Scandinavia is renowned for its advanced economic and social development, top-notch education system, and strong social security network. The region also stands out for its innovative approaches to combating climate change.

Robert Greenwald, P.Eng. and President of Prism Engineering, recently visited Denmark, Sweden, and Norway to witness firsthand how these countries have achieved impressive success in transitioning to a low-carbon future while maintaining high living standards for their people.

“I was deeply inspired by the remarkable initiatives they have undertaken to combat climate change, particularly their focus on transportation,” says Robert.

“In Copenhagen, I was impressed by how the biking culture and revitalized waterways transformed the city’s landscape. Stockholm’s extensive subway network enhanced the passengers’ experience by transforming the stations into captivating art exhibits. And in Norway, I witnessed firsthand the country’s leadership in electric vehicle (EV) adoption.”

Electric tram and art exhibit in subway station in Stockholm; bikers in Copenhagen.

Today, transportation is responsible for 16% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which makes it one of the world’s largest source of emissions pollution1. These emissions come from burning fossil fuels, such as diesel and gasoline, in internal combustion engine vehicles used in cars, trucks, buses, ships, and planes.

To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, organizations must accelerate their transition to zero-emission electric or alternative fuel transportation.

“An organization’s fleet can make up a large proportion of its total GHG emissions,” says Julianne Pickrell-Barr, Climate Action Specialist at Prism Engineering.

“That’s why we need to take electrification seriously. Transportation is an area of operations that can be decarbonized fairly quickly in many cases due to the relatively short replacement cycles of vehicles compared with other assets like buildings or process equipment,” she adds.

Learn more about our Transportation Planning services

Electric ferries in Norway

During his trip to Scandinavia, Robert noted the use of electric passenger ferries in Norway’s fjords as an exciting example of how these countries are embracing electrification.

“These ferries have been operating for over 5 years. They can carry up to 400 passengers with a maximum range of 2.5 hours, travelling 16 knots for 40 nautical miles before requiring a recharge. It was a smooth and quiet ride, and passengers were not exposed to the diesel exhaust fumes that are common in vessels of this size, with much less impact on the local environment,” he explains.

Robert was so inspired by what he saw while navigating through the fjords that he asked for a tour of the ferry’s operating system. We are excited to share a few highlights and learnings from that amazing experience.

Naeroyfjord in Norway, electric ferry, and boat charging station.


Join Robert on a tour of an electric ferry in action:

Watch an overview of sustainability initiatives in Scandinavia:

1“Sector by sector: where do global greenhouse gas emissions come from?”, Our World in Data, accessed February 20, 2024.