and resource efficiency.

Fields with strategic aims

Business environment
Using innovative and smart solutions promotes eco-innovation by helping to alleviate the climate impact, adapting to climate change and creating a good living environment. Developing balanced and sustainable tourism contributes to making our ecological footprint as small as possible.
Education and youth work
Integrating environmental topics into education increases the environmental awareness of city residents: they care more about the environment, have more resource efficient lifestyles and consume based on the principles of circle economy. We intertwine the promotion of environmentally sustainable ways of thinking into youth activities, including by carrying out specific environmental-themed projects.
Municipal order
Prevention (including raising people’s awareness) and supervision of following the rules will help to create a safe and healthy environment.
Urban landscape
A diverse landscape supports the survival of biodiversity. A connected green network allows people to choose sustainable ways of living and getting around. The smart handling of the entire lifecycle enables us to plan landscaping better. Community gardens increase residents’ environmental knowledge, strengthen connections between people and enable local production of food with a minimal carbon footprint. We take into account all the residents’ needs in the urban landscape which makes the city more attractive.
Utility networks
Sustainable and cost-effective solutions and minimising the environmental damages when developing utility networks contributes to saving energy and maintaining the natural environment.

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