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Strategic sustainability work in Scanian municipalities

This pre-study is an in-depth dive in the Scanian municipalities’ prerequisites to realize a conversion to a sustainable development at a sufficiently high rate. We look for answers among the municipal officials who work strategically with these questions daily.

Rapsfält i Skåne. Foto.
Rapeseed field in Scania. Photograph.

About the project

The Swedish municipalities play an important role in the joint pursuit of a sustainable development. This pre-study is an in-depth dive in the Scanian municipalities’ prerequisites to realize a conversion to a sustainable development at a sufficiently high rate.

We look for answers among the municipal officials who in their internal work for change have gained experience of, and understanding for, the formal and informal control and management processes that enable a sustainable development.

The result is an important piece of the puzzle to better understand how the strategic work for change can be an integral part of the established administrative processes in a municipality. Only then can sustainability permeate the municipal welfare service, with the year 2030 as the first steppingstone to aim for.


The pre-study will contribute to a gained knowledge about which formal and informal obstacles that exists to integrate sustainability aspects in municipal organisations in accordance with Regeringsformens first chapter and the global sustainability goals, which by extension will be able to provide guidance about how support and policy instruments can be developed on a regional and national level to further promote the municipalities’ sustainable development.


The project has four objectives:

  1. Prerequisites for municipal sustainability work will be mapped through a survey study that includes all Scanian municipalities.
  2. A pilot study of how a qualitative interview study can be designed, will be carried through from the results of the mapping.
  3. A method will be developed for how the prerequisites for municipal sustainability work can be made visible qualitative with the help of surveys and interviews.
  4. Concerned functions in all Scanian municipalities, on the Scanian Region and on the County Administrative Board of Scania will be given the opportunity to have a conversation around the result.


To achieve the purpose a pre-study is carried through that will be performed and co-financed by Lund university’s Centre for environmental and climate science. The pre-study focus on developing a method to make visible the practical and organizational prerequisites for municipalities to drive a sustainable development.

Instead of, as in already made studies, look at what tools and control models municipalities can use in their sustainability management, we choose to focus on the cross-management, strategic functions that coordinates the sustainability work, for example public health strategists, environmental strategists and development strategists. 

The project consists of four parts:

  • Mapping of Scanian municipalities' conditions for sustainable development through a survey study that focuses on strategic functions.
  • Test interviews before an imaginary qualitative interview study where we delve into questions that the survey made visible.
  • Method development
  • Project report and communication of the results, with a strong focus on relevant information being communicated to the right target groups, both locally, regionally and nationally.

Contact information and participants

Project manager:

Johanna Alkan Olsson
E-mail: johanna [dot] alkan_olsson [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se (johanna[dot]alkan_olsson[at]cec[dot]lu[dot]se)

Johanna Alkan Olsson in Lund University research portal


Eva Hedenfelt

Strategic sustainability work

Strategic sustainability work often runs across sector structures in an organization. Such work can contribute to streamlining and optimizing the use of resources. It increases risk awareness and risk minimization and raises the need for new ways of solving problems across sector boundaries.

Project information

Project duration: The project runs until 2024.

Funding: Region Skåne Environmental Management Fund and Lund University.