SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Betriber
With the SuperDrecksKëscht® fir Betriber initiative, Luxembourg City has adopted a modern approach to waste management as part of its environmental action plan – and one that is a critical element of the larger country-wide waste management system. Aimed at ensuring the continuous improvement of its environmental management system, this initiative highlights the leading role that Luxembourg City has come to play in the eco-restructuring of our society. Through its own actions, Luxembourg City aims to encourage other national stakeholders to enhance their efforts to protect the environment and make reasonable use of natural resources.
Luxembourg City aims to prevent and reduce the use of hazardous products by its departments in their daily activities. Where their use cannot be avoided, however, employees are asked to recycle and dispose of these products following certain procedures:
- Toxic waste must not, under any circumstances, be thrown in the bin or down the drain.
- Empty containers and all other packaging of hazardous or toxic waste must be disposed of by the SuperDrecksKëscht®. They may not be thrown away with your regular waste.
- Waste must never be deposited beside SuperDrecksKëscht® containers or at the entrance to the recycling centre, because waste dumped in this way is a hazard both for the environment and for passers-by, especially children.
The purpose of this label is to encourage municipalities to step up their environmental efforts and give greater visibility to the measures they have taken to protect the environment at municipal level.
They are evaluated by a jury in the following categories:
- participation in national projects;
- residential area;
- green area;
On 23 January 2015, Luxembourg City was awarded the "Naturgemeng 2014 Label" in recognition of its environmental protection efforts. These included the realisation of a series of outstanding projects, which combined aspects of both municipal planning and environmental conservation in a truly exemplary fashion. Environmental protection and sustainability are key pillars of Luxembourg City's land use planning policy as part of its larger aim to achieve balanced development.
Fairtrade Town certificate
Luxembourg City was first certified as a " Fairtrade Gemeng" in September 2011, and this certification was later renewed in June 2017 – clear proof of its commitment to fair trade.
In its daily activities, Luxembourg City strives to adopt best practices for promoting sustainability. These enable it to contribute to sustainable economic development in Africa, Asia and Latin America in a way that respects both people and the environment.
Initiative: pesticide-free towns
Luxembourg City has been awarded the "Naturgemeng" label by the Fondation Hellef fir d'Natur twice in six years. Since 2009, Luxembourg City's municipal departments have refrained from using pesticides. This policy was officially instituted by a resolution of the municipal council in May 2011. It was decided that the Luxembourg City will:
- refrain from using pesticides on all of its land, in particular on land where children play, as well as on land close to places where children often spend time: around schools, crèches and other childcare structures, playgrounds, etc.;
- provide training for staff and raise awareness about environmental issues, as well as establish alternative work methods that enable municipal staff to work effectively and to the satisfaction of the city's residents;
- work directly with the city's youngest citizens to raise awareness by partnering with childcare centres and private crèches, as well as talking to gardeners and farmers about the negative effects and dangers linked to the use of pesticides;
- increase biodiversity on the grounds around schools and childcare facilities, converting lawns into green patches filled with native flowers, which are a good sources of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. This will also add educational and pedagogical value to the land around schools and childcare centres.
This initiative aimed at protecting and promoting respect for the environment will have a significant impact on the preparation of Luxembourg City's new development plan, as well as on the air and water quality, and by extension the quality of life of its citizens.
Initiative: GMO-Free Luxembourg
By signing up to the GMO-Free Luxembourg initiative (Luxembourg sans OGM), which included 26 organisations in 2009, Luxembourg City has joined sides with the majority of Luxembourgish consumers, who refuse to put GMOs on their plates. Luxembourg City has thereby reinforced its commitment at international level to promote policies that protect the environment, agriculture and the health of consumers from GMO-related risks and dangers by:
- refusing to allow GM ingredients to be served in its municipal cafeterias, crèches and childcare centres, through the addition of a "GMO-free" clause to the specifications for service contracts awarded through invitations to tender;
- prohibiting transgenic crops from being grown on its land;
- and inserting a clause refusing GMOs in farm leases when they are renewed.
Declaration of commitment regarding paper
As long-term sustainable development is only possible if individuals and societies change their way of thinking and behaviour, Luxembourg City is making a significant contribution to protecting both the environment and animal species with its declaration of commitment entitled "Selbstverpflichtung – Proppere Pabéier" (Commitment – Clean Paper).
Since February 2008, Luxembourg City has worked toward:
- a moderate and reasonable use of paper resources;
- raising awareness about more sustainable office practices by informing staff across all departments and administrations about the environmental benefits of recycled paper, and teaching them how to properly put this policy into practice;
- using only recycled paper in its offices;
- the printing of communication materials, preferably and primarily, on recycled paper, where possible.
As the application of these practices is not governed by a supervisory committee, it is the municipal staff themselves who have become informal ambassadors of this initiative thanks to transparent information and education efforts. Over time, this form of voluntary participation will help Luxembourg City achieve its sustainability objectives. In this way, this memorandum will serve to successfully mitigate climate change and preserve the countryside.
In July 2007, the IMO (Institut für Marktökologie – Market ecology institute) awarded Luxembourg City with a certificate from the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in view of its work as part of the "Fir en nohaltege Bësch" initiative.
The goal was to:
- take into consideration the natural environment and conserve it;
- respect the social values of local or indigenous populations, and of the forest workers;
- and ensure the long-term viability of forest resources.
Affiliation with the Climate Alliance
For over 25 years, the members of the Climate Alliance have worked, in partnership with the indigenous people of tropical forests, to publicise climate issues. "Klima-Bündnis Lëtzebuerg" currently has 37 municipalities on its list of members (March 2017).
Luxembourg City is involved in a range of activities that cover many areas. These initiatives range from local and national actions such as the energy renovation of municipal buildings and the development of active mobility options to solidarity development projects.
ICLEI membership certificate
With a view to achieving tangible improvements in terms of sustainability, Luxembourg City became a full member of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) on 19 June 2003.
Exchanging ideas with Ëmweltberodung Lëtzebuerg
Ëmweltberodung Lëtzebuerg ASBL (EBL) is a neutral environmental consulting organisation, which provides support to the municipal authorities, serving as a real platform for exchanging ideas and discussing experiences.
Working in the field and seeking direct dialogue with its residents, the City of Luxembourg has a great responsibility to protect both the human and natural environments. By working together with such multidisciplinary organisations, Luxembourg City can expand its field of expertise in natural conservation, water management, waste management, energy, sustainable public procurement, etc., and thus have a considerable impact on the environment as a whole.