Article image
Naoual Loiazizi

Voices from the afternoon seminars

Main content

Naoual Loiazizi, Policy Advisor, Sustainable City of Dordrecht 

What are the reasons behind Dordrecht's success with a circular economy? 

"Collaboration with companies and showing citizens that a circular economy benefits them and that their lives are improved by a circular economy. It's not only about the economy, it's also about people's health and welfare. Also, if there's a problem, then people need to feel that they're part of the problem if they're going to want to be a part of the solution. But to be honest, it will take many years for the circular economy concept to reach a larger audience. The government needs to ask citizens what they're already doing to gain an understanding of what's going on and what works. Companies need to work with sustainability without thinking solely about business; they need to realise that a greener image benefits their brand in the long term. But the most important thing is to set a good example as a government. Show citizens that you're committed to your goal, every step of the way." 

Image
Mikael Damberg

Mikael Damberg, Swedish Ministry for Enterprise and Innovation 

How good is the sharing economy in Sweden? 

"We're seeing many interesting examples and trials, but it hasn't really taken off just yet. Although I do believe that we have better starting conditions than many other countries simply because we're so connected in the digital world, and the sharing economy builds on that technology. However, it's mostly a matter of change in terms of culture and behaviour. People have to get accustomed to the idea of not needing to own and have control all the time, and to understand the favourable economics and sustainability of sharing. It will work best in bigger cities, where you can scale it up, but we mustn't get into thinking that these are the only places it can work. Historically, small towns and rural areas have a better record of helping and sharing. I don't think we should ask ourselves WHERE it's smart to share, but rather WHEN, so as to include everyone. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at sharing yet, mostly because I don't really have the time. I've looked into car sharing, but couldn't get it to work with the way we live our lives. But we do share on a smaller scale, with friends and acquaintances."  

Image
Martin Savén

Martin Savén, Public Policy Manager, Uber Sweden 

In your panel discussion, you spoke of 'fewer, fuller, more efficient'. Tell us more! 

"We want to offer the best possible replacement for private car ownership, and 'fewer, fuller, more efficient' is part of our approach to sustainability. We generate enormous amounts of data from all five to ten million Uber journeys undertaken throughout the world each day and, as a tiny, tiny part of the world's transportation system, we can use that data to help increase sustainability in the industry. Such as by matching the nearest driver with the nearest passenger, to reduce dead time, resulting in fewer and more efficient journeys. Every journey that isn't made means lower emissions and less environmental impact. We'd also like to develop car pooling. We need to change our users' behaviour, so we're trying to find a business model that makes everyone happy and willing to travel with more people in the car and a full luggage compartment. We're also working at becoming a future trend analyst for our drivers, encouraging them to invest in more suitable vehicles and getting them to understand that their bottom line will benefit."  

Image
Inger Uhrdin

Inger Uhrdin, Head of Cross Divisional Services, Schenker 

Why are you here today? 

"We have our head office in Gothenburg, we work in the transport industry and we care about the region and the environment, so being here is a given. Today's seminars and discussions show incredibly strong commitment to sustainability issues and just how important collaboration is, both across lines and throughout the chain. Our main focus areas are emissions, energy consumption and waste recycling. We participate in collaborative efforts and pursue test projects to bring about changes, both technical and behavioural. We also want to play our part by driving development in technology and fuels and by lobbying decision makers to ensure the best possible tools and outcomes. We're positioned, so to speak, between the auto manufacturers, fuel producers and landowners, so we have quite a bit of influence. When it comes to waste recycling, we've taken a holistic approach to our depots throughout the country for increased expertise and knowledge to improve procurement and behaviour. As for energy consumption, we're already doing a great deal, but we're also looking into installing more solar panels at our facilities to become partly self-sufficient."  

Image
Nina Ahlbeck

Nina Ahlbeck, Programme Administrator, Sharing Cities Sweden 

Do you share? 

"Yes, but not as much as I should. I think that many of us are part of the sharing economy without realising it, such as giving clothes your kid's outgrown to their cousin, driving a colleague to work and letting people borrow things that are just lying around at home anyways. Anyone who's already started sharing can take things further and share even more. Even though I work with the sharing economy, I still think it's important to constantly remind ourselves of the opportunities to share, and how easy it is. I work at Lund University and I'm involved in Sharing Cities on a national level. We've had our own two-day conference linked to today's seminars, enabling the participating cities to meet up and discuss matters. We all have different test beds tied in to projects and ideas about what and how to share. The exchange of ideas and discussions have been very rewarding and very inspiring. Today's seminar gave me a lot of ideas about things I can share in everyday life." 

Image
Mikael Gustavsson

Mikael Gustavsson, Deputy Vice President Software & Electronics, Volvo Cars 

What was your biggest Aha! moment today? 

"Today I realised that mobility is a concept that ought to be used more broadly than is currently the norm at Volvo Cars. Naturally, we talk about the car as part of a larger ecosystem, but that ecosystem is expanded in a circular economy. A car must be used as efficiently as possible throughout its life cycle and not burden the environment. I have to admit that I googled 'circular economy' during the day, so it's something I'll be discussing more with my colleagues tomorrow. I'll also be asking our strategy department how we're preparing for the circular economy. Another Aha! moment was that sharing and borrowing are not the same as freeloading, penny pinching or profiting from others. They're part of being a good citizen and a smart way to achieve a sustainable future. When I get home, I'll be discussing this with my children, who are in their 20s, to find out how they view sharing and what they do with their friends. The examples from other cities that we've seen today show that Gothenburg is on the right track and that a lot is already under way and working in real-life scenarios."  

Print this page:

Tip a friend

Bottom content