IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Sustainable Public Transport in Stockholm

Trains and buses in Stockholm have been using 100% renewable energy since 2017 and the city aims to provide the most sustainable public transport in the world.

The Stockholm public transport system (SL) consists of around 450 bus lines, three shuttle boat lines and a metro system covering a total of 100 kilometres, in addition to other trams and local trains. Every day almost 800,000 people travel by public transport in the Stockholm region.

Clearly defined goals

The journey towards fossil-free, low-carbon public transport began way back in the 1980s. Thanks to hard work, a long-term approach and clearly defined interim targets, the goal of 100 % renewable energy for the metro, buses and local trains was achieved in 2017. The next goals for 2030 are to have fossil-free maritime traffic, cut emissions by 75% compared with 2009 levels, and to use 15% less energy per passenger kilometre than in 2011.

Sustainability at all levels

For SL, sustainability is important at every level. The majority of SL properties, depots and stations are heated using green energy. New construction work is subject to strict recycling and eco-labelling requirements. In addition, SL works hard to make all its services quieter and minimise emissions. Collaboration with scientific and business communities is part of its continual improvement strategy.

There are also ongoing efforts to ensure people with disabilities can access public transport. The long-term goal of Stockholm Municipality’s accessibility work is for its public transport to be perceived as the most attractive means of transport for people with disabilities.

Making way for an electric bus system

In its quest for smarter and more effective ways to operate public transport sustainably, SL has shown an interest in modern electrically powered buses. The Stockholm Public Transport Administration has carried out a major study to learn more about the possibilities of integrating electric buses into public transport throughout the entire Stockholm region. The study provides a deeper understanding of costs, risks, opportunities and benefits. It explores how much switching to electric buses would reduce energy consumption, noise levels and the extent to which it would eliminate particle and nitrogen emissions. The Stockholm Public Transport Administration is happy to share its findings and provide support to any other organisation interested in the study.

Smooth and sustainable in Norrtälje

Norrtälje City in Stockholm County has replaced an entire bus transport system with electrically powered vehicles. The initiative has been formed in cooperation between the municipality, bus operator Nobina and SL. The buses run on renewable electricity and offer both quieter and more sustainable public transport.


Similar Best Practices

The Tricot factory – Timber on top to create a modern and sustainable office building

The Tricot factory – Timber on top to create a modern and sustainable office building

It is smart to use a circular business model where you can use existing buildings to create new buildings. Wood as a renewable building material plays a key role when existing buildings get new life with the help of wooden extensions.

The multi activity house – home of sports, activities, and culture

The multi activity house – home of sports, activities, and culture

The city of Gällivare is relocating. Public buildings are being replaced, generating a need for smart and innovative multipurpose buildings. The multi activity house in the city center will be the new home of sports, activities, and culture.

Last mile delivery – city distribution

Last mile delivery – city distribution

Last mile delivery is the final stage in a good’s journey, where it is delivered to the end customer – the most carbon intensive stage. The growth of e-commerce is leading to increased traffic congestion and CO2-emissions from delivery vehicles. Carbon-neutral alternatives for last mile deliveries are currently being explored and some of the concepts being trialed in Gothenburg.

Electromobility in Gothenburg creates a greener and cleaner city

Electromobility in Gothenburg creates a greener and cleaner city

Fossil-based transportation creates noise and air pollution and is a major contributor to a city’s CO2 emissions. By enabling all forms of transport to run on electricity, electromobility has the potential to make cities greener, cleaner, and more livable.

Brunnshög – a future to believe in

Brunnshög – a future to believe in

Everyone is talking about a smarter, more sustainable future. In Brunnshög, this future is being realized. And it is being created around the people who will live here, focusing on their future needs.

Sweden’s first fossil-free preschool in Gothenburg

Sweden’s first fossil-free preschool in Gothenburg

When the preschool ‘Hoppet’ in Gothenburg was to be built, the City of Gothenburg wanted to challenge and create a change in the construction industry; they wanted it to be built completely fossil-free throughout the building’s entire life cycle with regards to production, assembly and future operation.

Tvärpilen – a small residential area, big on sustainability

Tvärpilen – a small residential area, big on sustainability

In the small village, Kivik, in the southeast of Sweden, you find the new residential area, Tvärpilen, where the Beautiful, the Sustainable and the Responsible come together in perfect combination.

Haraholmen – a green industrial park where sustainability is key

Haraholmen – a green industrial park where sustainability is key

Haraholmen is an industrial park where sustainability is key. The site uses renewable energy, welcomes companies with green profiles, and is a hub for resource-efficient transportation with access to roads, railways, and a deep-water port.

Site East –  a climate neutral construction site

Site East – a climate neutral construction site

At Skellefteå Site East, close to Northvolt’s factory, conditions are created to create the most sustainable development project ever. By maximizing the cutting edge know-how of both Skellefteå municipality and external partners, Skellefteå Site East is a source of inspiration for the industry. Both in terms of the courage to dare to think and act in new ways around sustainability, and in working together with contractors towards a common vision.

Wood Safari – experience how creative wood ideas turns in to sustainable living environments

Wood Safari – experience how creative wood ideas turns in to sustainable living environments

The advances made in wood construction are attracting more and more attention from contractors and architects that are discovering the advantages of building in wood. In Skellefteå you can take part in something as rare as a wood safari. A learning experience in how creative wood ideas create climate-smart living environments and how sustainable building ensures that the city develops in an attractive way, in both the near and more distant future.

Skellefteå Airport – a green airport

Skellefteå Airport – a green airport

At a time when the global aviation sector is facing increasing demands to get on a sustainable flightpath, one airport in northern Sweden has gotten a head start with an extensive vision that has led them to become one of Europe’s and probably the world’s first fossil-free airport. At the same time the airport is now preparing to become a testcenter for electric powered and vertical-starting aircrafts.

Blue Green City Lab evaluates blue green solutions

Blue Green City Lab evaluates blue green solutions

In times of more extreme weather caused by climate changes the downside with dense cities with fewer green spaces and more paved surfaces is showing. Extreme heat, flooding and reduced biodiversity, we all see it. However, blue green solutions have a positive impact. Blue Green City Lab is the testbed that evaluates new and proven solutions.

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