Malmö: Fairtrade City of the World
Evelyn Seltier of the International Trade Centre talked with the Mayor of Malmö, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, to find out how a city can change its way of doing business – to become greener and more sustainable.
Malmö has received the EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award 2021, an award that recognizes a city’s sustainable efforts.
What does sustainability mean for Malmö?
Sustainability is a top priority for the City of Malmö and has been for a very long time. We became Sweden’s very first certified Fair-Trade city and have worked systematically with sustainability in our urban development.
The fact that we were named Sweden’s best environmental municipality for 2021 speaks volumes about the amount of hard work and passion that the City puts into this subject. And a crucial piece of the puzzle is helping our local businesses become more sustainable.
How does the city of Malmö support small businesses in becoming more sustainable?
Knowledge sharing is extremely important. We offer free and independent energy and climate guidance for everyone – from property developers and business owners to regular citizens. For businesses and organizations that want to take their sustainability efforts a step further, we have so-called climate contracts. This means businesses can formulate and follow up on their own sustainability goals in partnership with the City.
The newest addition to the knowledge sharing sustainability platforms of Malmö is the Food Council. This project specifically zooms in on Malmö’s rich and diverse food production and restaurant industry, by creating a forum where restaurant owners and other food industry actors can meet with the City to discuss important issues like sustainable take-out solutions and preventing food waste.
How about start-ups?
Minc, short for Malmö Incubator, coaches the start-up community on how to create business models and business relationships that get long-term financial value by being sustainable. Resident start-ups are required to address at least one United Nations Sustainable Development Goal in their business model.
The soon-to-be running Innovation Centre of the UN Office for Project Services in Malmö will work to turn the Global Goals into innovation opportunities. Within Malmö's climate and environmental work, we support, develop and coordinate around 30 different projects that will lead to a sustainable Malmö.
Recently, the City of Malmö has turned its attention even more towards social sustainability within the start-up culture. The new incubator, Level, opened its doors in October, focusing on inclusive entrepreneurship. Level is acting as a bridge to Swedish business culture. It offers free guidance in various languages, investor exposure opportunities and networks for entrepreneurs who might not otherwise have access to them. These are just a few of the initiatives the City has put in place to boost sustainable business life.
Which vision do you have for cities when it comes to supporting business in green trade?
Winning the the EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award, meant that we are going in the right direction. Our local device is that it should be easy for our city’s inhabitants to make good decisions, choosing businesses that are ethical or work actively towards green trade. This is something we would like to see promoted by cities and mayors around the world. It should be as easy as possible for both businesses and customers to choose fair and green products.