Since 2007, Sonderborg has focused its attention on achieving ZEROcarbon by 2029 by combining energy efficiency with renewable energy sources and technologies. In 2009 the the Public Private Partnership ProjectZero, assisted by the Municipality, published the Masterplan for how to achieve the ambitious goals. Its main goal is to reduce the areas energy-related carbon emissions to zero by 2029, secondary to reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2015.
Sonderborg Municipality enabled by ProjectZero is a front runner in this process - two years ahead into the implementation process, they have succeeded in cutting important carbon emissions by encouraging green business, turning district heating green, improving building efficiency and involving its citizens and enterprises.
The energy planners obvious first choice initiative has been to turn existing district heating system green by replacing natural gas by renewable together with a stronger focus on energy retrofit of existing buildings.
Motivating industrial enterprises to implement energy efficiency improvements and invest in renewable energies can lower the energy consumption with 5% by 2015. ProjectZero offers training programmes and allow companies to promote themselves as ZEROcompanies if they set up strategies to reduce their emissions with a minimum of 10% within the first year.
More than 100 companies and shops are involved in the process or have participated in the Learning-programs. Among them, Linak is a good example of a company striving to become CO2 neutral. Danfoss, the largest company in the area - and one of the biggest industrial enterprises in Denmark, represents a global leader in energy saving technologies by providing solutions as well as systems and components for energy efficiency.
Both urban- and energyplanners have given priority to sustainable urban development with the main focus on reducing waste and energy consumption. Denmark's first ZERO+ house was build in Sonderborg in 2008 to demonstrate that there is no conflict between high comfort level and having no energy bills.
Studies have shown that living habits themselves can reduce significantly the energy consumption, thus reducing the CO2 foot-print. We all share responsibility for taking actions; therefore the education and training play a very important role as a change driver.
As education is essential for achieving the ZEROcarbon goals, the ZEROcarbon Roadmap has scheduled actions for raising awareness through all age groups.
Changing society and mind-set requires a different thinking and mindset and potentially new competencies. Only if everybody works towards obtaining a carbon free area, the goal can be achieved.
In the menu to the left you will find more examples of best practice for inspiration. The examples are focusing on best practice within the LoCaRe Sub-themes.
The LoCaRe Regions work with three strategic themes being New Climate, New Energy and New Leadership. Local and regional partners work together across the regions in Sub-projects within five Sub-themes.
Below you will find a short explanation of each Sub-theme.
Development and use of renewables in local energy systems
There is a strong potential in developing Local Energy System based on renewable energy. Sustainable solutions in this area can today be found at the local and regional level all over the EU. The exchange of best practice must improve, adaptation and implementation speed up.
Carbon Sinks and Carbon Capture and Storage
Soils, forest, regenerative agriculture and oceans are natural carbon sinks. Business potential, planning and leadership challenges can be developed both in setting up natural carbon sinks and artificial carbon capture and storage.
Sustainable Procurement Practices
Sustainable procurement is about purchasing products and services with good environmental performance and with positive social and economic impact. Local and regional authorities in Europe spend 1000 billion Euros a year on goods and services. The possibilities to influence, move and change markets are substantial and can be better used.
Low Carbon Territorial Planning
Compact city planning and sprawl prevention minimise the need of private, motorised transport. Efficient cities including new public transport schemes, renewable district heating systems and low carbon waste-, water- and sewerage plans are all tools to reduce CO2 emissions.
Citizens and enterprises can, by influencing political and market demands, function as agents of change for a Low Carbon Economy. Critical questions in the regions are access to information, inclusion, participation and local organisational capacity.