Frontrunner on the environment

The tradition of “green growth” and entrepreneurship began in the early 90s.1) Already at that time forward-looking politicians and other stakeholders saw the business and employment opportunities from green investments. It has been a way of profiling Herning as an active provincial capital in Jutland which generates growth and establish international contacts.

Herning was the first municipality to install a combined heat and power plant, then running on coal and oil, later wood chips and natural gas and in the future natural gas will also be phased out. Some of the larger wind companies, Vestas and then Bonus and Wind-Matic, are located close to Herning and there are many secondary businesses associated with the production of wind turbines. There are potentials for production of biogas and straw based plants, and there is a tradition for entrepreneurship and small businesses on many areas. Finally, there are several educational institutions, among these a university college of engineering with an interest in renewable energy plants and alternative technology.

In the 90s Herning municipality joined several environmentally-oriented networks with commitments to contribute to environmental improvements:

Networks and Agenda21-work

Already in the early years a network of local actors was established, which focused on involving as many as possible in the activities:

Hence, resources were assigned to the Agenda 21 work early on and the green guides were given liberty of action to launch many more green activities. The green guides were initially independent units, supported by the municipality, but since 2002 they have been directly employed by the municipality to carry out sustainability work and green strategies, see Herning’s Agenda 21 strategy and action plan. These green guides have provided momentum and drive for the environmental work, so it has become more rooted in the citizens’ awareness and in different parts of the municipal work.

Here, housing and construction have a prominent place with objectives for both sustainable urban regeneration and the municipality's own buildings.

Among other things a guide for eco-buildings have been prepared, environmental and energy management at several institutions have been established, green energy accounts have been created and supervision on public buildings are carried out. Cooperation with 6 other municipalities in Jutland has been established around the comparison of key figures for several operational areas, including municipal buildings.

Municipal Cooperation

Since 2001, the Dogma-cooperation has had great significance since it was here that concrete objectives were formulated and evaluations and comparisons of environmental work were made. Green Cities is the new name for Dogma 2000 and initially consists of 8 cities (Allerod, Ballerup, Fredericia, Herning, Kolding, Copenhagen and Malmö). The Dogma-cooperation was initiated in 2000 by 5 municipalities who prepared a set of ground rules for promoting sustainability, among other things that common binding target for a number of areas should be set and that they should be measured and audited by an independent accountant. The agreement set out among other things environmental requirements for the municipality's own buildings.

Herning Municipality has signed a curve breaker agreement of a 5% reduction of CO2 emissions from 2008-12 with The Danish Energy saving Trust.

Herning Municipality is also expected to sign a climate communities agreement with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, according to climate coordinator Line Thastum.

Af Inger Stauning, Roskilde Universitet 2009

This web-site is edited by Roskilde University in cooperation with Technical University of Denmark, Danish Building Research Institute, Technological Institute, PP-consult, Syd-tek and Bjørn Axelsen ApS. Coordinator: Inger Stauning, RUC, is (a) ruc .dk