In Sweden, the overall goal of environmental policy is to hand over to the next generation a society in which the major environmental problems have been resolved, without increasing environmental and health problems outside the country’s borders. Stockholm County Council is an important player in Sweden’s work to achieve these goals.
Environmental programme 2017-2021
Stockholm County Council works in a systematic, targeted way to reduce the negative environmental impact of its activities. This work is based on goals, guidelines and other requirements that apply to its environmental work. The Environment Programme has been adopted by the County Council Assembly, and is a controlling document for the County Council's administrations and companies. The Environment Programme concerns all activities financed by the County Council, and is applied, where relevant, when the Council signs new agreements with healthcare providers, transport service providers and other suppliers.
The Environmental Programme is divided into five areas:
- Stockholm County Council's plan for sustainable procurement
- Stockholm County Council's climate commitment
- Environmental goals for health and medical care
- Environmental goals for public transport and other transport activities
- Environmental goals for the County Council's properties and installations
Exceeded climate goals
The County Council has reached most of the tough environmental goals for 2012-2016. 18 out of 29 goals have been achieved, three goals have been achieved to a large extent, three to a certain extent and five have not been achieved.
One of the most important goals is the climate goal. The climate impact of the county council is currently 42 percent lower than in 2011 (the goal was 30 percent) and 72 percent lower than 1990 (the national goal is to reduce climate related emissions by 40 percent from 1990 to 2020). The largest decrease has been achieved in public transport, where carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 50 percent, despite the increased number of passengers and journeys. All bus and tram traffic is driven by renewable energy today.
Phasing out hazardous chemicals
The County Council has a strong focus on minimizing the environmental and health impact from hazardous chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The Stockholm County Council has decided upon its own phase-out list regarding hazardous chemicals. The list is based on the same criteria as the reach candidate list but the demands in procurement are tougher than legislation. This is also one of the purposes of the list, to prove that legislation can be toughened up. Since 2006 the health care and laboratory service alone has reduced the volume of hazardous chemicals by 90 per cent. For example, the county council has phased out a few biocides that can drive bacterial resistance as well as hydroquinone and allergenic preservatives.
Chemical criteria have been used in all relevant procurements and since 2012 chemical criteria have been applied 132 for example medical devices, disinfection- and cleaning products, textiles, IT and services. We have phased out phthalates from most of our products, including medical devices, and allergy causing perfumes or preservatives are banned. The link between the use of hazardous compounds and stress factors in the environment and health in public is strong therefore this is a priority work.
In May 2014 Stockholm County Council was the first county council in Sweden to issue a green bond. Since then, three more green bonds have been issued, in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The County Council specifies investment objects with a particular environmental focus in green bonds so that investors know that their money is being spent on projects that are good for the future.