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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Regions & Cities | Region Västra Götaland A choice to change behaviour

Giving people a choice to change behaviour

Region Västra Götaland

Region Västra Götaland image

Cooperation between business and local government can lead to substantial successes in mitigating climate change effects and establishing a greener future. It is through collaboration that climate measures will have a larger impact, when creating markets for new products or trying to change attitudes in people.

Region Västra Götaland explores the beginnings of the regional climate strategy, Smart Energy, they adopted in 2009 to reduce climate effects and achieve fossil energy independence by 2030, while creating growth and jobs.

Concrete, common agreements have been made in sectors with a greater chance of affecting development and making a difference. They have so far concentrated on energy-efficient building, solar energy, river shipping and public procurement.

Work is run process and project orientated within priority areas. Municipalities, businesses, research and education are important partners and add competence in the development work.

Region Västra Götaland image

In 2006, Region Västra Götaland, with its own project, Considerate Design, published a 20-page catalogue called Gröna Listan – The Green List – with furniture and fabrics with high eco labelling standards. The latest list in 2010, now 120 pages long, is a successful tool for both eco-adapted procurement and business. Companies want to be listed with their new or environmentally-improved products. Interior designers, architects and purchasers nationwide use it to see which products are best for the environment and climate.

The list covers only 6-8% of the whole range of furniture on the Region Västra Götaland procurement lists for the last three years. However, 32% in 2008 and 41% in 2009 of all furniture and fabrics were purchased from the list. The goal for 2010 is for at least 50% to be sourced from it.

Demonstrating energy efficiency

In 2001, Sweden’s first passive house was built outside Göteborg, the region’s capital. Region Västra Götaland started the three-year programme, Energy-efficient Building, in 2007. As part of this, two years later, 5% of all new buildings in the region had been built with the passive house technique; this is likely to increase to 10% over 2010. So far 90 building companies have made energy-efficient building an integrated part of their business and 25 new companies, both consultants and manufacturers, have started with energy efficient building as their business idea.

Co-funded by Region Västra Götaland and Alingsås Municipality, the Passive House Centre is a public resource hub linking the market to research in this area. It provides ongoing education and training for urban planners, builders and consultants. Show-houses, in particular, a low-energy kindergarten and blocks of flats from the 1970s, refurbished to the passive house standard, have been visited by thousands of people from the building sector.

Västra Götaland is the lead partner in Build with CaRe, a project in the Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme. Its aim is to make energy-efficient building mainstream. Experience tells us that it does not cost more to build, manage or own an energy-efficient building. Now, in the final year of the programme, the challenge is to retrofit the large existing building stock. The first buildings that deliver more energy than they use, so-called plus houses, will mark the start of a new era.

Public bodies are fundamental to showing that energy efficiency is necessary, possible and affordable. Frontline academic work by the universities and research institutes is also essential. Bringing local government, academia and business together is combining the best of all. These successful public-private partnerships are testament to the potential.

The following areas are included in the Smart Energy strategy:
  • Efficient energy use in housing and property sector;
  • Efficient transport of goods – green logistics;
  • Efficient transport of people – mobility;
  • Alternative fuels and more efficient vehicles and shipping;
  • Increased use of energy from renewable sources such as farming, forestry, the sun, the wind and the waves; and,
  • Lifestyle, consumer power and producer responsibility.

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Region Vastra Gotaland

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