The Tour de France peloton in the city of Sønderborg, Source: Sønderborg Municipality

How Sønderborg used the Tour de France to show off its green credentials

How Sønderborg used the Tour de France to show off its green credentials

For 14 weeks, 14 different organizations took turns to present their innovative practices by symbolically donning the Green Jersey

The greatest cycling race in the world – the Tour de France – ended only mere days ago and it was Denmark that played a memorable role in this year’s edition. For one, the race champion, Jonas Vingegaard, is a Dane (making him the second-ever winner from that country).

The actual Tour de France, however, itself began in the Nordic country, which hosted the first three stages. The small city of Sønderborg was the terminus of the Danish portion and it took the opportunity to showcase some of its achievements in the sustainability field.

For 14 weeks, 14 participating local businesses and organizations presented concrete examples of green transformation in Sønderborg Municipality as part of the so-called The Green Leader's Jersey (Den Grønne Førertrøje). The name of the initiative was a play on the yellow jersey won by the winner of each stage of the Tour de France.

The initiative showed that being green can be part of every societal sector’s activities

The initiative took part in the period between 23 March and 3 July, ending with the hosting of Stage 3 of the cycling race.

The way it worked was that every week, a new partner’s green activity was presented to the public. It could be as a lecture, tour or another event that involved the citizens.

For example, climate-friendly wood was presented, where it was possible to both see and feel the wood samples. Or there was the Youth Climate Council which involved young people, during its week, in an event that aimed to result in a youth climate vision for Sønderborg Municipality. It was also possible to visit Denmark's most sustainable family house, ProjectZero took on Roadshows around the municipality, and Sustainable Transport focused on everyday cycling.

The 14 green stories were also presented as an exhibition in the Borgen shopping centre.



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