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A residential neighbourhood in Malmö, Source: Josefine Granding Larsson, on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Malmö is the first Swedish city with a roadmap to sustainable construction

Malmö is the first Swedish city with a roadmap to sustainable construction

It took a concerted effort from the main stakeholders in the industry for this to happen

Malmö is currently hosting the ICLEI World Congress Summit: 2021-22, however more than a meeting venue, the Swedish city is a pioneer of its own in the field of sustainability. One of its praiseworthy initiatives was the creation of the LFM30 roadmap to climate-neutral construction. In essence, this is a large-scale collaborative platform among all the main local stakeholders involved in the construction industry, working in accord with the public administration to achieve a climate-neutral status for their city.

Why construction matters

The construction industry is actually one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters. For a city like Malmö, it accounts for 20% of its overall carbon footprint. At the same time, over the next 10–15 years, the city plans to build approximately 28,500 new homes, extend municipal services and expand infrastructure. In addition to this, the city’s existing buildings will require routine maintenance and renovation.

As a response to that pressing issue and to find a meaningful solution that works, the local government signed up for the national Fossil Free Sweden roadmap but also decided to develop its own roadmap. As a result, the LFM30 was created to provide a vision and a set of guiding standards for the construction industry.

The roadmap contains six overarching, indivisible and strategic focus areas:

  • Business models, incentives and collaboration;
  • Circular economy and resource efficiency;
  • Design, process, and climate calculation;
  • Climate neutral construction materials;
  • Operation maintenance and management;
  • Climate neutral construction sites and transport;

Renewable and circular building materials are prioritized in all construction work and actors increase their collective demand for reused, recycled, renewable, resource-efficient, and climate-neutral materials.

Waste reduction is key in the LFM30 roadmap. Actors strive to minimize construction waste by recycling materials to get full circularity. In addition to this, by calculating estimates of a building’s climate impact in the design phase, actors can take construction decisions that also prevent the production of waste.

These are the principles that actors sign up and commit to following in order to make their industry climate-neutral by 2030. What’s more, the roadmap looks beyond that deadline to integrate climate-positivity after that, meaning that the industry will recycle and repurpose more than it will emit.

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