eea Gold municipalities (re)awarded in 2020

Kötschach-Mauthen (AT)

3'359 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2012

The first light bulb illuminated Kötschach-Mauthen in 1899, powered by one of the region’s small-scale hydroelectric power plants drawing on naturally flowing streams. From these humble beginnings, knowledge about how to produce energy off-grid in the Gail valley grew and now supports a community that is self-sufficient in its energy supply and even supplies green power. The people of Kötschach-Mauthen believe that a mix of energies provides the most ecological, efficient and safe option even in the event of crisis. This mix comprises two wind turbines, several low-impact hydroelectric plants, semi-natural water reservoirs, private/shared and public photovoltaic systems and a municipal wood chip power plant. Excess power is sold and distributed via underground cables or the national grid. Mobility continues to be a challenge, as the municipality is located in the Alps. However, it addresses sustainable mobility through a locally managed e-car sharing platform, an excellent public transport network and the extension of power-generation capacities to be able to either charge electric buses or produce hydrogen.

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Rennweg am Katschberg (AT)

1'761 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The market town of Rennweg am Katschberg had climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable municipal policies even before it joined the e5 programme. Among other achievements, it built two district heating plants, one of which supplies almost all of the hotels on the Katschberg slopes. In terms of mobility policies, the town introduced an e-carsharing system and converted its public transport to sustainable alternatives. The electricity consumed by the municipal waste water treatment plant is generated by a hydrodynamic screw turbine – the first of its kind in Carinthia. Rennweg am Katschberg is additionally home to Carinthia’s second wind power plant. The town’s participation in the climate and energy model region project further underlines its ambition in these policy areas and ensures that it will be able to utilise relevant synergies even better in the future. Rennweg am Katschberg already has additional sustainable programmes ready for implementation.

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Villach (AT)

62'243 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2016

Since its last audit in 2016, the city of Villach has focused strongly on improvements to municipally owned buildings and public transport. Particularly noteworthy are four buildings, which were updated in compliance with the strict criteria of the funding programme for model refurbishments. A free electric city bus available since 2020 connects important traffic hubs in the city. These examples are part of the Villach Green Living directive. These guidelines integrate sustainability issues into the city’s processes, from urban development to ecological procurement and awareness-building. Given these efforts, the city has successfully saved around 2,500,000 kWh of heat and an additional 3,500,000 kWh of electricity in recent years in municipal buildings. Green electricity and a district heating supply with a very high proportion of renewable energy (approx. 86%) also ensure a highly positive CO2 balance.

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Echirolles (FR)

35'855 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Committed for almost twenty years to a voluntary policy of sustainable development, the town of Echirolles has implemented an ambitious air-energy-climate policy within its purview, which has been recognised by the Cit’ergie award since its creation in 2007. After two renewals of the Cit’ergie award in 2011 and 2016, Echirolles has signed up for a more dynamic campaign by intensifying its fight against climate change, together with an adaptive strategy aimed at reducing its municipal territory’s vulnerability to the effects of this change. Echirolles wants to develop these advances by submitting itself as a candidate for the Cit’ergie Gold award, thereby benefiting from official recognition of its undertakings, which fully meet the objectives of the Grenoble Alpes Metropolis’ air-energy-climate policy.

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Lorient (FR)

57'274 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The town of Lorient has undertaken environmental conservation measures, in particular since the 1980s, by working on energy consumption, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water consumption and promoting biodiversity conservation. Lorient wants to continue to involve major players in its area by means of the Gold award, to improve its organisation and implement new energy transition projects. The town’s objective is to show, by example, that the national reduction targets for consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and the development of renewable energies are completely attainable if you are willing to actually provide the resources.

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Bolzano (IT)

107'436 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Bolzano has had an environmental protection plan for a long time now, since 2014. Bolzano has also achieved and still maintains a high standard of sustainable mobility for a considerable time, encouraging in particular the use of bicycles. The city has continually extended its network of cycle paths through a system which integrates and complements public transport and services the entire area. The ongoing expansion of the district heating network and the number of connected buildings has made it possible to achieve a reduction in heating emissions equal to 28,000 tonnes compared to 2010 levels. The town is continuing to keep citizens and stakeholders constantly informed and involved through initiatives, events and information campaigns on matters concerning the sustainable management of energy and adaptation to climate change.

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Beaufort (LU)

2'885 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The town of Beaufort achieved its first eea Silver award in 2018, when it had only participated in the eea process for just under two years. At the time, its score of 80.3% was already within the range required for the Gold award. Given that the municipality was very active in climate protection even before its first audit and has increased its relevant efforts since, it only seemed logical for it to apply for a Gold audit in 2020. Among the projects implemented prior to 2018 are a solar registry, FPE-compliant climate protection, energy and refurbishment planning, and a school campus comprising several public buildings that has been supplied with heat by a woodchip and local heating system since 2001. The local heating system was expanded in 2019. Projects planned and implemented since the first audit include a municipal cycle path plan, footpath signage, energy-efficient building refurbishments, two additional heating networks and a wind park in the nature park, among others.

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Mertzig (LU)

2'248 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Mertzig has a long history of engagement in the protection of the environment and biodiversity and puts a lot of emphasis on citizen participation. The “Centre Turelbaach” with its 70 m2 of solar collectors and 45m3 of heat storage was an early example of the innovative spirit in this municipality. A recent example of Mertzig’s commitment is a new soccer facility with smart natural lighting and heat recovery from the water used in showers. Mertzig also recently strengthened its cooperation with organisations such as the Climate Alliance, Fairtrade and Emweltberodung Lëtzebuerg, all of which work on climate and environmental issues. Additional services such as the “Bummelbus” local call-a-bus, the Nightrider night bus, safe school routes for kids and the highly successful Bike4All event have helped support and motivate Mertzig’s citizens in making environmentally friendly choices. Mertzig sees the eea Gold certification as both an award to be proud of and a motivation to maintain a high level of activity towards climate protection and to keep up with the challenges ahead.

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Useldange (LU)

1'942 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Over the past five years, the municipality of Useldange has undertaken outstanding efforts to refurbish and renew a number of municipal buildings in the town centre. It has also established very generous subsidies for photovoltaic installations by local households. The town works to encourage its residents to walk or cycle, and it promotes active mobility.

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Ayent Anzère (CH)

3'975 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Our action-orientated town has committed to an energy strategy for numerous years. This strategy is reflected in the following works, among others: an ambitious and efficient programme of subsidies for individuals, the Wood Development Assistance Committee (DAC) at Anzère’s tourist resort (75% of tourist beds from now till the end of 2020), the Community Wood DAC in Saint-Romain (communal buildings), and communal buildings heated almost 100% with wood.

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Bernex (CH)

10'325 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2012

Bernex was one of the first municipalities of Geneva to adopt an Energy Master Plan. Since then, it has continued to play a pioneering role in this regard, thanks to the implementation of numerous measures defined in its action plan. Proof of this was the launch of the “Exit from oil heating” programme in 2017, which ambitiously aims to reduce the consumption of this fossil fuel in the region by 96% by 2030. Considering the magnitude of the activities planned by the community, the Cit’ergie award has always provided much-needed support leading to coordinated, documented and efficient implementation. It will certainly continue to provide valuable assistance in energy planning over these next few years when considering the community’s significant urban development in more detail.

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Biel / Bienne (CH)

56'674 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Biel’s particular strength in the Energiestadt process lies in the city’s continuous and increasing intensification of its activities and their impact in recent years. A selection of typical examples includes the establishment of the Community Climate Protection Initiative (2008); the local and municipal council resolutions to implement this initiative with a view to achieving Energiestadt Gold level in 2020 (2012); the transition of Energy Service Biel from a gas to a heating strategy with currently 17 heating network projects and a concept for individual plant contracting (since 2016); a holistic mobility strategy based on the Swiss Cities Initiative (2018); and the Vision Biel 2030 strategy developed in 2019, i.e. the city executive’s medium-term strategy for reaching the goal of net zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement and the intermediate goal for 2030 of halving greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels.

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Brig-Glis (CH)

12'935 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The municipality of Brig-Glis has continued to improve its sustainability since it was first awarded the Energiestadt label in 2000. in 2008, Brig-Glis published an Energy Master Plan to show how conventional oil heating can be replaced by geothermal energy for heating and cooling buildings. The town has since commissioned a number of anergy network hubs and connected many public and private buildings to these. Ten years later, it took stock of its achievements and produced an outlook for 2035 and 2050, stating that Brig-Glis will intensify its efforts towards decarbonisation. This will be done through several photovoltaic systems on public buildings, in particular the new ice-skating centre, and by transmitting steam energy from the regional waste incineration plant to the LONZA factory in Visp.

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Bulle (CH)

23'439 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

After years of active energy policy, the town of Bulle has achieved very promising results according to the Cit’ergie assessment tool and can henceforth claim the eea Gold award. Bulle aimed for this award in order to see its endeavours recognised, but also to ensure the continuation of its activities and its ambitious policy in the domain of energy.

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Cham (CH)

16'820 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2004

By renewing its Energiestadt Gold award, the municipality of Cham has reinforced its long-standing commitment to a sustainable energy future. Cham continues to work actively, to the maximum of its abilities, towards the efficient and economical use of resources, environmentally sustainable mobility and the increased use of renewable energies. Another of the municipality’s priority areas is the promotion of biodiversity on municipally-owned land and throughout the municipal territory.

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Châtel-St-Denis (CH)

6'976 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Châtel-St-Denis strived for this award as recompense for all the participants working to implement the municipality’s energy and climate policy. It has proved its commitment through a large number of works, which have contributed to the achievement of energy and climate objectives. These include the responsible use of local wood as a source of heat for numerous public and private buildings, the production of green electricity and sustainable urban development . The town council, the administration and the energy commission have been very involved in obtaining the Cit’ergie Gold award. The town wants to influence its neighbours through concrete activities, and the renowned Cit’ergie Gold award will contribute to this. The Gold award is both a reward and a source of motivation for implementing forthcoming activities.

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Delémont (CH)

12'485 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2011

Delémont is well on its way towards achieving the goals of the 2,000-Watt Society and 1 tonne of CO2. It has already reduced its consumption and greenhouse gas emissions since 2010 and aims to reduce them even further, in particular by abandoning oil heating by 2035. The municipality has integrated the issue of energy and sustainability into its projects for many years. Its policy in managing its assets is exemplary: all of its buildings benefit from an energy optimisation programme, and public lighting complies with the most demanding standards. Municipal services collaborate across multiple projects to ensure the transition from individual mobility towards more sustainable solutions. The town is developing exemplary projects in renewable energy production by means of citizen loans as well as communication products and tools aimed at local residents and businesses.

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Egnach (CH)

4'516 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The Energiestadt city of Egnach has consistently pursued a sustainable, climate-relevant energy policy over the three award cycles since its initial award in 2011. The city defined and resolved its climate and environmental goals in its structure plan for energy of 2015–16 and the associated planning report. These documents are binding for municipal authorities. Egnach updated its goals in its new guiding principles for energy and climate, which were adopted in January 2020. Regular audits ensure the ongoing effectiveness of relevant measures.

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Horgen (CH)

22'979 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Horgen has implemented an active energy and climate policy since 2007. The basis for this commitment is a master plan adopted in 2012 and an energy strategy set in 2020, which defines goals, priority areas, initiatives, responsibilities, finances and monitoring activities. These strategic documents have been developed in a collaborative and participatory way together with the town’s residents. Horgen has already completed and implemented many projects, among them a long-standing, comprehensive funding programme, an extensive heating network within the municipal area using waste heat from a waste incineration plant, numerous mobility initiatives, optimised street lighting, systematic energy accounts, a 100% renewable electricity product as default, a default gas product with 10% biogas content, effective internal bodies and structures, the availability of comprehensive advisory services; and regional cooperation with partner Energiestadt municipalities.

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Lancy (CH)

32'994 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The town of Lancy is characterised by its willingness to develop and implement a strong, efficient, exemplary and sustainable energy policy. Its objectives in terms of energy are based on the vision of the 2,000-Watt Society and compatible with the Swiss Confederation’s 2050 Energy Strategy, the Cantonal Energy Master Plan as well as the Cantonal Climate Plan. Lancy is pursuing its endeavours to involve all stakeholders in the area – local residents, businesses and building owners etc. – in the energy transition. Its measures in favour of energy renewal, encouraging the deployment of energy networks and making the population more aware of energy issues, are only some examples of its committed and engaging policy. These measures will make it possible to work effectively towards making buildings more energy-efficient, reducing fossil fuels and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Meilen (CH)

14'326 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2016

The municipality of Meilen has implemented a consistent energy policy for many years. Meilen has had a highly active energy committee for decades, and the municipality received its first Energiestadt/European Energy Award as early as in 2004. The municipality has conducted extensive PR and communications activities, and there is consequently great awareness of the award among its people. Meilen works closely with neighbouring municipalities to utilise synergies in energy-relevant projects. Moreover, the position of the municipal energy commissioner has recently been strengthened, and greater focus has been placed on energy aspects of municipal buildings.

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Montreux (CH)

27'441 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2016

The town of Montreux is continuing its endeavours in terms of its energy and climate policy. According to the most recent report, which compared 2017 to 2000, Montreux decreased its CO2 emissions by 42% (4.9 tonnes/inhabitant) and reduced its energy consumption by 28% and 23% respectively in primary and final energy. The 2,000-Watt consumption index is at 3,466 W/inhabitant, and the energy mix consumed throughout the municipality’s territory is 15% renewable. Despite its excellent results, Montreux does not want to rest on its laurels and is planning to implement a climate plan which will enable even more ambitious objectives to be defined for the future.

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Nendaz (CH)

6'772 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Our action-orientated community has pursued an energy and climate strategy for many years. This strategy is reflected in the following activities, among others: participation in the Mont Blanc AdaPT project (adaptation of land planning to climate change in the Mont Blanc region), the use of microturbines for potable water, subsidies for purchasing electric bicycles, electric charging stations for cars and the provision of charging sockets for electric bicycles by shops and restaurants, automated sanitisation of public buildings, monitoring of energy accounts for public buildings, assistance for refurbishing old buildings, an annual Bike4Car campaign, the Wave Trophy electric vehicle rally (since 2018), and numerous communication activities, including information evenings, local newspapers, etc.

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Prilly (CH)

12'532 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The town of Prilly developed its “Prilly 2035 – on the way towards the 2,000-Watt Society!” vision in 2016. It has made a significant contribution to its energy transition within an urban region that is undergoing rapid change, and major projects are on the point of being completed after many years of planning. The municipality’s energy policy has been focused on furthering Prilly’s urban development, and major municipal building projects have had a significant impact on the region’s energy report. These projects have included the systematic development of new urban districts, achieving a level of efficiency equivalent to the 2,000-Watt Society, future main public transport routes, the development of district heating and its further evolution into a thermal exchange network, the bolstering of financial subsidies for more energy-efficient buildings and the development of local renewable energies.

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Rüti (CH)

12'124 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2015

Rüti was awarded the Energiestadt label in 2003 based on its consistent, systematic energy policy, and the town achieved the international European Energy Award Gold standard in 2015. It has intensified its relevant efforts even further since by successfully putting its Energy Master Plan to popular vote and developing a gas strategy. As the owner of an energy utility responsible for supplying the municipal area with gas, Rüti was one of the first municipalities in Switzerland to declare that it would exit from its gas supply by 2050.

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Saas-Fee (CH)

1'527 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Saas-Fee is a committed Energiestadt Gold community because its residents see the effects of climate change every day in the magnificent glaciers surrounding the town. Saas-Fee is therefore determined to do its part through targeted measures and to show that tourist destinations too can and should make a substantial contribution. The Energiestadt label ensures that the town plans, implements and maintains municipal refurbishments and investments sustainably; that even school children engage with energy and environmental issues (Energy School label); that energy-efficient private refurbishments are supported by municipal funds; and that the town continues to support and expand its solar district heating project. Saas-Fee additionally involves local residents and businesses in photovoltaic projects on municipal buildings through crowdfunding.

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Schaffhausen (CH)

36'641 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2004

The city of Schaffhausen was Switzerland’s first Energiestadt city in 1991 and receives its 5th Energiestadt Gold award in 2020. Schaffhausen pursues a consistent energy and climate policy, cooperates with other Energiestadt/eea cities internationally and implements exemplary projects on an ongoing basis: In 2019, the launch of electric buses and the provision of rapid charging infrastructure was approved by the people of Schaffhausen after years of planning. The city has also achieved a great deal in terms of its heat supply: It has operated a number of renewable energy heating networks for several years, and its updated energy plan defines additional areas for heat supply from renewable energies. Relevant networks are implemented in continuous urban quarter planning. The city has a comprehensive funding programme to support residents and businesses in their transition to renewable energies.

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Stans (CH)

8'112 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2016

The Energiestadt city of Stans has made a significant contribution to sustainable development for many years, partly by raising awareness among its local population and partly by implementing projects aimed at improving the municipal infrastructure. The municipality’s energy plan forms a sound basis for managing the transition of heating systems for municipal buildings towards renewable energies. Stans already has several heating networks, and another one is currently being planned with municipal support. Renewable energy currently accounts for almost 50% of the heating energy used in Stans – a level well above the Swiss average. Stans has been an Energiestadt municipality since 2003 and has improved its performance between each audit and the next. The renewal of its Gold award contributes further to raising community awareness and will support the town in continuing strongly along this path.

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St.Gallen (CH)

79'400 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2008

The Energiestadt of St. Gallen has consistently pursued a sustainable, climate-relevant energy policy over the five award cycles since its initial Energiestadt award in 2003. Its 2050 energy strategy and the phasing out of nuclear energy were adopted by referendum. The action plan for the 2050 energy strategy adopted by the city council serves as a planning and implementation tool for consistently working towards this goal over the coming years. This plan is about to be updated. Annual monitoring activities ensure the ongoing effectiveness of relevant measures.

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Turbenthal (CH)

4'891 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

Turbenthal received its first Energiestadt award in 2012, and the municipality has developed its sustainable energy and climate policy with great commitment and broad acceptance since. Turbenthal stands out through its extensive use of local, renewable sources of energy and through its exemplary culture of participation. Already, substantially more than 40% of the heat supplied to consumers within the municipal area comes from renewable energies, and the town actively supports the expansion of additional ground water and wood heating networks. Turbenthal also strongly promotes photovoltaic systems and electromobility. The town takes its model role very seriously and performs it very credibly. As a result, Turbenthal has been able to recruit many community representatives to actively support the implementation of its municipal energy and climate policy.

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Uster (CH)

34'986 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2011

Uster has had a municipal energy plan since 1999 and is progressively implementing relevant measures. As a result, the town’s greenhouse gas emissions are decreasing continually in line with its defined reduction pathway. Heating energy consumption decreased by 13.5 % between 2010 and 2018, even though the town’s population grew over the same period. Uster has developed an urban development plan that addresses the current framework of population growth, a shortage of resources and climate change while also providing strategies at all levels of sustainability. Key projects include an urban centre with reduced motorised traffic and a landscape and green space development project in Seefeld. The Uster energy utility has invested in establishing several heating networks, and the town has increased its commitment to photovoltaic systems. Local residents are already able to acquire shares in solar power systems to secure a sustainable energy supply. Uster has an extensive, well-signposted network of pedestrian and cycle paths, which it upgrades on an ongoing basis.

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Wald (CH)

10'078 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2016

The municipality of Wald was awarded the Energiestadt label in 2009 and achieved the Energiestadt Gold award in 2016. Wald has been demonstrating exceptional commitment to sustainable development. In 2019, the town updated its 2012 energy guidelines and defined ambitious quantitative targets. The municipality sets an excellent example and continually implements concrete activities with measurable results, including wood heating networks and solar projects. Wald is currently developing a municipal funding programme and drives the replacement of oil heating.


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Weinfelden (CH)

11'559 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2020

The town of Weinfelden has continuously improved its performance since it was first awarded the Energiestadt label with a score of 53% in 2008, reaching 71% of its potential maximum score in 2016. It has since taken a number of specific steps within its capacity, including the development of a structure plan for energy, the increase of the biogas portion in supplies to municipal buildings to 30%, the installation of photovoltaic systems on municipal buildings and the construction and refurbishment of buildings that exceed the already stringent cantonal requirements. As a result, Weinfelden (including private buildings) is now one of the leading municipalities in the national Swiss Minergie rating.

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Zuchwil (CH)

9'082 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2016

The municipality of Zuchwil was awarded the Energiestadt label in 2004 and achieved Energiestadt Gold level in 2016. It works actively towards sustainable development and has set itself the long-term goal of implementing a 2000-Watt Society. As part of the EnergieSchweiz municipal 2000-Watt programme, Zuchwil has developed a concept with practical measures addressing all six areas defined in the eea assessment tool. For a suburban municipality with plenty of industry and no municipal utilities, this goal can only be achieved through outstanding commitment. In recent years, Zuchwil made substantial, quantifiable progress towards the set targets, thanks to the consistent implementation of initiatives, broad support by local political parties, residents and businesses, and exemplary work with key persons.

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Zürich (CH)

428'340 inhabitants - eea Gold since 2004

The city of Zurich has pursued a steady path towards the 2000-Watt Society since 2008. The formal recognition of this goal in the city’s by-laws has consistently been approved with a large majority whenever relevant decisions have been put to the city council and residents by the city executive and municipal utilities. This political commitment is the basis from which the goals set for 2020 have been achieved. This gratifying result includes the intermediate target of 4,000 W/person of primary energy consumption in 2020 (average for 2014–2018: 3,500 W/person). The intermediate target for greenhouse gas emissions (4 t/person by 2020) was almost reached (average for 2014–2018: 4.4 t/person). In the wake of the Paris Agreement, the City of Zurich set itself even more ambitious targets for 2035 in its new 2020 Energy Master Plan. It aims to achieve 2,000 W/person of primary energy consumption and 2 t/person of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

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