Swedish businesses taking action to help the UK reach net zero

27 April 2022

The UK government has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – a target that demands collaboration across politics, academia, business and consumers to be feasible. Leveraging on decades of green innovation and experience, Swedish businesses are taking lead on reaching – and often surpassing – the targets. In this issue we present how nine Swedish businesses are turning their overarching sustainability targets into tangible climate action in the UK.


  • 10 million e-scooter rides have replaced 3.9m car trips in the UK.
  • 2,000 tonnes of CO2 have been saved by the rides in the UK.

Micro-mobility startup and SCC member Voi introduced its e-scooters to the Brits when launching in Northampton in 2020. Two years later, Voi is present in 17 towns and cities across the country and recently celebrated 10 million rides in the UK. Since the launch, the e-scooter rides have replaced 3.9m car trips, helped increase non-polluting commuting, and saved over 2,000 tonnes of CO2. As of 2020, Voi’s services are climate neutral, and the company works continuously to reduce residue emissions.


  • Recycling has gone up by 30% in Wembley Park since the introduction of Envac’s system.
  • Emissions related to waste handling have decreased by 90% in Wembley Park.

SCC member Envac’s automated waste collection system has been operational in Wembley Park, London, since 2008. By 2025, 24,000 Wembley residents will use the system, handling up to 6,000 tonnes of waste and recycling per year. When fully complete, the system will remove an estimated 700 tonnes of vehicle collection emissions from the environment, and will save the space of 2,000 traditional waste containers – an equivalent to 200 car park spaces. Since the introduction of the system in Wembley Park, recycling rates have increased by 30% and emissions related to waste handling have decreased by 90%.


  • Since 2013, Handelsbanken has reduced its CO2 emissions by 46% in the UK.
  • Handelsbanken reduced its paper usage by 91% in the UK between 2013-2020.

SCC patron Handelsbanken has committed to achieving net zero emissions across its operations, by no later than 2040, including its lending and investment portfolio. Since it first started measuring its CO2 emissions in 2013, Handelsbanken has reduced them by 46%, or 1,845 tonnes, in the UK. It has reduced emissions from energy use in buildings by 43%, and between 2013 and 2020, paper usage was reduced by 91%, equalling to 1,463 tonnes CO2 emissions. Handelsbanken recently joined Bankers for NetZero, an initiative aiming to identify how banks can best support key sectors of the UK economy in transitioning to net zero.


  • With its ClimateOS platform, ClimateView is helping Nottingham become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2028.

SCC member ClimateView is a Swedish climate action technology company that helps cities transform climate planning into progress. As one of the pilot cities working with the ClimateOS platform, Nottingham has already reduced its CO2 emissions per capita by 52.3%, and is now aiming even higher with its Carbon Neutral 2028 action plan, positioning it as the UK’s first carbon-neutral city. ClimateView’s platform provides transparency in creating an emissions inventory and more speed and precision in following up on the targets.


  • With 10 operating windfarms and future projects, Vattenfall will cover the electricity needs of more than 4 million UK homes.
  • The Brent Cross South regeneration scheme will include a 8MW installation of heat pumps – the UK’s largest installation to date.

SCC patron Vattenfall operates 10 windfarms in the UK and with future projects in the pipeline, the company will be able to provide enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 4 million homes. Among the projects is an onshore solar farm in Kent, expected to produce 20,000 MWh/year, providing sufficient electricity to power up to 5,000 homes. Also, Vattenfall will deliver a new district heating network serving 6,700 new homes in the Brent Cross South regeneration scheme. At 8MW, it will be the largest installation of heat pumps in a heat network in the UK, aiming to eventually remove all CO2 emitting resources.


  • Skanska UK will cut carbon emissions to 50% of its 2010 levels by 2030, targeting 223,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent gases.
  • Trials of low carbon reinforced concrete will deliver an 80% lower carbon footprint than regular concrete.

SCC patron Skanska UK aims to be carbon neutral, with net zero emissions, by 2045. The objective for its portfolio of projects is to be net zero without using carbon offsetting schemes. By 2030, Skanska UK aims to cut carbon emissions to 50% of the 2010 level. The target is 223,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent gases. In line with its targets, the company has joined the global SteelZero initiative, pledging to procure, specify and stock 100% net zero steel by 2050. Skanska is now also trialling low carbon reinforced concrete on National Highways M42 Junction 6 improvement scheme, delivering a carbon footprint up to 80% lower than standard concrete.


  • IKEA will be investing £3.4bn in renewable energy in the UK by 2030.
  • IKEA’s wind farm in Scotland covers 30% of its UK stores’ electricity use.

SCC patron IKEA has committed to being a fully circular business by 2030. To meet its targets, the company will be investing £3.4bn in renewable energy. Recently, IKEA purchased a 12.3MW windfarm in Scotland providing enough energy to power 30% of the company’s UK electricity use. Also, 2.1 MW worth of solar panels will be installed atop of its UK stores, providing an additional 5% of each store’s power needs. Other initiatives include IKEA’s buy back and resell service, giving its furniture a second life, before being ultimately recycled.


  • It is estimated that 600,000 heat pumps need to be installed by 2028 to meet the UK net zero targets.

As the UK accelerates the transition to net zero, it will be banning gas boilers in new built homes from 2025. SCC member and sustainable indoor climate solution provider NIBE is taking its 70 years of Nordic experience to the UK with its energy-efficient heat pumps. To meet the UK targets, it is estimated that 600,000 heat pumps need to be installed by 2028. Through its NIBE Pro programme, the company offers training and guidance to plumbing and heating engineers across the country to facilitate and accelerate the transition from gas boilers to green heating solutions.


  • Ericsson’s new 5G radio reduced the daily network energy consumption by 43% in an installation in London.
  • More than 98% of Ericsson’s material content is recycled.

SCC patron Ericsson puts particular focus on energy performance in its ambitions to reach net zero across its value chain by 2040. Recently, the company completed the first deployment of a new energy-efficient 5G radio in London, as part of a partnership with Vodafone. Situated on the roof of Vodafone’s London office, Ericsson’s radio solution saw the daily network energy consumption decrease by an average of 43% compared to previous technology. With a circular approach, sustainable materials management, reuse and recycling are on top of Ericsson’s agenda. Its Global Product Take-Back Program ensures that more than 98% of the material content is recycled.


Keep in touch on social
The Swedish-British relationship is one of friendship and trade and has gone from strength to strength over the last few decades, SCC Chief Executive Peter Sandberg writes in today's City AM https://t.co/3BY3hfmBdb
Today, SCC Chief Executive Peter Sandberg spoke to @EFNTV about the UK market - its current state, upcoming opportunities and the place of Swedish businesses. Find the full interview: https://t.co/LeDhn1dHYx
Today, @JanOlsson , CEO of the #Nordics, @DeutscheBank and Chairman of the SCC, spoke at @AreBusiness2022 , covering the topic of #global #geopolitics and its effect on the future financial market: https://t.co/FWfQ6gvjtb
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