Energy projects with a net-positive impact on biodiversity 

We’re bringing together action on two urgent challenges that are too often addressed separately: halting and reversing biodiversity loss and preventing catastrophic climate change. Both crises are deeply interconnected, and to solve either, we must find and deliver solutions that support both climate and biodiversity goals.  

Why should renewable energy have a net-positive biodiversity impact? 

The climate crisis and its impacts are well understood. But biodiversity loss also presents a potentially devastating threat to society. We depend on diverse, healthy ecosystems for the air we breathe, the food we eat, our economic prosperity, and for limiting climate change and protecting those communities most at risk from the extreme weather events it causes. 

Climate change and biodiversity loss are the two global challenges of our time. They need to be addressed with the same urgency. 

Renewable energy as a solution to climate change and biodiversity loss 

One of the most important ways to protect biodiversity is to limit climate change, a major, growing driver of biodiversity loss. This can only be achieved by reducing emissions, most significantly through the global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. 

Meanwhile, protecting and restoring natural habitats can help us meet our climate goals and protect communities from the impacts of climate change. This means that when we build renewable energy infrastructure, we should go further than mitigating direct impacts on local ecosystems – we need to help enhance and restore biodiversity in these environments.

We want the transition to renewable energy to be a race to the top – one that creates long-term value for people and nature, with a positive impact on climate and biodiversity.  


Discover how renewable energy can address both climate change and biodiversity loss

The importance of biodiversity for climate, nature, and people

Healthy, thriving ecosystems play an important role in the global economy, generating 50 % of global GDP and supporting 40 % of global jobs. These ecosystems sequester carbon from the atmosphere and help regulate temperature. And they provide natural protection from the impacts of waves, storm surges, coastal erosion, flooding risk, and more.

Ocean ecosystems are particularly important. The ocean is the planet’s largest carbon sink, a huge source of economic prosperity, and an environment that’s especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It’s also where we build offshore wind, one of the biggest sources of renewable energy. All this puts healthy oceans in focus as we work for a healthy planet. 

What are we doing, and what can others do?

We’re on a credible path towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions 

Ørsted used to be one of the most coal-intensive energy companies in Europe. In the space of a decade, we shifted to focus almost exclusively on renewable energy. Today, we’re on track to reach net-zero emissions across our value chain by 2040. 

Our path to achieve this has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This means that we account for all emissions across our value chain, we have achievable short-term targets as well a realistic long-term goal, we only rely on carbon offsets to cover the most difficult-to-eliminate 1 % of emissions, and we finance climate action beyond our value chain.  

  • We encourage every company to set and deliver on a science-based net-zero target – those that use energy, and especially those like us that generate it. If every company did this, it would have a huge impact on climate change and, in turn, biodiversity.  

We commit to delivering a net-positive impact on biodiversity

We’ve set the ambition that all new renewable energy projects we commission from 2030 onwards should deliver a net-positive biodiversity impact. This means that we'll not only avoid, minimise, and compensate for any impact on nature during the lifetime of our projects -– we'll also actively help actively help restore and enhance ecosystems.

As the first company to build an offshore wind farm, we played a leading role in bringing down the cost of green energy generation, particularly offshore wind. Today, our focus is on maximising the long-term value it can generate for people and nature. Our net-positive biodiversity ambition forms part of our broader commitment to build green energy infrastructure right – in a way that creates sustainable social, economic, and environmental benefits beyond low-emissions electricity.

  • We call on other renewable energy developers to set ambitious biodiversity goals backed up by credible action, so that we can raise the bar for biodiversity impact in renewable energy development together.
  • We call on policymakers to include stronger biodiversity criteria in renewable energy tenders, incentivising all developers to focus on value and not just short-term cost for this already highly cost-competitive energy technology. 

We’re taking action and finding the best solutions in partnership 

We don’t have all the answers. What matters is that we act now and work together to find them. We’re partnering with a wide range of experts to develop scalable restoration measures that can help us meet our net-positive biodiversity impact ambition, with a particular focus on ocean health.

Explore more about our projects and partnerships below.  

  • We call on environmental NGOs and the energy sector to work together, using our complementary expertise in conservation and renewable energy to advance our shared goals for a more sustainable future.  
  • We call on governments to integrate their plans for nature protection and climate mitigation. This includes adopting a fresh approach to marine spatial planning that promotes both the rapid construction of green energy and the protection and restoration of ocean habitats. It also means replicating the success of carbon disclosure requirements with a mandatory requirement for businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity. 

Explore some of our biodiversity projects and partnerships 

Latest updates from 2022 

  • We launched a five-year global partnership with WWF to set a new standard for biodiversity protection and restoration in offshore wind development. Together, we’ll identify, develop, and advocate initiatives and approaches that can enhance ocean biodiversity.   
  • Together with The Biodiversity Consultancy, we began developing a measurement framework to help us understand how we measure biodiversity losses and gains at our assets. We’re currently testing this framework using data from five of our assets to understand how it will work in practice. To help pioneer how the industry can tackle it, we’re taking part in the Science Based Targets Network’s (SBTN) Corporate Engagement Program, where we provide input on the development of a standardised methodology at corporate level. 
  • We initiated five new biodiversity pilot projects – a key element of the biodiversity toolbox we’re building to understand how we can improve biodiversity at an asset level. These projects allow us to learn from successes and failures, with the aim of scaling successful solutions. 
  • We began integrating our Onshore business into the programme and took the first steps to introduce net-positive biodiversity considerations early in project development to ensure the entire business is working towards our ambition. 
  • We completed an assessment of our upstream biodiversity value chain impacts – a first step towards developing an approach for future mapping of value chain impacts. 


What’s next? 

In 2023, we’ll pilot our measurement framework across selected green energy assets before rolling it out to all upcoming projects to meet our 2030 ambition. 

We’ll also start developing a corporate reporting approach to prepare for future disclosure requirements, including the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). 

We’ll work towards fully integrating all parts of the business into this sustainability programme and use the value chain assessment as a point of departure to build our approach for reporting on our value chain biodiversity impacts. 

Key information 


  • World Wildlife Foundation – five-year global partnership on biodiversity protection and restoration in offshore wind development  

  • UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business – developing ocean-based climate solutions, including offshore renewable energy 

  • Rutgers University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the University of Rhode Island – ECO-PAM project focusing on detecting the North Atlantic right whale to better understand its presence, distribution, and seasonality within offshore wind lease areas 

  • University of Aberdeen and North Highland College’s Environmental Research Institute – Predict Project, a three-year project focusing on addressing knowledge gaps in offshore wind environmental characterisation by improving understanding of fish migration patterns and providing a vision for next-generation monitoring techniques

  • Penghu Marine Biology Research Center – ReCoral project, piloting innovative solutions aimed at coral restoration

  • Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust – Humber Estuary restoration project, planting salt marsh and seagrass and introducing native oysters to replenish and strengthen the local ecosystem

  • ARK Nature – including rewilding measures in the Netherlands to test their potential to restore vital ocean biodiversity

International frameworks

  • UN 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets 
  • UNGC Sustainable Ocean Principles 
  • EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 
  • Convention on Biological Diversity   


Accountability lies with our Head of Global Stakeholder Relations and heads of regions. 


This programme contributes towards the following Sustainable Development Goal: