In Sweden, the overall goal of environmental policy is to hand over a society in which the major environmental problems have been resolved to the next generation, without increasing environmental and health problems outside the country’s borders. Region Stockholm is an important player in Sweden’s work to achieve these goals.
Environmental programme 2017-2021
Region Stockholm 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 Region Stockholm Assembly, and is a controlling document for the regional assembly’s administrations and companies. The Environment Programme concerns all activities financed by Region Stockholm, and is applied, where relevant, when the assembly signs new agreements with healthcare providers, transport service providers and other suppliers.
The Environmental Programme is divided into five areas:
- Region Stockholm's plan for sustainable procurement
- Region Stockholm's climate commitment
- Environmental goals for health and medical care
- Environmental goals for public transport and other transport activities
- Environmental goals for the Region Stockholm's properties and installations
Exceeded climate goals
Region Stockholm 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 Region Stockholm is currently 45 percent lower than in 2011 (the goal was 30 percent) and 69 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 are fueled by renewable energy today.
Phasing out hazardous chemicals
Region Stockholm has a strong focus on minimizing the environmental and health impact from hazardous chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The Region Stockholm Assembly 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 percent. For example, Region Stockholm 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.
In May 2014 Stockholm County Council (now Region Stockholm) was the first county assembly in Sweden to issue a green bond. Since then, three more green bonds have been issued every year since. The Region Stockholm Assembly specifies investment objects with an environmental focus in green bonds so that investors know that their money is being spent on projects that are good for the future.