15 May 2024

Municipal sustainability management facilitates Local Green Deal implementation

Cities are central actors for implementing and localising the European Green Deal. Recently, two new publications (in German) serve as resources for cities to enhance their municipal sustainability management strategies as they seek to do just that.

The "Municipal Sustainability Management" report (Kommunales Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement) sets out to support municipalities as they seek to shape and manage their sustainability activities comprehensively according to their individual framework conditions in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Similarly, in a chapter of Urban Sustainability Management published by Springer, (Kommunales Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement in Europa: historische Entwicklungen und aktuelle Governance-Innovationen), ICLEI coordinated with Leibniz University of Applied Science Hannover, focusing on the achievements of ICLEI Member Hannover (Germany) with a particular focus on the city-to-business relationship in sustainability management.

As a leading city network, ICLEI has contributed its expertise to both of these publications, regarding municipal sustainability management as well as the city-to-business stakeholder management. These are two key factors which are critical to implementing Local Green Deals (LGDs), a concept first introduced in The Mannheim Message, the outcome of the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns in 2020 and is currently upscaled through the Intelligent Cities Challenge. Put simply, LGDs are a governance and action orientated approach to accelerate and scale-up a city’s sustainable transformation.

Niklas Mischkowski, Head of Governance Innovation at ICLEI Europe notes the role that sustainability management plays for municipalities: “Sustainability management in its modern meaning encompasses the whole set of decision-making processes and management instruments in the public administration and the city council, which determine the direction of urban sustainable development. The idea of Local Green Deals asks for a robust sustainability management as the backbone of the local government’s multi-stakeholder processes facilitation capacity. It will ease leveraging the support and commitment from private actors, locally, but potentially also other levels of government.

Given the increasing importance of designing the green transition as an economic transformation that creates a clean re-industrialisation in Europe, the approach of LGDs, hence encompassing sustainability management and city-to-business elements, is crucial in shaping future policy and its implementation alongside local government and businesses.

Access the Municipal Sustainability Management Report here.

Access the Urban Sustainability Management report here.

Learn more about ICLEI’s work on Governance Innovation here.