Gothenburg has worn the crown of Europe's most sustainable destination for four consecutive years - and rightfully so. The city hadn't always been so green, but their attempt to reinvent themselves succeeded and after years of cleaning up, it's now known as the most sustainable city in Europe.
Sustainability at its finest
Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, and in the mid 1980s it was an industrial port town, which was severely polluted. Ever since, improving air and water quality has been the utmost priority - and the city used sustainable methods to do just that. Now, around 65 percent of the city's public transportation is powered by renewable energy.
When people aren't using that, they prefer to walk or use alternative methods of transportation, like bikes and electric scooters. It makes Gothenburg a great destination for ecotourism because even if you get there by flight, your carbon emissions will be significantly smaller during your time in the city than if you went to another destination.
On top of that, almost every hotel in Gothenburg has received an environmental diploma certifying that they are complying with the strict rules of sustainable practices in the city.
Sustainability is deeply rooted in the city's culture. Many restaurants are boasting about their selection of fresh local produce, and in order to reduce daily waste, some hotels even sell their leftover food at a hefty 50% discount.
Likewise, the fashion industry in Gothenburg is also changing. There is an increasing number of environmentally conscious fashion brands popping up, selling 100% organic cotton garments, and also educating the public on the importance of thrifting and buying second hand clothing. The locals have fully embraced this conscious way of shopping - whether it is for local produce or garments. The cityscape also reflects the sustainable culture adopted by the people, and you can see greenery everywhere.
There's a huge difference between the Gothenburg of the 80s, and the green city it is today. It serves as an excellent example for cities all around the world, and is the living proof that powerful transformations do happen when the people and the government work together to create living spaces that coexist with the environment.