This is how we become carbon-neutral in 2025

Our build-out of renewables brings clean power to millions of people and is a key driver in our own decarbonisation.

Ørsted's total carbon footprint is defined as all the direct and indirect emissions from our business. Our direct emissions come from our energy generation and operations (scope 1). Our indirect emissions come from our energy consumption (scope 2), as well as from our supply chain and wholesale buying and selling of natural gas (scope 3).

We’ve reduced our emissions from energy generation and operations by 87 % since 2006, and we’re on track to be carbon-neutral in 2025. That is more than two decades ahead of what’s required by science to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.

Recently, our carbon reductions targets were approved as 1.5 °C-aligned by the Science Based Targets initiative.

The most important levers that will get Ørsted to carbon neutrality in 2025 are a complete phase-out of coal by 2023 and installation of 20 GW of offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV by 2025.

Phasing out coal

A key lever to reduce emissions from our energy generations and operations has been the conversion of Ørsted’s combined heat and power (CHP) plants, all of which are located in Denmark, to run on certified sustainable biomass. Since 2006, we’ve shut down three coal-fired power plants and converted six coal-fired power plants to run on certified sustainable biomass. By the end of 2020, we ensured that 100 % of wooden biomass used is certified sustainable to deliver significant carbon savings and phase out coal.

Carbon-neutral by 2025
Energy generation and company operations (scope 1-2)

Coal comprised just 7 % of our total heat and power generation in 2020. We’ll completely stop using coal in 2023 when we shut down our one remaining coal-fired power plant. However, in 2020, we did see a temporary increase in our use of coal. This caused an marginal increase in our scope 1 emissions, primarily due to Danish regulation, which requires us to make our generation capacity available to the markets for ancillary power generation, and to make it available in the cheapest way possible. When coal is the cheaper alternative, this leads to higher coal consumption. As our plan is to phase out coal completely in 2023, this will be a temporary effect though.

Read more on our certification of biomass
By continuing to phase out fossil fuels and building renewable energy, we aim to reduce emissions by at least 98 % by 2025.

The remaining 2 % comes from a variety of sources where it’s currently challenging to make reductions. These include our obligations to ensure security of supply by keeping gas-fired back-up capacity available at our combined heat and power plants. The same goes for our offshore logistics operations, where our vessels still predominantly run on fossil fuels. If we can’t find viable solutions for these cases, we plan to invest in carbon removal projects that are verified and certified to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Carbon-neutral offshore logistics operations

We’re driving out carbon emissions from these activities as follows:
To reach carbon neutrality in 2025, we’ll have to decarbonise offshore logistics as much as possible. Ørsted is already undertaking initiatives to optimise sailing routes and speeds of our vessel fleet and testing use of vessels with hybrid diesel and battery-electric engines. New technologies based on advanced biofuels and hydrogen-based fuels are part of the solution to decarbonise shipping but will need to be matured further. Currently, we’re testing options to use biofuels in one of our vessels, and we’re exploring an innovative charging buoy that can bring green electricity to offshore wind farm service vessels. Any remaining emissions that are hard-to-abate may need to be offset through carbon sequestration solutions that are verified and certified to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Supply chain emissions

Carbon-neutral supply chain to reach a carbon-neutral footprint in 2040

We are taking the decarbonisation journey well beyond our own walls, with actions to cut emissions linked to wholesale buying and selling of natural gas and our supply chain in half by 2032, and down to net zero by 2040.

Towards a low-carbon workplace

At Ørsted, we have close to 6,200 employees, working at 68 locations around the world. In 2020, most of them worked from home due to COVID-19 restrictions. Under normal circumstances, however, they commute to and from their workplaces each day and sometimes fly for work. They work in heated or cooled office buildings with furniture, electronic and mobile devices, work wear, and safety equipment. They need to eat lunch. All these activities form a very small amount of carbon emissions in Ørsted's carbon footprint, but we’re working to find solutions to reduce them.

Our green build-out

More renewable energy capacity for millions of people

Our build-out of renewables brings clean power to millions of people and is a key driver in our own decarbonisation.