United Nations
Mobilise cities and the innovation community to clean up the Baltic Sea and capture economic and social gains.
by Race For The Baltic Foundation (Philanthropic organization)
Race For The Baltic commits to continue to mobilise stakeholders to clean up the Baltic Sea through its Leadership Platform, Race For The Baltic and the programme, Baltic Sea City Accelerator. By building a regional movement of engaged stakeholders and developing their collective capacities, Race For The Baltic works towards restoring the health of the Baltic Sea. Race For The Baltic is committed to contributing to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals 14.1 and 14.a with strong interlinkages to Goal 17 and Goal 6.

The Baltic Sea is at a critical juncture. Eutrophication, caused by excess nutrients entering the water, is one of the major threats to the sea, coastal areas, and inland waters. Despite progress in reducing nutrient load, the water quality in the Baltic Sea continues to deteriorate. Zennstrm Philanthropies launched Race For The Baltic leadership platform to mobilise the necessary stockholders to change this trajectory and to lift the great opportunities that can be captured through investing in technologies and innovative solutions to improve the sea.

Race For The Baltic works to bring entrepreneurs, innovators, funders, governments and science together to identify, incubate, share and scale solutions. Additionally, Zennstrm Philanthropies is making a commitment to support the Race For The Baltic to scale up work with stakeholders, especially with municipalities in the Baltic Sea City Accelerator programme.

Baltic Sea City Accelerator programme mobilises municipalities to engage in investing in the Baltic Sea for social, economic and environmental gains. The economic benefits of water restoration are manifold. By restoring local waters, a municipality can develop sustainable businesses and increase recreation, aesthetic value, flood control, biodiversity, and populations well-being. For an average municipality, the difference between two scenarios (according to a report released by Boston Consulting Group in 2015), clear waters state and shipwrecked state, could amount to almost 3,000 full-time jobs and 270 million in economic output aggregated over the course of 15 years. In order to reach sustainable nutrient levels and begin restoring the waters, local initiatives led by the 1,500 municipalities in the catchment area will play a critical role. The starting points of these municipalities are, however, vastly different, and two-thirds of the municipalities are either unaware of the problem or have insufficient resources to effectively address it. Together with the innovation, solution and finance community, Race For The Baltic will work with local governments to capture these benefits, clean up the Baltic Sea, whilst sharing learnings with the global community.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Fertilizer use efficiency
  • Other (please specify): Sustainable Stormwater Management
  • Wastewater treatment:
  • Manure management:
  • Nutrient sinks (e.g. constructed wetlands):
  • Coastal clean-ups
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
3 x Investor Roundtables focusing on ocean investment to potential investors
Organising conference: Connecting and Protecting Our Seas: Initiatives in the Baltic and the Mediterranean conference October 2017 with Sweden and Monaco governments
Scale up of Baltic Sea City Accelerator Programme: By 2020 Race For The Baltic aims to have dozens municipalities around the Baltic Sea engaged in the Baltic Sea City Accelerator programme. This work will continue to support the reduction of nutrient pollution from from land-based activities within these municipalities, support goal 4.1.
Financing (in USD)
1,500,000 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: 01/2018 - 12/2020
(Zennstrm Philanthropies)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, Germany
Contact information
Barbara Jackson, CEO, Chair of Board, barbara@raceforthebaltic.com, +46738503358
Other SDGs
United Nations