Hinku criteria

To obtain Hinku status, the municipality or region must meet the Hinku criteria. The Hinku criteria are drawn up by the Finnish Environment Institute and were approved by the Hinku steering group on 3 November 2021.

Criteria for Hinku municipalities

The Hinku criteria refer to the measures and policies that municipalities have adopted to combat climate change and through which they plausibly undertake to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations and to influence other parties in their area (local residents, companies, agriculture and forestry entrepreneurs as well as secondary residents) in order to ensure that the efforts to reduce the area’s greenhouse gas emissions aim at carbon neutrality.

Hinku municipalities belong to the Hinku network and have the right to use the Hinku logo. New Hinku municipalities undertake to meet the Hinku criteria within one year of the date of joining.


Based on the local council’s decision, the municipality undertakes to adopt measures aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its area by 80 per cent from the 2007 levels by 2030. Emissions are calculated according to the Hinku calculation rules (including emission compensations). Read more about the usage-based greenhouse gas emissions calculation principles.


  1. The municipality takes greenhouse gas emissions into account in all the significant decisions it makes.
  2. The municipality joins the agreement concluded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Energy Authority and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities in which they commit to the measures and objectives specified in the energy efficiency agreement of municipalities. As a rule, the municipalities that join the municipal energy efficiency agreement include their residential building stock in the operational programme for residential buildings.
  3. The municipal manager or any other municipal employee appointed by the manager acts as a member of the Hinku network steering group.
  4. Each municipality appoints a contact person to ensure the flow of information between the municipality and the Finnish Environment Institute.
  5. The municipality sets up a Hinku working group with representatives from the main administrative branches. The working group strives to actively reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the operations of different administrative branches. The group may be the same as the municipal steering group or the working group assigned to the municipal energy efficiency agreement.
  6. The working group and contact person are responsible for the following tasks:
  • A plan for investments intended to reduce emissions is drawn up annually for the municipality. The investments are approved in the budget for the following year.
  • A plan for mitigating emissions is drawn up annually for the municipality. The plan indicates the measures and investments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the whole municipality. The plan includes all the planned investments as well as measures to activate residents and local companies.
  • The main mitigative measures carried out in the municipality are compiled annually and published on the municipality’s website. The Finnish Environment Institute is also informed of the measures that have been carried out. Mitigative measures of national interest can be added to the Sustainabilityleap online service. Where possible, the achieved reductions in emissions are linked to the measures. The Finnish Environment Institute can add the information to the Sustainabilityleap service, if required.
  • The project’s achievements are reported annually to the municipality’s staff and the local council.
  • The municipality’s residents, companies and agriculture and forestry entrepreneurs are provided with information about various ways to mitigate climate change.

Criteria for Hinku regions

Regions that meet the Hinku criteria can call themselves Hinku regions. Hinku regions belong to the Hinku network and have the right to use the Hinku logo.


The Hinku regions and the Hinku municipalities in each region jointly commit to reducing the regions’ greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from the 2007 levels by 2030.


  1. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, the regional council or any other new regional player resulting from a regional government reform as well as the region’s Hinku municipalities jointly commit to reducing the regions’ greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from the 2007 levels by 2030.
  2. The Hinku municipalities committed to this goal must account for at least 80 per cent of the region’s population.
  3. The participants set up a regional cooperation group or, alternatively, link their activities to an existing regional cooperation group and task it with drawing up a path for an 80% reduction in emissions jointly with key regional players by 2030. The emissions reduction path is updated annually.
  4. A region can receive Hinku status even if some of its municipalities are not committed to the emissions reduction targets. If required, however, the region’s Hinku municipalities must take action to reach the regional target for emissions reduction.
  5. For a region to be able to call itself a Hinku region, all of its Hinku municipalities must accept the content of item 4 above to indicate that they understand their commitment to the Hinku region’s emissions reduction target.

A region that wishes to obtain Hinku status must submit written proof to the Finnish Environment Institute to demonstrate that it meets the criteria. Once the Finnish Environment Institute has verified that the criteria are met, the region can be granted Hinku status.

Published 2021-11-22 at 9:20, updated 2023-10-03 at 13:28
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