Wednesday July 02, 2014, with ZVT in Almedalen

Another day with interesting and exciting seminars in Almedalen, the following ones were attended of interest for the projects that are using the ZVT method. Short comments and images are also posted on Twitter @zerovisiontool (can be viewed at our front page under News in other channels as well).

Seminar 01 The national maritime strategy 

The Region Västra Götaland arranged a panel discussion which was started of with the State Secretary to the Minister for Infrastructure, Ingela Bendrot, who initially described the experiences from working with a national maritime strategy. Since the Ministry for Enterprise has travelled the entire country to meet people with interest in a blue growth agenda, the government office has received a lot of good input.
Sweden is a vast country, with a population of 9 million people and the longest coastline within the European Union, which gives the perfect reason to co-operate and learn from eachother. Irland has put together a maritime strategy and that has served as an inspiration to the Swedish government. However, the strategy will be delivered after the upcoming election and we have yet to see what the hard work boils down to. 
Mattias Rust, WWF, pointed out the importance of implementing the sustainable perspective in the strategy from start. You simply can not overlook this and have to be proactive in order to make the change.
GD Björn Risinger from the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management brought up the question of maritime spatial planning and underlined the fact that all municipalities now have to come up with their plans, built on the national maritime strategy. So far, there are only a few who has done so. This means that there will be a line up now and the Agency called upon the government to put up some guidelines on how to make the best plans for 12 nm outside the coastline, in order to get some uniformity.
In addition, all Swedish authorities and administrations will be instructed to keep an industry policy.
Seminar 02 Sustainable Innovation - zero emissions

The government's new report "On the road to zero emissions in 2050" pointed out that innovation and business development play an important part when coming up with the solutions. Swedish Minister for the Environment Lena Ek discussed the issue with stakeholders and experts during this morning session.

It will be a major challenge to reach climate neutrality in 2050. Especially as we must make sure that our basic industries survives. Lena Ek called it Sweden’s "putting a man on the moon project", drawing parallels to the US successful mission to place a man on the moon in the 1960’s. The conclusion being that just because it has never been done before, it doesn’t mean it's impossible.
In the recent clean tech innovation index report, listing the best performing countries, Sweden comes in fourth place after Israel, Finland and the US. What we can do better is to find ways to commercialise the innovation ideas. It will take more than political decisions to reach the goal. We need new thinking. In this regard, Sweden has the opportunity to show the world how we handle this, with our engineering tradition and environmentally aware citizens.
The panel also agreed that we need to bring home international examples. It is important that we learn from each other. In summary the discussion was concluded in three points:
  • It is possible!
  • Dare to think and to do.
  • Use the tools available.

All the ZVT JUP and JIPs are doing exactly this, and are moving transport at sea to the next level. It means a lot of risk taking, innovation and investments. A big pat on the shoulder to all of you.

Seminar 03 Business Sweden - Sweden's export future

Next ZVT attended a political debate between the Minister for Trade Ewa Björling and Member of Parliament Mikael Damberg. The question was “What is needed from our Swedish politicians in order for Sweden to continue to be a strong export nation and an attractive market for foreign investors?”

Ewa Björling stated, among other things, that politicians need to help small and mid sized businesses to take the plunge into the larger scale model, also outside of the EU. The success factors, for both large and small businesses, making it abroad frequently involve the creation of networks. The voice gets stronger when you agree on solutions, and an international strong voice for both energy efficiency and the environment is an important factor for the future of Swedish export. And in this collaboration is vital.

Seminar 04 - Environmental shipping myths

There are too many myths surrounding the environmental footprint of shipping. Therefore nine of the Swedish east coast ports had decided to put them to rest by showing facts. Invited were representatives of the Parliament, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), Swedish Forestry Industries Federation and Swedish Shipowners' Association to give their view on how well the shipping industry is living up to their improved environmental profile.
The representatives agreed that there has been improvents, but in some cases they may have been a bit reluctant and slow. Be more proactive and innovative when it comes to environmental improvements, was the advice from the panel. The consensus reached on stage is that Sweden usually produces a plan for infrastructure every fourth year. It is not to be mistaken for a policy of transport, which was called for by all parties.
The nine port initiative OHS is an initiative started by Mälarhamnar and Port of Södertälje. The seminar was hosted by their CEOs Carola Alzén and Erik Froste.

Seminar 05 - Saving the Baltic Sea

The County Administrative Boards of Sweden held a panel debate discussing how the work to save the Baltic Sea should be carried out, how the efforts should be financed and whose responsibility it is. In addition, they talked about how the salvation can and should be done in practice. For example, the importance to consider another mindset than the traditional in order to conserve marine areas. With another mindset the profitable results become more visible in the work with the blue-green economy.
It can also be a question of simply following the EU directives that we already have to comply with. We need to honor our commitments, instead of trying to escape them. Håkan Wirtén highlighted that there is a 5-point program in place for the blue-green economy. With a vision, strategy and action plan, the work can be carried out effectively.
Minister for the Environment Lena Ek stressed that by valuing environmental action, we will be able to determine what is most constructive to do. The perspective that the efforts to save the Baltic Sea involves  both costs and benefits as well as trademark issues, leads us to a picture where everything is connected. In such a shift there are always winners and losers. It is therefore important to focus on strategies for long term sustainability, because if not, one definately becomes a loser. The minister also pointed out that a lot of studies on the Baltic Sea have already been carried out, what we need now is action.
Seminar 06 - Significance of Swedish ports

The importance of the Swedish ports cannot be stressed enough, according to Nils Bohlin who has compiled the report “Swedish ports - gateway to Sweden” (Sveriges hamnar - porten till Sverige). The ports have developed into clusters with large flows of goods worth a lot of money. In addition to that, commodity values ​​in the order of at least 100 billion arrive via ports and almost 10 billion worth of goods arrives with consumers who come to Sweden on cruises. Ports are system-critical hubs, and can be regarded as hubs for much more than the transportation of goods.

Shipping as a transport mode has a bright future, said Björn Alvengrip Ports of Sweden. The sulphur directive shows that this part of the world is a forerunner in tightening the requirements for shipping. We need a review of the logistics around the ports in order for Sweden's infrastructure to work for transport. Stephan Mulcher from the Chamber of Commerce said that much has been neglected when it comes to the country's infrastructure. He pointed out that one cannot design everything on the desktop. A concrete proposal highlighted during the panel discussion was to build a double track in the port of Gothenburg. Collaboration between transport modes.

Seminar 07 - Move freight from road and rail to sea 
At the Copenhagen Malmoe Port seminar "How can the shipping sector solve Sweden´s transport problems?"  the panelists discussed what is required to move freight from road and rail to the sea. The importance of the port and the connections between different transport modes was one of the topics, another the possibility to use short sea shipping more frequently. Sweden has EU´s longest coastline but very little domestic traffic between ports despite the great capacity. 
Johan Rosin, CMP CEO, said that infrastructure to and from the port is the main competitive advantage when it comes to ports. Here, much improvement to strengthen maritime transport is needed. Thinking in terms of transport systems is also very important, said Jessica Rosencrantz. Rail, road and water transport (and in some aspects air transport) are connected and one have to work together to come forward. For ports, there are enormous benefits and potential if they chose to collaborate more.
The panelists also stated that there is a need to create public awareness of short sea shipping, to show that it is not dead and prove that it is more eco- and cost-efficient than trucks. How much it costs to use the various transport modes are controlled politically, said Karolina Skog. Therefore, one should not push highway construction and place more trucks on the roads. Anders Ygeman pointed out that politicians can contribute by supporting the shipping industry catering for EU loans and look into different kinds of bonuses and/or cost reductions to reach a transition from land to sea transport. "We have to run ships on alternative fuels and encourage those who have Swedish flag and a strong environmental thinking."
Jessica replied that all modes of transport are needed. In regards of shipping the tonnage tax will be in place this fall, expanding maritime financial support and the opportunity to navigate on inland waterways. Further, the Government will continue to support applications to the different EU funds and an effective system of sanctions should be put in place, so that those who dare to invest in new fuels and technologies are favored.
During the seminar, ZVT raised the issue of an Eco bonus, as an option for Sweden. Rosencrantz said that it is an interesting solution. To our delight, she concluded by praising the work carried out on the ZVT platform:
"The projects using ZVT are doing the right thing. That is how we need to move forward – we, the politicians, can’t make the right choices without your input. It is you, the industry, that know how it should be carried out."

Interview - transport 

Wednesday ended with a mini radio interview with Per Bondemark, Chairman of the Swedish Shippers Council, in which he comments on the question: What is the most important issues to have in mind when chosing a safe and more environmentally efficient transport? It will be published on our site shortly.