Växjö – the Greenest city in Europe


Name of the Hosting Project Partner:


Contact person(s) for Study Visit (Name, e-mail):



Name of the Measure:

Växjö – the Greenest City in Europe

Type : (Autonomous  or Part of an integrated action plan?)
Topic addressed:

  • Integrated energy
  • Transport mobility
  • Land use planning
Managing Organisation (if not project partner, please provide name of the organization and website):

City of Växjö

Geographic Coverage (Country/Region):

City of Växjö


Starting Date and Expected Ending of the tool or measure:

1993 – ongoing


Beneficiaries / Target Group:

City of Växjö

Rationale (starting point, challenge, objectives, initiator(s) and stakeholders involved):

The green keys of Växjö

  • Collaboration majority and opposition
  • Long term strategy and measurable goals
  • International and local collaboration
  • Municipal autonomy


Some background to the daily work, from Agenda 21 in 1992 to Environmental Programme 2014 to Sustainable development and the Global goals today. But already in 1993 the City of Växjö approved an environmental policy. 

The Agenda 21-process in Växjö became a successful co-operation with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and with stakeholders in Växjö. After the round-table process, a local Agenda 21-strategy was adopted in the City Council in 1999. That document is now replaced by the Environmental Programme for City of Växjö.

The City of Växjö can not solve the world’s environmental problems, but wants to be part of the solution and take our responsibility. What we do locally also has a global impact!

The City of Växjö has for a long time successfully worked with climate and environmental issues and unanimous politicians has given the Växjö the epithet as the Greenest City in Europe.

Ambitious targets 

Enviromental programme for the City of Växjö was first adopted in 2006 by the City Council. The programme has been revised twice and was adopted in June 2014 by the City Council.

The Enviromental programme has three profile areas: Living Life, Our Nature and Fossil Fuel Free Växjö with targets till 2020.

Financing (costs? regional/national/European public or private resources?):


Implementation Modality / Methodology:

1. Environmental programme

The Environmental programme with goals to 2020 is adopted by City Council in June 2014.

The programme includes long term vision and also 30 measurable goals. The programme will soon come as a brochure but here you find the text.

Environmental programme

2014 the Växjö City Council approved a revised environmental program for the municipality. The environmental program contains visionary objectives for the 2030 and measurable goals till 2020. Environmental Programme is also broadening and deepening environmental work in the municipality.

2. Fossil Fuel Free Växjö

The vision is that Växjö shall become a municipality where it is easy and profitable to live a good life without fossil fuels.

The municipality has for a long time successfully worked with environmental and climate issues and the political consensus and involvement has given visible results.  The target is to become Fossil fuel free 2030 and Växjö has reduced the fossil carbon dioxide emissions by 48 per cent per inhabitant from 1993 till 2014.

Växjö Declaration

Växjö Declaration was released in March 2015, during Earth Week. Claire Roumet, Deputy Executive Director of Energy Cities, Yvonne Ruwaida (MP) representing the Swedish Government, local business sector, Linnaeus University and local citizens attended the meeting.

3. Recycling for energy

Sorting food waste is a simple way of contributing to a better environment and a better climate. In Växjö food waste becomes bio-gas: Food waste is an important resource that we can take advantage of by decomposing it down to bio-gas. Instead of sending all food waste for incineration and losing important nutrients and energy, we can make fertile bio-soil and bio-gas from food waste, and thereby complete the natural eco-cycle. At the same time we produce an environment friendly vehicle fuel for both cars and buses.

Vehicle gas is both renewable and clean, unlike petrol and diesel. It is also locally produced.

4. Transport plan

On 21 October 2014, the City Council of Växjö adopted a new sustainable urban mobility plan, we call it transport plan. The plan describes how the Municipality of Växjö will handle the challenges related to growing from a small town to a city with regional accessibility and sustainability.

The growing city means more people and more goods will need to be transported on the same surface area of the city. The fact that many transportations are made one person/one car, gives challenges regarding shortage of space, air pollutions and other disorders. Växjö therefore strives to switch to more efficient modes of transport, contributing to freeing capacity when you absolutely need to use a car.


Internal organization of the implementation of the measure / Administrative Work-Flow:

All municipal departments and companies are responsible for their work to get a sustainable development.

Performance Indicators  (if applicable):



98% Biomass use


Strong features of the tool/measure:

Focus on several areas of interest that they tackle one-by-one:

1. Energy and climate in city planning

  • Densifying the built structure
  • Priority of sustainable transport modes
  • Low energy use
  • Wooden houses
  • Climate adaptation


2. District heating

  • Renewable energy source
  • Used in almost all parts of the city – Requirement when the city sells land


3. Small scale renewable energy

  • Increased use of solar energy
  • Energy plan requires municipal housing companies to invest in RES


4. Transport planning

  • Easy and safe to use bike
  • Improvement of public transport
  • Dense city, to reduce the need for car-use
  • Charging infrastructure


5. Climate adaptation

  • Prepare for climate change
  • Storm water management


Weak features and criticalities of the tool/measure:


From the starting, did you apply any change in design and implementation? Any corrective action?


What are the lessons learned for your region? For other regions? What would be conditions for potential transfer?

The green keys of Växjö

  • Collaboration majority and opposition
  • Long term strategy and measurable goals
  • International and local collaboration
  • Municipal autonomy


The strategic vision has to be assumed by all political parties. The bigger picture (good) should not be oversaw. Each action should be seen as a part of the plan and contribute towards achieving the long term goals.

What are the next steps/follow up actions? (if applicable):


Additional comments:

For more information, contact

Åsa Thulin, telephone +46 0470 41 000, or

e-mail technical.visits@vaxjo.se

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