Gothenburg may play second fiddle to cities like Stockholm in terms of size and population, but it more than holds its own when it comes to being a world-leader in green practices. In fact, green, sustainable practices have become so paramount in the city that Gothenburg has been crowned the most sustainable destination in the world for four years running by the Global Destination Sustainability Index. So, Gothenburg, Sweden has worked hard for Greenest City title.
Earning such an accolade is no easy feat, and the city continuously works towards being more sustainable and eco-friendly. There are a number of reasons why Gothenburg has repeatedly been hailed as the greenest city in the world.
Green transportation lies close to the heart of the city
Gothenburg is a relatively small city, which means most things are within walking distance from one another. If you do need to travel swiftly from one place to another, you can count on a number of green modes of transportation to get you there. Not only are there more than 1,000 eco-friendly bikes that can be rented, but over 65% of public transport in the city makes use of renewable energy. Additionally, the city boasts various low-emission zones, makes use of eco-friendly waste transportation, and is home to an ever-increasing number of electric vehicles.
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Despite a handful of challenges the switch to electric vehicles poses, the countless benefits far outweigh any shortcomings. Clean, green modes of transport not only help save the planet, but present many new business opportunities too. At present, there are 19 public charging stations for electric cars within the city limits.
Travel and tourism greener than ever before
When it comes to green travel and tourism, Gothenburg is once again leading the race. Nearly all hotels in the city are in possession of environmental diplomas, which only get awarded to establishments that have proven to have a high level of environmental awareness and have certain pre-defined systems in place for recycling and energy/water conservation. Gothia Towers, for instance, is the largest hotel in Scandinavia.
The hotel, which boasts 1,200 rooms and five restaurants, is a leader in sustainable hospitality. The entire hotel is powered by wind power, and nearly 94% of waste is recycled. Nearly all harsh chemicals have also been removed from the daily operations of the hotel. While this is an incredible achievement for such a large hotel, the efforts are not unusual, and they have been implemented across the city.
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Sustainable food continues to dominate
Sustainable, ‘green’ food is commonplace in Gothenburg. All meat served by the city’s municipality has to be organically-farmed. There are also countless establishments that enforce sustainable food practices on a daily basis. Restaurants like vRA and Natur are at the forefront of sustainable cuisine. vRA found a sustainable alternative to imported French oysters right on the west coast of Sweden, while locally-sourced fruit and vegetables form the basis of most of the menu offerings at Natur. Natural wine has also found its way to most restaurant menus in the city.
Considering all the eco-friendly and sustainable efforts made across the city, it is no wonder that Gothenburg has been crowned the greenest city. Hopefully, it will inspire other cities to make an increased effort to up their game.
Gothenburg, Sweden Worked Hard For Greenest City Title, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Karoline Gore. Karoline is a freelance writer from Stoke on Trent in the UK who left the corporate grind when she started a family and has never looked back. She enjoys contributing to a range of online publications on the topics that are important to her.
Feature image (on top) Photo: Visit Sweden