Stockholm has identified considerable potential for increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of new technical solutions within city-owned properties, in particular through Green ITxxxix. Green IT involves using information technology to reduce the environmental impact of buildings in general, as well as the energy consumption and environmental impacts of the IT sector itself. Stockholm’s Green IT Strategyxl (2009), aims to create “a citywide, standardised and modern IT infrastructure” that enables the GHG emissions from municipal operations to be minimised. The city’s goal is to reduce its operating costs, through reducing energy usage by 10% below 2006 levels. The Strategy describes the most important goals, the necessary related actions, and the results that the city expects to achieve. There are at least 9 ‘action areas’ in the Green IT Strategy that directly relate to buildings and office efficiency, including: energy-efficient buildings (HVAC adjustments); visualization of energy and electricity usage (including individual metering and charging); digital meetings; digital document processing; greener IT sector (eco-friendly and cost-efficient IT procurement); green data centres and telecommunications; standardized energy-efficient workplaces; and more efficient printouts.


An example of Stockholm’s Green IT strategy with respect to building energy management is the Östra Real upper secondary school, which is built above the broadband cross-connection hub. Around 60 broadband operators use the hub, with the heat produced by the operations channelled into the school above via a heat exchanger. The underground room is cooled by a geothermal cooling system. The school thus benefits from 100 kW of extra heat, supplying 10% of its needs during the winter, and all of its heating in the summer.

Reasons for success

Stockholm builds on its experience with innovative and smart technologies to streamline the energy efficiency of the IT sector, as well as using IT to improve energy efficiency of the municipal building portfolio. Smart technologies can substitute for part of the building users’ behaviour necessary to maximise building energy efficiency.

When/why a city might apply an approach like this

Cities aiming to stimulate local energy efficiency markets have an important role to play in educating the market about the technologies’ benefits, demonstrating the proof of concept, ensuring a supportive regulatory environment and/or even providing finance. In exchange, cities can benefit from driving down their own project costs through partnerships with innovative companies. 

C40 Good Practice Guides

C40's Good Practice Guides offer mayors and urban policymakers roadmaps for tackling climate change, reducing climate risk and encouraging sustainable urban development. With 100 case studies taken from cities of every size, geography and stage of development around the world, the Good Practice Guides provide tangible examples of climate solutions that other cities can learn from. 

The Municipal Building Efficiency Good Practice Guide is available for download here.  The full collection of C40 Good Practice Guides is available for download here.  

All references can be found in the full guide.

  • Environmental
Key Impact
Innovative projects to channel heat from IT rooms to locations where it will be used and not wasted
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