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Copenhagen: Most Sustainable EU Presidency Ever Staged

From January 1, 2012 Denmark host the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Danish ambition is to make the presidency the most sustainable presidency every held, an ambition that goes in hand with another ambition: to consolidate Copenhagen’s position as the Capital of Sustainable meetings.

Copenhagen is known as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world and the meetings industry has certified experience in hosting state-of-the-art events with a sustainable profile.

Copenhagen was the first city ever to host an eco-certified international political summit when approximately 30,000 people attended the UN’s Climate Change Conference, COP 15, in 2009.

This year Denmark holds the Presidency of the European Union. More than 100 meetings have been organised according to the sustainable event management system, ISO20121, making it the most sustainable presidency ever.

Certified

Copenhagen's sustainable portfolio is so large that, today, it is easier to hold a sustainable event than a non-sustainable one.

For example, as many as 63% of all Copenhagen's hotel rooms hold an official eco-certification - the highest percentage of any capital city.

Also, the majority of the city’s meetings venues have a strong sustainable profile. The largest convention centre in the Nordic countries, Bella Center, has recently invested € 1.7m in energy-saving measures, and both the Bella Center and the city’s second largest convention venue, Tivoli Congress Center, are Green Key certified – as a great number of other venues.

Carbon neutral

As you fly into Copenhagen you will notice the many wind turbines just off the coast. In Denmark, 20% of the country's electricity is generated by wind. In 20 years’ time that number is expected to grow to 50%.

Copenhagen’s target is more ambitious: The city council is aiming to make it the world’s first CO2-neutral capital by 2025, and thus a global environmental leader.

Part of this goal is that all Copenhageners should be able to walk to a park, beach or out door pool within 15 minutes of their homes. Today, more than 60 percent can already do so.

Cycling

Copenhagen's rush hour differs from most other cities in that it is not the roads but the cycle lanes which are crowded with men and women on their way to work, elderly people, and parents with children.

On a daily basis, 55 % of all Copenhageners commute by bike. The city has the busiest cycle lane in the world, used by 36,000 cyclists every day. Copenhagen was also the first city officially to be named a ‘Bike City’ by the International Cycling Union. Alternatively, one can walk, using the city's eco-friendly efficient public transport, or take a CO2-neutral or electric taxi. If one chooses to drive, it is possible to rent an electric car.

Cuisine with a conscience

When Copenhageners do their grocery shopping, 23 % of the bought food is organic and in the city’s public institutions, 75 % of all food consumed is organic. Copenhagen also offers many organic, eco-friendly restaurants. More restaurants, cafes and even hotels are riding the “green wave”, taking the city to a whole new level of eco-friendliness and ensuring that one can eat environmentally friendly food at all price levels. From local restaurants, cafés and takeaways to the highest echelons of fine dining, one will find the desire for largely Nordic produce and food made in harmony with nature.

Photo: www.copenhagenmediacenter.com