Danish companies continue to play their part in the transition to a greener world

Date: 23 August 2017

The latest data from the UN Global Compact and a review of the 20 largest Danish companies’ CSR reports reveals that Danish businesses are embracing the challenge to reduce CO2 emissions and are actively advocating for a green transition.

A review of Danish companies’ CSR reports reveal that 15 out of the 20 largest Danish companies have concrete targets to reduce their CO2 emissions, use more renewable energy or to increase production while using less energy.

Furthermore, nine out of the 15 companies have targets that are in line with, or even more ambitious than the European Union targets for 2020. For example, LEGO, Denmark’s fifteenth largest company as measured by revenue, has a target to balance 100% of its energy use with energy from renewable sources by 2020. In fact, LEGO has recently met this target three years ahead of schedule, partly via investment in two offshore wind parks.

The Danish healthcare giant Novo Nordisk also has the same goal. Data from the group’s annual report shows that Novo managed to reach 78% of production with renewable energy in 2016. In A.P. Møller-Mærsk, which is by far Denmark’s largest company as measured by revenue, CO2 emissions per container have been reduced by 42% and the company aims to increase this figure to 60% by 2020.

“Today most companies consider how they can use greener energy and use energy in a more efficient way. Naturally this is an indication that they take a global perspective and are looking to the future. However, it is also an indication of stiff competition. If you’re efficient and green, you can reduce prices and win market share”, Anders Stouge, vice president in the Danish Energy Association, says.

For a number of the largest Danish companies, there is also an innate reason for focusing on energy. Namely that four of them, DONG Energy, Vestas, Danfoss and Grundfos all produce energy or energy products. All four companies have taken ambitious steps to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

“At the same time we can see that many companies are thinking of customer service when they become more green. When it’s important to companies and consumers that products are less damaging to the climate, it can also increase revenue as it demonstrates that they (the companies) are actively playing a part to transition to a greener world”, Anders Stouge continues.

In 1999, the UN Global Compact program for companies, cities and NGOs who take local and global responsibility by, among other things, combating corruption, environmental problems and climate change, was created.

Out of the 9,500 companies that participate in the program, 308 are Danish. Seventeen of the 20 largest Danish companies are members of the UN Global Compact. Denmark is number eight on the list of countries with most participating companies, just behind the United States, where 327 companies are represented.

Source: State of Green / The Danish Energy Association