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Danish firm ranked world’s most sustainable company

Corporate Knights’ 2020 index of the Global 100 has ranked renewable energy company Ørsted, as the world’s most sustainable company. The firm has completed a fundamental business transformation from fossil fuels to renewables over the past decade.

In a company statement, the Danish firm noted that they are the first-ever energy company to top the index.

Read more: All energy companies will be affected by clean energy transitions

Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Ørsted, said: “We’re immensely proud to rank as the world’s most sustainable company. From our origins as a traditional fossil fuel-based energy company, we’ve transformed into one of the largest renewable energy companies in the world. Every day, we deliver green energy solutions at scale to combat climate change, the defining challenge of our time.”

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How did they achieve this?

Transforming an energy company the size of Ørsted has not been easy, but it was necessary. “We made the decision to change our business based on the realisation that fossil fuels were neither environmentally nor financially sustainable,” the firm explained in a statement.

The key drivers for combating climate change include:

Phasing out coal 
Our business was initially based on fossil fuels, and we were one of the most coal-intensive energy companies in Europe. But we dismantled our fossil fuel business and now focus entirely on renewables. We’ll completely phase out the use of coal by 2023 and generate nearly 100% green energy by 2025.

Read more: Coal projects risk becoming “stranded assets”, says AfDB

Offshore wind energy 
We develop offshore wind, onshore wind, solar energy and storage solutions. Through innovation and large-scale deployment of offshore wind technology, we’ve helped bring down the cost of offshore wind.

Read more: Global offshore wind turbine market to realise 22.5% growth

Today, it’s cheaper than newly built coal- and gas-fired power plants in most parts of the world. It’s a game-changer that has lifted the offshore wind industry from a niche to a global and rapidly growing industry with the potential to deliver green energy to hundreds of millions of people.

“The Global 100 top rank is a humbling recognition of our transformation from a fossil-fuel-based energy company to a global green energy company in the past decade.

“We have reduced our carbon emissions by 83%, and by 2025, we’ll be essentially carbon neutral in our energy generation and operations. We’re reducing emissions much faster than what climate science outlines as necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”

The European energy transition is a key focus at Enlit Europe 2020, 27-29 October in Milan, Italy. Click here to register your attendance and find out how you can contribute to Europe’s energy future.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.