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Sustainable Gothenburg

Sustainable Gothenburg

The environmental policy in Sweden is based on sixteen environmental quality objectives adopted by the Swedish Parliament. They form an important part of the process of achieving sustainable development, along with the social and economic dimensions involved. The overall goal is to solve major environmental problems within one generation. To attain this ‘one generation’ goal, a sincere commitment is required of a wide range of bodies and organizations, such as county administrative boards and local authorities.

In Gothenburg, sustainability is implemented in the overall municipal strategy plans through a project called S2020. This is a social vision firmly anchored in budget plans and strategies to reconcile ecological, economic and social aspects of sustainability aimed to permeate all municipal activities. The approach is based on the concept of sustainable development, as was initially expressed in the Brundtland report - development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Social Sustainable Development is a key concept in Gothenburg, in order to let people's different needs influence urban renewal and thus turn segregation into integration.

The City of Gothenburg has defined that activities in the municipality should be easily accessible, service-oriented and characterized by a holistic approach that allows for the use of existing resources in an efficient manner. The challenges of sustainable development will therefore require new and unconventional solutions. Within the Social Administration Board, all activities must be based on the adopted vision and also include a child and youth perspective.

The Gothenburg Award for sustainable development is the city’s international prize that recognizes and supports work to achieve sustainable development – in the Gothenburg region and from a global perspective. The award, which is one million Swedish crowns, is administrated and funded by a coalition of the City of Gothenburg and twelve companies.

The Volvo Environment Prize is awarded for "Outstanding innovations or scientific discoveries which in broad terms fall within the environmental field". The Prize, 1.5 million Swedish crowns, is awarded by an independent foundation, which was instituted in 1988. Laureates represent all fields of environmental and sustainability studies and initiatives.

"Together we have the power to create new possibilities in human life. In a sustainable Gothenburg, there is room for everybody."

A university for a sustainable development

University of Gothenburg was one of the first universities to sign the COPERNICUS charter for sustainable development in 1993. In February 2000 the University Board decided that the objective for the university should be to receive an ISO14001 certification. After six years of hard work the University finally achieved its ISO14001 certificate in January 2006, along with an EMAS (EU´s environmental regulation) registration. This makes us unique among the universities in the world.

In 2001 the University of Gothenburg together with Chalmers University of Technology arranged a conference with the title: “Knowledge and Learning for a Sustainable Society”. This became the start of a process of international conferences and workshops on “learning for a sustainable society” leading to the “Gothenburg recommendations on learning for a sustainable society” released in 2008. In this booklet there was also a special chapter on early childhood education for sustainable development of relevance for the present OMEP world conference.

In 2008 the University was awarded the worlds first UNESCO chair in “Early Childhood Education and sustainable development” at present held by Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson. She is also professor at the faculty of pedagogic and president of OMEP.




SGS use environmentally friendly cleansers regarding laundry and cleaning. Guests can sort and compost garbage. Plastic bottles left behind by guests are taken care of and left for recycling.

Spar Hotel Gårda & Majorna

The hotels are environmental certified by Gröna Nyckeln (Green Key). Being a Gröna Nyckeln-hotel means that there must be an environmental management withholding an environmental policy, environmental objectives and an environmental plan of action. Guests and staff must be informed about the environmental work and there must be documentation of reduced environmental effects concerning water, energy, raw material, primary and secondary products.

Scandic Crown, Rubinen och Opalen

Scandic hotels are eco-labeled by Svanen and offer KRAV-certified breakfasts and an environmental company car policy. They also work with The Natural Step on sustainable issues. The Natural Step is an international organization that advises companies on strategic issues concerning sustainability.

Riverton Hotel

The hotel has an environmental certification from the Environmental Department in Gothenburg in collaboration with Fältbiologerna (Field biologists Society). The environmental thinking regarding purchases/package, staff qualification, separation at source, cleansers, laundry/cleaning, energy/water and food/raw material is consistently.

Elite Plaza Hotel

Elite Plaza Hotel strives for being a company with an environmentally consciously comprehensive view where everyone has a responsibility for observing environmental values within every area, for example work environment, laws, purchase procedures, chemical products and recycling.


Kajskjul 8

Kajskjul 8 strives for ways to work as environmentally friendly as possible. Separation at source, composting, recycling and cost effectiveness are included in their environmental thinking. The menus are seasonal and the food is locally produced as far as it is possible. 


AV Provider

AV Provider rents their locales from a bigger company and follows their rules regarding paper recycling, separation at source, composting etc. They take care of electronic waste, both their own and from their customers and make sure it’s taken to a retrieval plant.

Congress Bureau

MCI Group

MCI´s approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is based on the principles of the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit.

MCI feels an obligation to grow their business sustainably and responsibly in a way that supports communities and safeguards the environment. If the right balance is found, the business will continue to prosper and bring value not only to current stakeholders, but also to future generations.

The integration of CSR into the organization is guided by the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. Since 2007, MCI has been signatory in this, the world’s largest CSR initiative. Their CSR experts and local office champions are integrating social and environmental considerations into the day to day operational practices, policies, strategies and projects of the company.



Eco-labeled by Svanen.

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