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The City of Malmö sets a good example even in the environmentally progressive Swedish context, Source: Malmö Municipality

Malmö is Sweden’s best environmental municipality for the second year in a row

Malmö is Sweden’s best environmental municipality for the second year in a row

Close engagement initiatives with the business sector and residents were key to spreading the idea across the board

The Swedish magazine Aktuell Hållbarhet has distinguished the City of Malmö as the country’s most environmentally-friendly municipality for the second year in a row, according to the municipal website. The acknowledgement comes after the continuing efforts of the local authorities to involve other stakeholders in the city to adopt the ambitious outlook for sustainable transformation.

"We have high ambitions and high goals in Malmö. Environmental work permeates the entire organization and the city, it is a natural part of our daily work. It can be about everything from travel policy and personnel cycles to high sustainability ambitions in urban development projects," says Rebecka Persson, the City’s Environmental Director.

Switching to a more sustainable Malmö requires the entire city to work in new ways to find solutions to our common challenges. Together with the business community and academia, through test beds, the administration has developed innovative solutions, such as smart energy systems, sharing services for citizens, but also new water solutions to reduce drinking water use.

Climate work is on everyone’s mind

Getting the distinction is no coincidence. Consider, for example, that Malmö was one of the first cities in Sweden to sign the Climate Contract 2030, showing that it wants to lead the way and work with others to switch to climate-neutral and sustainable cities.

Through Klimatkontrakt (as the document is known in Swedish) Malmö, the business community, associations and Malmö residents, based on their unique contributions, can participate in Malmö's climate change.

"We have started to build important partnerships with the business community. We are also working to involve the people of Malmö, which is absolutely necessary for us to succeed. In dialogue with the people, we are developing a digital tool to make it easier for residents to contribute to climate change work and for us to gain a deeper understanding of their challenges and driving forces so that we as a city can support the change in a relevant way," adds Rebecka Persson.

An example of the involvement of residents is that the City of Malmö has hired people to be climate ambassadors. Their task is to work together with the property owners in Rosengård to reduce littering problems and at the same time be ambassadors for the climate issue.

Linked to the climate challenges, the City of Malmö has in the past year also worked to strengthen the city's resilience in several ways, to withstand a changing climate. Among other things, the Blue Green City Lab project has worked to increase the use of nature-based solutions in the city, such as green walls. Malmö was very recently named a resilience hub by the UN, which means increased opportunities for cooperation and knowledge sharing in the area.

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