The main aim of sustainable development is to safeguard and preserve the well-being of nature and people for the present and future generations. The City of Helsinki is committed to implementing ecological, social and economic sustainability, as the city aims to safeguard good living conditions for all residents now and in the future.
Ecological sustainability refers to the preservation of biodiversity, and adapting people’s economic and material activity to the Earth’s natural resources and to what nature can tolerate. Currently, the consumption of natural resources in the industrial countries exceeds the level of ecological sustainability.
The challenge of sustainability is not a matter that just concerns the city council. It also affects all the city residents, residential communities, citizens’ organisations, the firms that do business in Helsinki, government departments and organisations, and regional administration. It is not possible to achieve the sustainability objectives simply through governmental guidance and planning, it calls for the cooperation and commitment of all actors in society.
The Helsinki programme for ecological sustainability (HEKO) put forward the concrete activities through which Helsinki can go forward taking environmental issues into account. The city also promotes sustainability by making the environmental management of its departments and business units more efficient, and through environmental reporting for the entire city.