Cities and business come together in the search for solutions to urban sustainability challenges

21. November 2018

With the launch of the City Solutions Platform cities and leading businesses are working together to develop innovative solutions to large-scale urban energy, waste and water challenges.

C40, CLEAN and International Cleantech Network (ICN) have established the City Solutions Platform to provide a forum for engagement between innovative solutions-focused businesses and megacities with complex challenges. The Platform specifically aims to accelerate the design and implementation of high quality sustainable solutions in cities through project focused engagement and partnerships.

“Cities play a vital role when taking actions on climate changes, and accordingly it certainly makes sense to reach out for dialog and cooperation with private companies, that can show concrete solutions to support sustainability.”

This is how Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen and member of the C40 Steering Committee, phrases the background for launching the initiative City Solutions Platform between C40, CLEAN, ICN and companies such as Danfoss, Ramboll, RTI, Hitachi and Grundfos. The initiative will be led by CLEAN, Denmark's leading green cluster organization and financed by Realdania and the participating businesses.

Launched at COP21

The initiative is launched at the COP21 side event: “Copenhagen and Vancouver - Collaboration with the private sector for urban climate actions”, Saturday – December 5th, where Mr. Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, and Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, will discuss the importance of city-private sector collaboration.

“Cities have been at the forefront of global action to confront climate change, and partnerships with the private sector have been fundamental to the progress we’ve achieved together,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "While climate change brings enormous challenges, cities and business leaders know that there are also unprecedented opportunities for job creation and growth as we make a transformational shift to a green, renewable economy”, Robertson says.

C40 member cities Copenhagen and Vancouver are supporting the launch of the City Solutions Platform as they have some of the most ambitious plans for climate actions – Copenhagen to be the first carbon neutral capital in 2025 and Vancouver to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. 

Valuable dialog

With the world – and cities – facing challenges on resources, the initiative will start out defining relevant projects within relevant areas – such as water, energy and waste. Areas where the challenges are so complex, that single actors cannot reach solutions alone.

“When we bring different companies together with cities with ambitions to make a difference and then work in a co-creation process, we see new innovative solutions take form. We are looking forward to create a global platform where C40 cities can seek solutions to their challenges in partnership with both local companies and companies from all the clean tech clusters we have in ICN”, says Preben Birr-Pedersen, CEO of CLEAN and Member of the Board of ICN.

The need for co-creation between sectors has never been more present than at this crucial moment where the world urgently needs to address climate change. “It is therefore a perfect time to launch the City Solutions Platform, giving cities from all over the world an efficient space for developing tailor-made clean-tech solutions in close collaboration with businesses and research institutions. The City Solutions Platform will in addition enable cities to identify and better utilize existing clean solutions and technologies for the benefit of everyone”, says Jesper Nygård, CEO of Realdania.

Challenges on water is identified by the World Economic Forum as among the three most critical worldwide, where it is stated that water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise. At the same time, more than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal. Here, private companies can play an active role.

“We, as private companies needs to take active part in the dialog on how to address these challenges upfront. With this initiative, we can get even closer in the valuable dialog with cities on needs and solutions and accordingly speed up actions – for the benefit of society as well as for green growth”, says Kim Nøhr Skibsted, VP Communications & Public Affairs, Member of Group Management of Grundfos.

    About C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

    The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, now in its 10th year, connects more than 80 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 550+ million people and one quarter of the global economy and with its focus on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks. C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.


    About CLEAN

    Denmark's leading green cluster organization. CLEANs purpose it to further green growth and employment. Despite its minute size Denmark is a world-leading agent within clean tech. It is not about keeping standards but creating new. For this, Danish businesses are interesting to global project owners looking for the key to a sustainable society. CLEAN is the turning point, the engine of growth, which intermediates knowledge, talent and cooperation between small and large businesses, authorities and knowledge institutions and where innovative national and global solutions evolve.

    CLEAN – gathers those, who makes a difference.


    About ICN – International Cleantech Network

    ICN is an exclusive network of clean tech clusters from the world’s leading clean tech regions that aims to generate new business opportunities, enhance competitive advantages and create value for companies, knowledge institutions and local authorities across cluster regions.


    About Realdania

    Realdania is a modern philanthropic association that works to create quality of life and benefit the common good by improving the built environment: cities, buildings and the built heritage. Realdania is a Strategic Founder of C40.


    About Ramboll:

    Ramboll is a leading engineering, design and consultancy company with 13,000 experts in 35 countries. As a sustainable society consultant, we strive to solve local and global challenges holistically and responsibly for the long term benefit of our clients, end-users and society. We work across the market areas of Buildings, Transport, Planning & Urban Design, Water, Environment & Health, Energy, Oil & Gas and Management Consulting.


    About Danfoss:

    Danfoss engineers technologies that enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less. We meet the growing need for infrastructure, food supply, energy efficiency and climate-friendly solutions. Our products and services are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. We are also active in the field of renewable energy as well as district heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities. Our innovative engineering dates back to 1933 and today Danfoss is a world-leader, employing 24,000 employees and serving customers in more than 100 countries. We are still privately held by the founding family.


    About Hitachi:

    Hitachi, Ltd. is a global technology leader and a catalyst of societal change. We are trusted to build solutions businesses and government rely on turning vast amounts of data into insight, propelling companies ahead by enabling superior operational performance. At Hitachi Ltd. we leverage deep industry expertise shared among 320,000 people from approximately 947 companies, with a $2.8bn annual commitment to R&D. Hitachi’s mission is to contribute to society through the development of superior, original technology and products. We do so on an industrial scale, building things where there is no tolerance for error such as nuclear reactors and high-speed trains. Precision engineering is at the heart of everything we do.


    About Grundfos:

    Grundfos is a global leader in advanced pump solutions and a trendsetter in water technology. We contribute to global sustainability by pioneering technologies that improve quality of life for people and care for the planet. Grundfos has 19,000 employees in more than 55 countries and a turnover of 3,168 million Euros in 2014.


    About RTI International:

    RTI International is one of the world's leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. Our staff of more than 3,700 provides research and technical expertise to governments and businesses in more than 75 countries in the areas of energy and the environment, international development, economic and social policy, advanced technology,  health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, and laboratory and chemistry services.