Bringing Agenda 2030 to Växjö Kommun

September 2019

Enact is proud to highlight one of our cases, Växjö Kommun, which has made excellent progress in their efforts to further integrate sustainability throughout their operations.

In south east Sweden, the municipality of Växjö is taking ambitious steps to develop a sustainability plan based on Agenda 2030. Over the past year, the municipality has engaged citizens, researchers and internal stakeholders in a discussion about what sustainability issues they find important for the municipality to address. Combined with a comprehensive mapping exercise looking at how the municipality’s activities link to Agenda 2030 and exploring impacts and possibilities, Växjö is now getting ready to design its future road map for sustainable development.

What has been the background and motivation for undertaking the comprehensive work with Agenda 2030?

Working with sustainable development has been important to the municipality of Växjö for decades. Not least, the municipality’s work with environment and climate has paid off with good results. With Agenda 2030, we saw the opportunity to integrate all the sustainability dimensions into a common goal, managing every part of the municipality in a sustainable direction.

What steps have you taken concretely?

The process includes three main steps, starting with a status report of Växjö to examine our common development needs and local challenges in relation to all the goals and challenges found in Agenda 2030. In step two the focus was dialogue – including residents of the municipality of Växjö, scientists from the university, local enterprises and politicians – to get their views on what the most important sustainability issues are for the future of Växjö. The results generated enough knowledge for step three: begin developing essential goals and a common direction.

What are the challenges of working with Agenda 2030 as a municipality?

One of the challenges we faced was prioritising the most important and essential challenges. For a municipality like Växjö it is hard to prioritise any area or function because everything is of equal importance. We found that the solution is to reach for a common level across every goal, because we want every part of the organisation to feel that their work can be linked to the goals. It is also a challenge to stay patient during the process and understand the benefits of every step, in reaching results, while at the same time giving the Agenda and its purpose a central position in the organisation.

What do you expect to be the outcomes of your work?

We expect more than just a new document with goals. For example, during the process we strive for the whole organisation to convert its way of working in a more sustainable direction, because we think that it is concrete action that makes the difference.