Ørsted Ranked the World's Most Sustainable Company


Published Jan 22, 2020 4:01 PM by The Maritime Executive

Renewable energy company Ørsted has been listed as the world's most sustainable company by the Global 100 ranking. 

The global leader in offshore wind outperformed more than 7,300 global companies with billion-dollar revenues to rank Number 1 in Corporate Knights' 2020 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world. Ørsted becomes the first-ever energy company to top the index.

Since 2006, the company has reduced carbon emissions from its energy generation and operations by 83 percent and will be essentially carbon-neutral by 2025. Today, the offshore wind farms built by Ørsted bring green power to more than 13 million people, and Ørsted aims to grow this number to 50 million people by 2030.

Ørsted's ability to significantly grow its business while substantially reducing its carbon emissions was central to attaining the top rank in the Global 100 index. The company decided to change its business model a decade ago, realising that having fossil fuels as its core business would not be sustainable in the long-term. 

The progress in Ørsted's decarbonization program is demonstrated in the company's jumps up the Global 100 ranking: 70th in 2018, fourth in 2019, and first in 2020. According to Corporate Knights, Ørsted rose from fourth to first place in the Global 100 index, primarily because the company increased the share of revenue earned from renewable energy by 10 percent from 58.4 to 68.1 percent. At the same time, carbon productivity and water productivity grew more than 50 percent due to cuts in absolute carbon emissions and lower water use combined with higher revenues.

Ørsted is now launching a new program for reducing carbon emissions in its supply chain.

In the 2020 Global 100 index, 49 companies are from Europe, 29 from the U.S. and Canada and 18 from Asia. Finland's Neste is placed third, Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems is placed 37th, Germany's Siemens is placed 41st and  Switzerland's ABB is placed 61st. 

Upcoming key milestones in Ørsted's decarbonization program:

By 2023: Finalise phase out of coal from Ørsted's portfolio of combined heat and power plants to run on certified sustainable biomass.

By 2025: 98 percent carbon reduction in energy generation and operations compared to 2006, making the company essentially carbon-neutral. Current reduction is 83 percent. Company car fleet will be 100 percent electric.

By 2032: Reduce emissions in the supply chain and from energy trading by 50 percent compared with 2018. This entails engaging suppliers to increase the share of green power in manufacture, transport and installation of components for offshore wind farms and a gradual reduction in fossil gas trading.

Offshore wind is now significantly cheaper than newly built coal- or gas-fired power plants in most parts of the world. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), offshore wind has the potential to provide green power to hundreds of millions of people. However, almost 75 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions still come from fossil-based energy, and carbon emissions continue to rise.