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Welcome to the fourth CHAMP project newsletter!

In the third and last year of the project, the focus of CHAMP is much on working for institutionalising integrated sustainability in the EU-27. At the beginning of May, the CHAMP project consortium organised the 2nd roundtable meeting on institutionalising integrated sustainability management. Summing up, it was stated that there is a wide understanding between different initiatives and organisations, that integrated approach as well as tools for implementing it, are needed.

CHAMP is answering these needs with lessons learnt from the trainings for pilot cities in our four partner countries, Hungary, Finland, Italy and Germany. We are also preparing to publish our online Capacity Development Package including guidance papers, tools and cases for local authorities, trainers and auditors.

Recently, we launched the Partnership for European Integrated Sustainability Management at the Resilient Cities Conference. The partnership is a way of supporting organisations working with local authorities and integrated sustainability management in Europe. Read more about the idea of the partnership and the launching event in this newsletter. The search for national training hub organisations in all European countries is ongoing!

The LIFE programme is celebrating its 20th anniversary and we are glad to be part of a programme that has accomplished so much. In this issue, we invite you to find out more about the CHAMP activities that will also sustain after the project lifetime!

The project team

Editorial: ''The whole is more than the sum of its parts'' or why partnership matters?

The CHAMP project is entering its final phase. Is it? Well, as far as the project timeline is concerned it is. However, we understand CHAMP as a contribution to a longer-term initiative to roll-out the Integrated Management System (IMS) in EU-27. Still, how can we grow bigger from a sole project partnership? How can we maximize our impact?

New National Training Hubs signed to be members of the European Partnership
New National Training Hubs signed to be members of the European Partnership
On the 4th of June 2011, embedded in the Bonn Resilient Cities 2011 Conference, the CHAMP Project launched the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management. The aim of this Partnership is perfectly expressed by the saying of Aristotle. By launching a European Partnership of practitioners and promoters of IMS, we hope to go beyond the impact we could achieve as a group of individual organizations and, thus, multiply impact. We understand this act as an important contribution to mainstreaming and a practical way of applying the EU integrated approach in numerous European local and regional governments.

A European Partnership to support the EU integrated approach
The European Partnership fosters the CHAMP goals to establish training capacity and serves as a competence platform for knowledge growth and exchange supporting integrated management in EU local and regional governments. It immediately supports the EU Cohesion Policy and Territorial Agenda as well as the implementation of EU environmental legislation and processes like the EU Covenant of Mayors or the Aalborg Commitments.

Win-win for sustainable development
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The Partnership provides members – and ultimately the EU – with a coherent framework model to practically apply the EU integrated approach, targeted training material and in-country training capacity through so-called National IMS Training Hubs. These hubs can be formed by national organizations offering IMS training and consultancy to others – trainers or local governments.

The Partnership targets at organizations that can act as National IMS Training Hubs, but also embrace multiplying and framework setting European and national bodies and interested local and regional governments. It offers the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge of applying the integrated approach, but it also enables advancing the IMS itself based on experiences, developing standards, and it offers practical support and information about EU and national policy processes.

Marco Cardinaletti animated the launching event with his song performances
Marco Cardinaletti animated the launching event with his song performances
Your chance
The Aristotle-effect, despite favoring the quality of the whole, can only be achieved by creating a critical mass. Currently, four national training hubs have been established in Germany, Finland, Italy and Hungary, and three more in Spain, Romania and the Adriatic Region are in preparation. If your organization is interested in joining spreading the integrated management approach all over Europe, we warmly invite you to find out more about the Partnership on our website. Don’t miss the opportunity - join the Partnership!

Text: Holger Robrecht and Pamela Mühlmann
Photos: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila


Series: CHAMP External advisor interview - Sauli Rouhinen from the Finnish Ministry of the Environment

Q: What are you currently working on? Image 5

A: Just now we are waiting for the Finnish cabinet negotiations to be completed. Being responsible for the coordination of national sustainable development strategy process I am eagerly waiting what the new government program says about the renewal of our strategy.

Personally I am engaged in a working group drafting a proposal for a indicator system Beyond GDP. The working group will finish its work at the end of May. The main result will be a proposal on a dashboard of wellbeing and environmental indicators being included in the portal.

I am also a member in the Prime Minister’s Office’s foresight network that is finishing the proposal on the next round of foresight exercise.

Most interesting is also to participate in a 7th EU Framework Programme project called CORPUS, a knowledge brokerage exercise on sustainable consumption, food, mobility and housing.

Q: In your work as an Environment Counsellor in the Finnish Ministry of the Environment and the Secretary General of Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, you are working with the National level Sustainable Development Strategy. How important do you think it is that local authorities have an integrated approach when implementing these strategies on a local level?

A: I had hoped that the local and regional level activities in the framework of our strategy would have been an integral part of the implementation. Unfortunately, this has not happened. Still, there are many active municipalities and groups of municipalities that have kept the sustainable development process alive. I will also mention the very successful conference in Turku 31.1. – 2.2.2011 called Solutions local, together. The conference showed that sustainable development has on the local level moved to a stage of practical solutions. However, we still hope that the new strategy process will emphasize the integrated approach both on the national and local levels.

Q: In your career you have seen how the Finnish Ministry of the Environment was established in the 1980’s and since, sustainable development has been integrated to all sectors of government and different policies (at least in theory). What do you see as the future challenges in achieving a more sustainable Finland and Europe?

A: I just heard that the UN Commission on Sustainable Development 19 meeting in New York ended with no decisions as a result of the G77 claims for a Palestine clause. This means that the UN led sustainable development process is in trouble. What needs to be kept in mind is that in essence sustainable development is a global policy process.

After the fiscal crisis in 2008 – 2009 both the EU and OECD are concentrated on developing the green economy or green growth policy frameworks and putting the sustainable development aside for a moment. Let’s hope this does not mean that sustainable development is ‘passé’ in international politics.

The Nordic countries have been the forerunners in sustainable development policies and been successful in international benchmark studies. My understanding is that the Nordic governments are supporting the sustainable development policy framework, be the cabinet coalition rainbow-like or of one colour.


Guest article from new training hub: Local Climate Work in Spanish Cities and Regions

What kind of support and capacities are needed and how can the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management be beneficial?

Image 6In the current scenario of scarce resources, it seems necessary for regional and local authorities to achieve more with less. Infrastructure and other projects or initiatives that will have a significant impact on the sustainability of urban areas are currently put on hold in Spain, including some concrete actions from the Local Agenda 21 strategic plans.

Different from Northern European Countries, Spain has gone through a much slower LA21 implementation process. However, Spain has experienced a strong implementation process in recent years.

LA21 implementation in Spain getting off the ground

Nowadays, most governments of the Spanish Autonomous Communities give incentives to town councils for implementing the programme. This is often complemented with technical and methodological support. Even the regional governments of Navarra and Catalonia have carried out their own LA21 implementation plans for the whole of their territory.

On the other hand, mistakes have been made in environmental diagnosis and integration processes when implementing action plans and in decision making processes.

However, it should also be pointed out that there have been really successful LA21s with a strong and well articulated involvement of social, political and economic stakeholders, particularly in Catalonia, the Balearics, Valencia and Andalucia.

Integrated Sustainability Management as the key
Image 7 In the years ahead, we are sure that the European Partnership for Integrated Sustainability Management will provide a solid base for Spanish local authorities to adopt a more integrated approach in their local sustainability and climate work. This will be done by:

  • Promoting new partnerships and a set of tools to support and encourage change of attitude and behaviour towards sustainable development.
  • Successfully engaging the different stakeholders and promoting the real participation of citizens.
  • Developing a common base of sustainable indicators.
  • Offering appropriate training as another key point to the success.
  • Getting funding for the initial deployment of the programme.
  • Providing adequate support in all the phases involved for the deployment (localised training materials, support during and after the implementation, etc.).
  • Facilitating, in a timely way, the integration of all the municipal sectors that will be involved in the deployment.

All of that, promoting an open and integrated system that will enable all municipalities to improve their current management structures in the benefit of their populations through the right balance between social, ecology and economic indicators for development.

Text: Marcelo Sabanes


Looking back at the trainings – lessons learnt in four countries

In February, CHAMP partners gathered to a Backstopping Workshop in Freiburg
In February, CHAMP partners gathered to a Backstopping Workshop in Freiburg
Most of the CHAMP trainings for local authorities in four countries have been finalised by now and it’s time to look back. What have we learned, and most importantly, how have the participating municipalities benefited from the trainings?

In February 2011, a backstopping workshop was organised in Freiburg, Germany, where the CHAMP project partners could see that the trainings in each country had their own special characteristics. In Hungary the basis for the trainings was EMAS and also local companies were involved. German municipalities were more individually coached than the cities in other countries. Italian trainings were closely connected to the Covenant of Mayors and the Sustainable Energy Action Plan. In Finland, the participating cities were in different stages of their climate work, and thus they could also learn from each other.

Text: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila
Photo: Marzio Marzorati


CHAMP Capacity Building in Hungary - Take it easy with EMAS Easy

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The participants of the Hungarian CHAMP trainings have got to know step-by-step the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle and the requirements of the Integrated Management System (IMS). They could also get familiar with EMAS Easy, which is a practical and simple tool to implement Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The focus of the tool is on the practice rather than paper which makes the method ideal for small and medium-sized organizations as well as local authorities. EMAS Easy helps to implement the IMS, fulfill all the requirements and makes the documentation of the environmental management system comprehensive and practical.

Site visits show IMS working in practice
Four out of five Hungarian training workshops have now taken place. What differentiates these from trainings in other CHAMP countries is that in Hungary, the target has also been on local companies in addition to local authorities. In the fourth and latest training in April 2011, the participants had the opportunity to check their theoretical knowledge in practice as they visited the site of Hungary’s biggest shipbuilding company, the Lake Balaton Shipping Company in Siófok.

According to its activities, the company could have significant environmental impact. It is implementing IMS with the help of the CHAMP project, which significantly contributes to reducing operating costs e.g. in waste disposal, energy and water consumption, making the organization more competitive. During the trainings, the project participants could make an internal audit on site. Besides providing practical knowledge, the visit also highlighted new aspects for the company.

Implementing a proper management system does not only mean that the environmental impact of an organization becomes smaller, but according to the principles of the project it also facilitates risk management regarding the fight against climate change both in mitigation and adaptation. Auditing, the ability to prove legal compliance with EMAS requirements, enables the organizations to gain higher credibility amongst clients, stakeholders as well as the authorities.
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Benefitting from IMS

Based on the feedback from participants, of the trainings the most common benefits of implementing an integrated management system are the following:

  • sustainable use of resources, reduction of water and energy consumption,
  • recycling and reduction of waste,
  • increase in employees’ environmental awareness and
  • improved relations with local communities, authorities and other stakeholders.

The last CHAMP training in Hungary will be held in June 2011. During this closing event, the local authorities will be familiar with the processes of external audit and the evaluation methods of the management system.

Our further hope is that as a reasonable step by the end of the project, several participants complete and verify their management system, resulting in an increased number of EMAS certified local authorities in Hungary.

Text: Zita Egerszegi and Katalin Herner


Implementation of Integrated Management System needs a tailor-made approach in Germany

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In Germany, local constitution is a matter of the 16 federal states. This is why the implementation of local sustainability is highly connected with the federal state level. Therefore the German CHAMP Partners – ICLEI and the Lake Constance Foundation – anchored action not only at national but also at Federal State level with particular activities in the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg, Thuringia, and in the Lake Constance region in Baden-Württemberg. These Federal States particularly support training and coaching to individual cities, which led to an adapted CHAMP-training approach.

Individual coaching for German municipalities

The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate is a particular example of a successful model supporting multi-level governance. In support of the Rhineland-Palatinate sustainable development strategy, the Federal Ministry for Environment entered into a framework agreement with ICLEI to support local governments in implementing sustainability management. On behalf of the Ministry, ICLEI organized regional seminars to promote the Integrated Management System (IMS). In these seminars, local government decision makers were informed of the benefits of the system and opportunities to get training and coaching support by ICLEI co-financed by the Ministry and the CHAMP project.

Following up to the seminars, individual support with interested local governments has been agreed starting with a scoping of their needs and wishes. Based on the results of this scoping, tailor-made training and coaching programmes were developed, including city visits, facilitated workshops and targeted training seminars. In fact, the work in Rhineland-Palatinate is centered around this format of training and consultancy, which shows the high demand of cities for individual coaching accompanying the implementation of the IMS.

Strategic environmental management in the Lake Constance Region

At the same time, the Lake Constance Foundation supported local governments in the Lake Constance region to extend their environmental management system to a strategic sustainability management system. Cooperation could be established with the City of Friedrichshafen, which successfully participates in the European Energy Award, and the City of Überlingen, which was the first local authority with an EMAS certified land-use planning department.

In contrast, in Brandenburg and Schleswig Holstein, CHAMP offered cities information on the IMS and the possibility to participate in common trainings on IMS together with a partner organisation on the spot. Unfortunately, due to the consequences of the financial crisis the threshold from interest to implementation could not be passed.

In conclusion, a national training programme for Germany has to follow both a more regional and more individualised path to capacity development.

Text: Pamela Mühlmann and Holger Robrecht


Trainings in Finland emphasized mutual learning

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It took a little over a year: including all five steps of the Integrated Management System (IMS), for the CHAMP trainings to be successfully completed in Finland. During the entire process, the 14 piloting municipalities and one region actively participated in the workshops and contemplated the implementation of climate work also between the meetings by completing assignments given beforehand.
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Something for both the novice and experienced old hand

When they joined the project, the participating municipalities were in different stages in their climate work. For the city of Salo, the CHAMP project provided the spark for starting to plan a climate programme. The Integrated Management System introduced during the programme has provided a concrete tool for organising the different stages of programme implementation. The examples given by other local authorities helped the city of Salo develop its own practices and get an overview on how climate work is progressing in other Finnish local authorities.

Even with a long experience in climate work, the city of Oulu found that the training programme as a whole has consolidated their efforts. As the city already had a climate strategy in place, they did not draw up a new document in accordance with the IMS. It was easy to compare the work already done to the management system and consider how to improve and update their strategy. Going through the steps of the IMS showed that in many ways the city was already on the right track. That information was valuable as it is often difficult to gain feedback on strategy work carried out in local authorities. Many of the examples from workshops led to concrete measures, for example better planning of communication and organisation of the work of the climate strategy monitoring group.

Fun atmosphere goes a long way

The CHAMP project has not been dead serious for the project team or the participating local authorities. The feedback from local authorities stated that they found the workshops interesting and fun. Long days of training would continue on a lighter note when participants played bingo or watched a videotaped speech on climate issues given by the project manager in the style of Barack Obama.

The importance of a positive approach to municipal climate issues cannot be overlooked. Ultimately, the goal is to get the message across to local government officials and elected representatives that local authorities must respond to climate change. The challenge now is to create the same positive atmosphere in local authorities and apply the lessons learnt so as to get the management committed to climate work. All local authorities face similar challenges and they should consider them together to find solutions.

Text: Lotta Mattsson
Photo: Pekka Salminen


Italian trainings help cities reach Covenant of Mayors' climate objectives

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The process, launched by the CHAMP project in co-operation between Coordinamento Agenda 21, Ambiente Italia and the European partner network, has raised an unexpected interest among local authorities in Italy.

There are two factors proven favorable on the process of Integrated Sustainable Management:
The first factor is the need for rationalizing internal resources of the local authorities, and the second one is the need for responding to the commitments agreed on in the process started with the Covenant of Mayors, which today involves many Italian municipalities. Public opinion and various stakeholders put local authorities under pressure to implement the commitments and to work towards sustainability. In Italy 1169 local authorities have signed the Covenant of Mayors but in many cases without ensuring the implementation and the right commitments which are required.

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Integrated Management System – An instrument towards modified objectives
To make a difference, offering a real opportunity for change, requires training and the need for modifying the traditional internal organization of labour in the local authorities. The latter aspect has been particularly well grasped by the authorities that have engaged a real policy towards change, involving sustainability, reduction of emissions deteriorating the climate and a modification of their energy policy.

The Integrated Management System (IMS) has become an instrument for the administrations that are modifying their objectives in a more sustainable manner, these are: Padua, Mantova, La Spezia, Province of Siena, Modena, Pavia, Florence, Turin, Province of Bergamo and Genoa. Padua in particular, being the first city to approve the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), combines emission reduction targets with integrated management.

Concrete, measurable and revisable actions

There is a clear connection between the SEAPs and the integrated management system used in CHAMP in Italy. The Covenant of Mayors indicates both general and specific objectives, to be translated through the SEAP into concrete, measurable and revisable actions on local scale and beneficial for the respective communities. The administrations launched the creation process of their SEAPs by introducing the elements of integrated management in organizational processes thanks to CHAMP. For the local authorities that took part in CHAMP trainings it is now easier to encounter the challenges of the Covenant of Mayors.

The network of local authorities in Coordinamento Agenda 21 allows the project actions to extend through a diffuse dissemination in the area. In particular we offer to extend the project training from the Italian training hub to the local authorities that have signed the Covenant of Mayors and are preparing to realize and execute a SEAP. Implementing the SEAP requires integrated management as an instrument and method of work; therefore it is our intention to compile a national catalogue of best practices. In its annual general meeting held in Siena in 2011, Coordinamento Agenda 21 already presented the first edition of the catalogue.

Text: Marzio Marzorati
Translation: Anna Stenberg


Upcoming events

The CHAMP project organises four regional final conferences and in addition, a project-level, virtual final conference. The dates and venues for two of the regional conferences are already confirmed.

CHAMP Workshop in Romania
23rd June 2011, Sibiu
The Romanian Environmental Ministry / Pollution Control and Impact Assessment and the NGO Fundatia de Perfectionare Profesionala in Administratia Publica are interested in implementing Sustainability Management for local and regional authorities and creating a national training hub for Romanian local authorities.

As a starting point and in cooperation with the Romanian Municipalities Association, a workshop on Integrated Sustainability Management will be organized on the 23rd of June 2011. Local authorities should be motivated to implement environmental management (e.g. EMAS III) as a starting point and to include the "strategic" environmental aspects such as land use planning, transport planning, energy, nature and biodiversity protection into the environmental management.

Regional final Conference in Italy
November 2011, Rimini
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The Italian CHAMP training Hub will carry out the Final Conference during the 15th International Trade Fair of Material – Fiera Ecomondo in Rimini that will take place on 9th - 12th December. A catalogue of best practices and case studies will be presented.

The purpose of the assembly is to illustrate effective ways of action and participation both within mitigation and adaptation to Climate change; document the reached results with quantitative measures; high-light the level of integration striven for within various sectors of the Authorities and the participation of Stakeholders; indicate references and contacts for further information and assistance; present the plan of action for realization and integrated management of the actions.

The regional Conference tends to combine the Climate Plans and Agenda 21. It will return international perspective to an Italian movement, lobby national and regional politics to assume their roles. Practice leadership and prepare for the next encounter at Rio+20.

Baltic Sea regional final conference
There are many success stories from the BSR cities and municipalities working with climate mitigation and adaptation that should be shared with others for inspiration and ideas. Still, although action has been taken, the capacities and needs for support differ in the cities of the region. Aiming at improving the capacities of the cities in their local climate policy, the CHAMP project consortium organises the regional final conference in connection with the UBC XI General Conference in Liepaja, on 4th -7th October 2011.

Success stories of local climate change work in the Baltic Sea Region
4th October 2011, Liepaja, Latvia
Join us for a cocktail and snack before the start of the UBC General Conference! During the event success stories of local climate change work will be presented in an informal atmosphere. Come and hear how other cities and municipalities have succeeded in their response to climate change!

A Workshop on Success factors in local integrated climate management
6th October 2011, Liepaja, Latvia
Integrated approach to climate change issues is one of the success factors of local mitigation and adaptation work. The workshop aims at familiarizing participants with the issue of integrated approach in local climate work. This is done by presenting and discussing both the success factors and needs for support of the BSR local authorities. The workshop will be organised as a parallel session in the UBC General Conference.

The CHAMP final conference
14th - 15th December, on the web
The CHAMP project culminates in a webinar that you can take part in from your own office! The webinar includes presentations and discussions streamed live and a possibility to interact with speakers by chat and discussion forum. In addition, a lot of material like videos, presentations, tools, cases etc. will be available for browsing whenever it suits the participants’ time schedule.

Keep yourselves updated. More information will be available at the CHAMP project website!


Publication details

UBC Environment and Sustainable Development Secretariat
Vanha Suurtori 7
FIN-20500 Turku
Fax: +385 2 262 3425

Project contact persons:
Mr. Pekka Salminen, Project Manager
Ms. Esther Kreutz, Project Coordinator

Editorial team: Kirsi-Marja Lonkila (UBC), Anna Stenberg (UBC), Esther Kreutz (UBC), Pekka Salminen (UBC) with support from: Zita Egerszegi (Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency), Marion Hammerl (Lake Constance Foundation), Katalin Herner (KÖVET Association for Sustainable Economies), Marzio Marzorati (Coordinamento Agende 21 Locali Italiane), Lotta Mattsson (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities), Pamela Mühlmann (ICLEI), Holger Robrecht (ICLEI) and Marcelo Sabanes (SES Efficiency).
If the author is not indicated, the texts are written by the Editorial Team.

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