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Work in recent years pays off in the form of an accolade
The official website of Malmö informed the public on 11 May that the city had ranked first as Environmental Best Municipality 2021 in the prestigious national ranking organized each year by Aktuell Hållbarhet magazine. The last time the city topped the list was in 2014, however, concerted effort towards implementing sustainable urban policies have reaped well-deserved results.
The progress is astounding considering that last year the city was only in the seventh place
In a way, the accolade which the Swedish city received comes as no surprise to many. Malmö was out early by being the first municipality in Sweden to sign a declaration to work to achieve the global goals in Agenda 2030 based on a local agenda.
In the city, the goals have been incorporated into the municipal budget and council policies, something that makes sustainability work a natural part of the municipality's activities and the employees' daily work. This can be about anything from travel policy and personnel cycles to cooperation on 2030 Climate Contract.
“If we are to succeed in achieving our environmental goals, everyone must be helped and have the courage to try something new. I see the city of Malmö as one big Living Lab, i.e. a place for innovation and new thinking. An example is the testing of deep geothermal energy in Malmö, where the business community is a driving force,” said Rebecka Persson, environmental director at the Municipality.
Other good examples are the City of Malmö's work to reduce the spread of microplastics from artificial turf, and the work to reduce energy use in the city's premises. Together with nine other cities, the local administration signed the Climate Contract 2030, to drive the transition forward for increased sustainability and climate neutrality together with business, academia and civil society.
In addition, various collaborations take place in the Copenhagen region, through Greater Copenhagen, among others, on issues relating to, for example, smart energy and climate adaptation. Collaborations that are at the forefront and that Rebecka Persson sees as natural for a big city like Malmö.
Ms Persson reminded about the big international spotlight that her city is enjoying: “Malmö is also the host city for ICLEI World Congress 2021–2022. A congress focusing on how cities around the world are driving the development towards a sustainable urban future”.
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