Växjö in southern Sweden will be welcoming to the conference representatives from other European cities keen to learn how to consume fewer fossil fuels and become more sustainable.
The city of just over 60,000 people has been dubbed Europe’s greenest thanks to green initiatives including building low-energy homes and retrofitting existing properties; improving water quality in its many lakes, and installing solar panels on schools and public buildings.
It aims to become entirely fossil-fuel free by 2030 and to reduce electricity consumption by 20 per cent by 2015.
Food is also a high priority. Växjö’s mayor, Bo Frank, wants locally produced or environmentally friendly food to make up 45 per cent of all bought food by 2015. It has already reached 35 per cent. School lunches are free, and 50 per cent are organic or locally produced, with plenty of meat-free options available.
Talking to Meat Free Monday, Frank said: “We strive to produce meals with a lower effect on the environment in municipal kitchens by purchasing locally produced and ecological foodstuffs, reducing waste, increasing the proportion of vegetables and adapting menus to the season.”
Expressing broad support for the goals of the campaign, Frank said that he was keen for schools to lead on joining Meat Free Monday. He added that he himself eats “less and less meat… I don’t eat meat every day.”
For details of the two-day conference, which begins on Thursday, click here.
Watch Växjö’s tips on engaging local people in sustainability work.
Watch an online interview with Bo Frank.