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Named the greenest city on earth in the 2009 Siemens/Economist Green City Index and winner of the 2014 European Green Capital Award, Copenhagen has a new challenge: to be the first country on the planet to be carbon neutral by 2025. With a population of 1.3 million, Copenhagen has built its reputation as a world-leading sustainability city from the ground up.

Happy and business-friendly

Copenhagen’s subdued style and focus on sustainability make it an attractive destination for both business and pleasure. Indeed, in 2017, Copenhagen was identified as the best city in the world in which to do business by consultancy Hickey & Associates. Copenhagen has also topped Monocle magazine’s Quality of Life Index and was ranked sixth in the 2017 edition. Oh, and Denmark was found to be the world’s second happiest country in the 2017 UN World Happiness Report.

City authorities investing in a green future

Cruising through the city, some of the municipality’s green initiatives are more obvious than others. City residents collect their organic waste in green bins, which is then converted into biogas (a renewable energy source). Almost ten per cent of homes are covered by a project to reduce heat consumption by 20 per cent by 2025. And 26.2 hectares of the new waterfront Nord-havn district, north of the city centre, qualified for a Gold Certificate under the DGNB System, which sets the global benchmark for sustainability.

Doing business

Such investment supports the local economy, while also stimulating demand from the local Greentech sector. Currently, around 100 small and medium-sized businesses in the Greater Copenhagen region are participating in the Bæredygtig Bundlinje (Sustainable Bottomline) project, in which they receive support to develop sustainable business models. The project is led by Gate 21, a partnership between local government, knowledge institutions and businesses. The vision is to make Greater Copenhagen the world’s leading region for green transition and growth.


Unless you’re in a taxi, it’s unlikely you’ll see the inside of a car during your entire stay, let alone get stuck in a traffic jam. Copenhagen simply isn’t designed for cars, and instead bicycles, trains, buses and the metro offer a quick and reliable means of transport around the city, at any time of day or night.

This article was written by Peter Stanners and originally published in Connect Winter 2018.

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