Introduction

Based on an initiative of the European Commission, the Environmental Center for Administration and Technology (ECAT) was established in Kaunas in 1997. This initiative aimed to create knowledge networks in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. The aim of these centres was to strengthen capacity, to promote continuous cooperation between local and European professionals, and to exchange experience in the field of environment and sustainable development. ECAT Lithuania was one of a small network of ‘ECATs’ established between 1992 and 1997 in Riga (Latvia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Tirana (Albania), and Kaliningrad (Russia).

ECAT Lithuania has been successfully operating for 20 years. Current projects include those in the field of sustainable mobility, business transparency and social responsibility. ECAT also became the national coordinator of the European Commission supported Sustainable Mobility “Traffic Snake” campaign.

Brief History

2012 – 2017

ECAT successfully carried out environmental education activities in a large number of Lithuanian municipalities. Environmental and human rights projects were implemented together with partners from various European countries.

2007 -2012

ECAT implemented public environmental education projects which included activities in both city and in regional municipalities. Activities on sustainable energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation were also completed. ECAT started collaboration and implementation of projects with partners in Norway. In 2012, ECAT completed partnership projects working with private and NGO projects on the theme of corporate social responsibility with LESTO AB and ELITAZ Creative House.

ECAT became a member of the Global Compact.

2001 – 2007

ECAT received personal letters of gratitude from both the President and the Prime Minister of Lithuania in recognition of the work achieved in supporting municipalities and communities in the preparation and implementation of environmental projects.

ECAT continued its activities in the area of waste management, water management, air quality and noise; integrated environmental management of municipalities; and took a leading role in delivering the Local Agenda 21 with local authorities. Work was also started in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

ECAT participated in the preparation of the National Sustainable Development Report of Lithuania, and in 2007, started working in sustainable development education and corporate social responsibility. In 2005 ECAT became a member of the Coalition of Environmental NGOs and in 2004 ECAT received the international “Green Apple“ Award for environmental activities.

1997 – 2000

ECAT was established in 1997 thanks to a joint initiative of Lithuania and foreign partners from Finland Sweden and Germany. The initiative aimed to promote and develop environmental activities and sustainable development in the five largest cities of Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas, Panevėžys, Šiauliai and Klaipėda. The project received financial support from the European Commission, the Swedish Environment Agency, the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Bavarian Ministry of Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection and Lithuanian municipalities. Originally, experts from Finland, Sweden and Germany worked alongside Lithuanian staff in the centre. A number of projects on waste, water management, air quality and environmental education were implemented in the major cities of Lithuania. Activities were expanded into small and medium-sized Lithuanian municipalities and the first Local Agenda 21 Campaign was launched in Lithuania.

In 2000 ECAT became an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization. The representatives of municipalities, especially small and medium-sized ones, supported this move, and acknowledged the role of ECAT in enabling municipalities to implement EU environmental law requirements and to follow the principles of sustainable development.