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Statement from Danish Businesses stand together globally with high ambitions for a just and green transition to a net-zero future.

Billede af dansk kyst med hav, strandlinje og tæt skov set fra luften. I højre hjørne er SDG-hjulet


CEO Statement from 40 Danish Businesses to stand together globally with high ambitions for a just and green transition to a net-zero future:  

As representatives of Danish companies driven by high sustainability ambitions, operating globally across various sectors, we take UN Secretary-General Guterres’ call for ambitious and credible commitments and clear and transparent plans and pledges to “rescue the SDGs” very seriously. Therefore, we stand united, resolute in our determination to take even bolder and measurable steps for a more sustainable and just future and towards combating the climate crisis, reaching our net-zero targets, and upholding the principles of the Paris Agreement. 

Reaffirming our commitments to a sustainable future

We reaffirm our strong support for the UN Global Compact's Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals.  

Denmark had the great privilege to chair the UN General Assembly when the SDGs were formally adopted in 2015, and even though much action has been taken since, we must realize that we are already halfway towards 2030. Now is the time to not only reaffirm our commitment to the SDGs but also to take measurable steps to increase momentum.  

A cornerstone of reaching the SDGs is ensuring a green and just transition to reach net-zero global emissions before 2050. We make a commitment to help reach that overarching goal by setting net-zero targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The target requires our businesses to cut emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and reach organization-wide net-zero targets before 2050.  

We acknowledge that a net-zero target calls for a comprehensive business transformation in our own operations and our supply chains. That transformation entails investments in renewable energy, strong supplier collaboration and engagement, embedding circular principles in product designs, relentless efforts to drive energy efficiency, and many other important objectives. It also entails a constant focus on reducing any negative effects of this transformation on our workforces and other important stakeholders. 


To meet our net-zero targets and help safeguard the future of humanity and our planet, we commit to: 

  • Set public energy transition plans and specific, measurable targets for renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels.

  • Increase our accountability and transparency by annually disclosing our greenhouse gas data, net-zero targets, and the plans for, and progress towards, meeting those targets, and other relevant information against our baseline along with comparable data to enable effective tracking of progress toward our net-zero targets.

  • Restrict our use of carbon credits only to be complementary to actions to implement our long-term science-based targets or an option for neutralizing residual emissions at the net-zero target date.

  • Lobby and advocate for positive climate action, with public disclosure of our policies, activities, and affiliations.

  • Mobilize investments in sustainable projects and green initiatives.

  • Explain how we contribute to a just transition in our transition plans to deliver a net-zero and climate-resilient economy in a way that delivers fairness and tackles inequality and injustice. These transition plans must consider and address the broader social consequences and impacts of mitigation actions, including on race, gender, and intergenerational equity.

A sustainable and just transition 

At the heart of our climate actions lies a commitment to putting people and planet first, ensuring that the transition is just, benefits all, and leaves no one behind. Our support for a just transition is rooted in the principle of responsible business conduct as set out in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact rooted in UN declarations. Acknowledging that the transition to a fossil-free economy may disproportionately harm workers, communities, or vulnerable populations, we are committed to embedding principles such as social dialogue, labour rights, supplier engagement, decent employment, and proper due diligence processes in our own operations and value chains through focused policies and strategies. 

With the above actions and our individual plans, we embrace the call for accelerated action and heightened accountability. By engaging in this collective effort, we seek to inspire others to join us on this transformative journey. Only together, in strong public-private partnerships and cross-sector coalitions, can we build a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world. Therefore, we call on companies and governments worldwide to incentivize the transition to green energy, adding capacity for green fuels and setting measurable, transparent phaseout timelines for fossil fuels.  

Recommendations from pioneering Danish companies on how governments across the world can enable a faster green business transformation include:  

  • Acceleration of investments in green and energy-efficient solutions at scale; first, setting short and medium-term action plans built on climate partnerships; secondly, expanding existing technologies and developing new innovations for a green transition that also tackles environmental and social impacts of source materials and production; and ultimately, supporting infrastructure development to connect new sustainable energy installations to the public grid. Investments in waste infrastructure are also needed to improve access to high-quality secondary materials to drive circularity and the use of recycled materials.

  • Advocacy efforts for solid regulatory frameworks that encourage green investments and ensure that frontrunners are not penalized. It is critical to remove the bureaucracy and continue implementing fast-track permitting processes that enable sustainable supply chains and new business models and incentivize the transition to fossil-free societies in a just and fair manner. Furthermore, market-based measures consisting of a greenhouse gas price on fuels are vital to close the competition gap between new, green fuels and fossil fuels.

  • Support for companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, is needed to encourage them to take action in partnerships and set ambitious sustainability targets. As global companies, we rely on our suppliers to provide solutions and act within their sectors. The public sector likewise plays a key role by implementing ambitious green public procurement policies, including for construction materials.

  • Access to green finance is key to bolstering the energy transition. We call on governments globally to continue to explore ways to ensure public and private finance is used to back the transition to a sustainable and resilient future for all. There is an urgent need for support in financing new business models, particularly during the current initial phases of the transformation to disincentive the use of fossil fuels. Private and Public Financial Institutions have a key role in driving mission-oriented innovation and change. Focus is needed on ensuring a substantial and rapid scale-up of renewable energy production all over the world, including in emerging markets and developing countries. Government funds can be used as catalytic capital in collaboration with the private sector to finance the development of tomorrow’s green technologies. 

A strong, continued partnership 

As Danish businesses, we applaud the Danish Government’s support for the UN SDGs and address them with a renewed spirit of partnership, urging the government to maintain and strengthen Denmark's position as a global sustainability pioneer.  

With the technology currently at our disposal and growing market demand for sustainable solutions, we acknowledge that we cannot succeed in isolation. To bring about real change, we call upon regulators and policymakers to support our efforts, level the playing field, and incentivize sustainable choices. Momentum is key, and together, we can drive the green transition forward.  

Copenhagen, 18 September 2023 - Updated, 4 December 2023

See all signatories from Danish Businesses
Billede af dansk kyst med strand, skov og hav. I toppen af billedet er logo af UN Global Compact Network Denmark og verdensmålshjulet

CEO Statement 2023

"Only together, in strong public-private partnerships and cross-sector coalitions, can we build a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world. Therefore, we call on companies and governments worldwide to incentivize the transition to green energy, adding capacity for green fuels and setting measurable, transparent phaseout timelines for fossil fuels."

Nordic signatories

This statement was first launched at UN Private Sector Forum in New York on 18. September 2023. More CEOs from Nordic companies have joined the statement to be relaunched in Dubai during COP28. 

See all signatories from Nordic businesses here

Billede afgræsstrå, der skyder op af sand med havet i baggrunden

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