The Sustainable Development Goals for sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) and responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) are closely connected, and are perhaps two of the most challenging SDGs for Sweden to achieve. Several Swedish municipalities have set ambitious targets to reduce consumption-based environmental pressures, but often lack the data and tools they need to identify suitable policies to meet the targets or to monitor progress. This project aims to fill the gap by downscaling cutting-edge research and data on Sweden’s national climate footprint so that it can be applied in local contexts.

SEI will develop a practical tool that municipalities can use to analyse climate footprints at fine geographic scales (e.g. postcode level). This will enable them to identify and understand local consumption hotspots and to choose the best policy mix to reduce footprints. The work will build on SEI’s long-term experience in sustainable consumption and in developing tools for decision support and calculating climate footprints.

The project has three core aims. It will:

  • downscale national-level footprint data to the municipal level – for all municipalities in Sweden
  • develop a freely available tool for analysing data on climate footprints and selecting policy measures to reduce them
  • support municipalities in working towards Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 12.

SEI will implement the project in partnership with two Swedish municipalities, Umeå and Kalmar, that will provide insights into the challenges and opportunities that municipalities face, as well as their needs in terms of consumption-based emissions accounting. The project will also partner with the company InsightOne, which will use geo-demographic modelling to identify consumption patterns at fine geographical scales.

SEI will provide guidance and hands-on training for using the tool, and for knowledge exchange and boosting capacity. The tool will help municipalities to implement more targeted and efficient policies, and to generate a knowledge base of effective, replicable local actions that target consumption, ultimately moving Sweden closer to achieving the SDGs.

The project is funded by Formas, a Swedish government research council for sustainable development, and runs from November 2019 until the end of 2021.