The Auditorium of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment hosted the ceremony of the award Ciudad Sostenible, which during 14 consecutive years grants the Foundation Environmental Forum, with the support of the Ministry of Environment and the collaboration of Ecoembes, as the recognition in municipalities and local community authorities in Spain who have opted for projects and actions directed at promoting sustainability.

This year, Vilafranca’s town hall become the winner in the category of the waste’s management scheme, with the valuation project of the energy residues from vine’s pruning as biomass to generate energy and contribute to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Vilafranca’s winning project is based on the transformation of the energy contained in the local resource of solid biomass, the biomass resulting from the pruning of the vine shoots, to obtain energy for heating and cooling (thermal energy). Currently, this biomass is mostly burned without any energy use, treating it as a residue. The objective of the project is to promote the use of this surplus biomass to generate bioenergy in a decentralized and close manner, reducing CO2 emissions, reducing the energy bill and generating jobs.

Thus, the project is a local strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change, while allowing companies in the wine and cava sectors to be more competitive, contributing to a low carbon economy and high value added territory of the DO Penedès.

This LIFE project aims to demonstrate the operation of the biomass circle, with pilot tests in wineries, such as VILARNAU cavas and an area of ​​public facilities in Vilafranca del Penedès.

The award ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Vilafranca, Pere Regull, accompanied, among others, by the councillor for the Environment, Josep Maria Martí and the Project coordinator, Jordi Cuyàs. The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, presented the prizes, along with Ramon Roca, president of the Forum Ambiental foundation, Oscar Martín, CEO of Ecoembes and María García Rodríguez, secretary of State for the Environment.

This year’s judging panel was composed of the following entities and institutions: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, Generalitat Valenciana, Andalusian Government, Canary Islands Government, Madrid and Barcelona Town Councils, Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) and the City Council of Mutxamel (Alicante), winner in the category of ‘Sustainable City’ of the previous edition.