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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SWEDEN

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Consumption and production patterns are subject to intense studies, both domestically and within EU.

Cooperation

In our policy for developmental co-operation, eradication of poverty and the relation to consumption and production patterns are among the most important objectives.

Sweden is a part of The Torne- and Kalix-River Trans-Boundary Commission (across the border with Finland). Sweden has also entered into international commitments, which involve reductions of land-based nitrogen and content in effluents by 50% between 1985/87 and 1995.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th, 6th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 1999.

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TRADE

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Sweden aim to integrate trade and environment issues in decision-making. Most activities until now relates to eco-labelling of products and services.

Consumption and production patterns are subject to intense studies, both domestically and within EU.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th, 6th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 1999.

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Unit for Production and Consumption) are responsible for sustainable consumption and production. Furthermore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development (NUTEK) and the Swedish National Energy Administration are responsible for production affairs; and the Ministry of the Interior and the Swedish Consumer Agency, for consumption affairs. Local authorities (e.g. Local Agenda 21 administrations, consumer counsellors and other units within municipalities) administer sustainable consumption and production at the local level.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

In June 1995, the Parliament decided that one of four objectives of the Swedish consumer policy is to develop types of consumption and production patterns which decrease the strain on the environment and contribute to long-term sustainable development. The Consumers and the Environment Action Plan for Sustainable Development (Government Report 1997/98:67), includes measures related to product testing and information on environmentally sustainable consumption. The Consumer Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency have formed a joint partnership for the purpose of implementing the Action Plan.

The most important obstacles in implementing effective programmes that promote sustainable consumption and production are related to (1) human behaviour and habits, including lack of interest, information or time; (2) inappropriate price incentives and market failures regarding the internalisation of costs; and (3) major shortcomings in the way that society is organized, such as unsustainable infrastructure.

A new Environmental Code (Government Bill 1997/98:45) was presented to the Parliament in December 1997, which gives a focused and co-ordinated legislation for sustainable development. The Code covers the whole range of environmental legislation. Industry has been legally responsible since 1994 for ensuring the re-use or recycling of materials in certain types of packaging and in some chosen product areas such as batteries, electronic equipment and car tires. Regulations related to sustainable consumption and production patterns are also found in consumer legislation. The Ecocycle Bill was passed in 1993 to reduce the environmental impacts of goods, notably by reducing waste, recycling and re-using goods (with adaptation) at the manufacturing stage. The Ecocycle Commission has the task of defining new areas of industry responsibility. In 1995 the Commission put forward proposals concerning responsibility for cars. The Public Cleansing Act (1979), administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, sets the legislative framework for a number of ordinances targeted at industry to reduce, re-use and recycle waste material such as packaging, paper and tires. The Producer Responsibility (Waste Paper) Ordinance of 1994, aimed at industry, has a collection target of seventy-five percent for waste paper by the end of the year 2000. A packaging ordinance stipulates the weight which is to be re-used or recycled, depending on the packaging material. Furthermore, the new Swedish Environmental Quality Targets (Government Bill 1997/98:145) also guide sustainable consumption and production patterns.

A wide range of voluntary initiatives to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns have been launched in recent years. As an example, an increasing number of Swedish enterprises are applying Environmental Management Systems. These are introduced voluntarily but are encouraged by the Government. Another example is the recent agreement on criteria for sustainable forestry in Sweden, in which a large number of Swedish forest companies as well as key environmental NGOs took part. Moreover, a large number of companies have developed voluntary environmental policies as guidelines for their work.

Programmes and Projects 

A voluntary Nordic Eco-labelling scheme was introduced in 1989. The symbol is a white swan. Criteria have been developed for 44 product groups, and there are about 1000 products on the Swedish market. The range of products is wide but fall into three main categories: everyday commodities; office supplies and commercial buildings; and housing construction and household products. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has also developed an environmental label showing a falcon. Furthermore, a number of other organizations provide consumer information on the extent to which goods are environmentally friendly. For example, the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development has developed a label designed to inform consumers about the energy efficiency of electric household products. Another environmental label is used on ecologically grown and manufactured products. The successful labelling of computer screens by the Central Organization of Salaried Employees (TCO) deserves mention.

The labelling of some products such as washing powder and paper products has been instrumental in creating strong markets for environmentally sound products and processes in just a few years. Several studies on the impact of eco-labelling in Sweden have shown that labelling generally is an effective measure to stimulate sustainable consumption and production. Success is, however, conditional on the prices not being significantly higher than for traditional products and that the quality is comparable.

Economic instruments are an important part of the Swedish environmental policy, and many of these taxes are directed towards sustainable production and consumption patterns. Sweden has pursued a strategy for many years of indirect taxation as an instrument of environmental policy following its experience of energy taxes in general and the carbon dioxide tax in particular. Renewable energy sources are generally exempt from tax. Energy and road transport taxation are currently under review. A tax on gravel has been introduced, and one on waste will be introduced in 1999. An assessment of current subsidies is being carried out which also takes into account sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The Environmental Protection Agency has carried out an evaluation of environmentally related charges and taxes. The impact of using petrol and diesel with improved environmental properties was greater than expected in Sweden. Tax on sulphur and nitrogen oxide charges have also contributed to improving the environment, whilst charges for batteries are shown to be too low to influence usage. Environment and energy taxes represent a total tax revenue of around 55 billion SEK a year, as compared with, for example, SEK 180 billion from employers' contributions. The studies also show that administrative costs for environment taxes and charges are remarkably low. Even in the case of the most complicated charge - nitrogen oxide emissions from industrial boilers and incinerators - administrative costs are less than 1 per cent of the total turnover.

There may appear to be some contradiction in the aims of green taxes, i.e., to contribute to a better environment and provide income for the treasury. The tax on carbon dioxide is an example of an environmental tax which provides a relatively stable income for the public treasury in Sweden. At the same time it is assumed that that tax is an aid in the long term reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and counteracts a rise in them. Coupled with the energy tax, carbon dioxide taxation has so far mainly resulted in the greater use of bio fuels in district heating. A reduction in the energy tax for industry took place in 1993. Since then the use of oil has seen a relative increase in industry, after 20 years of reduced oil consumption (per unit produced).

Nitrogen oxide charges are estimated to have almost halved nitrogen oxide emissions from installations subject to charges. The tax on sulphur has mainly resulted in reduced sulphur levels in oil as well as greater efficiency in plants for the desulphurisation of fumes. It is estimated that the tax is responsible for around 30 per cent reduction in sulphur emissions between 1989 and 1995. Earlier charges on fertilisers and pesticides mainly had an effect through the financing of action programmes. The charges were converted into taxes, but the action programmes remain. The use of nitrogen fertiliser on farms would probably be ten percent higher without a tax on artificial fertilisers.

In Sweden all sectors have a common responsibility to achieve sustainable development within their respective policy areas. To this end, a government committee has been established with the objective of putting forward proposals on how sectors can contribute to achieving the comprehensive environmental quality targets proposed by the Government. A dialogue with industry on environment and sustainable development has also been initiated.

The issue of consumption patterns is continuously debated at the national level and involves all major stakeholders, including government, parliamentarians, academia, NGOS, consumer representatives, media, local authorities and industry. Most of the major groups are well organized in Sweden where there is a strong tradition of forming various types of associations. The Government is very open to views, suggestions and proposals expressed by these interest groups and organizations when preparing and developing major policy proposals, including those related to sustainable consumption and production patterns. A similar approach is applied at local level. The numerous local Agenda 21 processes have generally facilitated possibilities to influence major groups on decision-making.

A broad range of consultative mechanisms is used to involve the Major Groups. One of the most important is a written procedure that invites comments from all parties concerned on major policy Government proposals, before taking final decisions. The views expressed by the different stakeholders constitute an important source of information and are duly taken into account when preparing the final Government proposal. A summary of the views is presented together with the proposal. Moreover, hearings and meetings are sometimes used, with the objective to consult with certain target groups or key organizations.

Status 

There is generally no shortage of freshwater in Sweden. According to the Swedish EPA, the total volume of fresh water used is approximately 3.6 billion m3per year. Industry uses about seventy percent of this amount, agriculture five percent and households fifteen percent. The paper and pulp industry is the sector using the largest amounts of fresh water, 1.2 billion m3 (1990). The use of fresh water in households is as follows: personal hygiene, thirty percent; cooking, five percent; cleaning and carwash, ten percent; toilets, twenty percent; laundry fifteen percent; and dishwashing, twenty percent (1994).

Total waste deposit in Sweden amounted to approximately 4,800,000 tonnes per year in 1997 compared with 6,000,000 tonnes in 1994. Estimates made by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency show that households are responsible for almost fifty percent of environmentally harmful emissions. Households generate about thirty percent or 3.2 million tonnes of municipal waste in Sweden. On a per capita basis, this amounts to 360 kg per person and year. About forty percent of the waste from households is disposed; forty percent is combusted as fuel for energy; and approximately fifteen percent is recycled. Excluding mining and agriculture, the industrial sector generates a total of 14 million tonnes waste (1993), 70% of which was combusted or recycled . Around 200, 000 tonnes of toxic waste was produced.

The Government has proposed a ban on the deposit of assorted combustible waste from the year 2002 and on organic waste in 2005. A tax on unsorted waste is about to be introduced.

Examples of targets for enhancing waste reduction

Type of waste Target(%) Result (%)      
    1992 1994 1995 1996
Paper 75 63 65 70 73
Reused bottles & cans 95 98-100 97 97-98 98
Glass 55 55 56 61 72
Aluminium 50 - - - 19
Plastic 30 - 5 5 15
Tires 80 - - 66 85

Preliminary studies by the Swedish Royal Engineering Society estimate that energy and material efficiency in Sweden has improved roughly by a factor of two since 1970.

The total use of energy in Sweden has been relatively stable since 1970 (450 - 500 TWh/year). Energy use has decreased in relation to GDP since the 1970s, which indicates that energy consumption has to some extent been disassociated from economic growth. As an example, the amount of energy required for living space in buildings has declined from 25,000 kWh/year to 6-8000 kWh/year.

There are no specific quantifiable targets related to energy or material efficiency per se, but the Government has stated that a substantial improvement in material and energy efficiency will be needed in the medium and long term.  

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Several campaigns directed towards awareness-raising for sustainable consumption and production have been launched by Swedish NGOs, including the concept of "Environmental Space and Fair Shares" (Friends of the Earth), the "Lighter Packaging" project (The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation), the promotion of so-called "Eco-teams" (Global Action Plan) and others. Perhaps one of the most important government initiatives in this regard is the reorientation of education towards sustainable development including, for example, Eco-labelling schools.

The Government decided to establish a Centre of Excellence for environmentally sustainable development in the spring of 1998. The institution is established under the auspices of the University of Umeå, in northern Sweden, and will provide a link between researchers and the community on topics related to sustainable development and Agenda 21. Sustainable consumption and production will be one of the central issues for the Centre in this regard. In addition, there are numerous research programmes that to various extent address sustainable production and consumption programmes.

At the local level, many local authorities have offered some or all of their employees various types of educational programmes on sustainable development, often as a part of the local Agenda 21 process. Most of them also provide information for local inhabitants on various forms of sustainable consumption and production , including the promotion of Eco-teams, distributing written information and facilitating building Agenda 21 networks.

The reorientation of education towards sustainable development and increasing public awareness is treated in the section on Education.

Information 

Different types of information on sustainable consumption and production have been developed and provided, for example, by the authorities involved in the consumption and production decision-making.

The Swedish EPA is responsible for monitoring environmental trends in Sweden, including sustainable consumption and production patterns. Regarding law and enforcement, local and provincial authorities have a responsibility to oversee and survey the implementation of environmental laws and regulations. When the new Environmental Code enters into force, regional environment courts will also be established to this effect.

Furthermore, the Consumer Agency and local consumer counsellors provide information, advice and guidelines on issues related to sustainable consumption and production patterns. The Agency is currently setting up a database with information related to households and the environment. At the local level, a number of local authorities have developed their own guidelines and brochures, addressing the local inhabitants.

Information on consumption and production can be accessed via Internet sites, e.g.

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Swedish Agenda 21

Swedish National Energy Administration

For those who do not have access to Internet, brochures and books are distributed free or may be ordered from the relevant authorities.

The Swedish Government has stated that a set of key indicators for sustainable development should be developed and included in future Budget Bills, starting in 1999. A proposal put forward by an official advisory body is currently being examined by the Government.

Research and Technologies 

Environmentally sound technologies are increasingly being applied, as a result of several different driving forces. First, environmental laws and regulations relating to the Polluter Pays Principle, as well as product testing with regard to environmental aspects, have had an important role in promoting new technologies. Second, consumers have requested better products and cleaner production technology. Third, a number of voluntary initiatives have resulted in application of new technologies, including e.g. eco-labelling (see above) codes of conduct, environmental policies and environmental management systems. Another important driving force is greater awareness of sustainable production at the work place.

Financing 

The Government has launched a large scale local investment programme, directed towards investment in municipalities for environmentally sustainable development, some of which relates closely to consumption and production. The total amount amounts to approximately SEK 7 billion (USD 900 million ) over a five year period. The Government also offers financial support -SEK 8 billion or USD 1 billion for a three-year period for energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes. Moreover, the so called Eco-cycle billion (SEK 1 billion or UDS 80 million) has been established to provide financial support for innovative environmentally sound technology.

Cooperation

The Swedish Government is involved in numerous bilateral and multilateral projects related to consumption and production. As an example, Sweden has contributed financially to a number of projects on renewable energy, energy management and other related activities in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe. Programmes promoting the use of bio-fuels and electric vehicles have also been initiated. Sweden is also actively involved in the work of the International Energy Agency and the UN Economic Commission for Europe on projects concerning energy efficiency. Sweden also plays an active role in the Nordic Council of Ministers which has, for example, initiated the Nordic Environmental Labelling System. The Council has also set up a joint program for the environment and consumer sectors. The Government has further stated that Swedish ODA should be directed towards sustainable development. SIDA has therefore produced an action plan which includes aspects on sustainable consumption and production.

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 This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Sweden has recently imposed a new tax on deposition of garbage. We are also increasing some energy taxes, notably on diesel fuel, consumption of electricity, and energy from nuclear plants.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects 

No information available. 

Challenges

Estimated costs for achieving universal coverage of water and sanitation is 10.117 billion SEK, equivalent to approximately 1.2 billion US$.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available. 

Information 

Information on sustainable development in Sweden, including financing, can be found on the following websites: www.smn.environ.se, www.hallbarasverige.gov.se, www.agenda21forum.org

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available. 

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th, 6th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 1999.

For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

One of the tasks of the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development (NUTEK) is to bring together stakeholders with a view to promote and improve the selection, transfer and application of environmentally sound technologies.

NUTEK has, also been given the task to supply information and help small and medium businesses interested in acceding to Eco-Management and Audit Scheme EMAS (a budget of 6,5million SEK).

Programmes and Projects 

No information available. 

Status 

No information available.

Challenges

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Capacity building should be one of the main components in development programs, and can, i.e. be achieved through education programs, dissemination of best practices and life-long learning. Capacity building is a central part of the Swedish ODA policy. The sector responsibility approach can help integrate sustainable development principles into national development plans and policies. Each sector should take its own responsibility with regard to sustainable development issues. Partnerships between the private and public sector, NGOs and the scientific community are particularly important. At all levels of society NGOs are crucial partners for assembling a disseminating information.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available. 

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1998

For national information on GMOs, click here.

 

Biotechnology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is the body with primary responsibility for the environmentally sound management of biotechnology. Other institutions include the Environmental Protection Agency, Swedish Board of Agriculture and the Swedish Board of Occupational Safety and Health. The Act on Genetic Engineering was adopted in 1994, and is considered a safety mechanism for biotechnology, containing principles on biotechnology risk assessment and management. The competent authorities (as per EC directives) exchange information regarding procedural requirements for the safe handling, risk management and the conditions of release of biotechnology products.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects 

The budget for the programme on the ecological hazards following the release of transgenic organisms is US$ 375,000.

Regarding procedural requirements for the safe handling, risk management and release of biotechnological products, the competent authorities consult with other governmental authorities. The National Chemical Inspectorate, together with, among others, the Environmental Protection Agency is running a programme on the ecological hazards following the release of transgenic organisms. The Government Environmental Code Commission has proposed that the code should contain provisions concerning both chemical and biotechnical products (microorganisms which are specifically produced for technical use, for example, to be used as pesticides). According to the proposals, like chemical products, biotechnical products should be registered in a product register and may not be sold or used unless they are approved. In early 1997, the Government intends to make proposals to the Parliament for the new code.

Status 

No information available. 

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available. 

Cooperation

Sweden participates in the OECD cooperation concerning biotechnical issues. Sweden collaborates also with the African Center for Technology on studies on policy and research on biotechnology.

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: 1 April 1997

For national information on GMOs, click here.
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in Sweden.
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.

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INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available. 

Programmes and Projects 

Swedish green industries in the sense of industries producing environmental technology have a total turnover of approximately 15-20 bilion SEK (2-2,5 billion USD) per year, and have 15.000-20.000 persons employed. "Environmentally driven" industries, which with large potential for development of technologies are more difficult to quantify in number, but will be more important in the long run. Means to promote green industries are:

  1. public procurements strategies on the local, regional and national level
  2. a delegation on environmental technology procurement, which has been operating since 1996/97;and
  3. promotion of environmental management both in private companies and public institutions.

Status 

The principal threats to human health of the sustainable use of natural resources associated with industrial activity in Sweden are greenhouse gas emission (energy intensive industry), hazardous waste (several sectors, including chemical plants)and waste (historically related to the construction sector, but new measures are being developed to minimize waste from construction in Sweden).

Pollution of freshwater by industry is not a major problem. The Swedish sewage plants receive most of the waste water. Permits according to environmental laws regulate pollution levels. However, recently Sweden faced a major pollution problem. While building a tunnel through HallandsDsen in the south of Sweden, a large amount of acrylamid, intended to make the tunnel water proof, leaked out into the freshwater in the local area.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available. 

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1998

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the protection of the atmosphere and is a full member of the National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development. The new Railway Planning Act, which entered into force in 1996 makes railway construction an integral part of decision-making on the management of natural resources. The Communications Committee has issued a report on the continuing work for the environmental adaptation of the transportation sector. The Environmental Protection Agency collaborates with other traffic authorities on a project related to an environmentally appropriate transportation system. Local authorities report on similar activities through the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. The Environmental Classification Commission has made proposals to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise levels related to transport.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

A Strategy for the promotion of innovation in the area of Environmentally Sound Technologies (EST) is currently being developed by an EST delegation appointed by the Government. The strategy will be finalized by the end of 1998 and specific attention is given to the areas of transport, construction, agriculture and bio-remediation. The ESTs are most urgently needed in the energy and the transport sectors, as well as freshwater management.

Since 1984, the following environmental taxes have been introduced: a carbon dioxide tax, a sulfur tax, a tax on domestic aviation, a nitrogen oxide charge, a charge on batteries, a charge on pesticides and a charge on commercial fertilizer. Taxes on energy are environment-related and differentiated for petrol and diesel oils. The purchase tax on private vehicles has been replaced by an increased annual tax. The whole tax system regarding road traffic is at present being analyzed in order to strengthen its capability to steer traffic in respect of a better environment and traffic safety. A tax reform has increased the costs for private driving of company cars. New taxes on waste will be introduced in 1998.

In the area of environment and transportation, comprehensive and systematic observations of emissions are being carried out. Activities aimed at a less polluting and safer transportation system have been addressed in part since UNCED. Progress has been achieved through the classification of fuel and vehicles, control of emissions, promotion of bio-fuels. The purchase tax on private vehicles has been replaced by an increased annual tax. The whole tax system regarding road traffic is at present being analyzed in order to strengthen its capability to steer traffic in respect of a better environment and traffic safety. A tax reform has increased the costs for private driving of company cars.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available.

Status 

No information available.

Challenges

No information available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information available.

Information 

No information available.

Research and Technologies 

No information available.

Financing 

No information available.

Cooperation

No information available.

 

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This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1998

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Industry and the Swedish Tourist Authority are responsible for sustainable tourism at the national level. At the local level responsible bodies are local authorities, County Councils, and County Administrative Boards.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

No information available. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The Swedish Tourist Authority has developed the National Strategy on Sustainable Development for the Swedish Travel and Tourism Industry. In the strategy, sustainable tourism includes ecological, physical, cultural and economic sustainability. The strategy also addresses eco-tourism and nature-based tourism. Government guides tourism towards sustainability by instructions, and the Government Bill on sustainable development in the mountain region of Sweden addresses tourism issues. Furthermore, Baltic 21: Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region deals with sustainable tourism.

Deterrents to check, control or penalise damaging environmental practices on the part of businesses and visitors are found in Swedish legislation. Environmental regulations do not contain special provisions concerning tourism with the exception of one passage in the environmental regulations on the registration of nature- based tourism business in vulnerable areas.

At the national level there are no direct procedures to monitor continuously the progress of tourism development in order to make the necessary corrections or revisions to ensure sustainability. However, trade associations, for example, monitor the development in the hotel and restaurant sector.

The Environmental Code covers general environmental legislation that also affects tourism. In Sweden, everyone has the legal right to access to private land (known as ‘every man’s right’).Most people are fully aware of this traditional legal right as it is an old common law.

The Swedish Eco-tourism Society has, in co-operation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) presented ten statements on environmentally friendly tourism and ten statements on eco-tourism. Their effect on the industry will be seen in the near future.

The work of the Swedish Tourist Authority on sustainable tourism involves all relevant Major Groups.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

No information available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information available. 

Status 

The tourism sector represents 3.3 percent of GNP and employs 133 000 people with a turnover of SEK 120 billion. The tourism sector has grown from approximately 3 percent of GNP in the year 1990 to 3.3 percent in 1996. No estimates have as yet been made for the next decade but growth is very slow.

Tourism has little impact in Sweden on other issues related to sustainable development, since there is no mass tourism.

The area of ‘Höga kusten’ in north-eastern Sweden, a ‘Life project’ on quality mark destination, Environmental indicators in "Sånga-Säby", and environmental work on a tourist facility in ‘Grövelsjön’ (the Swedish mountain region) represent examples which are geared to sustainable tourism and to eco-tourism and nature-based tourism.

Challenges

No information available. 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Sustainable tourism is part of most higher tourism educational programmes at university level in Sweden. Linköping University has a special programme on nature- based guiding. There are also special courses on fishing and nature at high-school level.

Eco-tourism and nature based tourism are promoted by the travel and tourism sector initiatives such as promotion drives and campaigns.

The Swedish Travel and Tourism Council (STTC) provides information on how to behave as a tourist in Sweden. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) together with STTC have worked with information and campaigns using material produced and distributed by the STTC. However, the Council does not promote sustainable tourism per se. The Swedish Travel and Tourism Council distributes special catalogues on fishing and nature-based activities.

Furthermore, HELCOM (Helsinki Commission), Baltic 21, and IIIEE (International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics) work with issues related to awareness-raising on sustainable tourism.

A number of small and medium size enterprises market tourism to environmentally-conscious tourists.

Information 

The Swedish Tourist Authority work programme on sustainable tourism in the travel and tourism industry provides information to assist both decision-makers and the tourist industry in promoting sustainable tourism.

Mapping and inventorying of natural resources and ecosystem characteristics in tourist areas has been undertaken by SEPA in the mountain areas of Sweden.

Sustainable development indicators are being developed within some projects. For example, indicators for a green destination are being developed in Höga kusten Life project, and in Särna, Idre, Grövelsjön project.

Information on sustainable tourism is available from Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

[http:www.environ.se]

Research and Technologies 

Waste-disposal at the Grövelsjön mountain resort, recyclable hotel rooms in the Scandic Group of hotels, key ratios at Sånga-Säby conference hotel, and key ratios organised by the trade organization SHR (Swedish Hotels and Restaurants) for the management of water, waste and energy are examples where modern technology is used to promote sustainable tourism.

Financing

Activities on sustainable tourism are being financed by regional funding from the EU, and by contributions from local authorities.

Cooperation

Höga kusten, Särna, Idre and Grövelsjön represent national "model sustainable tourism destinations".

Local authorities and the hotel sector cooperate in various ways in promoting sustainable tourism. An example is a hotel certification in Borlänge.

Regional activities related to sustainable tourism are going on within Baltic 21, HELCOM and ‘Höga kusten’ project.

* * *

This information is based on Sweden's submission to the 7th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: December 1998.


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