Milestone targets

The milestone targets indicate steps along the way to the environmental quality objectives and the generational goal.

The milestone targets are intended to identify a desired social change and specify steps towards achieving the generational goal and one or more of the environmental quality objectives.

However, they are not to specify a state of the environment, since this is established in the environmental quality objectives and the associated specifications.

Milestone targets can also be added to the environmental objectives system on the basis of goals adopted within the European Union or by incorporating international agreements into the system.

The milestone targets are divided into five areas: reduced climate impact, air pollution, biodiversity, dangerous substances, sustainable urban development and waste.

Sweden's milestone targets

Reduced climate impact
Emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020

By 2020, emissions of greenhouse gases in Sweden, from activities not included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, should be reduced by 40 per cent compared with 1990. This means that, by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from the non-trading sector are to be around 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent lower than in 1990. The decrease will be achieved by emission reductions in Sweden and by means of investments in other EU member states or flexible mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism.

Emissions of greenhouse gases by 2030

Emissions in Sweden outside of the EU ETS should by 2030 be at least 63 per cent lower than emissions in 1990. To achieve the goal, no more than 8 percentage points of the emissions reductions may be realised through supplementary measures.

Emissions of greenhouse gases by 2040

Emissions in Sweden outside of the EU ETS should by 2040 be at least 75 per cent lower than emissions in 1990. To achieve the goal, no more than 2 percentage points of the emissions reductions may be realised through supplementary measures.

Emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045

By 2045, Sweden is to have no net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and should thereafter achieve negative emissions. To achieve zero net emissions, supplementary measures may be counted. By 2045, emissions from activities in Swedish territory are to be at least 85 per cent lower than emissions in 1990. 

Emissions of greenhouse gases from domestic transport

Emissions from domestic transport, excluding domestic aviation, are to be reduced by at least 70 per cent by 2030 compared with 2010. Domestic aviation is not included in the goal since domestic aviation is included in the EU ETS.

Air pollution
Reduction of national emissions of air pollutants

Emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, ammonia and particulate matter (PM2.5) shall no later than in 2025 correspond to indicative emission levels for 2025 set out in Directive (EU) 2016/2284 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants, amending Directive 2003/35/EC and repealing Directive 2001/81/EC.

Biodiversity
Knowledge about genetic diversity

Mapping and monitoring of genetic diversity are to be initiated by 2020.

The protection of land areas, freshwater areas and marine areas

At least 20 per cent of Sweden's land and freshwater areas, and 10 per cent of Sweden's marine areas, by 2020 contribute to achieving national and international biodiversity targets. This will take place through protection or other conservation in areas of particular importance to biodiversity or ecosystem services. This conservation will take place with ecologically representative and well-connected systems, which include reserves, other effective area-based protective measures or environmentally sound usage. These systems are to be well integrated in the surrounding landscape and managed in an efficient and inclusive way.

Between 2012 and 2020, at least 1 142 000 additional hectares are to be protected as follows:

  • High nature value forests are to be protected from tree-felling. This will take place through an increase in formally protected forest land of approximately 150 000 hectares of high nature value forests in need of formal protection below the montane forest zone.
  • Voluntary set-asides by the forestry industry should have increased by approximately 200 000 hectares to a total of 1 450 000 hectares of forest land in areas that are, or may develop into, high nature value areas.
  • The formal protection of wetlands has increased by 210 000 hectares as a result of boglands and fens of high nature value being protected under the 'National plan for conservation of boglands and fens'.
  • The formal protection of lakes and watercourses has increased by at least 12 000 hectares.
  • The formal protection of marine areas has increased by at least 570 000 hectares.
  • The ecological connections have been strengthened so that protected areas and areas and biotopes conserved in other ways are well connected and integrated in the landscape, including the marine environment.
Circular economy
Reuse of packaging

The proportion of packaging placed on the Swedish market for the first time that is reusable must increase by at least 20 percent from 2022 to 2026 and by at least 30 percent from 2022 to 2030.

In Sweden, packaging is the single biggest use for plastics by weight, according to a study from 2019. According to the Swedish EPA the amount of packaging placed on the market and covered by the EPR system for packaging has increased by 28 percent from 1 045 400 tonnes to 1 340 400 tonnes between 2012 and 2018.

This increase cannot simply be explained by population growth since the amount of packaging per person increased by 17 percent over the same period. In order for packaging to be reusable it needs to be refilled or reused for the same purpose. This means that a particular piece of packaging needs to be used again as the same type of packaging.

The idea is that the milestone target will lead to behavior change among consumers and other parts of the supply chain in order to ensure that packaging is reused over and over before becoming waste or is recycled. The milestone target will be monitored by the Swedish EPA in cooperation with other relevant public authorities.

Dangerous substances

Information about dangerous substances in articles

  • Regulations or agreements within the European Union or internationally are to be applied in such a way that information about substances hazardous to health and the environment that are present in articles is available to all parties concerned by 2020.
  • The regulations are to be introduced gradually for different product groups, and children’s health is to be given particular focus in the information.
  • Information about substances hazardous to health and the environment that are present in materials and articles is to be made available throughout the entire product life cycle through harmonised systems that cover prioritised product groups.
Development and application of the EU's chemical rules

REACH and other relevant EU regulations are to be applied by 2020 at the latest or revised if necessary so that:

  • it will to a greater extent become possible to assess and test groups of substances with similar intrinsic properties, chemical structures or areas of use.
  • the substitution principle and its application is strengthened in connection with restrictions, consideration of permits and other relevant elements of the regulatory framework.
Greater environmental consideration in EU pharmaceuticals legislation and internationally

Decisions are made within the EU or internationally by 2020 at the latest that involve existing and any new regulations for medicinal products for human or veterinary use taking greater environmental consideration.

Sustainable urban development
Proportion of pedestrian, bicycle and public transport

The proportion of personal journeys using public transport, cycling or walking in Sweden must be at least 25 percent by 2025, expressed in person kilometres travelled, with a view to doubling in the long term the proportion for pedestrian, bicycle and public transport.

Integration of urban greenery and ecosystem services into urban environments

The majority of the municipalities must utilise and integrate urban greenery and ecosystem services into urban environments in the planning, building and administration of towns and cities and densely populated areas by no later than 2025.

Method for urban greenery and ecosystem services in urban environments

The municipalities must have access to a developed method for utilising and integrating city greenery and ecosystem services into urban environments in the planning, building and administration of towns and cities and densely populated areas by no later than 2020.

Waste
Increased separation and biological treatment of food waste

By 2023 at least 75 percent of food waste from households, catering services, shops and restaurants shall be separated and treated biologically so that nutrients and biogas are utilized.

Construction and demolition waste

Measures are to be taken so that, by 2020, at least 70 per cent by weight of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste is prepared for reuse, recycling and other material recovery.

Increase the proportion of municipal waste that is recycled and prepared for reuse

By 2025, the amount of municipal waste that is prepared for re-use and recycled shall increase to a minimum of 55 percent by weight, by 2030 to a minimum of 60 percent by weight and by 2035 to a minimum of 65 percent by weight.

Food loss and waste prevention

The two milestone targets aim to minimise the total food loss and waste in the entire food supply chain.

Food waste

From 2020 to 2025, the total amount of food waste should be reduced by at least 20 % by weight per capita.

This means that food waste prevention measures must be taken to reduce the total amount of food waste along the whole food supply chain. Food waste, according to the EU definition, is food that has become waste. Per definition food waste arises mainly at the retail and consumer level. The FAO, definition of food loss and waste is the decrease in quantity or quality of food along the food supply chain. The milestone target will be monitored by Swedish Environmental Protection Agency based on the data produced for EU reporting on the amount of food waste generated per stage of the food supply chain.

Food loss

By 2025, an increased share of the food production should reach retailers and consumers.

This means that food losses need to decrease, so that more of what is produced to become food goes further along in the food chain and is not left in the field or become animal feed or waste. The goal is to reduce food loss at the production levels such as primary production and food industry. But the responsibility for reaching the goal is shared by all actors in the entire food chain, right up to the byers and consumers, since they also play an important role in reducing the food losses in the production. The level of ambition is set based on SDG 12.3 in Agenda 2030 but ensures a higher pace as it aims for the year 2025. The level of reduction is not set since the follow-up methodology is under development. Monitoring by the Swedish Board of Agriculture will start during base year 2021.