Sustainable Sweden Association has been organizing study tours since 1997. The aim of these journeys is to help municipalities interested in sustainable development and the concept of eco-municipality to explore new solutions in order to implement concrete actions at home. During these visits, we invite representatives of organizations, regional and national delegates, members of associations and any interested individuals to join us in visiting and exploring Sweden’s eco-municipalities.
These study tours are an excellent opportunity to build bridges between countries and people in order to create spaces for discussion and exchange, and to encourage the development of motivated working groups. The tour puts focus on thematic areas, while having the holistic eco-municipality concept as an overall cross-sectional theme.
Is it possible to create regenerative sustainable development in our communities considering
all global threats? Where on earth can we find examples of broad ecological, economic and
social adaptation to bring back hope and trust for a mutual sustainable future?
The Sustainable Sweden Ecomunicipality Study Tours offer you an inspiring program of study
visits, seminars, cultural events and open forums for discussions. Sweden has decades of
experience with successful, innovative and practical examples from different fields of
Meet committed professionals with unique competence and experience. Learn from the
Swedish Ecomunicipalities and from a comprehensive sustainable work. Take part in the
ecomunicipality holistic framework and its methods for developing successful sustainable
strategies in organizations and across municipalities and regions.
Since 1997 we have arranged and operated around 30 Sustainable Sweden Tours. The topics
have varied from Eco-municipalities to forestry, legislation and education. We have traveled
from the very south to the very north of Sweden and from our largest cities to very small
All of our tour focus on sustainable processes, systems approaches and rich participant
Read about previous Tours here.
We are proud to announce that the tours have had a big impact on the participants and their
work. Here are some of the results of the previous tours:
- 20 Eco-municipalities in USA
- The book “The Natural Step for Communities”
- A new “GreenZone” in Japan
- 50 study circles only in Wisconsin on the book “The Natural Step for
- A number of articles and media covering
One of the best ways to get to know what a Sustainable Sweden Tour has to offer is to hear
directly from the people who have experienced a tour themselves. Here are some reports
written by previous tour participants.
Book tip: The Natural Step for Communities by Sarah James
and Torbjörn Lahti. – [June 2005]
This book wouldn’t have been written if it weren’t for
Sustainable Sweden Tours that brought its authors together.
The book covers experiences and background on Sweden’s
strivings for sustainability among different communities
during the last decades. It includes case studies from Sweden
as well as the U.S.
More info and ordering here
Read some reactions on the book and the book campaign from 2004:
Don’t take our word for it? Here are some of the participants’ words:
“If there is one word to sum up my experience of this tour, it would be – remarkable”
Social Planner, Cambridge, MA, USA
“The Sustainable Sweden Tour is a remarkable learning opportunity on sustainable
development. While few can explain this “magic” word in concrete terms, the tour shows us
decade-long experiences of innovative, yet economically feasible examples by many
committed people throughout Sweden.
With an introductory session by Torbjörn Lahti of Esam AB, a pioneer of sustainable
development, participants are instantly invited to the world of unique competence and
practicality based on the Natural Step framework.
We headed for the north up to the Arctic Circle, 1100km away from Stockholm making stop-
overs in five days. The programme included meetings with officials from eco-municipalities
and visits to sites where key initiatives had taken place.
One of the most impressive examples was ”Green Zone” in Umeå, a sustainable architectural
platform for providing services to car drivers with a full cooperation by major global
While having intensive activities by day, “fun time” awaits you in the evening. Outdoors-
loving Swedes appreciate that mother nature is always a stone’s throw away. Even in today’s
rushed world, they mind a balanced existence and a pleasant lifestyle. With wonderful local
food and songs, the group and Esam consultants had a memorable night at Åkullsjön farm,
taking advantage of endless dusk in early Scandinavian summer.
If you are a strong advocator of the sustainable development concept, this tour, during which
you can regain courage and conviction, is certainly the one you should not miss”
”I was raised with the patriotic notion that the United States was the “cradle of democracy”
and the “birthplace of freedom” since 1776. It was a real eye-opener to hear about the state-of-
the-art democracy that is institutionalized in Sweden. The cities I visited are world leaders in
the environmental sustainability movement. I was humbled. Upon my return to Minnesota, I
realized I had visited a more humane place, a more civilized place. I returned home
determined to redouble my efforts to apply what I learned to help make Minneapolis a more
sustainable city. If it can happen anywhere in the US, Minneapolis is our country’s very best
big city to be the next cradle of sustainability.”
Principal Planner, Planning Department of the City of Minneapolis.
”As a result of what I learned and experienced on the tour, and meeting all you wonderful
people, I have decided to leave my current management position by the end of this year, so
that I can begin transitioning toward sustainability work.. I’m planning to take up to a year off
from working, in order to develop the basic skills and knowledge I will need. I look forward to
learning all about sustainability and to figuring out how the successful models in Sweden
might translate to other countries, including the US. And I look forward to figuring out how I
can help in the process”.
These are the words from one of the eleven guests from USA and Mexico.