You might think it’s purely cost savings but Scandinavians perceive sustainable projects as a duty towards future generations! Our first destination in Sweden was the old city of Malmö, which is located only a few kilometers away from the city of Copenhagen in Denmark. Both cities stand-out globally for their green and clean technology initiatives. The George Washington School of Business has arranged for visits to clean tech and green initiatives in both cities, which show pride for taking the global lead.
One interesting visit was to the Hållbarheten project, a real estate development at the Western Harbor in Malmö. The residential units are designed to promote sustainable living and energy savings. We were able to tour one of the houses, which are connected to windmills and solar panels on top of the building that feed the houses with energy. Those beautiful houses have a shared pool, sauna bath, electric car charging station and garbage disposal and recycling center. Moreover, we found that the design promotes the concept of sharing, for instance, by having a vacuum equipment that is connected to all residential units and being close to bike and car renting facilities. We were able to see how residents can monitor and control energy from their mobile devices from anywhere and anytime. In addition, they can setup the best time to run their appliances or charge their electric cars when demand is low, resulting in efficient use of energy. Each house had a greenhouse in its balcony that decorates the living area and provides a healthier environment.
On the other side of the strait of Øresund shore is Copenhagen where we visited Clean. An organization brings together public authorities (problem owners), research institutions (knowledge bases) and private companies (investors), helping them collaborate in innovating green solutions on both local and global scales. Research and development as well as implementation of innovative green products are among the objectives of this Danish organization that on a yearly basis decide on its priority projects. Projects include, but not limited to, renewable energy, efficient use of resources and recycling with many of them located outside Denmark, making clean tech the fastest-growing Danish export.