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Climate competitiveness

Viable Cities, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and the Climate Municipalities are collaborating in the Climate Competitiveness initiative to accelerate the collaboration between municipalitiesbusiness to both strengthen companies and achieve the mission and become climate neutral.

The role of companies in the climate transition has become increasingly high on the agenda in Sweden and internationally, both as major emitters but also as suppliers of solutions. Viable Cities is therefore investing in the Climate Competitiveness initiative in 2023, where we together explore what systemic changes can accelerate the collaboration between municipalitiesbusiness to achieve the mission of climate-neutral cities in 2030 with a good life for all within the boundaries of the planet.

The initiative is primarily aimed at the 23 cities included in the Climate Neutral Cities 2030 program, with the aim of creating knowledge that can be used in all Swedish municipalities. It is a complement to the interest groups that have already been formed within Viable Cities on various issues related to collaboration with the business community and other initiatives where the business community is involved.

One purpose of Climate Competitiveness is also to jointly support each other to develop from relatively uncoordinated short-term projects to a coherent and long-term strategy based on the climate contract's analysis that identifies the most important areas of action and the joint roadmap with an associated climate investment plan in which companies are systematically involved.

The Swedish National Board of Housing,Building Communities as part of housing supplydescribes how municipalities can choose to provide support at different levels. These can be generalized and serve as a model for how municipalities can support companies' efforts in the city's development towards climate neutrality:

  1. Enabling: Removing potential barriers and lowering thresholds
  2. Facilitate and promote: designate contact persons, communicate policies.
  3. Initiate and actively support: Set concrete targets and follow up, allocate staff and resources, invite regular dialogue,

To this can be added a fourth level: Develop. At this level, the municipality participates in initiatives aimed at developing the area systemically, for example through policy changes at regional, national and international level.


The efforts right now focus on working with SKR and the Climate Municipalities to compile a collection of good examples of collaboration between the municipality and business in terms of climate change and, based on this, identify challenges and obstacles to be raised with the relevant actors at regional and national level. Examples of areas are innovation procurement, skills supply, business development, events, tourism, centre development, exploitation, energy, transport and collaboration with science parks and incubators. Feel free to contribute with material or input by contacting us.

Good examples

Within the Climate Competitiveness initiative, Viable Cities, together with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions and the Climate Municipalities, has created a collection of good examples of collaboration between municipalities and municipalities. business To achieve the mission of climate-neutral cities by 2030 with a good life for all within planetary boundaries. Here we have collected the examples we have so far, and we will develop in both form and content going forward. 

  • All examples
  • academia and business
  • Tourism and events
  • Construction and real estate
  • civil society
  • Digitalization
  • Ecological sustainability
  • Energy
  • Financing, investment and procurement
  • Communicating change
  • Governance (governance and management)
  • International cooperation
  • Mobility and transport
  • Social and urban planning
Shuttle service - a new way to travel on business?

Karlstad, Klimatkommunerna and the Swedish Taxi Association are collaborating on Tjänsteskjuts, an alternative to the number of official vehicles owned or leased by the municipality. The new solution can both save money and have environmental benefits, reducing traffic, pollution, noise and parking in the city, as well as...

Skyfall in a digital twin 

Gothenburg's digital twin has been used to test how to storm-proof the city. The goal is to develop an interactive tool to ensure compliance with rainfall requirements in urban planning processes, where different actors will be able to cross-test measures to make good decisions...

Sting Bioeconomy

Sting Bioeconomy will help develop innovations in the area of forest-based bioeconomy and increase the number of fast-growing companies in the area. The initiative is a collaboration between Paper Province, Region Värmland, Karlstad Municipality and Sting.

Nature trail urban area

In central Nacka, a district is being developed based on a nature-based concept where the urban and nature meet in new ways. This creates an urban environment with greater contrasts and variety, where nature and the existing topography can take up more space and influence the...

To promote innovation and the creation of new digital services for citizens and businesses, Linköping Municipality makes public information available in the form of open data.

Kristianstad: Skyfall map

Kristianstad is located in a low-lying, waterlogged area that is highly vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather. In its climate adaptation work, it has produced the Skyfall Map, which shows which places in Kristianstad, Åhus and Yngsjö could be flooded in connection with...

Micromobility and micrology

Gothenburg Climate Partnership (GCP) is a long-term and active collaboration between the business community in the Gothenburg region and the City of Gothenburg to reduce climate impact. One of the initiatives focuses on transportation and micromobility.

Sting's Climate Action initiative

Sting Bioeconomy will help develop innovations in the area of forest-based bioeconomy and increase the number of fast-growing companies in the area. The initiative is a collaboration between Paper Province, Region Värmland, Karlstad Municipality and Sting.

Bumblebees visiting the church park. More plants lead to increased biodiversity. Photo: Ekologigruppen via SMHI

Järfälla has a long tradition of planning for good park and nature structures. Green areas strengthen the municipality's ecosystem services, contribute to reducing flood risk, and preserve water quality, biodiversity and social added value. The value of ecosystem services was addressed in the master plan work in Järfälla municipality as early as 2014.

Trollhättan: Industrial campus

An industrial campus will be created in Trollhättan as part of the work on skills supply and attracting talent. A letter of intent has been signed between University West, Innovatum Science Park, the municipal company Kraftstaden and Polestar.

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Good examples

Organisation and multi-level governance are about cooperation between several levels and actors. These can be regions and municipalities, business and organisations. These include, among other things, examples of several cities that have developed local Climate City Contract to engage the business community in the transition work, and in Västra Götaland, the County Administrative Board and the region have joined forces on the Klimat2030 initiative, in which all municipalities have adopted climate pledges. 

Several cities are working with companies, government agencies and other actors in energy matters. Among other things, the Swedish Energy Agency provides support to municipalities that want to provide energy and climate advice for companies and other actors, and in Lund focuses on energy and transport, since passenger transport accounts for the majority of emissions and a robust energy system is an absolute necessity for climate neutrality to be achieved. 

Circular economy means that materials and products are reused, reused and recycled, in order to save new products from being produced. Several cities collaborate and work with the circular economy together with associations and companies, there are several examples from the construction industry, and cities work both nationally and internationally. 

For example, in Helsingborg, the industrial symbiosis began as early as the mid-70s, and in the industrial and social symbiosis network in Sotenäs, materials, energy and knowledge are exchanged between several different actors with the sea as a starting point. 

Through business development, cities and companies work together to develop methods to drive climate change adaptation work and push it forward within the municipality. For example, Mariestad uses games and nudging in its citizen dialogue, where companies can participate in the games and describe how they work with climate adaptation, which also gives them exposure to potential customers, partners and employees. And in Kristianstad, which has a large agricultural sector and food industry, the 'More carbon in the soil' initiative has been launched to increase carbon storage while strengthening a long-term and competitive food system. 

Within establishment, there are examples where the municipality's business unit together with companies drive development jointly. Establishment is also an important part of the work with development and urban transformation (see below).

Here are examples where Kalmar has developed a checklist for sustainable events that includes both ecological and social aspects, Eskilstuna's recycling mall, Sweden's first, has become international news and has been visited by documentary filmmakers, journalists and curious tourists from all corners of the world, and actors from several cities have participated in Greentopia, which aims to make events engines for the climate transition with a focus on both organizers, suppliers and visitors. 

The transport sector has high emissions in cities, and several cities are working hard together with business, academia, research and government agencies to find sustainable and sustainable solutions. They are working, for example, to make the entire logistics chain fast-moving and sustainable, zones where the transport system of the future is developed and tested, innovation procurement to solve the climate challenge of commuting, and services for bike rental systems, micromobility and business transport. 

In procurement, there are examples where Fossil Free Sweden has worked together with several cities to identify the challenges that exist in introducing climate requirements in public procurement, and where all of a city's construction administrations and companies have joined forces to develop joint procurement requirements to accelerate the construction and civil engineering sector's transition to emission-free construction sites.

Here we find, among other things, Gothenburg's platform for climate-neutral construction, where the entire value chain gathers around ten concrete commitments based on the five key factors in the roadmap for a fossil-free construction sector, and the EU's first emission-free construction site in Östersund. 

Examples of how cities and business We work together on development and urban transformation, among other things; Myran – Enköping's largest urban development project and a catalyst for Enköping's climate transition; Brunnshög in Lund, which aims to be at the forefront of development in everything from large technical systems, such as tramways and district heating, to smaller initiatives, such as rain barrels and car pool memberships; and Örebro's new residential area Tamarinden, which is planned to become a sustainable and smart district where conditions for people to meet are created, and where the houses share energy. 

Nacka, Växjö, Enköping, Lund and Uppsala are some of the cities that work with climate requirements in their land allocation competitions, and RISE is leading a project in the area. 

Most cities are working hard to adapt to climate change and to adapt and secure the city against climate change. A couple of them are Kristianstad, which is located in a low and water-surrounded place with a great exposure to climate change and extreme weather, which has produced the Skyfall map, and Järfälla, which has a long tradition of planning for good park and nature structure with green areas that strengthen the municipality's ecosystem services, contribute to reduced flood risk, and preserve water quality and biodiversity. 

Several cities are working to accelerate the climate transition by developing their work with open and shared data. Some examples are Nacka, Linköping, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Karlskrona and Stockholm. 

Collaboration between cities and science parks, science centers and incubators means that they, with joint effort, can, for example, formulate and implement joint commitments, develop innovations in specific areas and give a boost to the work on sustainable social development and promote innovation collaborations for new smart solutions and business ideas.

Collaborative research is based on the following: public organisations to develop new solutions for sustainable cities. Here are examples from Stockholm, Gothenburg and Lund, among others.

Skills supply includes continuous learning to meet the need for skills in climate change adaptation and to attract talent. This is being worked on in, among others, Stockholm, Nacka, Trollhättan, Gothenburg and Umeå. 

Several cities have been working with green bonds for a long time, and Helsingborg has launched a framework for sustainable bonds that includes both green and social categories.