Evaluation and reporting Baseline review Target setting Political commitment Implementation and Monitoring Integrated management system Organisational setup Involvement and communication

City examples

  • Involvement and communication in City of Ludwigsburg, Germany
  • Organisational Set-up in Lewes, United Kingdom
  • A system for all actors of the territory, Province of Siena, Italy
  • Implementation and Monitoring in the City of Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sustainability reporting in the City of Turku, Finland
  • Target setting in City of Växjö, Sweden
  • Creating political commitment in City of Lahti, Finland
  • The baseline review in the City of Kaunas, Lithuania
  • The baseline review in City of Ancona, Italy
  • Partnerships for sustainability, City of Oslo, Norway

Involvement and communication in City of Ludwigsburg, Germany

More than 1000 citizens were involved in the process of creating the Ludwigsburg Town Development Plan - Chances for Ludwigsburg - and a vision for their city in the years 2005-2006. Workshops with key decision-makers and telephone interviews with citizens were the initial source of ideas for the plan’s main themes. Two visionary and dialogue-oriented “Future Conferences” involving diverse groups of citizens and other stakeholders resulted in recommendations and suggestions for projects and measures.

From the management point of view the work was done by two competent staff members who were to handle the organisation of the entire city development and participation process. The guidance and conceptual work was taken over by a control group together with the Lord Mayor and a Deputy Mayor. Due to its success, the Future Conferences will remain a part of Ludwigsburg’s future planning work.

The resulting plan will be the tool for the strategic orientation and future development of the city and will be updated as necessary. Fulfilling the objectives will require continuous cooperation between the all departments of the city administration. The overall aim is that sustainable development – in the fields of ecology, social problems, economy, and citizen participation – will be the goal of both the administration and the city council.

Organisational Set-up in Lewes, United Kingdom

When EMAS was first implemented in Lewes it was recognised that not only the environmental performance needed to be managed, but staff needed to be involved and have a voice on a steering group. The heads of departments have responsibility for their department’s environmental performance, but the day-to-day management is delegated to a department representative. These meet quarterly in an Environmental Steering Group (ESG) to coordinate the EMAS. The group is chaired by the Head of Environment and Health (HEH) and the secretariat is run by the Environmental Coordinator (EC).

The EC reports to the HEH. The EC also implements the Council’s Environmental Policy, produces the Environmental Statement etc. In addition to the formal organisational setup, Lewes also has a system of volunteer Eco Monitors in each department.

In expanding the EMAS to encompass further sustainability dimensions, a small team of officers has been established specialising in sustainable development known as the Dedicated Sustainability Unit. Their focus has been to develop sustainability practices and to develop the Lewes District Sustainable Community Strategy both within the organisation and across the area.

Whenever the external verifiers have audited the council, they have remarked on the ‘buy in’ of the staff to the Lewes’ Environmental programme. Having a strong, well-established organisational set up already in place has greatly helped when expanding the system to include further sustainability dimensions.

A system for all actors of the territory, Province of Siena, Italy

The Province of Siena has applied its integrated management system for many years on the so-called “vast area”. The environmental management system (EMS) is certified according to ISO 14001 and is also registered according to EMAS. Importance is given to the indirect environmental aspects for planning waste management, energy resources, fauna, soil use, mining activities, transports policy, economic development, tourism, etc. The environmental policy defines the path the administration must take towards a general integration of planning policy in various sectors that make use of typical schemes of EMS. They are based on a very accurate initial analysis - since 1993 the Province of Siena is provided with a very developed GIS. They commit themselves to environmental goals, they foresee significant resources to implement policies and finally they adopt accurate systems to monitor planned effects. In addition to the EMS, the single actions are compared to the Aalborg Commitments. The Province of Siena is a signatory to the Aalborg Commitments as are also the 36 Municipalities of the territory with whom the Province confronts and shares sustainable development paths. This approach allows a natural harmonisation of procedures, methodologies, and objectives with stakeholders. The shared commitment for sustainability among companies, schools, and the 36 municipalities is essential to guarantee the integration of the consequences of planning.

Implementation and Monitoring in the City of Stockholm, Sweden

The City of Stockholm has 782.000 inhabitants and employs about 49.000 people. The “Vision Stockholm 2030” is the overarching document which should guide the actions taken by the whole city administration. The vision is broken down to an endless number of programmes and targets that all departments, city districts, schools and municipal companies need to relate to planning their activities. It is a challenging task to know what programmes to relate to when planning their actions and how to make sure actions in departments and districts do not counteract each other. For the politicians, it is challenging to have an overview of how their decisions are being implemented in each part of the city administration.

The IMS in Stockholm was originally primarily used to manage the budget commissions and not the long term programmes. However, during 2007 the IMS has been further developed to include the targets from the long term programmes. As a support, Stockholm has developed a web based administrative tool which contains the visions, indicators and targets. Starting autumn 2007 everyone in city administration are doing their annual activity planning in the tool. The tool also supports the monitoring, which is carried out three times a year. The development of the Stockholm IMS is providing a better and more transparent ground for implementation.

Sustainability reporting in the City of Turku, Finland

The sustainable development reporting system of the City of Turku is a joint effort between the city departments, companies and regional offices. In the future it will also be part of a joint reporting system of the six biggest cities in Finland. It is also an important part of the Turku IMS.

The annual Sustainable Development (SD) Report evaluates the execution of city’s SD Programme. It is produced in collaboration with various city departments, regional offices and city companies. An important part of the reporting and evaluation system is also the annual SD Seminar where city politicians and employees gather to discuss last year’s experiences.

The main elements of the SD report are the SD policy of Turku, Ecological Indicators, Environmental Accounts, Social Indicators and Sustainable development in the departments. The full report is available online and the executive summary is also printed. After the discussion in Executive City Board the report goes to the City Council and all political committees for further discussions and decisions.

The drawback of the report so far has been that it does not tell how the City of Turku compares to other cities. However, the SD indicators are being harmonized between the six biggest cities of Finland and the first comparative report will be published in 2008.

Target setting in City of Växjö, Sweden

The city of Växjö has many years of experience in implementing the ecoBUDGET environmental management system. In ecoBUDGET, natural resources are managed in the same way as financial resources: the long- and short-term targets of the budget are broken down, and each department is to suggest measures to fulfil their share of the targets on a yearly basis. These measures are discussed in the environmental network to exchange ideas between departments.

To include the social factors and to make the municipality more sustainable, Växjö has invited the political committees of gender equality, integration and democracy and participation to participate in the work. The aim is to develop measurable social targets and indicators for each committee. These targets will be included in the budget as has already been done for many environmental factors during the implementation of ecoBUDGET. The committees will play the role of pilots in expanding environmental management towards sustainability management. The long-term goal is to involve further policy areas using the model developed together with the committees.

Social indicators exist and are already being monitored. Indicators include for example: youth unemployment rate (%), fathers using parental leave (%) and election turnout in the city (%). Some of the indicators also already have a set goal to achieve by year 2015. For example, by 2015 it is hoped that 40 % of the fathers would use parental leave. The share for year 2006 is 20 %.

Creating political commitment in City of Lahti, Finland

City of Lahti has had environmental programs since the late 1970’s and the first environmental policy was launched in 1996 as part of the first modern environmental management system (EMS) of the whole city. Even so, each city council after 1996 has decided on its own environmental policy.

In implementing sustainability/environmental policies two major challenges have been encountered; lack of resources and lack of integration. Due to scarce resources, the opportunities to coordinate the EMS have been better at times when external funding has been available. As part of the regular environmental administrative work, the efforts made have been too modest to achieve satisfactory progress. A question has been raised as to whether the EMS coordination should lie in the central administration of the city or in within a certain department. The second challenge is the difficulty to integrate different policy areas with each other. Environmental or sustainability issues have been easier to work on as standalone processes yet less effective. Moreover, where environmental targets would have lead to the restriction of some economic activities, the environment has turned out to be of less importance.

The City of Lahti is now striving for two important goals through the implementation of the IMS: “permanent resources” in coordinating the IMS and “integration” of sustainability targets in all decision-making and preparation work in the administration.

The baseline review in the City of Kaunas, Lithuania

City of Kaunas is a signatory to the Aalborg Commitment and it was therefore a natural choice for them to use the Aalborg Commitments as the thematic framework for their baseline review. Kaunas’ biggest challenge has been that the different departments involved in the city management processes work separately. However, for doing the baseline review, a cross-sectoral working group was set up. The coordinator overseeing the process gathered people involved in preparing the baseline review to inform and discuss about the process. A template was prepared for the purpose of facilitating the collection of information. It provided a framework for the information needed from the various working groups and their departments. They were asked to make a short description of each thematic area in Kaunas, describe actions already carried out, guiding documents/programmes, legislation related to the topic, responsible department/persons in the city, existing cooperation with stakeholders and the results of the work already done. To the extent possible, the persons were asked to define the indicators already used for monitoring the progress of the thematic areas. The working group came together in a workshop in which they discussed the outcomes of the baseline review and the priority setting as a result of the baseline review. The baseline review provides an overview of the sustainability work in the City of Kaunas and is used as a document outlining their future work.

The baseline review in City of Ancona, Italy

The Baseline Review of the City of Ancona represents the first step for implementing a Integrated Management System for sustainability. The objectives are as follows:

  1. improve the efficiency of managing internal resources (financial, environmental, human);
  2. improve the quality of information for supporting decision-making and evaluating processes;
  3. strengthen communications and relationships with all stakeholders, internal (policymakers, heads of department, employees) and external (private organisations, other PLA, citizens);
  4. set targets and time schemes in the framework of the Aalborg Commitments;
  5. cooperate with other European Sustainable Cities to monitor, benchmark and evaluate the progress.

The innovative element is that such tool aims at integrating all existing reporting frameworks (ECI, ACI, GRI) according to targets and time schemes foreseen by the Aalborg Commitments. Furthermore, it evaluates the municipality’s performance comparing it with the performance of other cities, which have adopted the same reporting mechanism.

In particular, the Ancona Baseline Review is divided into three different parts. The first analyses the city of Ancona and its territory using 10 macro indicators ACI – Adriatic Common Indicators (common framework used by 21 aap2020 partners).

In the second part, the standard GRI indicators are used for evaluating the performance of the Municipality of Ancona (as an organisation) in a triple bottom line view.

The last part of the Report compares the results of the two previous sections with the Aalborg Commitments (signed by the City of Ancona in the 2004), in order to monitor the level of implementation.

Partnerships for sustainability, City of Oslo, Norway

The City of Oslo is finding ways to cooperate with their neighbouring municipalities, the regional level and the national level to deal with joint challenges. Greenhouse gas emissions in the Oslo region have increased by approximately 19% since 1991. Most of this increase occurred in the last ten years. This is due primarily to the growth in road traffic. However, emissions of greenhouse gases from stationary sources are stabilizing. The City of Oslo approved a climate and energy action package for the greater Oslo region in collaboration with the counties of Akershus and Buskerud as well as with support from the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. The package aims to reduce the climate gas emissions in the region with 50% within 2030. These efforts will also contribute to Norway’s commitments to the Kyoto Protocol. To this end, the Oslo City Commission has decided to replace 95% of the oil burners in municipal buildings with bio-fuel burners or district heating. In addition, the City is eco-certifying all agencies and service units, which will reduce the energy use further. It is important for the City to take the lead as a good example, in order to bring the rest of the city on board.