It is great to know that we come from an area that is an absolute world leader. No other place on the planet has an environmental record that can match that of the Nordics. We have the four greenest countries according to the Environmental Performance Index – Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Denmark.
PEA’s Swedish office is in Stockholm, one of the cleanest capitals on Earth. The city was granted the 2010 European Green Capital Award by the EU Commission and was Europe’s first “green capital.
The city was judged on its policies relating to climate change, local transport, public green areas, air quality, noise, waste, water consumption, waste water treatment, sustainable utilisation of land, biodiversity and environmental management. Out of 35 participant cities, eight finalists were chosen: Stockholm, Amsterdam, Bristol, Copenhagen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Münster, and Oslo.
Stockholm won because of its integrated administrative system which ensures environmental aspects are considered in budgets, its operational planning, reporting, and monitoring and its cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per capita in ten years, with the aim of being completely fossil fuel-free by 2050.
In 2010 Stockholm launched the program Professional Study Visits to share green best practices. The program teaches visitors how to address all the important sustainability issues and there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to look around any of the 219 nature reserves in the area.
Believe it or not, the water in Stockholm is so clean that people can dive and fish in the centre of the city. In fact the waters of downtown Stockholm serve as spawning grounds for multiple fish species including trout and salmon.
At PEA’s Stockholm office we are extremely proud to be a ‘shining example’ and a role model for other jurisdictions. But the Danish office earned their ‘bragging rights’ too when Copenhagen won the European Green Capital Award in 2014 and today is recognised as one of the most environmentally friendly cities anywhere.
Our Danish office is in the town of Allerød located in the northern side of Zealand, about 40 km north of Copenhagen. Denmark established the Ministry of Environment back in 1971 and two years later became the first country in the world to implement environmental legislation – almost three decades before the UK. Today Denmark is recognised as a global leader in responsible management of the environment.
We wanted to pass on this expertise so Green City Denmark was initiated by the Danish Ministry of Business and Industry in co-operation with the Ministry of the Environment and Energy. The aim was to establish a showcase for Danish environmental technology based on 25 years of legislation, education as well as research & development. It has been hugely successful. In 2015 Denmark produced 42% of its electricity from wind turbines according to official data, the highest figure yet recorded worldwide.
Sweden and Denmark are pioneers in eco-strategy and PEA has embraced this thinking weaving it into our corporate culture – we look to the future, focus on long-term rather than short-term gains, support developing ideas and technologies, believe in innovation and are prepared to lead from the front.
How very Nordic!