By Gabrielle Bunton on October 2, 2021 at 14:14 for Copenhagen Assignment
With the recent effects of climate change being shown around the world, people have begun to look into alternative ways that are less harmful for the planet. For Denmark, it’s capital city has taken on the task to be more sustainable in any aspect.
In a study by USwitch, Copenhagen ranked fifth in the most sustainable cities. The study looks into green space through public transport, air quality, and energy sources and more.
Copenhagen has made the goal of being the world’s first carbon neutral by 2025 with various sustainable initiatives around the city. The Copenhagen 2025 Climate Change Plan focuses on energy consumption, energy production, green mobility and the City administration. The plan aims to spread the development of green solutions.
“Denmark and Copenhagen have been a front runner in the sustainable movement for many years and therefore we have developed many solutions which can help make the world more sustainable,” said Jonas Lovschall-Wedel, Manager of PR and Communication for Wonderful Copenhagen.
Kobenhavns Kommune states that, the production of electricity and heat for Copenhagen is currently the biggest source of CO2 emissions, and it is absolutely critical that coal, oil and natural gas are replaced in the production process by wind power, sustainable biomass, geothermal energy and solar power.
Christina Skjolding Hjelm, Sustainability Consultant for Københavns Kommune, said that Denmark as a whole must lead the world in sustainability. “When the plan to be carbon-neutral came, we knew we needed to do initiatives that would make change here and inspire people all over the world.”
Public transport can be one of the more obvious initiatives of sustainability, with Denmark being a very big biking country. The bicycle culture can be seen all throughout Denmark. State of Green reports that more than 60% of the people who live and work in Copenhagen commute by bike every day. You can find many people riding their bikes or multiple ones parked on the sides of the streets. Also, the buses in Copenhagen are electric.
Like many cities across Europe, infrastructure and architecture is a very big deal. In the city, they plan to make sure that many buildings play their part in the sustainability efforts. For example, almost 70% of the hotel rooms in the city are Eco-certified and several hotels and hotel chains have made an ambitious engagement within sustainability like the Hotel SP34 and Hotel Danmark, according to Wonderful Copenhagen.
“Our sustainability strategy is in its essence based on our core values: responsibility, passion and care. We work hard on improving these values every day for our guests, team, and partners. To succeed with this, we have linked these values to three overall focus areas: people, product, and planet,” Maja Whitta Anderson, Head of Marketing and Communications for Brochner Hotels.
The city’s sustainable efforts can also be found in smaller things like restaurants and activities. Organic food makes up 24% of total food sales in the city. Famous restaurants like Geranium, Gemyse Tivoli, Neighbourhood, use local and organic produce. In grocery stores in Denmark, it’s extremely common to have reusable bags for groceries instead of the plastic bags you may see in America.
“In tourism perspective this has helped the city. Around half the Copenhageners commute by bike and our famed new Nordic cuisine is essentially about using local, seasonal ingredients.”
The city centre offers walking distance on the cobblestone streets between shops, restaurants, venues, hotels in minutes. The city’s infrastructure also takes advantage of the it’s green areas and proximity to the North and Balitic Sea. The sustainable efforts have not only affected the city’s environment, but the tourism as well.
“Our energy sector is fairly green with lot’s wind power, Danes consume more organic food than any nationalities and we managed to turn our once polluted industrial harbour into a recreational haven for swimmers, kayakers and people trying to catch a fish. It’s part of the way of life here,” said Lovschall-Wedel. “In tourism perspective this has helped the city. Around half the Copenhageners commute by bike and our famed new Nordic cuisine is essentially about using local, seasonal ingredients.”
Overall, Copenhagen’s sustainable initiatives can be found all over the city from attractions, stores and transportation. As 2025 inches closer, Copenhagen continues to find eco-friendly ways to help the city, the country and the world.
INOGRAPHIC LINK: Copenhagen, Denmark.pdf
VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsCZRPmyDE0