Annual and Sustainability Report 2020

Annual and Sustainability Report 2020

2020 was a tumultuous year marked by the corona pandemic that has affected many people’s lives. White experienced changing market conditions, increased speed in digital development and increased pressure to accelerate the sustainable transformation in the world. It was a challenging year that at the same time gave room for creativity and opened up new opportunities.

A challenging year

People were hit hard by the pandemic, both personally and financially. However, the year also showed that society can adapt when it’s really needed. Many people worked from home, enjoyed staycations, and spent time outdoors in ways they never had before. Air travel decreased, consumption fell, and increasing numbers of people moved out of the cities. Parallels can be drawn to the transition needed to cope with the acute climate crisis and other sustainability challenges.

Despite a tough and challenging year in many ways, we were still able to sum it up with many new assignments, competition wins, international successes and a positive result.

In order for society to achieve global and national sustainability goals, we need to take immediate action. No one can drive change on their own, but together we have the power to turn the development towards a more sustainable future.
Alexandra Hagen, CEO and Anna Graaf, Head of Sustainability

Annual and Sustainability Report 2020

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Together for a Sustainable Future

In order for society to achieve global and national sustainability goals, it is crucial to strengthen collaboration within and between industries and across nations. That is the essence of the global goal 17. In our Annual and Sustainability Report for 2020, we therefore have an extra focus on projects where collaboration, clear goals and courage have been crucial to take steps in a more sustainable direction.

We are convinced that with sustainability as a driving force, together we can create long-term values for the project, society and the planet.

By 2030 all our projects will be climate neutral or better and the CO2-emissions from our business have been halved.

We were able to quickly switch to homework due to good digital tools. Our employees showed an outstanding ability to work in new creative ways, despite the many challenges.

Our 2020 in short

Valuable Urban Spaces

Cities should strive for being equal, safe, and inclusive. Their design is crucial for human health and quality of life. Meanwhile, the pressure on ecosystems is strained and the impact of climate change is already evident in many places. Conse­quently, the design of urban public environments is of crucial importance for how sustainable a city can actually be, environ­mentally, socially, and economically.

Read more about our work with sustainable architecture

Selected projects

New neighbourhood with historical roots

By the old textile factory in Reutlingen, a new, attractive district will be created. By preserving existing buildings, history is kept alive and by adding new wooden homes, roof gardens, businesses and restaurants it will be a modern neighbourhood with a high sustainability profile.

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Life in the Water – Life by the Water

True Blue is our winning proposal for the new park and bath in Bergen, Norway. The city’s vision is an urban space that offers activities and recreation, but also strengthens biodiversity, enhance water quality and handle the consequences of climate change.

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Future Streets

20-30% of the cities’ areas consist of streets. What urban environments to we get, if these were converted into environments for people, activity and play? This question has been explored in our project “Future Streets” in Stockholm.

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Towards a Circular, Climate-Neutral Future

The effects of climate change are already evident, and global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced rapidly to ensure a living planet and sustainable life for future generations. Meanwhile, biodiversity is under threat and the exploitation of the planet’s resources is far beyond what it can sustain. A radical transition is needed now! Our roadmap for a climate-positive future shows the direction in which White will contribute to this transition by 2030.

To our Roadmap

Selected projects

Profitable Large- Scale Recycling

The Hugin quarter was planned to be demolished and replaced by new buildings, but after a re-start it has instead turned into an impressive renovation and recycling project. The goal is 100% reuse!

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Together for Climate Neutrality

Priorn is an office with high environmental performance, certified LEED Platinum and with a unique therapy roof garden. The building has been used as a test pilot within the LFM30 climate initiative in Malmö, for establishing a carbon threshold for carbon neutral buildings.

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Wood Waste Turns into New Material

One of society’s biggest challenges, but also its biggest opportunity, is the transition to a circular economy. In the Would Wood innovation project wood waste can be reused for 3D-printing new building materi­als.

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Equal Environments for Diverse People

An equal society is based on the principle of equal rights and opportunities for all regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability or age. Cities and buildings are for all people, but then they also need to be designed for many different needs. It is a democratic right.

By involving the users in the planning and design process, we gain better knowledge and it strengthens the feeling of participation and ownership for those who will use the environments.

Read more about our work with co-creation and social sustainability

Selected projects

Healthcare for children – by children

Children and young people have been involved in the design process at the refurbishment and extension of Queen Silvia’s Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg. The result has been a building for first-class health care where the design is influenced by playfulness and colours.

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Housing with children in focus

Everyone has the right to a home, but there needs to be a larger variety of accommodations. The concept of Barnbo is based on the needs of the children. It is affordable housing with small but many rooms, with access to homework and play, and close to school, green areas and activities.

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Equality in urban planning

By involving people with different needs at the planning stage, we create better conditions for environments where people feel at home and in which they get involved. Equality in urban planning is about more than just feeling welcome. It’s a matter of health, wellbeing, security, and having access to activities and recreation.

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Research and Innovation that Drives Development

One of White’s business goals is to push boundaries. New knowledge, research and innovations are the basis for including and influencing society. In 2020, a new R&D program was launched. We also established our new White Innovation Lab, which will bring development projects and ideas into new business offerings. The focus for our R&D is Informed Design, which will contribute to the development of healthy, inclusive environments as well as circular and climate-positive architecture.

Read the programme

The strength of White is our employees. With our many different competences, we can create sustainable architecture that lasts for a long time. But the key to true change is to be able to drive development together with customers and other stakeholders.

Want to be more inspired?

Sustainability is our main driver for creativity, innovation, inclusion and better architecture.
Read more about our work with sustainable architecture


For us at White Arkitekter, architecture is about creating long-term value. We work proactively to ensure that our projects have the lowest environmental impact possible.
Read more about Carbon Neutral Buildings


Contact Person

Anna Graaf

Anna Graaf

Sustainability specialist, Sustainability director


+46 31 60 86 28

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