Danish Fossil Company Transforms into Offshore Wind Powerhouse
For the company formerly known as Danish Oil and Natural Gas (DONG), the shift to green and renewable energy “required a complete overhaul of the company’s supply chain, sourcing, operations, and branding,” Supply Chain Dive reports. It began with recognizing that the company’s core mission was no longer sustainable.
“DONG had been around more than 40 years, supplying power to customers through oil, gas, and coal,” the industry newsletter notes. “But the problems of climate change were all too evident in Denmark, where the average height of the country sits just 100 feet above sea level.”
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So the company committed “to transform itself from black to green”, renaming itself Ørsted after noted Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted. (The company’s good intentions haven’t stopped the scientist’s descendants from suing over the name change.) More challenging, and more fundamental, was the process of changing out the company’s fossil fuel portfolio in favour of a renewables business dominated by offshore wind.
“It’s a massive and very bold move,” Ørsted North America President Thomas Brostorm told a U.S. conference late last month. “We had a long-term commitment from our board and CEO to say, ‘we want to be more green.’”
Ørsted’s timing was good—with offshore wind now cheaper than new coal and natural gas plants, the impulse to build a sustainable business was good for the bottom line. The company is also paying attention to concerns about the impact on bird populations when new wind turbines go up, studying flight and migration patterns and increasing the space between turbine blades to decrease the risk