Can one company account for more than half of a country’s CO2 reduction?

The answer is yes. The energy company DONG Energy makes significant inroads in Denmark’s CO2 accounts. The company’s impact demonstrates how the energy sector plays an essential role in combating climate change.
The Danish energy company DONG Energy has fundamentally changed its power and heat generation from black to green energy. Photo: DONG Energy
The Danish energy company DONG Energy has fundamentally changed its power and heat generation from black to green energy. Photo: DONG Energy

 

The energy sector accounts for around one third of the global CO2 emissions. A country’s success rate for fighting climate change depends heavily on energy companies’ ability to change from black to green. Or put differently; when energy companies cut their CO2 emissions, it really matters in the larger picture.

This logic applies when looking at Denmark and the country’s largest energy company, DONG Energy. From 2006 to 2014, Denmark reduced its CO2 emissions with 36% and DONG Energy accounts for more than half of this reduction. But how can one single company account for more than half of a country’s CO2 reduction?

From coal-intensive utility to green leader

Ten years ago, DONG Energy was one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe, but the company decided to change.

Since then, DONG Energy has closed down coal fired power plants and replaced coal and gas with sustainable biomass at other plants. This transformation has reduced the company’s coal consumption with an impressive 74%. Concurrently, DONG Energy has constructed giant offshore wind farms in Demark and other European waters. Today, the company has built as much as one fourth of the global offshore wind capacity.

More green energy, less CO2

As DONG Energy’s fuel usage becomes greener, the company’s CO2 emissions drop. Since DONG Energy took a green turn in 2006, the company’s CO2 emissions from its power and heat generation have dropped by 48%.

The absolute reduction in emissions equals the same amount of CO2 as almost seven million cars emit in a year. That is equivalent to removing all cars from the streets of London and New York City for almost a year and a half.

The coming years, DONG Energy expects to cut even further on its CO2 emissions reaching a 60% reduction in 2020 compared to 2006 – one of the fastest CO2 reductions among Europe’s energy companies.

A world with 100% green energy

The CEO of DONG Energy, Henrik Poulsen, elaborates the company’s green ambitions in the company’s recently published sustainability report:

“We want to contribute to creating a world with 100% independent, green energy. A world where people have a good and healthy life and opportunities to develop without having to worry about their energy consumption damaging the planet.”

To follow through on this mission, DONG Energy continues its green transformation by investing massively in green energy. Towards 2020, the company expects that more than 80% of its investments will go to expanding green and clean energy solutions.

From 2006 to 2014, DONG Energy were responsible for more than half of Denmark’s CO2 reduction.
From 2006 to 2014, DONG Energy were responsible for more than half of Denmark’s CO2 reduction.

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