Climate Smart City Distribution in Gothenburg

Context of Transport Climate Action

Gothenburg is the second city of Sweden and the logistic hub in Scandinavia. In downtown Gothenburg, there are about 6,500 companies that need daily goods distribution services. With more energy-efficient vehicles, using fuels with a lower climate impact and smarter logistics it is possible to achieve significant improvements from present practices.

An initiative to develop more efficient and climate-friendly solutions for city distribution, was started in 2010-2013.

Gothenburg has the ambition to become one of the most progressive cities world-wide in the addressing climate change related problems. The City of Gothenburg wants to be a forerunner in this, and demonstrate that it is possible to live well without increasing climate change impacts. Carbon dioxide emissions from road transport, within the Gothenburg geographical area, are projected to decrease by at least 80 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.


The major overall objective of the project is to demonstrate feasible solutions for the reduction of the climate-change impact of logistics distribution traffic in the center of Gothenburg by 50 %.

In order to achieve this, a number of different vehicle types and fuels have been tested. The environmental impact of the fuels used in the operations of the participating companies is shown in the diagram below:

Through the use of renewable alternatives to diesel, gas-driven and hybrid vehicles, great improvements could be made in comparison with conventional vehicles and fuels.

A number of different alternatives have been demonstrated in the project:

  • ACP[1] evolution diesel (up to 30 % renewable raw material)
  • Rapeseed methyl ester
  • Heavy duty vehicles with hybrid electric/diesel technology engines
  • Heavy duty vehicles with methane/diesel engine – MDE (these vehicles have a diesel engine which runs on a mixture of methane gas and diesel)
  • Heavy duty vehicles running on biogas/natural gas/mix (Otto engine)
  • Light duty vehicles running on biogas/natural gas/mix (Otto engine)
[1] ACP Evolution Diesel has up to 35 % share of renewable energy and is sourced partially from pine oil, a by -product from the Swedish forest.


393 distribution vehicles from the participating transport companies were involved in the project.

Currently, of these 393 vehicles, 48 are light duty gas-powered vehicles, 44 are heavy duty methane diesel vehicles and 4 are heavy duty hybrid vehicles.

The 393 vehicles used in the Gothenburg region achieved a reduction in CO2 emissions of between 16% and 65% and the average reduction is therefore 30 %.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 17.33.45

Climate Smart City Distribution was a collaborative sustainable transportation project led by Business Region Göteborg (a part of City of Gothenburg), with support from Region Västra Götaland. The project partners were the Swedish Transport Administration, Volvo Trucks, the fuel suppliers – Preem and FordonsGas, the fleet owners – Renova, Posten, DB Schenker, DHL, GLC and Fraktkedjan.


The project demonstrated that it is possible to achieve significant reductions of CO2-emissions by using smarter logistics, more energy-efficient vehicles and fuels with a lower environmental impacts.

Over the period of three years, the CO2 emissions from the distribution trucks operating in Gothenburg, Sweden, were cut on average by 30%.

Other benefits (but these were not measured) from the project include lower air pollutants (NOx, PM, etc) and less noise.

However it is necessary to involve the right actors and stakeholders in the project and agree a common target to achieve this reduction of CO2 emissions. Stakeholders should include all actors in the value chain, a mix of transportation companies, fuel delivery companies, automotive companies, authorities as well as city representatives.

Potential for scaling up

Gothenburg is keen to share this experience with other cities the world over. However, in order to fully exploit the potential, it is not enough for haulage companies to improve their logistics systems but it is equally important for transport service purchasers/procurers to better coordinate their purchases. It is considered that there is significant room for improvement in this area.

Gothenburg is keen to help develop tomorrow’s cities and are actively looking for partnerships where they can share this expertise and experience. Welcome to Gothenburg – share our knowledge, get inspired and find business contacts and visit the program: Sustainable transport of goods in cities

Selected references

Covenant of Mayors



City of Gothenburg, Sweden






Global, Freight, trucks, Mitigation, technology, Policy, Partnership


Business Region Göteborg AB


Bernt Svensén