Stockholm – leading the way in sustainability
In a world where green is the new black, many gloss over the real issues with pretty words. But real sustainability is not a quick fix. At least not in the first ever European Green Capital.
A broader definition of sustainability
Sustainability is undoubtedly the word ”de jour” of the world’s meeting industry, with more and more destinations offering so called “green meetings”. But real sustainability can’t be achieved by focusing on the meetings themselves. Not even if factors such as accommodations and transports are factored in. Actual sustainability can only result from a much more holistic approach where every aspect of environmental, economic and social impact is part of the equation. That’s why factors such as freedom from corruption, equality and labour legislation are equally important to consider when choosing a meeting destination. Then, and only then, can the true meaning of sustainability, and indeed green meetings, be realized.
Welcome to the first-ever European Green Capital
Stockholm was the first-ever city to be designated European Green Capital by the EU Commission in 2010. The main reason cited for the award was Stockholm’s integrated administrative system, which guarantees that environmental aspects are considered in budgets, operational planning, reporting and monitoring. Or in other words: just about everything that happens in Stockholm does so with sustainability in mind.
At the cutting edge of urban development
Sustainability starts at home. Stockholm’s much-publicized sustainable city concept, Hammarby Sjöstad, has come to serve as a role model for urban development projects all around the world. For the next project area, Stockholm Royal Seaport, the requirements will be even more stringent!
There is no getting away from the fact that traveling to and from your chose meeting venue has some environmental impact. Therefore you’ll be pleased to hear that Stockholm-Arlanda Airport was the first airport to meet the requirements for the highest level [3+] in the assessment of environmental impact of airports in 2009. This level requires that the airport is entirely climate-neutral with respect to emissions from its own operations. In continuing efforts to optimize the whole transport chain, there will be a new commuter train connection, taking passengers directly [and swiftly] from the airport to Stockholm International Fairs, beginning December 2012. This is in addition to the already existing Arlanda Express high-speed rail link (travel time from airport terminal to Stockholm Central: 20 min). And once in Stockholm, you can take advantage of the extensive local transport system that ranks among the best in Europe.
The city for everyone
The vision for Stockholm in 2030 is that of a world-class city, accessible to everyone – disabled or not. To this end, a systematic endeavor to make Stockholm the world’s most accessible capital city was launched in 1999. Every year since, MSEK 100 have been earmarked for the Easy Access Project which is aimed at making Stockholm’s streets, squares, restaurants, cultural institutions and the City’s own properties, accessible and serviceable to all.