1

Sustainability requirements for municipal land tenders

Elsinore seeks to ensure that the municipality develops sustainably. To that end, the municipal government decided to prioritise sustainable project ideas when soliciting tenders for a major land sale.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Biodiversity, green areas, and sustainable land use
  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

The Municipality of Elsinore was interested in the effects of imposing sustainability requirements when soliciting tenders for municipal land. An example of sustainability being the decisive factor when selecting a buyer, rather than the highest bidder.

Initiative description

The Municipality of Elsinore solicited tenders for a site known as Stadiongrunden. Up for bid were residential construction rights for the entire site. A committee of external experts was appointed to assess the tenders against qualitative architectural and sustainability criteria.

The process applied the principles of a "two-envelope system", such that the assessment committee had no knowledge of the purchase price proposed in each bid until after completing the qualitative assessment. This method ensured that the proposed purchase prices could not influence the qualitative assessment of the draft projects in terms of architecture and sustainability. The risk of the prices having an unintentional contaminating effect on the assessment of the qualitative criteria and vice versa was thus avoided. Similarly, the assessments of the qualitative criteria were not made available during purchase price weighting.

This process made it possible to conduct a comprehensive, professionally sound, and objective assessment of all criteria while respecting their established weights.

Evaluation and weighting

The tenders were assessed on the following basis: "A tender will be selected based on a comprehensive assessment with price given a weight of 40%, architecture 40%, and sustainability 20%."

The assessment was thus holistic and discretionary, while still ensuring that each criterion was accorded the weight indicated in the Prospectus.

For the purpose of internal tender evaluations, a 1–7 scale was used for the individual criteria, alongside a linear scoring model for price. This workflow existed solely to support a dialogue around the evaluation process.

The scoring model was based on a combination of weighted point totals for each tender on the price, architecture, and sustainability criteria.

The tender with the greatest (weighted) point total was considered to be the theoretically best tender, and in that regard, PensionDanmark Ejendomme Holding K/S achieved the top score.

The Municipality of Elsinore compared the holistic assessment results with another internal support tool in order to verify that the Municipality's holistic assessment and internal support tool yielded accurate results relative to the specified criterion weights. The comparison did not make any difference in the selection of the winning tender.

Challenges

Municipalities are still limited in their opportunities to impose climate- and sustainability-related requirements in local planning efforts.

Evaluating tenders based on multiple criteria during a land sale is a significant undertaking.

It is also important for the Municipality to retain the ambitions that formed the premise for the sale in its local planning process.

Stakeholders

Future residents, local citizens, architects, engineers, contractors, and municipalities.

Results and benefits

Based on a holistic assessment of the tenders, with price given a weight of 40%, architecture 40%, and sustainability 20%, the Municipality of Elsinore determined that the offer from PensionDanmark Ejendomme Holding K/S was the best.

The tender from PensionDanmark Ejendomme Holding K/S ranked above all others in terms of architecture and sustainability. Furthermore, the price which PensionDanmark Ejendomme Holding K/S offered was the third best out of all offers received. Thus, from a holistic perspective, PensionDanmark Ejendomme Holding K/S submitted the best tender. This assessment comes in spite of the fact that PensionDanmark Ejendomme Holding K/S did not offer the highest purchase price; however, their draft project ranked high enough in architecture and sustainability to compensate for that fact.

Lessons and recommendations

This process succeeded in obtaining ample documentation to select the project that offered the greatest sustainability benefits to the local area over the project that would have yielded the greatest revenue.

2

Expanding the municipal district heating network

Large areas of the Municipality of Elsinore are heated using natural gas. The energy and climate crisis has hastened the process of phasing out fossil fuels, including the expansion of the municipal district heating network, which will run through 2030.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Capital Award indicators:

  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

In 2019, the Municipal Council of Elsinore adopted a Climate and Sustainability Plan. Transitioning to 100% sustainable generation for district heating and raising the proportion of residences on fossil-free heating to 90% by 2030 are two of the goals in the Climate and Sustainability Plan. By 2035, the overall goal is to have 100% fossil-free heating in the municipality.

Initiative description

To prepare for the heating transition, the municipalities of Allerød, Fredensborg, Hørsholm, Rudersdal, and Elsinore have developed a Strategy for Fossil-Free Heating by 2035 in collaboration with three utility companies: Norfors, Forsyning Elsinore, and Holte Fjernvarme. The strategy includes targets and recommendations for efficient, fossil-free heating, as well as for expanding district heating and for individual fossil-free heating. As part of this plan, Forsyning Elsinore has created its own plan to expand its district heating service through to 2030.  The municipality has the potential to convert more than 12,200 households currently heated using gas and oil to fossil-free heat sources. A comprehensive district heating expansion is planned for parts of the Municipality of Elsinore. The municipality aims to connect 800–1000 new buildings to district heating each year.

Up until now, the municipal council has approved five project proposals in which the installation of district heating is either imminent or planned in the coming years:

  • Søhelte District 2022 – 2023
  • Marienlyst District 2024
  • Elsinore City Centre 2024 – 2026
  • Outer Elsinore 2023 – 2027
  • Espergærde City Centre 2023 – 2028

Challenges

Supplying district heating in the southern and eastern portions of Espergærde will require the creation of a new heating facility and plant, likely near Kelleris. Consequently, southern and eastern Espergærde will require more time for development.

The entire district heating plan cannot be executed at once. This is due to the fact that the plan involves comprehensive construction that requires major planning, organisation and follow-up on the work of contractors, materials, and significant investments. When the time to connect new customers comes, each customer (homeowner) must be visited individually to make special arrangements for conduits, etc.

The project has faced numerous challenges, including price increases among contractors, rising interest rates, and a shortage of qualified labour for certain tasks. However, the expansion is proceeding according to plan in spite of these issues.

Stakeholders

Citizens, Forsyning Elsinore (waste management centre), and the Municipality of Elsinore.

Results and benefits

A summary from Forsyning Elsinore shows that new customer connections in this year alone will avoid the emission of about 870 tonnes of CO2 annually, now that these customers have bid their old gas- and oil-based furnaces farewell. This works out to about 5.7 tonnes per customer (household, residence, or business). (Source: https://www.fh.dk/nyheder/udbredelsen-af-fjernvarme-gaar-planmaessigt)

Lessons and recommendations

The rollout is still in its early stages, so it is too early to draw any major conclusions.

3

Biodiversity for kids

Elsinore has ambitious climate and sustainability goals. Providing knowledge to children is an important effort for meeting those goals. One way the municipal government is connecting with children is through prioritising biodiversity measures related to nurseries and primary schools.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Nature, biodiversity, and sustainable land use

Purpose

Many initiatives are under way in the Municipality of Elsinore to draw attention to nature in the area and promote biodiversity. Biodiversity in the Early Years is a municipal initiative focusing on biodiversity in the Municipality of Elsinore that provides a foundation for outdoor activities with children in nurseries and schools. The intention is for children and adults to learn about biodiversity and promote it in their immediate environments through activities.

Initiative description

From 2020 through 2022, a total of 725,000 DKK were allocated for communication and planting efforts at schools and nurseries.

In the first year, some of these funds went to Biodiversity in level with kids while the remaining funds were spent on pro-biodiversity planting efforts and operational changes in autumn 2020.

These efforts were expanded in 2021 to support measures with more lasting effects, such as planting a variety of flowers, identifying areas suitable for unmanaged growth, and other measures selected from an inspiration portfolio.

At the same time, biodiversity and ecosystem services in outdoor areas on municipal school grounds, were surveyed to identify opportunities to make operational changes, such as reducing the frequency of mowing, planting a variety of species that flower and fruit at different times, preserving old trees, and so on.

Communicative efforts

Biodiversity in the Early Years focuses on the youngest children from nursery to early primary school. As part of this effort, all 33 nurseries and 11 early primary programmes were provided with biodiversity kits containing native species of flowers, grasses, and other plants. In the summer, these plants will attract insects and help bring Danish nature to playgrounds and school grounds—where children can experience them in their formative early years.

Children and the staff of nurseries and schools plant and care for the flowers themselves, watching them grow and bloom in their immediate environments. Aside from the flowers, each kit also comes with a bucket for children to create a hoverfly "lagoon", and tubes that they can turn into "hotels" for bees. These offer bees and hoverflies places to lay eggs. After that, the children and adults can follow along with their life cycles, from the larval stage all the way to winged animals that fly out and gather nectar from geraniums, chrysanthemums, and other flowers from among the 28 species in the provided assortment of seeds. The effort continues in the spring with the arrival of a bag containing equipment the children can use to explore nature and discover a variety of insects and plants.

  • In total, about 2000 children take part in this project every year across all of the municipal nurseries and primary schools.
  • In spring and autumn 2021, participants received seeds to plant and materials about biodiversity.
  • In autumn 2021, field trips to Klimahave3000 ["Climate Garden 3000"] was arranged, as well as theatrical performances focused on biodiversity for nursery and primary school children.

Challenges

Because teachers in Denmark often stay with their classes for several years, the teachers receiving the programme materials change from year to year, posing some challenges with making the most of the seeds and other provided materials. It can be difficult for the teachers to pass on their experiences and lessons learned to their colleagues.

The project began as a major effort during the coronavirus pandemic, as children at nurseries were spending more time outdoors to begin with. This made it easy for teachers to implement the materials and get the most out of them. Now, there are fewer staff members supporting this effort, and the funding that was originally allocated to the project has already been spent on its launch.

Once the materials are delivered to the various institutions, the programme relies on engaged staff members to use them and communicate the lessons to the children. Should there be nobody to take the initiative and use the materials, they may be prone to being left to collect dust on a shelf while core activities are prioritised instead.

Delivering the materials to institutions throughout the municipality has also proved challenging, as they cannot be sent through the post normally and must be delivered specially.

While in most cases, nurseries already have space for activities like planting seeds, primary schools have had more difficulty finding suitable areas for these activities.

Stakeholders

Children are the primary stakeholders, and this effort has been planned by a project committee comprising members of the Finances and Properties Centre; the City, Land, and Water Centre; the Nursery and School Centre; and the Culture, Business, and Organisation Centre.

Results and benefits

Feedback from the various school and nursery administrators has been positive, with strong signs of a positive reception among instructors and children alike.

This project delivers information about biodiversity. It helps children to become familiar with nature-based activities, which are an important element of their education.

Lessons and recommendations

It may be important to ensure that "culture-bearers” and engaged staff members are introduced to these materials so that they can spread the word about the project. To some extent, this will happen on its own. In areas where it does not, extra efforts to correct the situation may be a good idea.

The logistics around delivering the materials can also be challenging, so this is an important consideration for the early stages of the process.

4

Grøn Bolig: support for private home owners

Elsinore has an ageing housing stock with significant potential for energy improvements. Participating in the Grøn Bolig ["Green Residence"] pilot project offered the municipal government opportunities to test new initiatives designed to accelerate the decision-making process for homeowners considering energy renovations and heating system replacements.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

The Green Residence initiative was launched to help municipalities test new methods and measures for accelerating the green transformation among private homeowners, focusing especially on energy renovations.

Initiative description

The Green Residence pilot project was launched on the initiative of the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Association of Architects, the Construction, Facilities, and Forestry Association and the Bolius Information Centre in mid-2021. As part of the agreement, municipalities committed to allocating resources to efforts targeting home owners and local municipal actors, including a dedicated project manager.
The pilot project was primarily focused on demonstrating that targeted efforts at the municipal level can help to improve the proportion of homeowners considering or executing home energy renovations.

Beginning in July 2021, the Municipality of Elsinore's participation in the Green Residence pilot project has given the municipality a year and a half to test initiatives and activities designed to accelerate energy renovations and heating system replacements in privately owned, single-family homes. This has led to an increased focus on both communication- and activity-based initiatives designed to push more home owners to conduct energy renovations. These efforts have targeted residents of the municipality and relevant local actors.

 More specifically, in approximate figures:

  • There were 7 efforts targeting residents. 1,050 residents actively participated, 18,200 were reached via direct communication, and 4,150 actively responded to that communication.
  • There were 4 activities targeting local actors (contractors, hardware stores, real estate agents, and local financial institutions). About 40 organisations and businesses actively participated, and 150 were reached via direct communication.
  • Additionally, 6 town hall meetings were held in autumn 2022, where 1,137 citizens actively participated and 2,770 attended. After informative presentations, various industry representatives and local professionals were available to answer citizens' individual questions.

The project's main points are presented below:

  • Green Home Day at the Technical Museum of Denmark (autumn 2021)
  • A course for real estate agents (2022 + 2023)
  • A flyer developed in collaboration with the company InudgeYou, for distribution to home owners by contractors (2022)
  • Town hall meetings / evening inspiration sessions, 12 events (spring and autumn 2022)
    Common energy guidelines: at the end of the road (autumn 2022)
  • Energy advisor on a bike (2022, summer holiday season and climate week)
  • Updated list of contractors on www.helsingor.dk (spring 2023)
  • Information stand at construction supply trade fairs (2022)
  • Homeowner survey, 2 sessions (June and December 2022)
  • Website improvements based on user behaviour (2022)
  • Energy Check 2022 (concept refinement from previous year) (autumn 2022)

The knowledge-sharing forum for the municipalities participating in the Green Residence pilot project was of particular value in developing new approaches to establishing dialogue with residents.

Challenges

Managing many distinct activities, such as holding town hall meetings, developing materials, and responding to inquiries from residents, is time-consuming for the municipal government. Despite the new initiatives, there was no real success in reaching out to and establishing dialogue with the younger generation of homeowners.

Stakeholders

The initiative was designed and launched by Lene Espersen of the Danish Association of Architectural Firms,

Michael Nielsen of DI and later Concito, Gunde Odgaard, BAT Kartellet (Construction, Facilities and Forestry Association), Ulrik Heilmann and Bolius Information Centre.

The project was financed by EnergiFonden (shared project manager at Bolius), and the participating municipalities financed their project managers and specific initiatives themselves. Aside from local businesses (contractors, real estate agents, and financial institutions), the project's primary partners were: SparEnergi (Danish Energy Agency), Forsyning Elsinore, the Information Centre for Energy Savings in Buildings (Danish Energy Agency), Bolius (Green Residence project office), and the Municipalities of Middelfart and Skive.

Results and benefits

  • The Bolius Information Centre and YouGov's report entitled "Danskerne i det byggede miljø" ["Danes in the Built-Up Environment"' showed that interest in energy renovations increased by 10 percentage points from spring 2021 to spring 2022 among the surveyed residents of the municipality. (The increased interest is likely explained in part by rising energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine and other factors.)
  • In the period from the beginning of 2020 to the beginning of 2023, the number of privately owned, single-family houses heated by electricity, natural gas, or oil has fallen, while the number heated by district heating or heat pumps has increased. In particular, the number of registered heat pumps has increased sharply.
  • Home owner surveys conducted in June and November 2022 found that most respondents were only in the early stages of conducting energy renovations, and that they were looking for information and expert decision-making support.
  • Numerous activities were launched based on the survey results, including combined town hall meetings and "advisory cafés" at which citizens had the opportunity to ask experts specific questions on their projects.
  • An evaluation of the town hall meetings found that 80–85% of the participants were satisfied with the content of these activities, whereas the remaining 10–15% sought still more individualised guidance.

Lessons and recommendations

The timing of the Grøn Bolig project was such that the Municipality of Elsinore was well equipped to assist its residents during a period of drastic societal change and amidst the ongoing energy crisis. The nature of the government's efforts shifted slightly from inspiration towards information in an attempt to meet rising demand from residents.

The pilot project's sudden extreme relevance (due to the energy crisis) leaves us with rich opportunities for supplemental efforts and broader national co-ordination, such as with the Danish Energy Agency or with other municipalities. The project should do more to seize these opportunities and capitalise on them in order to make the most of the broad experience, which the pilot municipalities gained.

5

Green Leaf city Elsinore leads the way to sustainable hotspots

Elsinore captures the attention of visitors by showcasing local and sustainable businesses on their GoGreen card. Through creating awareness about responsible shopping and dining, the city not only promotes sustainability but also rewards shop owners dedicated to this cause.

Introduction

The City of Elsinore developed a guide for local citizens and tourists, called the ‘GoGreen card’ or 'Your guide to sustainable living'. The guide is available as a printed handout as well as an online app, serving as a comprehensive resource guide for adopting sustainable practices in everyday life. The GoGreen card shows a city map with inspiration about the city's green opportunities and lists companies that make responsible choices. Elsinore has been publishing this guide since 2011, offering access to nature and promoting sustainable consumption and habits. Thanks to the GoGreen card, the public is able to explore some of the best and easiest accessible nature spots, shops, restaurants and hotels known for their significant sustainability profile. On the backside of the map there are various tips on how to incorporate sustainability into one's everyday life, presented with appealing graphics and design.

This good practice is relevant to these European Green Capital Award Indicators: 

  1. Waste and Circular Economy
  2. Nature and Biodiversity

Objective

The objective of the GoGreen card is threefold: to stimulate citizens and tourists to make sustainable choices in their lives, to promote local sustainable businesses and to establish a network for these businesses. The GoGreen Card is about initiating conversations and thereby creating awareness about sustainability to stimulate sustainable behaviour. Over the years it has become clear that the public is interested in the guide and that the network of associated sustainable businesses is growing. The city of Elsinore enables this network to meet on a regular basis by organising four meetings per year. The goal of these meetings is the exchange of information on how to sell their products and to become more sustainable while doing so.

Description of the measure

The GoGreen Card has been developed since 2011 to stimulate citizens to make sustainable choices. The guide is handed out in local stores and public areas, such as libraries and schools. The promotion of the GoGreen card is also done in a creative way, for example by advertising in the library through custom designed GoGreen card bookmarks. It is a conscious choice to use different types of communication as the city wants to address all citizens (different ages, different preferences).  The businesses that are presented in the guide act consciously regarding either ecology, reuse, recycling, products without harmful chemicals, social responsibility and/or other elements of sustainability. The guide is very diverse as it concerns all types of businesses, from the small producers, farm shops and local enthusiasts to designer shops, fashion, and unique second-hand shops. The guide also shows places to eat that prioritize ecology and biodynamics and places to stay the night where consideration for the environment has a high priority.

Challenges

The GoGreen card is currently only published in Danish, which may hinder non-Danish speakers from reading the guides. However, Elsinore is considering the creation of an English version of the guide.

Another point of discussion revolves around the sustainability of printing all the guides and the risk of people immediately discarding them. However, Elsinore strives to make the guides as sustainable as possible by obtaining cradle-to-cradle certification (KLS PurePrint). This certification ensures that the paper and inks used are free of chemicals and heavy metals. Additionally, the wood used for the paper is sourced from sustainable FSC forestry in Europe, and the production process is climate neutralized.

Stakeholders

The involved stakeholders are the local businesses and the consumers, who are the citizens and tourists of Elsinore. The city gathers feedback about the project through citizen meetings and business network meetings.

Moreover, the evaluation of the businesses presented in the guide needs to be done systematically to ensure that greenwashing is avoided. The company GoGreen Denmark certifies that companies use multiple sustainability criteria before they can be included on the map. Fortunately, the local shops are very idealistic, and Elsinore actively encourages sustainable companies to come on board.

Achievements and benefits

For Elsinore, it is important to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability through action, not just words. The GoGreen card makes sustainability tangible for citizens, encouraging them to make more sustainable choices. Additionally, shop owners are motivated to adopt sustainable practices to earn a spot on the GoGreen card, thereby attracting more customers to their businesses. The GoGreen card thus effectively raises awareness about the importance of sustainability among both citizens and shop owners. This indirectly leads to various advantages, including:

  • Encouraging the circular economy
  • Promoting health benefits for citizens
  • Supporting sustainable local businesses
  • Stimulating local nature experiences

Elsinore has organized several citizens’ meetings to gather feedback about the GoGreen card initiative. The positive reception from citizens and shop owners has encouraged Elsinore to continue producing these guides.

Learning points and recommendations

Cities are recommended to consider creating a similar product, as it facilitates diverse dialogues and enables numerous interactions with citizens regarding sustainable topics like energy and the circular economy.

One key observation is that communication strategies for guides like the GoGreen card should be tailored to factors such as the user's age and interests. The traditional paper handout guide may be more suitable for the older generation, while younger consumers are more likely to quickly download the app.

6

"Green Community Creators"

As part of the 2024 Green Leaf year, the Municipality of Elsinore is focusing more on supporting citizen-led green communities. To get the ball rolling for 2024, the municipality sought to mobilise enthusiastic citizens in 2023 by offering a course to train Green Community Creators.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

This effort has the potential to be linked to all indicators, depending on the kinds of green communities created.

  • Biodiversity, green areas, and sustainable land use
  • Air quality and noise
  • Waste and circular economy
  • Water
  • Climate change and energy transition
  • Sustainable mobility

Purpose

Citizen-led initiatives and volunteer efforts are important to the green transformation in terms of innovating and changing habits around consumption, transportation, food, and energy. In light of this, a fund was created for the 2024 Green Leaf year to provide targeted financial support to small, citizen-led initiatives.

Initiative description

Many people have a desire to actively make a difference and minimise their impact on the climate and the environment. To support them in this goal, a fund has been created to provide small-scale, targeted financial support, enabling associations, community organisations, local societies, and others to launch their own initiatives. Examples include local recycling and reuse initiatives, including exchange centres, repair cafés, material banks and flea markets, lending libraries of tools and equipment, initiatives for local energy communities, nature restoration efforts, and gardens. The funds can be used to finance informational materials, make small purchases, prepare facilities for use, organise events, and so on. The Green Leaf prize has made it possible to set aside a fund of 500,000 DKK for 2024. In general, projects can request up to 20,000 DKK of financial assistance.

There will be two application deadlines in 2024: 1st of March and 2nd of September. The Elsinore Climate Office will be communicating with applicants regarding their projects as it processes their requests. The programme will focus on initiatives with the potential to have a real impact on the climate and the environment while fostering a sense of community in the short and long term. Initiatives run by individual persons will generally not be eligible to receive support, and annually recurring support will not be offered. Preference will also be given to initiatives that have requested support from other sources and those that rely on volunteers. Applicants must provide a description of their activities, and they must report and document their use of any financial support received immediately after using it.

To mobilise local communities, a skill development programme for local organisers was launched in autumn 2023.  The Green Community Creators course is managed in collaboration with DeltagerDanmark, and it focuses on preparing members of the community who are already active to mobilise others in the fight for the climate. The course also aims to develop and foster targeted, citizen-led climate action within the communities and associations that the participants are already involved in.

Challenges

Because the project is still in its infancy, there is some natural concern around the possibility of the initiative failing to take hold and succeed in engaging a sufficient number of citizens relative to the project's goals. Launching these communities will require ongoing efforts from the municipal government, and the true test of success is whether the citizens maintain and continue their initiatives.

Stakeholders

Citizens, the Municipality of Elsinore.

Results and benefits (goals)

On a general level, the primary goal is for the Green Community Creators to launch initiatives and projects that can ultimately contribute to a reduction in CO2emissions and/or resource consumption.
The project aims to facilitate the launch of a variety of citizen-led initiatives that can support a green agenda. A further goal is for some of these communities to motivate and engage others beyond their membership circles, creating a ripple effect that influences even more people.

Lessons and recommendations

Thus far, the biggest lesson from this project has been the need for targeted recruitment in order to reach citizens who are interested in launching and leading green communities. This is largely due to the fact that the citizens in the target group are not already engaged and active in projects, but rather interested in launching new communities. In view of this, we recommend leveraging networks and reaching out to groups and people with insight into who might be interested in participating.

7

Circular lighting — Procurement of recycled light fittings

Elsinore wishes to reduce the impact of municipal facility procurement and operations on the climate and resources. Municipal demand for circular goods is key to stimulating market development.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Waste and circular economy
  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

The Municipality of Elsinore is strengthening its focus on sustainable procurement by choosing recycled resources (circular economics). As part of this effort, the Municipality conducted a project with significant climatic and environmental potential—without compromising on price, quality, or lighting conditions. 

Initiative description

When it came time to renovate the meeting rooms at the citizen service centre Prøvestenen, the Municipality of Elsinore took a new approach in replacing the light fittings. Changes to the available space as a result of the renovations created a need to replace the existing light fittings in the meeting rooms. Consequently, municipal facility management staff contacted Fischer Lighting, a private company, to inquire about the possibility of recycling the old light fittings and using them in a redesigned form. It quickly became apparent that the best solution in this situation was to purchase used light fittings equipped with a new, innovative LED solution and sell the old fittings to the company so that they, too, could be reused.

The old lighting has been replaced with LED lighting, resulting in energy savings of about 70%. Thus, the new lighting has not only reduced operating costs, but also decreased CO2 emissions. Approximately 200 kg of old steel fittings have been upcycled into a beautiful, new design in the form of 36 Venus lamps. Reusing those fittings will save about 970 kg in CO2 emissions and 6,480 litres of water. The ceiling fittings were "waste" from a building renovation project in the Municipality of Copenhagen.

The Municipality traded in the old fittings to receive "new" Frigg lights. Other customers will use the removed fittings. The 16 "new" Frigg lights are made from a minimum of 75% scrap aluminium. The aluminium is sourced from consumer waste, such as beverage cans. Using scrap aluminium consumes only 5% of the energy needed to manufacture from new aluminium.

The removed fittings will be reused. The old housing will be reused as-is, while the old electronics will be sent to Elretur, which reuses 74% of the electronic waste it receives on average.

In terms of direct expenses, the cost is approximately the same as the cost of comparable quality light fittings. In the long term, this solution will be even cheaper because it can be repaired and serviced instead of needing to be thrown out entirely when parts break or better technologies become available. Thus, after accounting for both the initial purchase price and operating costs, this solution is more affordable.

Challenges
Currently, market offerings in the area of circular lighting have very low maturity. There is essentially only one actor on the market, negatively affecting the competitive environment and the ability to impose circularity requirements for large tender projects.

Stakeholders

Businesses, private individuals, the municipality.

Results and benefits

Many tenders are awarded based on price alone. Total cost of ownership (TCO) documentation requirements can make it possible to select a product that is both more sustainable and cheaper to operate in the long term.

Lessons and recommendations

  • It was surprisingly easy to get started, and the climatic and environmental benefits were significant
  • Recommendations for requirements when soliciting tenders:

Wherever possible, existing fittings should be reused and upgraded with LED light sources.

  • If new fittings must be purchased, they should be made using 100% reused old fittings.
  • If used fittings that meet other requirements are not available, then new fittings made from 70% recycled materials should be purchased.

Fittings should be designed to enable disassembly and repair.

  • Diodes, drivers, and optics should be replaceable, and must not be bolted or glued in place.
  • Drivers and LED diodes should be easily and quickly replaceable without the use of tools beyond simple hand tools (screwdriver, hobby knife, spanner, etc.). Diode and driver replacement must not take more than 10 minutes per fitting.
  • Disassembled fittings must be sortable into distinct material classes, such as metals, plastics, electronics, cables, etc.
  • Disassembly and repair instructions should be sufficient to document the points above.
8

CABAS sustainability activities

Elsinore is focused on incorporating sustainability into every facet of life in the municipality. CABAS has developed a number of activities that take biodiversity and resource consumption into consideration, such as through reusing materials.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Waste and circular economy

Purpose

At CABAS in Elsinore, the staff have developed a variety of activities focused on sustainability. Each area developed its own focal points around the ways the staff wanted to focus on sustainability in 2023. One such point is reuse, with programme participants helping to give old or discarded furniture and materials a new lease on life. 

Initiative description

CABAS is the Centre for Activities and Social Programmes, Protected Employment, Ability Assessment, and Special Vocational Education. Participants in the centre's programmes are assigned to fixed core groups, and they can choose to participate in various themed groups depending on their interests. The goal is to provide offerings that educate, provide a sense of community, and yield a better quality of life.

In support of its emphasis on sustainability and reuse, all CABAS workshops focus on sustainable processes and the reuse of materials. It collaborates with a variety of associations and businesses, from which it receives excess or old materials that would otherwise have been discarded as rubbish. These materials then get a new lease on life at CABAS, where they are used to produce furniture, art, or other items. These new items are primarily sold at CABAS's own markets.

CABAS also engages with four of the UN's Global Goals. Promoting well-being and development for programme participants is at the core of its vision, so Goal 3, Health and Well-Being, is front and centre. Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, is where the sustainability angle comes into play. In this respect, CABAS takes into account the diverse abilities and skills of the different populations it serves. There is a special focus on sustainability in the activities and social programmes developed for populations that need just a little bit of support in their day-to-day lives. There are also offerings designed to include participants whose challenges preclude them from participating in the workshops, but who can still benefit from CABAS's activities and social programmes focused more on maintaining abilities.

One of the programme groups focuses heavily on outdoor activities, such as planting trees and berries. The group plans and organises all of its activities seasonally. For instance, they cook with ingredients that are in season. Similarly, the materials used in their creative projects are exclusively reused or recycled. The outdoor group was launched partially out of necessity during the coronavirus pandemic; social distancing requirements meant taking a different approach.

Other groups have focused on proper waste management and sorting, including creating small diplomas and exams to help reinforce the message.

CABAS also engages with Goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, focusing in particular on recycling and waste sorting. For instance, programme participants discover ways to upcycle and reuse items that others would have thrown out as rubbish. The staff have developed partnerships for recycling and reuse, tying this effort into Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. CABAS collaborates with both private and public actors, including The Circle, a recycling centre in Helsingør. The Circle has an arrangement to allow CABAS to stop in and pick up items from the recycling centre. Additionally, CABAS is a member of Go Green, a sustainability network for businesses in Helsingør. The Go Green market provides CABAS an opportunity to sell its products.

Furthermore, CABAS participates in Made in Elsinore—a community, showroom, and creative digital platform focused on quality products and environmental consciousness. This initiative has spawned a number of exhibitions, including one at Helsingør Station, which functions as a showroom. Members of the public can visit the exhibition to find inspiration for Christmas gifts or view the various crafts and pieces of furniture on display. Recently, an exhibition using wood from the Northern Zealand Roads and Parks was launched where visitors can commission table tops and other wooden items.

Moving forwards, CABAS will focus on continued development, greater ambition, and new sources of external inspiration.

Challenges

  • The workshops produce many items, but the ability to produce enough to participate in external markets (such as the Go Green market) can be an obstacle. The primary purpose of the CABAS workshops is to promote the development of the programme participants, as opposed to producing items for sale.
  • Working with recycled and reused materials also poses challenges in terms of storage space, so there is some logistical and planning work involved. Focusing more on sustainability means making room to store bulky items, such as furniture. Optimally, CABAS can be incorporated into greater perspectives and collaborations that allow it to retrieve materials as needed.

Stakeholders

Individuals, businesses, activity centres, municipalities.

Results and benefits

  • Participating in the Go Green network tells a story about the other elements of the network. Suggesting buying from CABAS as a local and sustainable option can serve as a source of inspiration. The markets create opportunities for conversations about other potential collaborations, such as with second-hand shops, which could hand off unsold items to CABAS.
  • CABAS received visitors from Iceland, where some of the same material recycling strategies have been implemented. The staff and visitors exchanged ideas and shared inspiration with each other.

Lessons and recommendations

  • CABAS is pleased with its partnerships that support participants' well-being, offer development opportunities, and help them to lead fulfilling lives. CABAS's partners offer inspiration and push it to develop.
  • Taking action can inspire others to act, too—diving into new projects and initiatives does not require perfection.
9

New tender and procurement policy

The Municipality of Elsinore has revised its tender and procurement policy to focus more on local and sustainable purchasing. With this focus, the municipal government will be able to increase the demand for more sustainable products and promote market development.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Waste and circular economy
  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

The new tender and procurement policy builds on the policy adopted in 2015 and has been significantly updated to account for sustainability. The policy now imposes requirements on suppliers, manufacturers, and their services related to product life cycles and sustainability when inviting tenders. The goal of the new policy is to further hasten the transition to a more sustainable municipal government.

Initiative description

The new policy provides a framework and direction for incorporating life cycle and sustainability requirements into future solicitation documents for goods and services. The requirements are designed to encompass a product's entire life cycle or lifetime whenever possible, from material extraction and manufacturing through to distribution, use, and disposal.

Procurement criteria have also been established in order to make the requirements as specific as possible and to signal that it is possible to prioritise sustainability over finances and aesthetics. In broad terms, the established requirements promote sustainability in procurement through

  • considering the necessity of new purchases,
  • prioritising recycling and environmental certification,
  • purchasing organic foods, and
  • requiring the use of recyclable materials unless doing so would negatively impact the environment.

The requirements also address product lifetimes, repairability, and circular business models, such as leasing and buy-back programmes. Opportunities for donating or disposing of used equipment are to be investigated, and low-carbon-footprint delivery is emphasised. To reduce the number of deliveries and the amount of packaging needed, procurement should be planned well in advance, and sustainable products should be promoted in the municipal e-commerce system. Finally, LCA requirements are to be integrated into invitations to tender as much as possible in order to promote sustainable choices in public procurement.

Beyond the procurement requirements, the new tender and procurement policy also includes a four-point action plan:

  1. Benchmarking and continuously monitoring the municipality's carbon footprint.
  2. Tracking annual compliance metrics for sustainable procurement.
  3. Gradually transitioning to fossil-free deliveries to the municipal government by 2030, including stipulations in new contracts that products be delivered only once per week and consolidated into single shipments.
  4. Moving to weekly shipments from the municipal supplier.

Challenges

Because this policy was adopted in October 2023, there is no associated experience to draw on, and by extension, no identifiable challenges.

However, it is reasonable to expect that it will take some time before the policy is fully integrated into and applied to invitations to tender, given that it requires the municipal government to change its established workflows in this area.

Furthermore, some industries do not yet have enough data on their products or have not yet developed greener options, and these would be necessary for the municipal government to make greener choices.

Stakeholders

The Municipality of Elsinore, suppliers, manufacturers, Forsyning Helsingør (waste management centre).

Results and benefits

The new procurement policy has many potential advantages. If the procurement criteria are met, they could help to accelerate the green transformation. For instance, the emphasis on LCA and low carbon footprint requirements could encourage contractors to investigate new methods and make more sustainable choices when bidding on projects.

The Municipality of Elsinore has also become a member of the Green Public Procurement Partnership. This association is continuously developing criteria for use in green procurement.

The four points of the action plan provide specific goals to work towards. CO2-reporting, compliance metrics, fossil-free deliveries by 2030, and weekly shipments will together make it possible to monitor developments and create initiatives with specific, well-defined scopes.

Lessons and recommendations

 It is still too early to measure the effects of the policy with more stringent sustainability requirements.

10

Food waste efforts in the Healthcare Building

As part of the inauguration of the Healthcare Building in December 2022, the Municipality of Elsinore opened a new canteen in the facility. The assortment of old canteens in a new environment became the impetus for an increased focus on the climate and sustainability.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Waste and circular economy
  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

The Municipality of Elsinore's canteen in the Healthcare Building has created a new culinary identity focused on organic food, sustainability, and reduced food waste. As part of this effort, the staff came up with five guiding principles to ensure that their values are incorporated into all aspects of the canteen's day-to-day operations.

Initiative description

The Healthcare Building Kitchen is located in the new Healthcare Building near Prøvestenen in Elsinore. The kitchen prepares food for three canteens: the Municipal Council's canteen, Prøvestenens canteen, and the Healthcare Building's canteen. 

The staff developed a culinary identity that they strive to live up to every day. To help them in this effort, they established five guiding principles:

  • The right food for the right people
  • Flavour
  • Sustainability
  • Organics
  • Seasonal cuisine

Their approach in creating their culinary identity was to consider their priorities: what matters most to them, what they want to be known for, and what rules they want to live by. Because they aspire to be among the forerunners of sustainability in canteens, it was clear that sustainability and reducing food waste would be important elements in their strategy.

They even decided to post the UN's Global Goals in the canteen as a symbol of their commitment. In particular, the Healthcare Building's efforts are in line with the global food waste reduction target. To achieve this vision, the kitchen is collaborating with Foodoptimize, a company that measures food waste in the canteens. They measure both the amount of food consumed and the amount thrown away. This approach provides insight into the amount of waste from served and unserved food across the three canteens. For example, it was found that on certain days when more people are working from home, there is more waste in the canteens. These kinds of insights make it easier for the staff to adjust their output and find the perfect volume for each location. They can also identify less popular dishes based on the amount of each dish that is thrown away.

Placing scales beneath the serving dishes in the buffet allows them to measure how much food is taken from them at a time and determine when the serving dishes need to be refilled. For instance, if no more food is taken after 1:00 p.m., they know that the food will not need to be replenished, so they can more efficiently reduce food waste. On Fridays, excess food from the week's production is served as leftovers. This way, food that has not already sat out in the buffet can be reused and served in the Healthcare Building. Almost all of the food is consumed in this system, so the amount of waste is minimal. The staff also look for ways to repurpose excess food in later production, such as by using leftover carrots in baked goods. 

The Healthcare Building's kitchen also operates a "Too Good To Go" concept: at closing time, instead of immediately removing the food from the buffet, it is left out for ten minutes, and guests can pay a small amount for a box they can fill with food. The more guests buy a Too Good To Go box to take food home with them, the less food ends up being thrown away. This way, someone can still enjoy the food that others put time and ingredients into.

The canteen is also seeking to help the climate in the way they clean, such as by using only cleaning products with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. They use minimal quantities of plastic products. Disposable utensils and plastic toothpicks have been phased out, so the only disposable items still in use are napkins and paper cups.

The canteen has achieved a silver organics rating, meaning that 60–90% of its ingredients are organic. Because organic foods are generally more expensive than their conventional counterparts, and in order to account for the environmental impact of agriculture, the canteen has had to rethink its menu. In particular, beef and veal are more expensive than other foods and associated with greater CO2 emissions. As a result, vegetarian options have been prioritised over these meats. Foodoptimize contains information on the amount of CO2 emitted to produce various foods, as well as whether they are organic. This enables the kitchen staff to create recipes with minimal carbon footprints that incorporate as many organic ingredients as possible, ensuring that they meet the criteria to maintain the silver rating while also considering their impact on the climate.

Challenges

The biggest challenge was the need for people to get used to new things, like the discontinuation of plastic packaging. On the other hand, many customers had long expressed interest in a more climate-focused canteen.

Stakeholders

Canteens, municipalities, individuals, businesses.

Results and benefits

Many people appreciate the new food and the effort that goes into preparing it. Customers can try new dishes with small carbonfootprints, which may inspire them in their own cooking.

The new and exciting food available in the canteen is another benefit. Most customers grew up eating a different kind of food, so they can now learn about new ways to cook.

Because this canteen is new, there is unfortunately no before-and-after data to quantify the impact of the new approach. Nonetheless, it is a big step in the right direction.

Lessons and recommendations

Don't be afraid to dive head first into something new, but consider seeking inspiration and recommendations from others who are further ahead.

11

Balanced Landscapes: A nature project in 80 ha

Elsinore wishes to increase the variety of its natural environments in order to create a foundation for more biodiversity. This area also offers improved opportunities for recreational experiences, such as walks and bike rides.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Capital Award indicators:

  • Biodiversity, green areas, and sustainable land use

Purpose

Balanced Landscapes is a nature project that offers space for varied meadow landscapes that incorporate scrub, bogs, and lakes. The purpose of the project is to achieve the greatest possible biodiversity in an area of 80 ha using pre-agricultural intensification landscaping practices. Until 2022, 68 ha of the space was used for organic farming, while the remaining 12 ha have been part of small, partially overgrazed paddocks.

Initiative description

Balanced Landscapes is located in the conservation area Rørtang Kystkile, in an open wedge of land between Espergærde and Snekkersten and the Egebæksvang and Nyrup Hegn state forests.

The project comprises four general efforts which together are designed to produce the desired result:

  • Changes in hydrology: releasing water

Natural hydrology will be one of the keys to restoring the area's nature. Drains have been eliminated and the water is finding its natural bed with minimal external regulation and landscape work. This has not only created new lakes, but also many areas where the ground is more or less moist. These transitional zones create ideal conditions for significant biological variety, particularly when combined with grazing animals. Today, this area is a good amphibian habitat, including for the common spadefoot frog and great crested newt, which are Annex IV-listed species. Creating better conditions for amphibians and birds in the area is one of the primary goals.

  • Year-round grazing: increased biodiversity

The project consists of three paddocks. All of the inner fences at Præstebjerget have been removed, yielding a paddock with a total area of 12 ha. This has made year-round grazing for Icelandic horses and Galloway cattle possible. In 2022 and 2023, fences were erected around Hjortespring, measuring 16 ha, and Rørtang, measuring 50 ha. Their transformation from agricultural to natural areas has begun. The same principles apply to all of the paddocks: the grazing pressure should be low enough that flowers are not chewed down during the summer, and there should be enough food for the animals throughout the winter. Winter grazing helps to remove dead plant matter, which greatly benefits spring flowers and other species that struggle to compete with fast-growing species that can make better use of nutrients. Only robust breeds suitable for year-round grazing are being used. These animals are also human-friendly. The number of animals will be carefully monitored and adjusted to create the best conditions for high biodiversity in the area. Field areas are connected across paths to make the paddock as large as possible.

  • Seeding: more herbaceous plants and habitats for insects

The paddock Præstebjerget already has rich natural flora in small areas. The area was once a gravel pit, and the combination of the soil and grazing activity has created favourable conditions for species that are otherwise rare in Danish landscapes. The two other paddocks, Hjortespring and Rørtang Nord, are currently home to limited numbers of species. To promote diversity among the flora throughout the area, a seed bank will be established at three selected locations that are suitable for this purpose. Seeds of selected species from among the local, native field and meadow flora will be sown over a total area of about 5 ha. It is hoped that the diverse flora will eventually become established throughout the entire area, supplying nutrients and habitats for a variety of insects and birds.

  • Recreational area and communicating the value of nature

These natural areas connect major state forests, making it possible to travel from the coast deep into the Municipality of Elsinore through forests and fields. Cattle grids and gates preserve recreational experiences, so visitors can move in and out of the fenced area as they please.

Balanced Landscapes seeks to offer better recreational experiences, including paths for walking and cycling that connect to existing recreational trails outside the area. Measures will also be taken to communicate the value of the area's natural environment to visitors.

Challenges

A major shortage of labour resources, given that the project is being conducted alongside existing government tasks. Regulatory approvals, the project's budget, and co-ordination with partners have also complicated the process. We have learned a lot from this project, and we will be well prepared for the next time we execute a nature project of this scale.

Stakeholders

Citizens, local associations, Flynderupgård and the Municipality of Elsinore.

Results and benefits

A large, interconnected landscape with varied vegetation, moisture, terrain, and experiences for visitors. This project is already contributing to increasing biodiversity in the Municipality of Elsinore. In the long term, its effect will be even greater, as it takes many years to restore the natural environment that has been suppressed over the last 200 years.

Lessons and recommendations

  • Don't be afraid to start projects—despite the many challenges, everything came out just fine.
  • Find good partners with capabilities to offer beyond the area of expertise of nature professionals.
  • While the project may have a clear purpose, finances, contracts, and permits also influence the journey there.
12

The Hellebæk School’s green image: recycling plastics

På Hellebækskolen er der blevet udviklet et projekt, der omhandler genbrug og omdannelse af plastik. Projektet skal skabe bevidsthed og klargøre abstrakt undervisning inden for klima og bæredygtighed.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Waste and circular economy

Purpose

Sustainability is part of the Hellebæk School’s identity. In seeking to create a tangible project with student involvement that can build awareness around the green transformation, the school has developed a plastic recycling project that provides opportunities to not only think sustainably, but also act sustainably. The plastic project is just one part of the work under way at the Hellebæk School to make sustainability accessible to children and develop the school’s green image.

Initiative description

Plastic project

Sustainability and the green transformation are major elements of the Hellebæk School’s image and identity. The staff aim to constantly promote awareness of nature among the students, as well as to offer them opportunities to take action and make a difference out of a love for nature. Real-world processes are often extremely complex and dynamic, making them difficult to explain. The Hellebæk School cares about making sustainability-related instruction relatable and tangible, including by starting with the problems and methods that students encounter in their daily lives. The school’s plastic collection project is a great example.

The plastic project is convenient because it gives students opportunities to act here and now, such as by bending down to pick up a piece of plastic in nature. In doing so, they can solve a problem in the present and sense that they are making a difference. After that, they discover how they can recycle the materials they find out in nature while learning about biological and technological cycles. This offers students very tangible, real-world lessons. Meanwhile, when students look at their plastic projects, they are reminded of the debate surrounding the use of plastics, furthering the goal of this effort.

The Hellebæk School secured funding for a plastic extruder and a granulation machine. The school also received funding to train staff and prepare them to best communicate the project’s lessons to their colleagues and students. Not all plastics are recyclable, and one kind of plastic is even toxic. Teachers can discuss this with their students and teach them to identify different kinds of plastics. From there, they can discuss what to do with plastics that cannot be recycled—leaving them out in nature is not an option, of course. Recyclable plastics are collected and recycled using the machines. After the students bring in their collected plastics, they receive the same amount of plastic granules by weight. The students use the materials for purposes including crafts and design projects. For instance, students sewing clothing can use the collected plastic to create their own buttons.

Green school image

At the Hellebæk School, the focus on sustainability starts in the early primary forms with the outdoor school concept, as children need to understand that they are part of the world around them; their environment is not merely a backdrop to their lives. The outdoor school concept has been gradually expanded, and science educators have been brought in to ensure high academic quality and create consistency throughout the instruction. After the recent primary school reform, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals took on a pivotal role in all science education. This may be harder to detect in the early primary forms, but there are elements with direct links to the common academic focus areas that were set out clearly based on the global goals.

The school has also done its part to bring all science subjects together under the common academic focus areas. Students engage in ethics-based discussions about what is good for nature and what is not. Teachers have had to develop their pedagogical skills to adapt to a new way of thinking about these subjects. In some respects, they have had to become pioneers: this is something they have desired for a long time, and they had an early focus on recycling. This is a collaboration between instructors in the sciences and in trades.

Each year, the school holds a Waste Week, with field trips to the Skibstrup Waste Processing Centre and The Circle, a recycling centre in Elsinore. These experiences give students a feel for not only how much plastic there is out there, but also how many fractions all other waste is sorted into. Each class sorts its waste, and the sorting process has become increasingly exacting since the start of the plastic project.

The next step is to find a new example that is equally useful for promoting an understanding of sustainability. Students learn a lot about sustainability, ecology, and the economics involved. The next step could be a well-being project that shows what it takes to consider the climate and our own well-being in our lives. Apart from this, the Hellebæk School has been granted funding for an outdoor experiment area in 2024, which will be a major focus point in the future.

Teacher Anne Mette Jensen has designed a logo that will be rendered using a butterfly-shaped mould. All children starting at the school will receive a key ring as a welcome gift. The key ring is meant to symbolize the school's green image and foster a sense of community. It will serve as a common reference for what the Hellebæk School is involved in, such as the outdoor school concept, bicycle transportation, democratic debates, the climate, and sustainability.

Challenges

  • One challenge is getting students to understand that this project is useful for everyone, not just those particularly interested in science. Keeping it tangible and ensuring everyone clearly understands the whole process within the project is important. Often, the students start off wanting to solve the problem of plastic floating in the oceans. In this regard, it is important to talk about how plastic ends up there, but also to try starting small with simple steps the students can take.
  • The plastic project is effective because the debate around plastic use is incredibly relevant right now, but drawing attention to less tangible aspects of the climate crisis is a challenge. Particularly for those whose everyday teaching does not incorporate these methods, making all instruction tangible and relatable is not easy. Creating awareness by going out into nature and experiencing it is key in this regard.

Stakeholders

Schools, individuals, organisations, businesses, municipalities.

Results and benefits

  • This project has bolstered some of the school's existing focuses by providing additional opportunities for reinforcement and drawing parallels between activities.
  • The attention it has received has also contributed to the project's success. Meanwhile, new collaborative opportunities have appeared internally, building bridges across subjects: on one hand, students experience the design process as they develop their own creations; on the other, students gain scientific experience in seeing where things come from and where they end up.
  • Student empowerment has been another of the project's advantages, with students feeling that they really can make a difference.
  • It has fostered debate and inter-school contact, as other schools now come to see the Hellebæk School's project.
  • Everyone is welcome to come and use the machines, and the Hellebæk School is happy to set aside time to explain their use. Everything is free and nothing is secret. The Hellebæk School is eager to inspire others and share their experience with the project.

Lessons and recommendations

  • Good examples for visualising change and the difference the students make are a must-have.
  • Consistency is key to prevent the project from fizzling out. As a values-based project, the project must be liveable and difficult to overlook. A liveable set of values is required. In choosing project principles, steer clear of anything that would add difficulty to the lives of teachers and students.
  • It is possible to incorporate new things without creating extra work, and not piling on extra work is important to prevent the project from becoming unworkable. Remember to maintain a holistic view.
  • Keep the global goals in mind; they have an existential basis and relate to all aspects of both the environment and well-being. Sustainability should simply be a way of thinking. We cannot continue to do what we have always done by producing more waste.
13

Charging infrastructure development

Elsinore's climate and sustainability plan is ambitious. To achieve its goals, the municipality needs to reduce its impact on the climate in the transportation sector especially. Relative to other municipalities, Elsinore has prioritised establishing a strategy early on in order to provide a foundation for the installation of charging infrastructure in public parking areas.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Air quality and noise
  • Climate change and energy transition
  • Sustainable mobility

Purpose

The transportation sector contributes significantly to the Municipality of Elsinore's climate impact. As a result, preparing a Charging Infrastructure Development Strategy has been an important step in implementing the climate and sustainability plan. The strategy's goal is to co-ordinate the work of all relevant actors in developing an appropriate network of public charging stations throughout the municipality. This co-ordination will take ongoing technological development into account, as well as demand among local residents, commuters, and tourists.

Initiative description

In 2021, there were 527 electric vehicles (EVs) in the Municipality of Elsinore. As of April 2023, that number had risen to 1631 EVs, or about three times as many. In 2021, this number was forecast to reach about 11,000 EVs in 2030. With this will come increasing demand for charging stations in the municipality—not only from residents who cannot charge at home, but also from commuters and tourists. This strategy has enabled the Municipality of Elsinore to create a foundation for dialogue with a variety of private businesses regarding a phased roll-out plan for charging stations in public parking areas, at public institutions, and at government buildings. To meet increasing demand, the strategy comprises three roll-out phases:

  1. Installation of about 120 charging stations in public car parks in the immediate future.
  2. Expansion to about 280 charging stations in public car parks.
  3. Installation of 380 charging stations in publicly accessible car parks (corresponding to 29 EVs per charging station in 2030).

Elektrus, a subsidiary of Forsyning Helsingør (waste and utility supply) which serves about 19,500 customers in Elsinore, has already expanded its grid and will be continuing to do so as part of the expansion effort. Radius is responsible for the grid in the remaining portion of the municipality; in particular, the network in Hornbæk is an obstacle in terms of implementation speed.

In 2021, E.ON and Clever applied to the Municipality of Elsinore for permits to install charging stations in a large number of public car parks according to applicable regulations. These applications were approved in order to provide for the rapid development of charging infrastructure in the municipality. As a result, almost 150 new charging stations have been installed since spring 2022.

This trend will continue, as for the first time, the municipality will be inviting tenders for concessions in 2023 according to the new regulations that took effect on 1 April 2022. This solicitation will primarily involve lots owned by the municipal government, including two public parking areas.

In addition, private businesses will be offering additional publicly accessible charging facilities, and the Ministry of Transportation will be installing rapid charging stations along Kongevejen.

Challenges

The development of charging infrastructure has been hindered by the regulations that were in effect until 1 April 2022, which consigned municipal governments to a very passive role: while they could approve third-party applications for the installation of new charging stations, they were not allowed to invite tenders for this purpose. The new regulations allow municipal governments to invite tenders for concessions, giving them the ability to accelerate local development.

The first charging stations installed in the Municipality of Elsinore were installed under the old regulations, which precluded the municipal government receiving any revenue; even so, development has proceeded rapidly. Invitations to tender are expected in the future. The results of the 2023 solicitation process will show whether there is potential for the municipal government to generate supplemental revenue in this way, as well as whether industry actors will only be willing to install facilities in some locations in exchange for payment.

In some areas, the expansion of the mains grid required to support new charging stations is taking a significant amount of time, hindering the installation of approved chargers.

Stakeholders

Local residents, commuters, tourists, housing associations, businesses, charging network/station vendors, the Municipality of Elsinore, Elektrus, and Radius.

Results and benefits

As of November 2023, publicly accessible charging stations have been installed in 36 locations, totalling 120 charging stations with 240 charging connections within the limits of the Municipality of Elsinore. Thus, the implementation of the strategy is well under way.

According to the most recent figures on charging stations per resident from the Ministry of Transportation for Q3 2023, the Municipality of Elsinore ranks 16th out of all municipalities in Denmark, so it is keeping pace with the broader roll-out.

Lessons and recommendations

The Municipality of Elsinore benefited significantly from developing a clear strategy during the time spent waiting for the new regulations to take effect. This has granted the municipality an advantage in getting off to a rapid start. It also facilitated the processing of applications under the old rules, since the municipality already had a clear strategy as to where it wanted charging stations installed and how many.

The strategy was developed with the planning group's comprehensive expertise on infrastructure, traffic pressure, and municipal dynamics. For this reason, there was no need to hire advisers at a costly hourly rate to develop the strategy. The result has been found to closely match charging station vendors' own determinations as to where they see business potential.

14

Switching to LED street lighting

For more than ten years, the Municipality of Elsinore has focused on switching to LED street lighting to save energy and operate more climate-friendly street lighting.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Energy transition

Purpose

To operate the most climate-friendly street lighting and provide safe, economically sound street lighting throughout the municipality.

Initiative description

Since 2012, the Municipality of Elsinore has been replacing street lights with LED-based fittings. The Municipality of Elsinore and Forsyning Helsingør (waste and utility) each own about half of the street lighting installations that illuminate the municipality's streets. These installations add up to about 14,000 street lights. To achieve energy savings and operate a more climate-friendly street lighting system, old fittings are regularly being upgraded to new LED-based fittings. LEDs last longer and use less energy, making them a good long-term choice. Additionally, a variety of control devices are used, based either on sunrise and sunset times or on light-sensing photocells, so that lights turn on when it gets dark and turn off again when it is light.

Challenges

Finding the right fittings and LED solutions in terms of quality, functionality, durability, and price (both for the initial purchase and subsequent service/replacement) has required thorough work and ongoing adjustments.

Stakeholders

Citizens, Forsyning Helsingør, the Municipality of Elsinore.

Results and benefits

  • In 2012, the Municipality of Elsinore and Forsyning Helsingør transitioned to LED lighting. All renovations, new cabling, etc. has since been retrofitted to use LED-based fittings.
  • Since 2012, associated power consumption has fallen by about 1.6 million kWh, corresponding to a reduction of about 50%.
  • In the last five years alone, consumption has fallen by about 1 million kWh.
  • From 2021 to 2022, the proportion of LED fittings rose from 40% to 50% of all street lighting. This has yielded overall electrical consumption savings of 100,000 kWh compared to the previous year's figure. This corresponds to the annual power consumption of just over 62 average Danes.
  • Because an LED light source has an expected lifetime of 25 years, they have lower operating costs.
  • Aside from the climate- and energy-related advantages, LED-based fittings are also financially superior. The initial replacement costs will be recovered in just five to seven years, even without accounting for the reduced operating costs.

Lessons and recommendations

  • Light sources were prioritised for replacement based on several factors, but the most energy-intensive lights were handled first. Following these were fittings and light sources that were due for replacement in the immediate future regardless.
  • Eventually, it will only be possible to replace light sources with LED-based sources, as other technologies will have been phased out completely.
  • Between the time the LED transition began and now, the cost of retrofitting (replacing fittings but retaining the light sources themselves) has fallen by about 60%, making light source replacement even more financially viable.
  • A decision was made not to use smart control units. This was based on factors including price and technological development, so the funds that would have gone towards these units can be used to replace more light sources instead. However, there are places where traffic analysis and traffic safety concerns led to the selection of dimmable LED lights that use less energy and last longer.
  • Another advantage of the transition lies in the fact that when light sources must be replaced regardless, their surroundings are analysed to ensure that they conform to applicable street lighting regulations and improve traffic safety, etc.
  • The process has also provided opportunities to remove old light sources that are not needed. This results in additional energy savings.
15

The Snoezelen House and innovative tenders for climate-friendly construction

Elsinore wishes to reduce the climate and resource impact of new construction. This ambition became the driving force for testing a new, innovative tender process with very positive results.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Capital Award indicators:

  • Waste and circular economy
  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

To make construction as close as possible to climate-optimal, and to test reverse tendering.

Initiative description

The Municipality of Elsinore has launched a new tendering process focused on the carbon footprints of materials, energy savings, indoor climate, reusability, quality, and durability. Tenders were solicited for a fixed-price turnkey contract. Supporting the tender process were a construction programme and a dimensioned sketch of the building's design and layout. 

Tenders were thus solicited for the Snoezelen House and the refurbishment of Himmelhuset, a nursery for children with special needs, using a system one might call reverse tendering. Unlike a standard tender process, in which the best price wins, the price was fixed in advance here. The contract was instead awarded to the contractor able to execute the project with the lowest possible carbon footprint without compromising on quality and the project's requirements. The winning contractor was Canbyg ApS, which subsequently developed complete LCA calculations for the new building. These calculations show that the materials have a negative carbon footprint—that is, the building fixes more CO2 than it emits. The overall climate impact of the new building is down to nearly one-third of the expected requirement in the 2023 building regulations; namely, 12 kg CO2-eq/m2/year. The building was constructed without the use of concrete, plastic, or cement. Instead, plant-based materials including wood were used for construction, cladding, and insulation, which made carbon-negative construction possible. Specifically, in contrast to ordinary construction, the materials for which would have resulted in the emission of 250 kg CO2 per m2 CO2, this project instead fixed 150 kg CO2 per m2.

The Snoezelen House operates as a new part of Himmelhuset, a nursery for children with special needs. A "snoezelen house" is a multi-sensory environment for citizens who are physically or mentally limited in the activities they can perform. Features like the building's unique layout and functions makes it a special place. The building has five rooms, each one uniquely designed to challenge and stimulate visitors' senses.

Challenges

The construction process itself was fairly problem-free and an overall success.

Stakeholders

The parties involved were the Municipality of Elsinore as the developer, the citizens who will be using the building's facilities, and the contractors and specialists involved. The project's architect of record is CoreHome, following a proposal from Møllen Arkitekter in Elsinore. Consulting engineers were provided by KART, and Canbyg was the turnkey contractor.

Results and benefits

The Snoezelen House won 2022 Building of the Year in the open category, thanks to its use of entirely new principles for climate-friendly construction systems which feature natural, climate-friendly insulation. It is also considered to have the smallest carbon footprint of any new construction in Denmark. Since 1997, this prize has been awarded by a jury comprising a variety of representatives from construction industry organisations.

The reverse tendering process used for the Snoezelen House created a budgetary framework that sought to achieve the most carbon-neutral results possible. The panel that awarded the prize was particularly impressed by the project's underlying value and its scaling potential.

Apart from being an achievement in its own right, the project should also be recognised as a prototype and a source of inspiration for future projects. This effort has significant potential for dissemination, given that public and private developers alike can use this tendering system to promote an increased focus on CO2 reduction and sustainability in their construction projects.

In addition to the construction programme, the Municipality of Elsinore also supplied a sketch of the desired building, enabling bidding contractors to assess the types of structures that could be used. Additionally, this effort has yielded lessons that can be applied in the future using a relatively simple tendering process. This tendering process creates opportunities for contractors to develop the most climate-optimal solutions possible. It also offers them the chance to gain experience with and insight into climate-friendly construction that they can then apply to other projects.

Lessons and recommendations

  • The use of the reverse tendering process gives contractors the opportunity to propose the most climate-optimal construction solutions, potentially increasing the demand for sustainable construction materials and methods.
  • Bidding contractors have the chance to experience and research the most climate-friendly construction solutions, giving them experience with materials and methods that can support greener construction.
  • Both public and private entities can easily implement this tendering system, which has clearly demonstrated that price and sustainability can go hand in hand.
  • All municipalities can immediately begin using this tendering process for the benefit of the climate.
16

Focusing on organics and food waste at Grønnehaven

Over the last two years, the Municipality of Elsinore has focused on incorporating more organic foods and reducing food waste at its residential care facilities.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • Waste and circular economy
  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

The Grønnehaven Residential Care Home has decided to make an extra effort to reduce food waste and incorporate more organics. Through a pilot project that identified ways to foster ongoing communication about food waste, the facility obtained an overview of its own food waste. Grønnehaven has also achieved silver organic certification.

Initiative description

Food waste project

In the first half of 2023, the Grønnehaven Residential Care Home ran a pilot project to minimise food waste. During the project, metrics were recorded at lunch and dinner during two separate weeks. In order to obtain better insights, food waste was divided into five categories.

For one week, all foods were weighed and measured. Each ward's kitchen staff reported what there was too little or too much of. Then, the facility's food waste was calculated and analysed. Dialogue with individual wards was an important element of the project, because the kitchen staff who prepare and serve the food have the greatest insight into what is wasted. They are also able to speak directly with residents regarding their experiences and wishes, enabling them to adapt their menus to further minimise food waste. On top of this, the wards communicate with each other to monitor and adjust for broader trends in food waste.  This dialogue-based approach made the pilot project largely an exercise in communication, but it also provided opportunities to reduce expenses.

After the first round of metrics, various adjustments were made in areas where it was judged possible to reduce food waste. For example, the number of sandwiches per person was reduced. After the second round of metrics, further adjustments were made to minimise food waste at the facility. Smaller portions of rice were among the adjustments made in the second round, yielding a 4 kg reduction in food waste for every meal where rice was served.

Silver organic certification

In 2022, all residential care facilities in the Municipality of Elsinore achieved a bronze organic certification, indicating that 30–60% of the food served is organic. The Grønnehaven Residential Care Home decided to go the extra mile and achieve a silver organic certification, indicating that 60–90% of the food Grønnehaven serves its residents is organic. The facility accomplished this by focusing partially on ingredients and partially on its kitchen workflows. For example, the nutrition assistants bake the French bread themselves using organic flour.

The Municipality of Elsinore introduced this idea in 2022, when it organised a course for all of the residential care home kitchens in the municipality with the goal of achieving bronze certification for all of them. At that time, the Grønnehaven Residential Care Home had already achieved bronze certification. Nonetheless, they communicated with an advisor and participated in meetings focused on organics. Because the facility had already achieved certification at the bronze level, they chose to extend their involvement in the concept. Grønnehaven considered ways to increase the proportion of organics within their available budget and labour supply. As part of this effort, the facility decided to produce some items from scratch, including red beets, red cabbage, bread, and cakes. This required some reorganisation to successfully prioritise time and resources. For instance, on days when many people are working, the facility leverages the available labour to produce foods with long shelf lives, like ice cream, which is made in-house and stored in the freezer. The facility's approach could be described as looking ahead and looking within to identify where time and resources could be better used.

Challenges 

  • One challenge lies in the fact that 100% of food waste cannot be eliminated. Every resident needs to have enough to eat, and so there must still be options for the "last" resident to choose from.
  • Given that residents already have established eating habits, co-ordinating a variety of factors can also be a challenge. Meat, for example, is among the most expensive organic foods.

Stakeholders

Residential care homes, canteens, and municipal governments.

Results and benefits

The staff enjoy the feeling that they are making a difference for the climate. For instance, the staff at Grønnehaven can check their statements from Hørkram, their supplier, to see how many tonnes of ground water were not contaminated by pesticides as a result of choosing organics. In meetings with other residential care facilities, Grønnehaven shares its positive and negative experiences and offers inspiration.

Lessons and recommendations

  • This initiative requires sustained engagement and regular attention to new products that could be incorporated. In other words, this is not a one-off project. Suppliers also discontinue old products and introduce new ones. This means that staff must stay up to date on the available products.
  • It takes time to identify areas where expenses can be reduced in order to establish a budget for organics. However, strategies like determining which foods tend to be thrown away can create the right conditions for success.

The transition in kitchen production also takes time, and it requires constant thought as to what residents are offered. An organics-focused supplier can help with finding the right products. 

Service manager Sune Læborg and Karen Haagerup when the Grønnehaven Residential Care Home had just achieved its silver organic certification.

17

Fossil-free heat generation and heating associations

Elsinore has ambitious goals for phasing out fossil fuels in heat generation. To that end, the government is actively prioritizing municipal support for local communities in the form of heating associations.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Capital Award indicators:

  • Climate change and energy transition

Purpose

The overall goal is to make heat generation in the Municipality of Elsinore fossil-free no later than 2035. Some large areas with natural gas heating in Elsinore are not covered by Forsyning Helsingørs (energy management centre) expanded district heating network, so the Municipality of Elsinore is working to facilitate the creation of local district heating plants and small "heating associations" to make the transition to fossil-free heat generation more efficient.

Initiative description

The Municipality of Elsinore has prepared a heating plan. As part of the plan, Forsyning Helsingør will be significantly expanding its district heating network through 2030. Because the expanded network cannot cover the entire demand for fossil-free heat generation in the Municipality of Elsinore, in 2022, the Municipal Council decided to develop a portfolio of options to support citizens in choosing fossil-free heating in areas without service from Forsyning Helsingør.

As part of this process, a municipal screening was conducted to determine the geographical feasibility of various heating solutions: locally shared heating, small energy associations, and individual heat generation. Based on the results, a map was produced using zoning and property data to help residents identify the options available to them for heating solutions. In addition to the map, information about the various heating solutions is also available.
In support of this project, town hall meetings were held in 2022 and 2023 to provide information and facilitate the creation of heating associations in some of the areas that Forsyning Helsingørs expanded network cannot cover. Additionally, the municipal government conducted interest polling in two large areas, resulting in the creation of two groups of local residents—one in Kvistgård and another in Hellebæk/Ålsgårde—that are working to establish local district heating plants for their respective areas.

The extent of these areas' needs:

Hellebæk/Ålsgårde:

  • Number of households: 1141
  • Heating demand (MWh/yr): 17,236
  • Number of businesses: 94
  • Heating demand (MWh/yr): 9129
  • Total heating demand (MWh/yr): 26,365

Kvistgård:

  • Number of households: 244
  • Heating demand (MWh/yr): 3413
  • Number of businesses: 145
  • Heating demand (MWh/yr): 23,105
  • Total heating demand (MWh/yr): 26,519

Challenges

The local heating projects are still in the initial phase. To date, these projects have encountered technical, legal, and financial challenges. These challenges include determining the type of facility to be built, potential local planning conflicts in placing the facility, and financing the construction of the facility. Additionally, these projects cannot be realised without the support of a certain segment of the areas' residents.

At the moment, the Kvistgård project is being run by a local resident group that handles project co-ordination and planning. In Hellebæk/Ålsgårde, E.ON, a private company, has assumed responsibility for the project and submitted an application for a specific project for the area.

Stakeholders

Citizens, Forsyning Helsingør, EON, and the Municipality of Elsinore with respect to its vision for fossil-free heating.

Results and benefits

These projects are in their infancy and still developing. Thus far, two groups of local residents have been created, and these groups are actively working to engage enough of their fellow citizens to make these heating projects a reality.

If they succeed in establishing local district heating systems, they will naturally also contribute to the transition away from fossil-based heat generation. The realisation of both projects will significantly reduce natural gas consumption in the Municipality of Elsinore, and by extension, its CO2 emissions. Taken together, the two projects could reduce heating-related municipal CO2 emissions by about 19%.  Meanwhile, collective heating solutions are more cost-effective and produce less noise than individual air-to-water heat pumps.

Lessons and recommendations

  • It can be difficult for larger communities to unite around a local heating solution, but municipalities can support them by identifying interest, creating local resident groups, and supporting the work of those groups in holding meetings, contacting technical experts, and so on.
  • There are significant costs associated with the initial research and project planning. If there is uncertainty around the realisation of such a project, this can pose a challenge to residents. In this respect, municipal governments can support this process by assuming the risk / costs of initial research and project planning in the event that the project does not come to fruition.
18

Sustainable renovation of the tiled roof at Sindshvile

The Municipality of Elsinore wants to reduce the climate impact and resource impact in connection with the renovation and maintenance of the municipality's own buildings.

A demand for circular and sustainable renovation is important in stimulating this market in the construction industry.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • 1. Nature, biodiversity, and sustainable land use.
  • 3. Waste and circular economy.

Purpose

The Municipality of Elsinore wants to reduce the climate and resource load in connection with construction, which was the driving force to recycle the tiles when the roof at Sindshvile had to be replaced, which has a large CO2 saving as a result.

Initiative description

It was clear that the lower roof of a large municipal administration building, built in the early 1900s, had to be replaced. After many years of history, and continuous replacement of individual tiles, it was finally worn out. However, the rafters and the more than 1,000 m2 of tiles were not, and they were therefore carefully dismantled, cleaned of mortar, and reused in the renovation process.

When Kyed Byg A/S took on the task, it was not finally decided that the tiles would be recycled, but since economic calculations showed that the additional cost would be sufficiently small compared to the CO2 savings, it was finally decided to preserve the old tiles.

Given that this process is more time-consuming than installing a roof with entirely new tiles and the gentle removal of the old tiles, the schedule was devised accordingly. Despite its complexity, the schedule was followed, ensuring that the task was completed within the stipulated timeframe.

As part of the renovation, the entire roof structure has been reviewed, and most of the underroof needed replacement. All wood used in the renovation process bears the PEFC certification, guaranteeing its origin from sustainably managed forests. The rafters, which could still be used, have been repaired for minor damages and treated with insecticide to extend their shelf life. All new parts have been fire-impregnated, and in general, all new materials have been chosen based on being able to match the durability time of the recycled tiles, so that the result is a roof where all parts have approximately equal longevity.

A few tiles were lost in the dismantling process, and therefore the project was supplemented with tiles from a previous project at the Grydemose School. Being able to pick up additional tiles locally, made the project save both transportation time, fuel, and extra costs.

Challenges

The market for circular construction is currently very limited, and the local carpentry company, that has been responsible for the renovation, had not previously worked with recycled tiles to this extent, and therefore there was a lot of learning along the way.

New tiles are completely uniform and come with a guarantee and data sheet for installation, but the old tiles are uneven and made the laying difficult, which meant that the craftsmen had to invent the good solutions along the way and also had to make some test laying so that they could find the best technique.

It also required learning to dismantle the tiles gently, as well as to have them transported down from the roof, cleaned them, packed them, and put them in repository without them breaking.

One of the challenges of using recycled materials in construction is that it can be difficult to provide a guarantee on the product. All the new products used in the renovation of the roof come with a warranty, which expires after 30 years. A similar guarantee could not be extended to the recycled tiles. Consequently, Kyed Byg reached an agreement with the developer that Kyed Byg will undertake repairs for up to 10 tiles, at no additional expense, within one year following the completion of the assignment.

Stakeholders

Kyed Byg A/S (main contract), The Municipality of Elsinore (developer), North Zealand Parks and Roads (NSPV).

Results and benefits

With a final price of approximately DKK 4 million, the additional cost of recycled tiles ended up being 4 percent, which is negligible compared to the CO2 savings. The project has generated a total saving of 238 tons of CO2, which corresponds to 4.5 kg CO2/m2/year, which new tiles would have cost on the CO2 accounts.

Lessons and recommendations

Figuring out how to handle the old tiles and finding workflows that worked was crucial to being able to preserve the tiles at all. For example, getting them gently off the roof was crucial to be able to reuse them afterwards.

From repository on pallets, the tiles had to be reinstalled on to the roof, and here it was a point of attention that the tiles were evenly distributed on both the south side and north sides of the roof. Over the years, the tiles on each of the two sides have patinated differently, and for the result to be an even play of colours, attention has been paid to the restoration of each single tile.

When techniques are foreign to the craftsmen, practice is a prerequisite. Therefore, Kyed Byg made some test laying prior to the final laying of the 1,000 m2 roof, which provided great value.

19

Biodiversity for kids – The Tree of Generations

Planting a new, large oak tree will enhance biodiversity conditions. Additionally, complemented by a beautiful bench crafted from circular materials, it will become a new meeting place for citizens across generations.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:

  • 1. Nature, biodiversity, and sustainable land use.
  • 3. Waste and circular economy.

Purpose

The project aims to create a landmark - a remarkable place where people can meet across generations and be inspired in environments of rich biodiversity. The place where the path from the Falkenberg nursing home meets the Apperup School is a meeting place with a bench under a large oak tree. The large oak is full of biodiversity and that is where The Tree of Generations is. The meeting place, a large, circular bench, is protected by a ceiling of branches and leaves, and is surrounded by a marking in the pavement that defines the landmark in the landscape.

Biodiversity grows with this project as the tree ages. The older the tree becomes; the more biodiversity unfolds.

Description of the measure

In continuation of the project "Biodiversity for kids"  Green Leaf a special collaboration developed with the Apperup School to boost their outdoor areas with biodiversity-friendly initiatives, leading to the beginning of the Tree of Generations project.

In collaboration with cultural communicator Dorte Abrahamsen, who is both a musician, actress and visual artist, the 2nd graders at the Apperup School have worked in a project with the theme 'trees'. Among other things, they have painted their own posters with trees. As a culmination of the project, an oak tree, the Tree of Generations, was planted and a large, circular bench constructed on the Apperup School’s plot on the corner facing the Falkenberg nursing home.

The Tree of Generations is an oak tree that is of great importance to biodiversity in Denmark. The Tree of Generations is expected to live for many years to come and become home to more than 800 different insect species. The old oaks can also contain a myriad of other small animals, mammals, birds, and fungi. The oldest oaks can be more than 1000 years old.

Besides the importance of biodiversity, the idea was to make the Tree of Generations into a meeting place bridging generations and facilitating interactions between both students and nursing home residents. The bench is designed with multiple seating heights, making it suitable for both children and adults. The pavement surrounding both the bench and the Tree of Generations is allowing easy navigation with rubber wheels and therefor wheelchair accessible.

 The aim is for the large bench to welcome gatherings of all sizes – from students and nursing home residents to passersby. Also, both the bench and its surroundings will foster an outdoor learning environment. The design allows for outdoor lessons for an entire school class to take place on the large bench.

Challenges

The project has been challenged by changing coordinators. However, the project has reached its goal successfully. 

Stakeholders

The project is aimed at all students and staff at the Apperup School, with a particular focus on engaging 2nd graders and the residents of the Falkenberg nursing home. Furthermore, the goal is to ensure that all citizens passing by the tree and bench can also make use of the space. 

Results and benefits

The Tree of Generations, both the oak and the bench, has been realized as expected. Time will tell whether the space will also be used as expected. 

Learning points and recommendations

It has been effective to create a broad effort from the beginning, which has had many people involved. From there, it became possible to pinpoint areas where special efforts and collaborations, such as with the Apperup School, were warranted.

The project progressed in an interdisciplinary manner from this point, reaping significant benefits. However, it is also vulnerable when involved forces stop and knowledge and momentum are lost. Therefore, it is crucial that funds earmarked for such projects are transferrable between budget years, allowing for adaptability in response to rapid developments.

Since the project was also a learning process at the Apperup School, there has been a learning requirement here as well. For example, the students have had to collaborate on their creative products and work with a story/performance in a way they have not necessarily been used to. This has led to new conversations and perhaps a greater reflection about the experience.

Likewise, the students have trained their interpretive skills through perspectives on their own lives and other texts. The project has promoted the students' empathy and their aesthetic, ethical and historical understanding.

 

20

Citizen mobilization with the Climate Action Pool

In connection with the Green Leaf 2024 year, The Municipality of Elsinore will intensify efforts to support citizen-driven green communities. The opportunity to receive funding from the Climate Action Pool will help motivate more actions.

This good practice is linked to the following European Green Leaf Award indicators:
This effort has the potential to be linked to all indicators, depending on which green projects receive support from the Climate Action Pool.

  • Biodiversity, green areas, and sustainable land use
  • Air quality and noise
  • Waste and circular economy
  • Water
  • Climate change and energy transition
  • Sustainable mobility

Purpose

The Climate Action Pool is part of The Municipality of Elsinore’s climate efforts and part of Green Leaf. The pool is DKK 500,000, which will be distributed over two application rounds in 2024, scheduled for March and September. The purpose is to increase climate action in the municipality's various associations and communities.

Description of the measure

Climate action is when you actively do something for the climate and not just talk about the climate challenges. Therefore, it is essential that projects that receive funding from the pool promote new climate actions within communities. Climate action is when you repair instead of throwing away, when you share things, when you eat climate-friendly food together or when, for example, you build a greenhouse from recycled materials, exchange clothes in a new way, convert the garden or common areas to more biodiversity, and a lot of other good things. Therefore, the pool does not support presentations, lectures, inspirational talks, or events, even if climate and sustainability are the themes.

To ensure broad participation in the climate agenda and active involvement in climate action, the pool is exclusively available for applications from established associations or informal citizen communities, rather than individual applicants. These associations or groups of citizens must have an address registered either as an association or privately within The Municipality of Elsinore.

The pool supports actions and activities that foster community engagement within the climate agenda and/or create a climate effect in everyday life among citizens and associations in The Municipality of Elsinore. During the selection process, priority is given to projects spanning various geographical areas within the municipality to ensure widespread circulation of initiatives. In addition, emphasis is placed on projects either reaching a large audience and/or having a significant climate-related impact, as well as whether the action creates long-term changes. It is essential to note that climate impact cannot be measured, but that it will be an estimate.

Recipients of support from the Climate Action Pool will receive funds in advance. In the event that the entire granted amount is not utilized, any remaining funds must be returned to the Climate Secretariat.

Within one month of the project being completed, beneficiaries are required to complete and submit an accounting and evaluation form. This evaluation serves both internal purposes and aims to highlight the pool and the supported projects externally, drawing attention to their impact and outcomes.

Challenges

The organization and complexity of the communities and the projects vary significantly, and successful realization of the projects requires ongoing collaboration and administrative support to address unforeseen challenges. Providing surplus resources within the administration is crucial to effectively navigate these challenges and ensure the successful implementation of all projects.

Stakeholders

All established associations and informal communities within the Municipality of Elsinore’s geography.

Results and benefits

A political mandate authorizes the implementation of the pool at the administrative level, allowing commitments to be made within 2-3 weeks after the application deadline. Rapid clarification is essential to maintain engagement within the local communities.

The first application round in March was a success, and the Climate Secretariat received 17 applications for a total amount of DKK 296,000. Twelve projects met the criteria for the pool and DKK 225,000 was thus awarded in the first round. Summaries of projects committed 

The granted projects in the municipality display a good geographical distribution, indicating the successful achievement of the goal to disseminate information widely about the pool through information campaigns.

Learning points and recommendations

The provision of ongoing guidance and support for citizens' projects has been highly effective. Several citizens have engaged with us, and through this interaction, we have helped qualify their ideas, ensuring alignment with the pool's criteria and enhancing the focus on climate impact and community involvement.