Running kids on grass

Green energy for the planet and its people

Green energy for the planet and its people

Sustainability report 2021

Table of Contents
  • Sustainability at our core
  • Our sustainability priorities
  • Our progress across sustainability programmes

Science-aligned climate action

The world urgently needs to deliver carbon reductions to keep global warming within 1.5° Celsius – the limit required to avoid the catastrophic and uncontrollable consequences of climate change.

The following five sustainability programmes address the challenges we are tackling to get there. By scaling our green energy business while delivering carbon reductions, we enable and inspire others to take science-aligned climate action.

Globally, we are the first energy company to have our 2040 net-zero target and underlying reduction targets for scope 1-3 approved as ‘science-based’ by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

1. Decarbonisation of energy generation and operations
2. Decarbonisation of supply chain and wholesale buying and selling of natural gas
3. Deployment of offshore wind and onshore renewables
4. Greener combined heat and power plants
5. Integrated and reliable energy systems

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy & 13: Climate action
  • 1. Decarbonisation of energy generation and operations

    Sustainability challenge
    Science-aligned climate action and energy efficiency

    Since 73 % of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the production and use of fossil fuel-based energy, decarbonising energy generation and improving energy efficiency are the most important actions for limiting climate change.

    Our approach
    We have set a science-based target of reducing the emissions intensity in our energy generation and operations with at least 98 % from 2006 to become a carbon-neutral company in 2025. This covers emissions from generation of heat and power and our operations, including the vessels servicing our wind farms, our vehicles, and our sites (scope 1 and 2). We will offset any residual emissions through carbon removal projects to become carbon-neutral in 2025.

    Our progress

    • We have reduced the GHG intensity of our energy generation and operations by 87 % since 2006 to 58 g CO2e/kWh in 2021. We are on track to reach our target of at least a 98 % reduction by 2025. 
    • We no longer buy or lease fossil-fuelled cars, and by 2025, our entire vehicle fleet, including site and operational vehicles, will be fully electric. Currently, we have a 41 % share of electric vehicles (including plug-in hybrids) in our fleet.
    • We cover 100 % of our own power consumption with green certificates, mainly from our offshore wind farms.
    • We are maturing our portfolio of carbon removal projects to ensure that we offset any residual emissions through certified, high-quality nature-based solutions and reach our 2025 carbon-neutral target (scope 1-2). In 2021, we agreed with the Gambian government and local NGOs to develop a mangrove conservation and reforestation project.

    Actions for the future
    Continue to drive out emissions across scope 1-2, beyond our 98 % reduction target.

  • 2. Decarbonisation of supply chain and wholesale buying and selling of natural gas

    Sustainability challenge
    Carbon footprint responsibility

    To enable a net-zero world, the energy industry and its suppliers must reduce supply chain emissions for renewables and phase out fossil fuel-based activities such as wholesale buying and selling of natural gas.

    Our approach
    We reduce emissions from our supply chain and from wholesale buying and selling of natural gas (scope 3) in line with the Science Based Targets initiative's (SBTi) 1.5 °C pathway to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 (scope 1-3). We work with our suppliers to reduce emissions from offshore wind farm components and logistics.

    Our progress

    • We are the first energy company in the world to have a science-based net-zero target verified by the SBTi. With our 2040 net-zero target, we have set clear reduction targets across all scopes. In our supply chain, we have progressed across our strategic levers to bring down emissions:
      –We have partnered with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) to promote a transparent and uniform way of measuring and disclosing emissions in our supply chain. Of our 34 key strategic suppliers, 97 % have successfully disclosed to the CDP this year.
      –We have decided that our strategic suppliers should produce and deliver their products and services to us using 100 % green electricity by 2025 at the latest. In 2021, 44 % of our suppliers used 100 % green electricity.
      –Additionally, a growing number of our suppliers have committed to having science-based targets, and four targets have been approved by the SBTi.
      –We are co-founders of the Climate Group's SteelZero initative and the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) First Movers Coalition, with the aim to drive the cross-sectoral innovation journey needed to decarbonise steel.

    Actions for the future
    Take an active approach in enabling suppliers and others to accelerate supply chain decarbonisation in our industry.

  • 3. Deployment of offshore wind and onshore renewables

    Sustainability challenge
    Carbon footprint responsibility and energy efficiency

    To limit global warming to 1.5 °C, the deployment of renewable energy technologies must be accelerated to help phase out coal and other fossil fuels from global energy systems at the pace and scale required by climate science.

    Our approach
    We deploy offshore and onshore renewables across our regions: the UK, Continental Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. We want to accelerate the deployment of renewables globally and have set a strategic build-out target of 30 GW offshore and 17.5 GW onshore capacity by 2030.

    Our progress

    • As part of our new 2030 corporate strategy, we have increased our strategic build-out target to 47.5 GW. We are currently on track, with an installed capacity of 13 GW.
    • In 2021, some key target milestones are:
      –In offshore wind, we are building the wind farms Hornsea 2 (1.3 GW) and Changhua 1&2a (900 MW), which will both become operational in 2022. In total, we have secured 7.6 GW towards our offshore wind target.
      –In onshore wind, our largest project to date, the onshore wind farm Western Trail (367 MW) located in Texas, has been completed, bringing our total onshore wind capacity to over 2.7 GW in operation.
      –Within solar, we have completed our 460 MW Permian Energy, a combined solar plus battery storage facility in Texas which will meet the electricity needs of 80,000 US homes. Our total solar capacity is 0.7 GW in operation.
    • Our portfolio of long-term corporate power purchase agreements (CPPAs) is constantly expanding, thus helping more companies to run on green energy.

    Actions for the future
    Work with governments, companies, and international organisations to accelerate the global green energy build-out.

  • 4. Greener combined heat and power plants

    Sustainability challenge
    Green energy deployment

    Coal continues to be the most widely used fuel for power generation globally even though it is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. To limit climate change, a complete phase-out of coal is urgently needed.

    Our approach
    We are phasing out coal from our combined heat and power (CHP) plants by replacing it with certified sustainable biomass and by closing down coal-fired capacity. We aim to completely phase out our use of coal at the end of Q1 2023.

    Our progress

    • We have completed our coal-to-biomass conversion programme on six of our seven CHP plants in Denmark, but we have two remaining units running on coal at our plants in Esbjerg and Studstrup in Denmark.
    • Our coal-based unit at Studstrup will close at the end of Q1 2022, and our CHP plant (375 MW) located in Esbjerg will close at the end of Q1 2023 at the latest. With these closures, we will have completely phased out use of coal. 
    • Until April 2023, fluctuations in our coal consumption are expected due to our obligation to provide ancillary services in Denmark and contribute to stable grid operations.
    • In 2021, we saw an increase in coal consumption at our two remaining coal-based units. The increase was driven by higher power prices and higher CHP generation due to increased heat and power demand from colder weather and low wind speeds.

    Actions for the future
    Zero coal from Q2 2023 and investigate potential to substitute the remaining use of natural gas and fossil oil with sustainable alternatives.

  • 5. Integrated and reliable energy systems

    Sustainability challenge
    Green energy for heavy industry and transport, and reliable energy systems

    To help balance supply and demand of green energy, store energy, and use green power to decarbonise industries where emissions are particularly hard to abate, new technologies must be tested, piloted, and scaled to fully decarbonise the world’s energy consumption.

    Our approach
    We explore and develop solutions to produce renewable hydrogen to displace fossil fuels in sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy industry and transport.

    Our progress

    • We have taken important steps towards growing our current pipeline of projects within Power-to-X solutions:
      –Three of our Power-to-X projects (Lingen Green Hydrogen, Westküste/HySCALE, and Green Fuels for Denmark) were shortlisted to participate in the European IPCEI process for hydrogen. We expect the outcome of the IPCEI process to be announced in the first half of 2022.
      –With the SeaH2Land project, we are working on a 1 GW renewable hydrogen production facility to decarbonise the production of ammonia, steel, ethylene, and fuels in the Dutch-Flemish North Sea Port cluster.
      –In Denmark, we further matured our flagship Power-to-X project Green Fuels for Denmark by signing an MOU with HOFOR to offtake power from its offshore wind farm Aflandshage. Additionally, we identified the straw boiler at Avedøre Power Station as the best source of sustainable CO2 for the production of e-fuels.
      –In 2021, we also commenced construction of the pioneering H2RES project in Denmark, an electrolysis plant which will produce renewable hydrogen for road transport in the Greater Copenhagen area.

    Actions for the future
    Take an active role in testing and scaling new energy technologies that can enable an acceleration of the green energy build-out.

Ørsted employees working on onshore wind turbine
Our progress across sustainability programmes

Green energy in balance with nature

On this page we outline our progress in our strategic sustainability priority about green energy in balance with nature