Exchange between New York and Sweden to accelerate deployment of low-carbon building solutions

How can Sweden and New York exchange best practices and experiences in leading-edge commercial and multifamily decarbonization projects?

New York

New York’s buildings account for around one-third of statewide greenhouse gas emissions. With over six million buildings there is an urgent need to address sustainability and resilience in this sector. With an aim to be climate-positive by 2030, Stockholm has become a frontrunner in sustainable urban development and low-carbon buildings.

This was the backdrop when the Swedish Energy Agency joined the New York based Centre of Excellence, Building Energy Exchange and our local counterpart NYSERDA for the event “NYC-Stockholm Retrofit Exchange” in New York on the 29 of May.

The event convened experts and industry leaders from New York and Stockholm to share experiences and key insights applicable to decarbonising commercial and multifamily buildings and provide updates on the initiatives driving progress in both cities.

Speakers from the U.S. included Boston Properties (BXP) and Related Companies. The Swedish property owner’s perspective was represented by Vasakronan and Stockholmshem.

Swedish best practices in low carbon building inspires

The event also marked the release of a compelling report “International Exchanges – Solutions for Low Carbon Building: Stockholm”, compiled by Building Energy Exchange with the support from NYSERDA.

The report distils the best practices observed in Stockholm by a U.S. delegation hosted by the Swedish Energy Agency summer of 2023, which connected senior representatives from both countries’ top real estate, engineering, and utility firms.

– A few of my major takeaways from the trip, first is that the Swedish entities that we visited have established very ambitious decarbonisation targets covering operations and supply chain. So, they are considering embodied carbon as well as operational carbon. It's really an all-in, whole of industry and government approach to decarbonisation and targets set by property owners and developers are shored up by these commitments across the entire industry, says Ben Myers, Senior Vice President, Sustainability at BXP.

The report

Summarising the findings of the report - despite climate, utility, technical, and policy differences between Stockholm and New York, it becomes evident that the cities climate objectives are closely aligned.

New York is already looking to Stockholm and Swedish innovations in low-carbon building to gain insights and inspiration into future opportunities for building decarbonisation.

– It’s been really inspiring what we learn and what we can provide in terms of knowledge sharing and I know that our team at NYSERDA really has taken some of these lessons back. We have launched a Heat Recovery Program we are about to launch a new Thermal Energy Network Incentives Program. So, a lot of these lessons learned really do filter back into what we are trying to do to meet the State’s energy goals, says Susanne DesRoches, Vice President, Clean and Resilient Buildings at NYSERDA.

The Swedish Energy Agency aims at fostering a continued dialogue enabling collaborative action between stakeholders within the built environment in Sweden and New York and look forward to furthering the fruitful collaborations with Building Energy Exchange and NYSERDA.

– The U.S. is a strategic partner for Sweden and a prioritised market for many of our innovative companies. New York’s nation-leading climate agenda and commitment to advancing building energy efficiency and decarbonisation, creates an excellent opportunity to further enhance collaborations and explore new pathways forward, says Sofie Fjellgren, Business Developer International Markets at the Swedish Energy Agency.

Watch the recording of the event “NYC-Stockholm Retrofit Exchange”

Download the full report "International Exchanges – Solutions for Low Carbon Building: Stockholm"