Sønderborg punches above its weight when it comes to energy efficiency ambitions

Can a small city be a global influencer in energy efficiency? Sønderborg says yes

Can a small city be a global influencer in energy efficiency? Sønderborg says yes

Recently, the Danish municipality and the City of Chicago signed a cooperation agreement as peers in the mission of sustainable transition

Sønderborg is a small Danish city of about 27 thousand people located in the south of the country. It is also something of a powerhouse in terms of recognition for its sustainability efforts on an international scale, proving that size really doesn’t matter when it comes to making an impact.

This was confirmed last month when officials from the United States’ third largest city – Chicago – signed a collaboration agreement with the authorities of Sønderborg with the aim of exchanging know-how and good practices in the field of energy efficiency. The collaboration aims to contribute to both the Danish and American objectives of reducing CO2 emissions.

The signing also heralded the 7th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, organized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and hosted by the Danish city.

Exchange of solutions to energy challenges

Energy optimization is essential for both cities and despite their differences in sizes, their administrations found that share a common vision in that regard, as means to improve the quality of life for their residents.

Through their innovative mindset and ambitious Project Zero, the Sønderborg area has positioned itself as a frontrunner in the green transition. The aim of the project is for the city, through restructuring of the energy system, to reduce its footprint in the climate account to around 0 in 2029. The city was also named as one of the 100 Climate-neutral and smart cities for 2030 by the European Commission.

Likewise, Chicago recently published its 2022 Climate Action Plan. The first action plan in 14 years specifies a series of climate action goals and sets a milestone to reduce greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2040 while delivering socially just services to society.

We hope that with the agreement we can support Chicago's sustainable ambitions. The Sønderborg area is a living demonstration of great energy savings, partly because we have renovated many municipal buildings at the same time that we also set sustainable requirements for new buildings,” said Erik Lauritzen, mayor of Sønderborg Municipality. 

He added confidently: “At the same time, we have skilled companies in the Sønderborg area that are strong in technology, smart energy systems and other solutions to minimize the emission of CO2. That is why we strongly believe in sustainable solutions that can contribute to Chicago's green transformation process. Of course, we also expect that we will get something out of the agreement.



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