ICLEI European Secretariat

ICLEI European Secretariat



Members in the spotlight

Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg Image: sxc.huGothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden has a population of approximately half a million. There is a distinct maritime atmosphere, with a mixture of older, well-preserved districts and exciting new developments. There is considerable emphasis on ensuring that the people in the city live in a good secure environment. Interaction between the city, industry and the research/development community is a cornerstone in Gothenburg's development.

The city's local environmental objectives are based on the 16 national environmental objectives. Of these, Gothenburg selected the targets that are important to the community. These include improved quality of ground water, flourishing water and streams, a balanced marine environment and improved air quality.

To learn more, read Gothenburg and the Environment.

Sustainablity focus: Renewable fuels

A growing number of Swedish cars are being run on forest fuel called biomethane. Energy company Göteborg Energi believes biomethane is the fuel of the future as it is an entirely renewable and readily available low-carbon alternative fuel that can be produced locally from organic waste. Whether it will be fueling, power production or other purposes, the biogas is equivalent to natural gas and will be injected into the gas grid.

Gothenburg Biomass Gasification (GoBiGas) is the name of the project that will transform biomass and forestry waste into fuel through thermal gasification. Two phases are planned: in the initial phase a demonstration facility with the capacity of 20 MW in the Rya Harbour and in the second phase a plant with the capacity of 80-100 MW. After the evaluation of the first phase, the construction of a larger second facility with jetty connection will be started. By 2020, the target for Göteborg Energi is to offer renewable gas to the extent of 1 TWh, supplying 100,000 automobiles.

Biogas production from gasification of solid biomass, replacing fossil fuels provides large reductions of CO2. What is more, the city of Gothenburg looks forward to the prospect of creating new jobs in the fields of energy industry, automotive industry and forestry.

Fast facts:
  • There are more than 46 miles of bicycle paths in Gothenburg
  • The city has a programme for environmentally-
    adapted construction
  • There are several fixed monitoring stations and mobile monitoring stations that measure air quality in the city all day
  • By 2050 Gothenburg will have a sustainable and equitable level of emissions of carbon dioxide


  • The city is a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors

ICLEI and Gothenburg:
Gothenburg has been an ICLEI member since 1992 and is a member of ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCP). The city has green and ethical criteria in its public procurement and was a partner in the LEAP-project

Website: www.goteborg.se/english and www.goteborg.se [In Swedish]



Malmo, Sweden

City of Malmo Image: sxc.huMalmo is the commercial centre of southern Sweden and is home to 286,500 residents from approximately 170 different nationalities. Malmo is also undergoing a transition from being an industrial city to a city of knowledge. Older industries have been replaced by investments in new technology and training programmes of high calibre.

By 2020, Malmo aims to be climate neutral and by 2030 the whole municipality plans to run on 100 percent renewable energy. To further these aims  the city unveiled its Environmental Programme in 2009. The Programme runs until 2010 and provides a common objective for everyone working for Malmo’s future, both within the City of Malmo and within the municipality as a whole. In working towards sustainable urban development, Malmo has cooperated widely with other cities, primarily in Europe.

Sustainablity focus: Converting a wilderness into a sustainable oasis

What was once a dilapidated housing area, is now a thriving oasis, which underlines the city's sustainability. In Malmo's Augustenborg district, botanic roof gardens retain the water and solar and wind energy provide electricity and heat. The local residents have assumed an active role in the area's dramatic change.

Work began in 1998, and Augustenborg is now one of the biggest sustainability projects in Sweden. Shabby external insulations were replaced with more energy-efficient alternatives. A sustainable school was erected- through geothermal energy, solar energy, compost toilets and a proper wind power plant.

Augustenborg tackles the issue of flooding with green roofs and storm channels: moss and succulents were planted on the roofs of the office buildings and the soil and the roots can hold up to 75 percent of the rainfall. In residential areas the water flows through channels into ponds that are home to animals and plants.

Fast facts:
  • In 2009, the city received the United Nations’ Habitat Scroll of Honour for its efforts in sustainable development, and was recently awarded the United Nations World Habitat Award for its work on revitalising the Augustenborg District
  • By 2020, the City of Malmo aims to be climate neutral and by 2030 the whole municipality aims to run on 100% renewable energy
  • Malmo’s goal is to serve 100% organic food in all of its public catering services by 2020


  • Malmo was shortlisted for the European Green Capital Award 2012 and 2013
  • The city is signatory of the Covenant of Mayors


ICLEI and Malmo: Malmo has been an ICLEI member since 1998 and is a member of ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection Campaign. The city is also a partner in the RELIEF research project.

Website: www.malmo.se/English and www.malmo.se/ [In Swedish]