Sustainable cities recommendation paper

Sustainable Cities: It is time to implement at scale!

Collaborative actions to reach net zero on time

Recommendation paper

Energy efficiency in cities is paramount when it comes to overcoming global climate and energy challenges. According to the COP28 agreement, our energy efficiency efforts must double by 2030 if we are going to meet the Paris Agreement. Action and implementation at scale are necessary if this state of awareness is going to become a reality. That is where Sustainable Cities come in.


With cities accounting for two-thirds of global energy consumption and more than 70% of annual global carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency in heating and cooling systems, integrating sector coupling, and creating partnerships across the value chain can have a significant impact on reaching net zero.

We know the solutions are available today. But how do we implement at scale? That is why we have brought seven key players to the table with perspectives from across the value chain, including Euroheat & Power, Engie, E.ON, Kraftringen, Ramboll, Aurubis, and Alfa Laval. Together we identified ten recommendations for cities, industry peers, and policy makers on how to accelerate the energy transition with cities as change arenas for a more sustainable future.

Effective policies that accelerate the implementation of these sustainable solutions need to be passed if we are to meet the ambitious targets. This, alongside urban energy planning and scaling up the collaboration across the value chain between industry, energy companies, cities, governments, and academia is what will count long term.

This Recommendation paper is our collective first step. We want to continue this process by meeting and sharing, turning knowledge into action as we all race to reach net zero on time. Everyone who has signed this document is available to be contacted and open for discussions.
That is where you come in. Join us at the table to help the scale up of sustainable cities all over the world.

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The 10 action points are:

  • We need to consider both electricity and heat to reach net zero
  • We need to consider district cooling as a way to reduce electricity demand
  • We need to focus on geographical, area-based programs
  • We need to promote and enable waste heat recovery and sector coupling
  • We need to enable public and private risk sharing
  • We need standardisation to accelerate the energy transition
  • We need to increase efficiency in the district energy sector through digitalization
  • We need to highlight district energy as an accelerator for economic growth 
  • We need academia to provide future skills and explore future solutions 
  • We need district heating and cooling to be a recognized sector   

HVAC and the Sustainable cities

Consuming more than two-thirds of the world’s energy, our cities play a crucial role in tackling the climate crisis. A considerable part of cities’ energy consumption is for heating and cooling, which means improving energy efficiency is paramount. Alfa Laval has almost a century of experience in heat transfer and recovery and aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. Let us be your partner in the transformation to a sustainable tomorrow.

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Sustainable partnership