Sponsored by Realdania

Sustainia’s latest publication demonstrates how local communities and municipalities pave the way for brand new market opportunities.

In late May, Nordic Clean Energy Week took place, where major economies from around the globe met to accelerate the green transition. The cutting edge 
publication Klima100, a partnership between Sustainia and leading Nordic philantropic foundation Realdania, was officially launched during the summit at Copenhagen’s newly built architectural wonder, BLOX, with an event entitled ‘Klima100 – Sharing Local Climate Solutions.’

The publication demonstrates how localized, ‘bottom-up’ innovation is not only diversifying the disruptive markets of tomorrow, but is also vital to maintaining our way of life. C40 estimates that 40% of the Paris Agreement targets can be delivered by cities. However, the net contribution required by local governments may be even bigger. In turn, the need to slow down global warming, adapt to climate change, and create a greener future at the local level, is paving the way for the greatest market metamorphosis we will ever witness.

40% of the Paris Agreement targets can be delivered by cities.

The Klima100 publication, and our featured Klima100 Series, is living proof that the green revolution is happening at all levels and that local, small-scale opportunities are essential in solving some of Denmark’s (and the world’s) biggest climate challenges. However, the Klima100 Series encompasses solutions that go beyond the environmental. Just as climate action forms one part of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Klima100 demonstrates how social and economic challenges can also be addressed through climate initiatives.

3 Solutions Picked by the Editors

1.   Copenhagen Municipality – New scheme gives cyclists the green light

Copenhagen’s new traffic management platform is promoting green transport across the city, and making the municipality more climate-friendly.

Copenhagen is a world-famous cycling city. Every day thousands of Copenhageners use a bicycle; on average, they bike over 1.3 million kilometers each week. The City of Copenhagen has implemented a new traffic management platform, a so-called Intelligent Transport System, to further promote cycling and the use of public transport.

The traffic management platform can monitor the current traffic situation and intervene in events, both unforeseen and planned. In this way, the platform increases travel efficiency for cyclists and public transport users. By connecting the platform to municipal traffic signals, it can cut 10% of cyclists’ travel time and reduce bus passengers’ travel time by up to 20%. Cyclists are prioritized with targeted real-time information on electronic information boards along the roads. By strengthening both biking and public transport methods, the City of Copenhagen hopes to make green transport even more attractive and cut CO2 emissions from the transport sector.

The traffic management platform will contribute to CO2 reduction and will be part of the City of Copenhagen’s goal to become CO2 neutral by 2025.

Sustainable Development Goals addressed


SDG #3 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”
Aarhus municipality wants to be an attractive city to live. An often forgotten precondition is an energy system with affordable, and secure supply, which the climate plan will help to provide.

SDG #9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”
The “Climate Plan 2016-2020” was created through cooperation between 250 different actors. Five seminars were held and roadmaps developed with over 60 solutions to the biggest climate challenges.

SDG #13 “Climate Action”
Bikes are second only to walking in terms of CO2 emissions and resource consumption, so replacing car journeys with bicycles can help cut emissions from the transport sector.

2.  Middelfart Municipality – Big data facilitates domestic energy savings

Through big data, guidance and smart energy management systems, energy savings can be achieved automatically without any restoration of buildings or behavioral changes.

Running from Middelfart Municipality, the project “Smart Energy in the Home” (Smart Energi i Hjemmet) has shown that an average energy saving of 7% in single family houses can be achieved. The project initially included 200 single-family houses in the municipality of Middelfart, from which heat consumption data were collected. Thanks to the project’s exploratory approach, the households made energy savings. The success of the project was down to guidance and introduction of smart energy management systems.

The data collected includes temperature, living space, meteorology and behavioral data. The project installed a system in homes to automatically lower the temperature at night and when no one is home. Besides Middelfart Municipality and the many homeowners, additional project participants include the company PassivSystems, the Danish Building Research Institute and Bolius, a knowledge center for homeowners.

With smart heating installed, the system automatically lowers the heating at night and when the occupant is not at home.

Sustainable Development Goals addressed


SDG #9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”
The project found that, by connecting homes to the development of smart technology and data collection, buildings can be used for energy storage in future smart grid cities.

SDG #13 “Climate Action”
With a saving of 7% off the heating bill, the project has shown that with relatively few changes, energy for heating can be saved and the associated emissions can be cut significantly.

SDG #17 “Partnerships for the Goals”
The project is a good example of the Triple Helix model, whereby a Danish university cooperates with a company and a public institution in order to foster social and economic development.

3.   Høje-Taastrup Municipality – Learning and technology accelerate the green transition

Smart technology and learning are brought together by Høje-Taastrup to create a more sustainable municipality, both now and in the future.

At two schools in Høje-Taastrup municipality, a cloud-based system is being developed to make buildings more energy-efficient, optimize the indoor climate and educate building users in sustainable practices. The tool’s interface, skoleklima.dk (SchoolClimate), is designed to be accessible to users of the school and municipality. At the same time, learning tools and processes are integrated into the system to increase pupils’ awareness on climate issues, along with making the building more energy efficient.

The development of the system is part of the Smart Cities Accelerator initiative and set to be extended to other public buildings. In the initiative, Høje-Taastrup cooperates with four municipalities, three energy suppliers, four interdisciplinary environments at universities and the innovation network Climate-KIC. The initiative aims to spread the use of smart systems to promote renewable energy. The systems can monitor buildings and control their ventilation and heating systems based on weather forecasts, energy prices, type of energy, the state of building stock, how many people are in the building, and indoor climate data. The project has been developed in collaboration between the school’s teachers, anthropologists from the University of Copenhagen and computer and civil engineers from the Technical University of Denmark.

Students learn about sustainable development when taught about sustainable behavior; meanwhile, public buildings become more energy-efficient.

Sustainable Development Goals addressed


SDG #4 “Quality Education”
The project’s integrated learning process helps to ensure that pupils and students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to support sustainable development in future.

SDG #7 “Affordable and Clean Energy”
The project develops a tool that ensures more efficient energy consumption, which can optimize the use of sustainable energy forms.

SDG #17 “Partnerships for the Goals”
Cities, research institutions and companies collaborate to develop tools which ensure the smart integration of energy systems, utilization of data, behavioral insights and learning.

This article was unlocked by Realdania, so that you could read it for free.