Smart City Sweden is the platform that helps investors and stakeholders find solutions and the know-how needed to create better societies for all
According to the UN, cities consume about 78 % of the world’s energy and produce more than 60 % of the emissions, even though the total surface used by cities is only about 2 %. Increasing amounts of waste, water, and air pollution, and traffic congestion are just some of the problems that cities face. In order to reach the global goals in Agenda 2030 and create more sustainable, healthier, and smarter cities, collaboration is key. This means working across sectors and national boundaries.
Sweden has high ambitions when it comes to sustainability and is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2045. Even though the reduction of CO2 emissions is still going too slow, Sweden has increased its GDP by 85 % at the same time as the emissions have gone down 27 % since 1990. Through technology, innovation and collaboration, Sweden is working towards solving the challenges that cities face.
Turning waste into value
Almost everything we consume will one day become waste. On average, one person generates about 0,74 kilos of waste per day, more so in high-income countries. The amount is expected to increase, and many cities are already facing major challenges when it comes to managing the waste produced.
In Sweden, an important task is to identify obstacles and opportunities for more sustainable consumption and to correlate behaviour with waste management planning. Waste prevention, reuse and reparation are the primary measures when it comes to waste management. Material recycling is the top priority and source separation of waste is made in an absolute majority of Swedish households. The awareness and dedication of the citizens of Sweden is the key success factor that has led Sweden to be considered as one of the global leaders in sustainable waste management.
A large share of the waste generated in Sweden is incinerated in waste-to-energy facilities, where water for district heating as well as electricity is generated. As a result of all measures taken, less than one percent of the total waste generated in the country is put on landfills.
Creating a sustainable transport system
To meet the global goals set up in Agenda 2030, the transport sector plays a big role in reducing its environmental impact. A combination of fossil-free fuels, reducing the amount of traffic, and creating more efficient vehicles is needed to create a more sustainable transport system. In the Swedish capital Stockholm, public transport runs on almost 100 % renewable fuels.
The use of biofuels, fuels that have been produced from renewable biomass, is one way to reduce the use of fossil fuels. In 2005, the Swedish government implemented the Act on the Obligation to Supply Renewable Fuels, which states that all major filling stations are obliged to supply renewable fuels, such as ethanol or biogas. The intention was to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and to increase the availability and use of biofuels. Gothenburg, the second biggest city in Sweden, has worked with electrifying public transport, both buses, trams, and ferries.
Collaboration as the foundation
Smart City Sweden is the platform that helps investors and stakeholders find solutions and the know-how needed to create better societies for all. We can help you with challenges in waste or transport, but also other parts of creating a sustainable city such as social sustainability, energy, and digitalisation. By matching your city with solutions from Sweden, the platform can help your city become more sustainable. Do you want to get in touch with Smart City Sweden? Book an online meeting: https://smartcitysweden.com/book-visit/ or read more at https://smartcitysweden.com/.
Communication Manager, Smart City Sweden
With a Degree of Bachelor of Political Science at Uppsala University and Master's degree Environmental Communication and Management at SLU - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Rebecca Larson is now Communication Manager at Smart City Sweden and Project Manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, where she works with projects in export and international collaboration.