Home District Energy News “Energy at the Top”: Democracy in companies strengthens society.

“Energy at the Top”: Democracy in companies strengthens society.

by Linda Bertelsen

“Energy at the Top” is the Danish District Heating’s energy policy conference, which in this edition had its focus on democratic businesses and their needs, benefits, and development. Despite the discouraging trend of democratic companies in Denmark, the advantages are significant for Danish society.

On May 17, “Energy at the Top” drummed up support for democratically-owned companies. It makes sense to focus on democracy in Danish businesses as each year shows a decrease in democratically established companies.

“The number of democratic companies in Denmark is decreasing, and a great untapped potential need to be addressed. It is a solid foundation to stand on,” said Jens Jonathan Steen, director of the Think Tank “Democratic Business”.

Analyses conducted by “Democratic Business” show that democratic companies have higher productivity, less frequent bankruptcies, high well-being and employee satisfaction, and high investment level in society compared to private businesses.

VERDO, the utility company from Randers, highlighted one of the benefits of their democratic ownership after transitioning from a S/I company to an AMBA.

“We now have a broadly based representative body with engaged shareholders and interested consumers. And ownership has become clearer with a greater delineation of roles between the municipality and consumers,” said Kenneth Jeppesen, director of VERDO.

€ 3,000,000 on the budget

The lack of democratic businesses in Denmark was repeatedly emphasized on stage, and it was strongly emphasized by Louise Mogensen, director of United Credit and chairman of the democratic expert group, which presented its nine recommendations last year.

“The Danish government has allocated 3,000.000 Euro for the budget 2023 for follow-up on the expert group’s recommendations. The millions are intended to grow democratic companies in Denmark and create new ones,” said Louise Mogensen.

Negotiations on the specific measures for the  use of the 3,000,000 Euro will begin in the fall.

The next time Danish District Heating holds its “Energy at the Top” conference will be on September 20.