Beyond the main theme, we delve into a new trend in Corporate Social Responsibility: companies are increasingly discovering that customers, investors,...

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Influx of daylight is a key to reducing energy use – P. 18


P. 12 P. 32 P. 38


FOCUS DENMARK is published quarterly by the Trade Council Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark 2, Asiatisk Plads DK – 1448 Copenhagen K Telephone +45 33 92 00 00 E-mail: [email protected] Material contained in Focus Denmark does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Danish Trade Council or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged, except where otherwise stated. Citations may be made without prior permission, provided the source is acknowledged. Editor in Chief Susanne Hyldelund, director of Invest in Denmark, Innovation and Partnerships, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Editor Mads Mariegaard, [email protected] English Editor Nigel Mander AD and illustrations India Cover Umeå School of Architecture, Sweden. Designed by Henning Larsen Architects. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman.

GREEN BY DESIGN Architects are not always among those consulted when global energy and climate challenges are discussed. But they ought to be – at least according to the Technical University of Denmark and Henning Larsen Architects, who have joined forces in a new and unconventional research project to examine the connection between design and energy use in buildings. Their conclusion is that 40–50 percent of a building’s energy consumption is “locked” into the design. In other words, the shape of a building, and the materials of which it is made, impose limits on the energy savings that can later be made with the help of technology. Sustainable architecture and urban planning is the theme in this issue of Focus Denmark. We take a close look at a number of building and urban planning projects where energy and environment have played a key role, both in Denmark and abroad. One example is Chongqing in south-west China, where the city council has teamed up with a Danish consulting firm in an effort to return the car-dominated city to pedestrians and cyclists. Beyond the main theme, we delve into a new trend in Corporate Social Responsibility: companies are increasingly discovering that customers, investors, end users and the media expect them to report on their CSR activities and visions. In Denmark this has even been a legal requirement since 2009 for companies of a certain size, which according to experts has increased senior management awareness of CSR. In this issue you can also meet a number of smaller-scale fashion companies that have launched sustainable business concepts based on clothing exchange, clothing repairs and even a “clothing library”, a photographer who has become the first Dane to become a full member of the prestigious photographers’ association Magnum Photos, and a key figure in a San Francisco-based online community marketplace, who more than most has put his trust in Danish hospitality.

Advertising DG Media Telephone +45 70 27 11 55 Distribution Lene Alrø Stoktoft [email protected] Print Rosendahls-Schultz Grafisk a/s, Denmark Edition closed on 2 October 2012

Susanne Hyldelund Editor in Chief Director of Invest in Denmark, Innovation and Partnerships Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

December 2012 ISSN 1601-9776




December 2012






The geometric shape of buildings and the influx of daylight are among the key parameters for reducing energy consumption, shows new research. P. 18

After travelling to Greenland, Japan and Guatemala, Denmark’s first full member of Magnum Photos has come back to his homeland. P. 32

Customers, investors, consumers and the media increasingly require companies to give an account of their Corporate Social Responsibility work. P. 38

















December 2012



Danish biotech has scored two major deals this autumn, with Genmab and Symphogen entering agreements with international pharmaceutical giants. Genmab has signed a global licence and development agreement for its cancer drug candidate Daratumumab with US firm Janssen Biotech, part of the Johnson & Johnson concern. The agreement has a potential value of EUR 87 million. Genmab’s CEO, Jan van de Winkel (photo), said in a press release that the company is looking forward to working with Janssen to accelerate the development of Daratumumab and to maximize the value of the product. “This agreement significantly strengthens our financial position, ensuring that Genmab can continue to develop muchneeded differentiated antibody therapeutics to help cancer patients in the future.” Symphogen has entered an exclusive worldwide licence agreement for its cancer drug candidate Sym004 with Germany’s Merck KGaA. The agreement could be worth EUR 50 million.



Symphogen’s CEO Kirsten Drejer commented on the deal to Danish financial newspaper Børsen: “This is a really good agreement for Symphogen and our future activities.

With the activities we have already planned, we now have money until 2016. This is a very satisfying situation for a biotech company.” •


“The fact that WPD has chosen us means that we can now take a big step towards realising our plans to make the Port of Romo an offshore port of international dimensions.” Nedergaard estimates that the agreement will result in earnings for the local area in the range of EUR 13–20 million. The offshore wind farm, named Butendiek, will comprise 80 turbines with a combined capacity of 288 MW. Work is scheduled to begin in 2013, and the wind farm is expected to come on stream towards the end of 2014. WPD will initially lease office facilities in Romo port during the installation process, while at the same time building its own facilities which will serve as an operational and servicing base for Butendiek. •


The Port of Romo on Denmark’s North Sea coast (see map p. 3) has been chosen by the German energy company WPD as the installation and service base for a new EUR 1.3 billion offshore wind farm. The Danish port, today mainly a fishing port, has invested EUR 5.4 million in expansion to pave the way for the agreement. Port director Kristen Nedergaard is delighted with the deal:



December 2012

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After five years of development work, Danish company Windar Photonics has launched an innovative wind sensor (illustration) which the company claims can increase the output of wind turbines by 3–5%, while reducing stress on vital components by at least 10%. If these percentages are realised in practice, the sensor could prove a useful contributor to reducing the cost of energy, which is key preoccupation of especially the offshore wind industry as it seeks to increase its competitiveness against other forms of electricity generation.

The sensor, which uses laser-based LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) technology, measures the precise direction and speed of the wind 80 metres ahead of the turbine, allowing time for the turbine to adjust itself for optimal harvesting of the wind as it reaches the rotor blades. Windar Photonics has established partnerships with two leading suppliers of wind sensors and control automation, FT Technologies and Mita Teknik, who will bring the novel technology to market. •


A new survey from Epinion shows that graduates with higher degrees are sought after in companies of all sizes. The Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Morten Østergaard (photo), said: “The demand makes it clear that we must maintain our efforts to create labour with a high knowledge level in order to generate growth and wealth in Denmark.” The minister added that PhD graduates in the workforce will help strengthen competitiveness. “The commercial sector has a special need for highly educated and knowledge-

As a result of increased state funding for PhD programmes at Danish universities, PhD student uptake in Denmark doubled between 2003 and 2010. Universities now enrol 2,400 PhD students annually, and according to a press release from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, the government will continue to fund this level of enrolment.



December 2012

able people. Efforts are required to ensure that their career paths are increasingly targeted at the private sector, where they can help foster growth and innovation, develop companies and create jobs.” •



The Danish Agriculture & Food Council represents the farming and food industries of Denmark including businesses, trade and farmers’ associations. Its English language website is a comprehensive source of information for anyone who wants to extend their knowledge of Denmark’s largest industry. Focus areas presented on the site include the dairy industry, the pig meat industry, mink and fur, animal welfare, organic farming, the seed sector, food safety and New Nordic Cuisine. Up-to-date facts and figures, news, research programmes and a press contact section are also included. Public officials, business executives, investors, research scientists and journalists with an interest in agriculture and food will find plenty to interest them on the website. •

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PATENT HIGHWAY TO CHINA DID YOU KNOW… … that there are an estimated 730 billion m3 of natural gas in the shale layers of northern Jutland? That’s five times more gas than has so far been extracted from the Danish sector of the North Sea. Source: Offshore Center Danmark

Denmark and China have sealed a deal which will give Danish companies fasttrack processing of patent applications in China. During a visit to China in August, the erstwhile Danish Minister for Business and Growth Ole Sohn signed an agreement to establish a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) between the Danish Patent and Trademark Office and the Chinese Patent Authority. “China is a very important market to Danish companies. This is reflected in the strongly increasing number of patent applications from Danish companies, which submitted around 750 applications in 2010, twice as many as five years ago. It is therefore important that we create the best possible conditions for patenting in China. With this

agreement, Denmark will be one of the first countries in Europe which can offer companies faster patent access in China,” the minister commented in a press release. Denmark entered its first PPH agreement in 2008 with Japan, and has since then made agreements with USA, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Russia and Israel. The Chinese Patent Authority has entered PPH agreements with Japan, USA, the Republic of Korea, Russia and Germany. The world’s first PPH agreement was entered between USA and Japan in 2006. About 20,000 requests for PPH processing have so far been submitted globally. In some cases, patent processing time can be reduced by as much as 85%. •

minutes of film, video, stills, music or a sound piece to the so-called gesamtkunstwerk – German for “a total work of art”, a term used by composer Richard Wagner as a reference to an art piece that is put together by many different art forms. More than 400 people from 52 countries submitted a total of 501 contributions, of which 142 were selected. Film director Jenle Hallund, who created the

final 47 minute film installation, said in a press release: “The majority of the submissions spoke of fear, loneliness, anger, destruction and hopelessness. I was seeing and listening to people from all over the world, from different cultures and different languages and they were exploring the declining state of our morality, the violence in the dance between the sexes and the complex father-daughter relationship.” •

Danish film director Lars von Trier, whose films include Breaking the Waves, Antichrist and Melancholia, has initiated a user-generated cinematic project, Disaster 501: What Happened to Man?, which is on display until 30 December 2012 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg as part of Copenhagen Art Festival. Trier invited people from around the world to interpret one or several of six artworks and submit up to five




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IT’S A GOAL! OR IS IT…? This past summer, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) voted in favour of introducing goal-line technology (GLT) into football following nine months of testing in England, Germany, Hungary and Italy. Of the eight systems initially tested by a FIFA-accredited test institute, only two, the Danish-developed GoalRef and the UK-developed HawkEye, successfully completed the process and can apply to become FIFA goal-line technology licensees.

Ulrik Merrild, managing director of GoalRef and co-inventor of the Danish-developed technology, said to professional journal Ingeniøren (The Engineer): “It is amazing to think that a system which has taken more than 12 years to develop will finally be realised.” GoalRef is a radio-based sensing system that uses low-frequency magnetic fields around the goal and a ball equipped with a microchip. The system measures changes in the magnetic field to determine whether the ball has fully crossed the goal-line. If a goal has been scored, an alert is electronically transmitted to the referee. The GoalRef system, which will be used with a so-called iBall (illustration),


has been licensed to the German research organization Fraunhofer, which will handle further tests and implementation. GoalRef will be used at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December 2012. •

If there’s an event in your interest area, why not bookmark it to attend?

January – April 2013





Education Without Borders


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Transport 2013

9–10, 16–17, 23–24, 30–31 JAN, 6–7 FEB




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Denmark’s biggest education fair. 60,000 Danish students participated in the fair last year. 38% expressed an interest in studying abroad.

Scandinavia’s leading trade fair for interior decoration, design, home accessories and furniture. The last fair was visited by 11,000 professional buyers from 45 countries.

A key event for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector. Includes the International Food Fair of Scandinavia and Copenhagen Wines and Spirits Show.

Scandinavia’s leading trade fair for the transport industry. Transport 2011 was visited by 17,520 people of whom 73% were decisionmakers.

Read more:





Read more:

December 2012

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Small fashion firms are launching sustainable business concepts in large numbers. “These ideas can provide a stimulus to larger companies, who are exploring similar concepts,” says a researcher.

Children’s wear producer Katvig organises “swap parties”, where parents can swap their children’s used Katvig clothes.



December 2012


By Anne-Marie Mosbech Clothing exchange, clothing repair and even a clothing library. These are some of the sustainable and socially responsible business concepts that Danish fashion firms have launched in the past year. But also the Danish Fashion Institute, the industry’s network association, thinks in green and sustainable directions. In 2012, for instance, they launched a new code of conduct tailored to the fashion industry (see box p. 15), and initiated an online campaign designed to change consumer behaviour by helping consumers to make conscious choices. But why is the Danish fashion industry association so interested in getting companies and consumers to show respect for the environment? “The sustainable agenda has enormous potential for Danish and Nordic fashion, and if we play our cards right, we can become green growth pioneers in the fashion area,” says Johan Arnø Kryger, project manager at the Danish Fashion Institute.

! FASHION WEEK WITH A GREEN PROFILE Copenhagen Fashion Week 2013 runs from 30 January to 3 February at Bella Center. Around 60,000 international buyers, journalists, designers and other interested parties are expected to attend the event, which is the biggest of its kind in the Nordic region. Danish and international designs, from exclusive couture to relaxed streetwear, will be paraded on the catwalks at four trade fairs: Vision, Gallery, CIFF/CIFF KIDS and CPH Kids. Sustainability will play a central role in the fashion week, says Johan Arnø Kryger, project manager at the Danish Fashion Institute, which is coordinating the event: “Over the last three years there has been increasing interest in sustainability, so I certainly expect to see clear signs of it during the fashion week in 2013,” he says. Read more:

LONG SERVICE LIFE The welfare states in the Nordic countries are based on a model where citizens take care of each other and the land they live in. Sustainability and accountability are long-established concepts in industries such as architecture, energy and food. Now it is the turn of the fashion industry, where several of the newer companies are green from the moment they start up. One such is the Danish knitwear company AIAYU, which produces clothes, accessories, cushions and rugs in one material, cashllama. At the beginning of 2013, the factory of AIAYU’s main supplier, with support from Danida (Denmark’s international development cooperation, Ed.), will be certified according to SA8000, an acknowledged international standard for social accountability. In addition, AIAYU will launch a new initiative that involves lengthening the service life of its products. “We have realised that we can help lengthen the service life of our clothes by offering a special after-sales service which extends beyond the conventional warranty period. We will encourage our customers to send us their favourite clothes for free repair, even if the damage is of their own making,” says Maria Glæsel, director and partner of AIAYU. “The industry could benefit from a change of attitude, so that competition centres on quality and sustainable design rather than on price. Such a change would do the greatest good in relation to the environment.” The company’s initiative can be seen as a reaction to the mass-produced segment of the fashion industry and to “fast fashion” – frequently changing fashion collections based on the latest trends – which according to critics results in overconsumption. Johan Arnø Kryger of the Danish Fashion Institute agrees: “Fast fashion is excessive. We would like to see the four seasons discontinued. The fashion industry can function well enough with a winter and summer season.”

EXCHANGING AND LEASING This may not happen for a long time, but it is not preventing companies from

Maria Glæsel, director of knitwear company AIAYU, encourages her customers to send their clothes for free repair, even if the damage is of their own making. PHOTO: AIAYU.

“Clothes do not get enough use, and are either put away in cupboards or thrown out,” says Vigga Svensson, founder of children’s wear company Katvig. PHOTO: MALTE KRISTIANSEN/SCANPIX.

launching other initiatives. The Danish fashion firm Noir has just introduced a new style, Illuminati, which is produced from sustainable cotton and has been developed in collaboration with the Gulu Agricultural Development Company from Uganda. Under the motto “To share is to own more”, a so-called dress library, Resecond, has opened its doors in Copenhagen, enabling its members to exchange dresses. At the Danish children’s wear producer Katvig, which is well-known for its sustainable approach, company founder Vigga Svensson teaches sustainability to customers and organises “swap parties”, where parents can swap their children’s used Katvig clothes.


December 2012





Sustainable cotton for children’s clothes Founded in 2003, Katvig is renowned for its sustainable production of children’s clothes in organic cotton and recycled polyester. The company continually develops its green profile, most recently with a cotton mill for recycled production which will reduce the environmental burden of cotton production.


Overproduction become haute couture One of the pioneers of ethical trade in the fashion industry has just opened its first “ethical couture” outlet, in Copenhagen. The company makes couture from cycled materials originating from fashion house overproduction, and thus helps avoid waste.



Wool and jobs in Bolivia

Swapping reduces overconsumption

Jobs for the local population in Bolivia, environmentally friendly production, local commodities. Sustainability is at the core of AIAYU’s production of around 50 designs, which are all made of cashllama wool and sold to 180 shops on 12 markets, including Denmark and other EU countries, USA and Japan.

Come to the shop with a pretty, high quality dress and swap it for another of the same quality. That is the offer from Copenhagen’s first dress library Resecond. Using the slogan “To share is to own more!”, the idea of the shop is to reduce the volume of discarded clothing in Denmark, which is currently 30 thousand tons annually.



December 2012



Fast fashion is excessive. We would like to see the four seasons discontinued. Johan Arnø Kryger Danish Fashion Institute


As with the dress library, the aim of Katvig’s swap parties is to give their clothes a longer service life. It also gains Katvig loyal customers and increases revenues. “When 50 people return home after a swap party, they all start chatting to their friends about it on Facebook. It is a much more cost-effective marketing tool to trigger consumers to become “activists” than to advertise more traditionally. It produces a sharp rise in sales,” says Vigga Svensson, who is also testing another concept based on leasing clothes: “Leasing is less burdensome on the environment and we estimate that our revenues can be 50 percent higher than normal. It is a good way to tackle one of the industry’s major problems: clothes do not get enough use, and are either put away in cupboards or thrown out.”

PROVIDING A STIMULUS The many initiatives from smaller fashion companies are focused on sustainability and social accountability. But do they have any real environmental effect? It is mostly in an indirect way, thinks Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen, a lecturer at Copenhagen Business School. “Many of the smaller firms are driven by both idealism and business sense, but their limited size means that they don’t exert that much beneficial effect from the environmental perspective,” says Pedersen, who is involved in the MISTRA Future Fashion research project, which

aims to move the fashion industry in the direction of sustainability, by studying existing ideas for developing economically, socially and environmentally sustainable business models. “These ideas can provide a stimulus to larger companies, who are exploring similar concepts,” he adds. When the MISTRA project ends in 2015, the aim is to present an array of business models which are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. “The trend is being driven by technological opportunities, rising commodity prices and a fear of future regulation in the EU producer responsibility law, in other words a combination of realities and expectations of how the future will develop,” says Pedersen. The Danish Fashion Institute shares this view. “My clear impression is that there is broad understanding in the industry of the necessity of a transition to green production,” says Johan Arnø Kryger. •

Earlier this year, the Danish Fashion Institute and other Nordic fashion organisations presented an ethical code of conduct containing sector-specific obligations for the fashion industry. The code has attracted international interest, says Jonas Eder-Hansen, development director at the Danish Fashion Institute. “Among those who have contacted us are a number of Latin-American partners, who will translate the code into Spanish in order to use it in their organisations, and we are in dialogue with a UK association of around a thousand designers regarding adoption of the code,” he says. Read more and download the new code of conduct:

A so-called dress library has opened its doors in Copenhagen, enabling its members to exchange dresses. FOCUS DENMARK |

December 2012





Foreign businesspeople talk about their investments in Denmark.

Ole Ruch Company: Airbnb Education: Master in Management from Imperial College Business School in London Hobbies:

Travelling and running

Invests in: Danish travel market



December 2012



When Airbnb, an online community marketplace, decided to open its seventh international office in February 2012, Copenhagen was a natural choice. And so was Ole Ruch, as head of the office and managing director for Northern Europe. The 25 year old had already been working for the company in Berlin for a couple of months and before that with developing international markets for Groupon, a popular online deal-ofthe-day service. San Francisco-based Airbnb, founded in 2008, offers an online service where users can list and book more than 100,000 private accommodations in 19,000 cities and 192 countries around the world. Denmark is one of the company’s fastest growing markets with more than 3,880 rooms available and 2,413 active hosts as of September 2012. “As part of my job I have stayed in several apartments in Copenhagen myself and have found the Danes to be very hospitable. They like to travel themselves but are also eager to host people in their homes,” says Ole Ruch. According to the Norwegian-born managing director, Danes are more cutting-edge than other Scandinavians in exploring and following new trends. “Danes are forerunners when it comes to collaborative consumption concepts like Airbnb. They have a high internet penetration and a very global mindset. Our social marketplace fits the Danish mentality, and that’s why we have chosen the Danish capital for our Nordic headquarters,” he says.

Ole Ruch also acknowledges the assistance Airbnb received from Invest in Denmark. “One of the first things I did, when planning to set up the business, was to get in touch with Invest in Denmark. They were very helpful with good case studies and enlightening us on the cost of doing business in Denmark, access to talent and so forth. The fact that we could work so closely with them definitely helped us a lot.” On the other hand it was an uphill task to attract qualified employees to begin with. “People here are looking for steady 8 am – 4 pm jobs, preferably with a big Danish brand, so being an upcoming San Francisco startup was definitely a challenge when we set up the office. We had ten applications for the first position we advertised, but the perception of the company has changed very quickly, and when we advertised the same position in July around 100 people applied,” says Ole Ruch. By autumn 2012, Airbnb had employed 15 people in Copenhagen, and the company plans to reach 25 by the end of 2012. “The Nordic market is showing strong growth. To date we have generated DKK 30.4 million for Danish hosts and both capacity and demand is growing, so we will continue to invest and add people for as long as we see opportunities here.” •

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GREEN BUILDING IN A NEW LIGHT Up to half of a building’s energy consumption is “locked” into the design, shows a new research collaboration between architects and engineers. The geometric shape of buildings and the influx of daylight are among the key parameters for reducing energy use.

Umeå School of Architecture in Sweden has been designed by Henning Larsen Architects, who are known for making active use of daylight in buildings.



December 2012


For many years, sustainable buildings have primarily been a matter of technology. To create buildings that use as little energy as possible, architects and engineers have focused on technological solutions like thicker insulation, lowenergy windows, sunscreening and ventilation. This approach is worth reviewing however, as new Danish research shows that 40–50 percent of a building’s energy consumption is “locked” into the design. In other words, a building’s design, and

the materials of which it is made, limit what can later be achieved in energy savings by means of technology. Henning Larsen Architects has conducted research into how design parameters such as daylight, geometry and positioning can be used to create buildings which are both beautiful and energy-efficient. “Architecture can in itself save energy, if knowledge is properly applied. If energysaving solutions are incorporated into a building from the start, it will be a genuine low-energy construction. These solutions will not become antiquated.

Architecture can in itself save energy, if knowledge is properly applied. Signe Kongebro Henning Larsen Architects


By Jan Aagaard


December 2012



Architecture is the balance between space and light, and daylight is the strongest means to create value for architecture. From the book Design with knowledge

It is simply better architecture,” says architect Signe Kongebro, who heads the sustainability department at Henning Larsen Architects.

THEORY MEETS PRACTICE For the last four years, she has been in charge of an unconventional research and innovation collaboration where staff from Henning Larsen Architects have worked with postgraduate engineers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The aim has been to examine the connection between design and energy consumption in buildings.

The engineers conducted “live” research and influenced a number of architecture projects, most of which have been constructed or are under construction. In addition to three doctoral dissertations, the cross-disciplinary collaboration has resulted in a book Design with knowledge. Through articles and cases, the book presents the results, analyses and methods that enable sustainability to be used as a design parameter. One of the book’s main conclusions is that the best results are achieved when architects and engineers work closely together in the early design phases so that the latest developments in climate and energy science are incorporated in the creative processes. “Right from the introductory design phases, we need to ensure that a building does not use more energy than necessary. That is the cheapest way to minimise energy consumption, and in future it will be essential. Sustainability requirements are becoming stricter, and these challenges cannot be met by means of technology alone,” says Kongebro. An important aim of the research was to identify the design parameters with the greatest potential for reducing energy consumption in buildings. The three most important parameters in this

! SUSTAINABLE HQ In 2011, Henning Larsen Architects won an international architectural competition to design German engineering and electronics company Siemens’ new global headquarters in Munich. The design features six rectangular forms with rounded edges connected to a central vertical structure which binds the whole building together. The structure features six open courtyard spaces, which interconnect with the surrounding streets and can be explored on foot. The 45,000 m² square metre project aims to exceed today’s standards for green building such as DGNB Gold and LEED Platinum.


“The sloping facades of the inner courtyards which allow maximal influx of daylight, solar panels on the roof, and daylight reflection into the buildings were major elements of the energy concept,” says Thomas Braun, General Manager of the ‘Siemens Headquarters’ project. “The usage of daylight plays an important role for the new headquarters as it helps us achieve optimal sustainability. The best way to reduce energy consumption is simply to keep needs at a low level. Our goal is to gain as much daylight as possible through daylight reflection.”

“Sustainability requirements are becoming stricter, and these challenges cannot be met by means of technology alone,” says Signe Kongebro, head of the sustainability department at Henning Larsen Architects.



December 2012

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respect were identified as the geometry of the building, the influx of daylight and the positioning of the building’s functions.


A building’s design, and the materials of which it is made, limit what can later be achieved in energy savings by means of technology. is designed as a cylindrical six-storey building with an atrium and a spiral staircase at the centre – inspired by the complex structure of the insulin

molecule, which forms the foundation of Novo Nordisk’s business. The cylindrical building has a smaller surface area in relation to its volume, and this helps reduce heat loss and increase the influx of daylight. Three deep recesses in the facade, together with the central atrium, bring the daylight right into the centre of the building. The building is divided into two indoor climate zones. In the central atrium, the indoor climate varies according to the season of the year. The workplaces on the other hand have a stable indoor climate with local climate zones that can be regulated individually. “Using different zones that are adjusted to actual needs saves a lot of energy, while creating a pleasant indoor climate,” says Kongebro. If rooms that are not in continuous use, such as meeting rooms and stock rooms, are placed on the sunny side of the building, while workstations are placed on the shady side, the need for mechanical cooling is reduced. In the Novo Nordisk case, the sustainable elements in the design enable annual energy consumption per square metre to be reduced from 95 kWh (the


Making active use of daylight in buildings has been one of the trademarks of Henning Larsen Architects since the worldrenowned architect established the firm more than 50 years ago. “Architecture is the balance between space and light, and daylight is the strongest means to create value for architecture,” states Design with knowledge. Daylight has a prominent role in most of the projects that the book describes. “The research on which the book is based has shown that daylight is not only an architectural tool, but also one of the best means of reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Used in the right way, daylight reduces the need for artificial lighting and extends the area that can be used. It also has importance for our health and well-being,” says Signe Kongebro. One of the projects is the new Danish headquarters of healthcare company

Novo Nordisk, where the geometry of the building, the influx of daylight and the positioning of the building’s functions play significant roles in energy consumption and sustainability. The new domicile, which will house the global company’s executive management and 1,100 administrative staff,

At the new Danish headquarters of healthcare company Novo Nordisk, the geometry of the building, the influx of daylight and the positioning of the building’s functions will play significant roles in energy consumption.



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standard for a conventional new buildings in Denmark in 2008, Ed.) to 71 kWh. By further optimising the building with special glass panes and movement-activated LED lighting, the annual energy consumption per square metre can be reduced to less than 42 kWh (requirement for low energy buildings in Denmark from 2015, Ed.).

SUSTAINABLE URBAN PLANNING Incorporating sustainability into the design phase is not limited to the building itself. It can also be incorporated into the planning of cities and districts, as several cases in the book demonstrate. In a project for a new financial district in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, Henning Larsen Architects created a comfortable micro-climate in the extremely hot desert environment. By designing the new district in a profile that is highest towards the centre and lowest towards the edge, hot winds and sandstorms are led above and around the area. A dense structure at the centre provides plenty of shade, and by using light facade materials that maintain humidity, the outdoor temperature can be lowered by 6–8°C (11–14°F). In northern latitudes, the climatic challenges are very different. Light is much more sought-after than shade. In an urban development project in one of the most densely built quarters of Copenhagen, Henning Larsen Architects have focused on creating better daylight in the existing housing stock. By removing whole blocks so that the streets become wider, daylight can reach the lowest floors. The buildings are also being renovated with “solar design”, where for example the facades are angled to receive more light, and the windows are replaced with larger panes to allow more daylight into the apartments. “Through their involvement in our projects, the researchers have shown that urban plans and master plans have far more importance for the energy consumption of cities and buildings than we thought. There is great potential in focusing on more daylight in the planning of cities,” says Signe Kongebro. •

Henrik Garver is the managing director of the Danish Association of Consulting Engineers.

ENGINEERS: ARCHITECTS STRIVE FOR WILD IDEAS New research shows that 40–50 percent of a building’s energy consumption is “locked” into the design. Architects and engineers need to collaborate more closely right from the introductory design phases to meet stricter sustainability and energy-saving requirements. But what do engineers think of closer collaboration with architects? We asked Henrik Garver, managing director of the Danish Association of Consulting Engineers. How does the collaboration between engineers and architects function in Denmark? “I basically believe that Danish engineers and architects are good at collaborating, and I also see an increasing trend towards collaboration in the early design phases. Unlike most other countries, engineers and architects in Denmark are two very separate disciplines. This is a strength that creates great professionalism in

both groups. Danish architects are very artistically oriented, while Danish engineers focus on the best technical solutions. We often manage to combine the strong competences which help to give Danish architecture and building a high level of professionalism.” What are the challenges of the collaboration between the two disciplines? “The challenges are often that architects strive for wild ideas, while engineers want to create buildings that function well. It can be difficult to combine these two things, but it is possible, and when things go well, innovative solutions are created. The wild ideas of architects can help pressurise engineers into creating different and better solutions.” What can engineers contribute in the early design phases? “Engineers can provide the technical knowledge that architects need to take into account – for example the angling of the building, positioning and dimensioning of ventilation and other functions – before they “lock” the design. If these things are not incorporated from the start, the building will not be as sustainable as it could be. It is difficult and more expensive to implement energy-saving solutions later in the process.” •


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GREEN BY DESIGN From ladybirds to super-cycle lanes – energy and environment often play a key role when new buildings and urban districts are planned, designed and built. We have selected a range of examples from Denmark and abroad. Research by Anne-Marie Mosbech

TREES COOL SOFTWARE FIRM Los Angeles, California Staff and visitors at the headquarters of Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. keep their cool by means of trees planted around the buildings. The trees function both as sunscreening to reduce the need for energy-consuming cooling, and as pockets of greenery which have a temperature-lowering effect in the urban area. Status: Completed in 2009. Architects: Hvidt.

MERGING TWO TYPES OF PORT South of Nuuk, Greenland Instead of viewing two major infrastructural investments as separate activities, the idea is to combine an airport and harbour in one project: AIR + PORT. A combined transport system will provide energy-saving synergy effects between air and sea transportation, for example by avoiding the need for trucks and trains which normally connect an airport and a harbour. Status:

On the drawing board. Presented at the international architecture biennale in Venice in 2012. Architects: BIG and Tegnestuen Nuuk.



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Stockholm, Sweden The future ferry terminal in the urban harbour district Norra Djurgårdsstaden will reduce the size of the harbour by 16,500 square metres, but will instead create a new park on the roofs of the buildings. The green roofs reduce the need for cooling in the buildings and delay the drainage of rainwater so that the strain on the sewerage system in periods of heavy rainfall is minimised. Status:

Construction to start in 2013. Inauguration in 2015. Architects: C.F. Møller.



EASING THE WAY FOR CYCLISTS AND PEDESTRIANS Copenhagen, Denmark In Nordhavn, a newly developing urban district of Copenhagen, an eight metre wide super-cycle lane and a maximum 5 minute walk to the closest Metro station will make it quick and easy to choose an environmentally friendly form of transportation instead of using a car. When the district has been fully developed in 2030, it will provide housing for 40,000 people as well as 40,000 workstations. Status: Under construction. Architects: Cobe, Sleth, and Polyform.


FACADES PROVIDE SHADE Mumbai, India The facades of two residential blocks to be built in the Indian metropolis will be wave-shaped, with the tops of the waves providing shade for the troughs. Enhanced by the building’s orientation, the design will reduce the direct influx of light by 49 percent compared with a conventional flat facade, thereby lessening the need for cooling with energy-consuming air conditioning.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia The King Abdullah Financial District is both the world’s largest green development project and the first urban development project to be awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Drawing on the country’s own design traditions in natural ventilation, the cooling winds from the north and a strategic positioning in the landscape are exploited to lower the local temperature by up to 5°C (9°F) in summer. Status:

Under construction. The first buildings will be taken into use in 2013. Architects: Henning Larsen Architects.


Construction to start in 2013. Inauguration in 2015. Architects: 3XN. Continued on page 26.


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VENTILATION SYSTEM USES SEA WATER Aarhus On the harbour front of Denmark’s second largest city, the ground has been broken for Dokk1 – a new multimedia building which will also house a library. The aim is to achieve a low-energy classification for the building by using cold sea water instead of air for the ventilation system. Status:

Under construction. Scheduled for completion in 2015. Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen.

LADYBIRDS AT WORK Lyngby The 26 black olive trees to be planted in the hall of the Technical University of Denmark’s new building will be accompanied by 1,000 ladybirds to keep the trees free of aphids. In addition to being part of the architectural design, the CO² consumed by the trees will reduce the air exchange load on the building’s ventilators. Status:

Under construction. Completion expected by the end of 2012. Architects: Christensen & Co.

WIND TURBINE GIANT’S HQ USES SOLAR AND GEOTHERMAL ENERGY Skejby The district plan for Skejby, where wind turbine manufacturer Vestas is headquartered, does not permit the establishment of wind turbines. So instead Vestas has installed Denmark’s largest geothermal energy system comprising 36 kilometres of earth tubes, as well as rooftop solar panels. Vestas HQ has been awarded LEED certification in the top category, Platinum. Status: Completed in 2011. Architects: Arkitema.



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OLD BRICKS FOR A NEW SCHOOL Sønderborg A school in Sønderborg has the distinctive feature of being constructed almost entirely from used bricks. The 60,000 bricks correspond to a 30 ton saving in CO² emissions. The building is Denmark’s first Energy Plus school – which means that it produces more energy than it consumes. Status: Completed in 2012. Architects: Aarhus Arkitekterne.






In recent years, pedestrianised streets have been turned into motorways in the Chinese metropolis Chongqing. Now the city council is returning the streets to pedestrians and cyclists, and has teamed up with a Danish urban planner.

A horticultural worker in Chongqing. For many years, urban planning in the Chinese megacity has been anything but pedestrian-friendly.



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By Jeppe Villadsen Although largely unknown to most people outside China, Chongqing is one of China’s biggest and fastest growing cities with a population of around 11 million people. Chongqing has developed in the same way as hundreds of other Chinese metropolises: skyscrapers shoot up everywhere, while old buildings are demolished. Cars have taken over with multi-lane motorways, while pedestrians and cyclists have been displaced. But now the citizens of Chongqing are about to reclaim their streets. Chongqing city council has teamed up with the Danish urban research and design consulting firm Gehl Architects, which specialises in pedestrianised streets and pedestrian-friendly urban spaces. “In China’s new metropolises they still create urban squares and parks, but the streets – which have always been the core of Chinese cities and the hub of street life – have been replaced from one day to the next with motorways,” says Kristian Villadsen, a partner in Gehl Architects who heads the firm’s activities in China. The objective is to create an interconnected pedestrian network through central Chongqing, which like Manhattan in New York, consists of a peninsula between two rivers.

To orient the urban development of Chongqing in a sustainable direction is quite a challenge for us at a time when automobiles dominate city life. Yu Jun Director of the Chief Engineer’s Office, Chongqing Planning and Design Institute

For many years, urban planning in Chongqing has been anything but pedestrian-friendly. Eight-lane motorways plough through the city, with no places for pedestrians to cross; Metro and bus stations are placed in the middle of busy junctions; pavements are lacking or are suddenly terminated; and public transport does not extend to where people live. “With lightning speed, cycling culture has been transformed into car culture. But there are still many people who walk, so it is important to maintain the pedestrian culture by making it more attractive to move around on foot,” says Kristian Villadsen. This can be achieved by making urban routes recognisable and easy to navigate, for example by using uniform paving, good lighting and signposting, and setting up benches and similar urban furniture. But according to Chongqing Planning and Design Institute, the city council’s representative in the project, it is easier said than done to return the streets to the citizens: “The objectives of the programme – to improve the quality of urban public space, revitalise street life and orient the urban development of Chongqing in a sustainable direction – are quite a challenge for us at a time when automobiles dominate city life,” says Yu Jun, director of the Chief Engineer’s Office at the Institute. “However, things have been changed positively following the implementation of the street quality improvement project,” says Yu Jun, referring to the Institute’s collaboration with Gehl Architects.

CYCLE LANES ON MANHATTAN The Danish consulting firm is using an approach in Chongqing which it has applied all over the world. The firm has for example designed cycle-friendly and pedestrian-friendly zones in Mexico City and Cape Town, created cycle lanes in New York and made Times Square carfree, and established recreational car-free urban spaces in Oman and Jordan. “Today all major Australian cities use our principles for urban planning, which are now also being applied in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia. In our domicile



! MEGACITY MADE FOR WALKING In collaboration with Gehl Architects, the city council in the megacity of Chongqing in south-west China is seeking to create an interconnected pedestrian network. The project started in 2010 with training of urban planners in Chongqing. Since China has the world’s fastest growing urban population, Chinese urban planners are playing a key role in creating a sustainable future. The first sections of the pedestrian network have been upgraded, and the goal is to complete the network before 2015. The Energy Foundation, a partnership of major foundations interested in sustainable energy, is also part of the project. The Foundation’s activities in Chongqing are part of its China Sustainable City programme. China is experiencing an urbanisation process which is unprecedented in the history of mankind. 300 million people will move into the cities over the next 25 years. By 2030, it is estimated that 900 million Chinese citizens will live in cities. Read more:


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in Copenhagen we have 35 architects working in this field, which hardly existed ten years ago,” says the founder of Gehl Architects, Jan Gehl, who has specialised in pedestrian-friendly design for over 40 years. “We look at the human dimension in urban planning. And the strange thing is that we actually have no competitors, even though we have been active in this area for years,” he says. The common denominator of the projects is the great mantra of contemporary urban planning: liveability – making cities attractive to live and move around in. “We need to get more people to walk because it is good in every sense: it makes a city more vibrant, more safe, more sustainable and healthier. That is positive, but it is actually also the cheapest policy because it is less expensive to invest in design on a human scale than in infrastructure for cars. And we also benefit from lower healthcare costs,” says Jan Gehl.

INFRASTRUCTURE FOR PEDESTRIANS Denmark has long had a liking for pedestrian-friendly city spaces. 50 years

ago, one of the world’s first carfree pedestrianised streets, Strøget, was established in the capital city Copenhagen. At 1.1 kilometres in length, it remains one of Europe’s longest pedestrianised streets. “For the last 50 years we have been introducing pedestrianised streets and infrastructure for pedestrians, which have made Copenhagen one of the most liveable cities in the world,” says Jan Gehl. The same backlash against the domination of the car is being seen in China. Urban planners, mayors and citizens are all insisting on better conditions for pedestrians in cities. Kristian Villadsen comments that the same themes which have developed in the West are also emerging in China today, i.e. to create attractive, vibrant, safe, sustainable and healthy cities: “In China, people are very good at using public transport, but if public transport is seen only as a means of transporting the greatest possible number of people from A to B and it is forgotten that people don’t live at the station but also have to get there, it won’t function. Public transport then becomes solely for those who don’t have a car”. •



We look at the human dimension in urban planning. And the strange thing is that we actually have no competitors, even though we have been active in this area for years. Jan Gehl Architect and urban planner

! JAN GEHL Born 17 September 1936. Danish architect and urban planner focusing on analysis and improvement of urban spaces.


In 2000, he founded Gehl Architects, an international urban research and design consulting firm which improves the quality of urban life by reorienting city design towards pedestrians and cyclists. He has published a number of books on creating attractive urban spaces. The most well-known is ‘Life between buildings’ from 1971. His latest ‘Cities for people’ from 2010 has been published in 16 languages, including Chinese. Gehl uses the phrase “copenhagenize” to describe his vision of how urban centres can embrace bicycle culture. Strøget in Copenhagen is one of Europe’s longest pedestrianised streets.



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HOMECOMING Jacob Aue Sobol travelled to Greenland, Japan and Guatemala – and became the first Danish full member of Magnum Photos, the world’s most exclusive photographers’ association. He has now returned to Denmark, where he once doubted that it was possible to take a good picture. By Markus Bernsen When Jacob Aue Sobol starts a new project, his photographs are always in colour. When he has finished, they are all in black and white. By that point, his portraits are so intimate that you feel shy looking at them. Some say that Sobol does not photograph people, but the relations between them. He himself thinks that he takes the same five or six photos over and again, of various people from different parts of the world. “I have always thought that when I travel, my photos should reflect the place where I am,” he says. “But as my portfolio grew, I could see that regardless of whether I was in Tokyo, Greenland or Denmark, it was the same feelings that emerged in people. The same situations and the same photos being repeated.” Earlier this year, the 36-year-old was the first Dane to become a lifelong member of the prestigious photographers’ association, Magnum Photos (see box p. 37), having been a test member for five years. Sobol thinks his style has been formed by chance and by falling in love. In 1999, he gained a grant for a photo project in Greenland, where he stayed



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From Home (to be published 2014, photo taken 2011).


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for three years. He fell in love with a local woman and spent six months fishing and hunting seals. His professional Canon camera broke during a sledge trip, so he couldn’t take photos for half a year. He later started taking photographs of his girlfriend with a pocket camera, and in 2004 achieved a breakthrough with his photographic book Sabine. In 2005, he went to Guatemala and made a documentary about a young woman’s first journey to the sea. Later Sobol went to Tokyo, fell in love with a Japanese girl and lived in the city for two years. Each day during his stay, he threw a dice to decide which parts of the metropolis he would visit with his camera. He then selected people on the street who he thought looked interesting. The photos he took were published in I, Tokyo, a book for which Sobol won the Leica European Publishers Award in 2008.

From Sabine (2004, photo taken 2002).



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Today he has a Danish girlfriend and for the first time is working in his home country as part of the Magnum Photos project Home, where several of the association’s photographers are depicting their native country. Their photographs will be published in a book and exhibited in 2014. “I didn’t know whether I could take photographs in Denmark,” says Jacob Aue Sobol. “Adventure has always played a major role for me. When I was sitting on a train or an aircraft and was on the way to a foreign place, I started taking pictures of everything I experienced on the way. When you see something for the first time, you experience it in another way.” He feared this would be difficult in Denmark, and was close to giving up several times. But then the same motifs started appearing that he knew from

abroad. One of them was a newly-in-love couple of 90 and 100 years of age (see p. 37). They kissed and cuddled while Sobol took photos. “In that situation it does not matter whether it happens in Denmark or somewhere else. The love the two had was something special.” •


! JACOB AUE SOBOL Born 1976 in Copenhagen. Trained at the European Film College and Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Art Photography. Has published the books ‘Sabine’ (2004) and ‘I, Tokyo’ (2008). Full member of Magnum Photos in 2012.


Lives in Copenhagen with his girlfriend, who is a film director. In 2013, the couple will move to the Republic of Korea where she is to direct a film.

From Home


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From I, Tokyo (2008)



From Home

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From Home

! MAGNUM PHOTOS Founded in 1947 by photographers including Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Publishes books and organises exhibitions worldwide. Is cooperatively owned by its 60 members. Has offices in New York, Paris, London and Tokyo.


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Maersk Group is an example of how a global company uses its reporting of CSR to address difficult subjects.



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IT’S TIME TO COME CLEAN An increasing number of companies worldwide are choosing to report on their CSR activities. Many see business benefits accruing from this work, say experts.

By Jan Aagaard The latest sustainability report from the global shipping and oil conglomerate Maersk Group documents that 13 people lost their lives in accidents at work in 2011 – one more than in the previous year, and far from the group’s objective of zero fatalities. The report describes how three people died when a refrigerated container exploded in the group’s port terminal in Mumbai, India. Maersk also reports that it has taken steps together with suppliers, manufacturers and experts to prevent such an accident happening again. The same section of the 80 page report states that in 2011 Maersk Group initiated a new health and safety strategy with the aim of preventing fatalities. Maersk is a good example of how a global company uses its reporting of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility – see box p. 40) to openly address difficult subjects and put the spotlight on the company’s CSR and its opportunities to exert influence. This approach gained Maersk Group an award, presented in September this year, for the best CSR reporting in Denmark. The award was given by the Danish Accountants’ Association, which stated: “Having the courage to address difficult CSR subjects is necessary to minimise negative impact and promote positive development in the global soci-

ety in which the company operates. The Maersk Group has shown that they have the courage.” At the award ceremony, the erstwhile Danish Minister for Business and Growth, Ole Sohn, spoke of the significance of the openness of Maersk Group: “On the global market, CSR is becoming increasingly important for gaining access, and is an essential competition parameter. Companies need to be skilful in documenting their CSR and have the courage to put all their cards on the table – including those areas where they are not doing well enough.”

International research shows that there is a beneficial connection between CSR and profits. BOOM IN REPORTING Companies worldwide are increasingly finding that customers, investors, consumers and the media require them to give an account of their CSR visions and activities. In addition, international


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research shows that there is a beneficial connection between CSR and profits. A growing number of companies are therefore including CSR in their business strategy and describing their activities by means of CSR reporting – a concept that comprises several forms of communication through a number of channels. Many companies publish an independent CSR report to accompany their annual accounts. Others choose to incorporate the information in the annual accounts to show that CSR is an integral part of how the company thinks and acts. CSR reporting can also be used to describe initiatives and results on a regular basis – for example on a company’s website.

In order for companies to achieve competitive benefits from their CRS work, they have to report on it. And when leading companies start reporting, other companies follow. Peter Neergaard External lecturer, Copenhagen Business School

Regardless of form and method, CSR reporting is something companies increasingly consider important. Since the 1990s, the number of companies describing their environmental and social performance has grown by the year. While some 300 CSR reports were published worldwide in 1996, the figure today, according to the EU, is over 4,000 – of which half are published by companies in Europe.



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“More and more companies, especially the large ones, voluntarily choose to report on their CSR work, while at the same time reporting in this area has become mandatory in many countries – including France, Norway and Denmark,” says Peter Neergaard, external lecturer at the centre for CSR at Copenhagen Business School. “In order for companies to achieve competitive benefits from their CRS work, they have to report on it. And when leading companies start reporting, other companies follow,” says Neergaard.

INNOVATION AND LEARNING Neergaard’s view is supported by a survey conducted by consultancy firm KPMG in 2011 among 3,400 companies globally (see box). The survey showed that 95 percent of the world’s top 250 companies reported on CSR – a growth of 14 percent compared to 2008. The survey also showed that among the top 100 companies in each of the 34 surveyed countries, an average of 64 percent reported on CSR – a growth of 11 percent compared to 2008. According to KPMG there are many reasons why companies adopt CSR reporting, with reputation and ethical considerations being the most significant. While CSR reporting was once considered to be the fulfilment of a moral obligation to society, many companies now see business benefits accruing from it, say several experts. CSR reporting can for example be a driving force for innovation and learning in a company, minimising risk and increasing access to capital from investors who take corporate reputation and community relations into the reckoning. The growth in CSR is not only generated by companies, investors and consumers. The UN, EU and other international bodies are also preparing guidelines and rules in this area. Last year, the UN adopted new guidelines for human rights and business, while the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched revised CSR guidelines for multinational companies. The EU Commission adopted a new CSR strategy in 2011 which obliges mem-

! CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) involves companies voluntarily helping to solve national and global challenges. A company assumes social responsibility when it: • obliges suppliers to comply with human rights and workers rights, and collaborates with suppliers on improving social and environmental conditions • works systematically with environmental and climate management • seeks to improve employment conditions and the working environment • develops new products or services that possess a social or environmental dimension CSR is a broad concept which can cover many different societal or global considerations related to the company’s business activities.

! REPORTING ON CSR 95 percent of the world’s top 250 companies report on CSR, shows a KPMG report from 2011. Countries where the most companies report:






South Africa





Most frequent reasons why companies report:




Reputation and brand

Ethical considerations

Employee motivation



Innovation and learning

Risk management

Source: KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2011.


ber states to support the spread of CSR. Drawing on Danish legislation and other sources of inspiration, the Commission is also preparing guidelines for mandatory CSR reporting.

UN INITIATIVE One of most recent international initiatives was launched this summer during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, in Brazil, where Denmark, France, South Africa and Brazil announced that they had joined forces on an initiative aimed at spreading CSR reporting globally. The vision is to make openness and responsibility key elements and a driving force to increase the private sector’s contribution to sustainable development. “Governments can play a crucial role in driving sustainability practices and

Governments can play a crucial role in driving sustainability practices and disclosure at a national level. Villy Søvndal Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs

disclosure at a national level. In Denmark, the legal requirement for the largest companies to report is having positive effects – increasing the international reputation of Danish companies and creating value

for the companies and their stakeholders,” said the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs Villy Søvndal when the plans were presented. The initiative is called “Friends of Paragraph 47”, which refers to a specific paragraph in the Rio+20 outcome document on CSR reporting. Paragraph 47 emphasises the important role of CSR reporting – and encourages the corporate world, governments and other relevant stakeholders, in collaboration with the UN, to develop models for best practice and promote the integration of CSR in company reporting. Although at least 4,000 companies worldwide now report on their CSR work, the EU Commission points out that this is a small number compared with the 82,000 multinational companies in the world, and a significantly larger number of small and medium-sized enterprises. •

! DANISH RESPONSIBILITY The Danish Ministry of Business and Growth, in collaboration with the Danish Trade Council, has developed a website which provides an overview of Danish efforts in the field of social and environmental responsibility.


An activist blows soap bubbles during the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. Here, four nations announced a joint initiative aimed at spreading CSR reporting globally.


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Top-Toy has been praised for its approach to communication. In this photo: The company’s warehouse in Greve, Denmark.

OBLIGED TO BE OPEN Since 2009 the top 1,100 Danish companies have been obliged to report on their CSR activities. According to experts, this has increased awareness of this area among senior executives.

By Jan Aagaard In recent years, Denmark has joined the leading countries worldwide in terms of the proportion of companies reporting on their work in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The stimulus for Denmark’s improved performance was a change in the law, which from 2009 made it compulsory for the country’s top 1,100 companies, stock exchange quoted companies, stateowned companies and institutional investors to provide details of their CSR activities. The aim of the law is to encourage companies to engage actively in CSR



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and communicate this work externally in order to strengthen the international competitiveness of Danish companies. They are obliged to describe their CSR policy and how it is translated into action, and to assess what their actions achieve. The law does not insist that companies engage in CSR work, but if they have not formulated a policy in this area, they are obliged to disclose the fact. Since the law came into effect, the number of Danish companies reporting on their CSR work has increased markedly. According to a survey conducted in 2011 by KPMG, 91 percent of Denmark’s leading companies reported on their

The obligation to report has been an eye-opener for many Danish companies. It has made company managers reflect on their attitudes to CSR. Ole Buhl Head of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance, ATP


CSR work, while in 2008 the figure was only 24 percent. A Danish assessment of the effect of the law has shown that companies report especially on working conditions and environmental and climate-related aspects, but also on human rights, workers rights and anti-corruption.

RESPONSIVE MANAGEMENT According to CSR experts, the new law has had a considerable effect on CSR awareness among company managers in Denmark. “Reporting is one of the most important instruments for promoting CSR, especially in relation to senior management. The change to the Danish law has put CSR on the action agenda at executive and board level, and provides the opportunity for maturing CSR in Denmark. However, this has not yet had a significant impact on the quality of reporting,” says Sune Skadegaard Thorsen, CEO of the international consultancy firm Global CSR. Or as Ole Buhl, Head of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance at pension company ATP says: “The obligation to report has been an eye-opener for many Danish companies. It has made company managers reflect on their attitudes to CSR. The law also means that it is not only the biggest companies that report but now also a broad spectrum of companies.”

! PRAISED FOR REPORTING The Danish Accountants’ Association (FSR) awards prizes each year for the best CSR reports. This year marked the 18th year of the awards, with Maersk Group winning the main prize for its open and honest reporting of the company’s CSR activities (see p. 38). According to FSR, the following Danish companies are also worth highlighting for their CSR activities:

Novo Nordisk: An integrated operation For many years, the Danish insulin manufacturer has been among the international leaders in CSR reporting. Novo Nordisk produces what is termed integrated reporting, where financial and CSR reporting are combined. The company can do this because the CSR area is integrated into the company’s strategy and conduct. Financial, social and environmental performance

In 2011, Novo Nordisk received a CSR prize from FSR for reporting which clearly described the integrated operation of the company.

Carlsberg: Responsible drinking The Danish brewery giant Carlsberg’s CSR report is notable according to FSR for its purposeful focus on certain specific areas in CSR which are relevant to Carlsberg’s customers, and which are also aimed at achieving responsible conduct in the company’s value chain.

GROWING RESPONSIBLY Carlsberg Group Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2011

In its latest report, Carlsberg focuses on responsible beer consumption and states that as a responsible brewer it does not condone excessive consumption. In its report, Carlsberg describes initiatives taken on a number of markets to promote responsible beer consumption to consumers.

EXTENDED LEGISLATION This year the government introduced an amendment to the 2009 law, obliging major companies henceforth to explain their policies for respecting human rights and reducing environmental impact. The new legislation is the result of an action plan for strengthening social responsibility among companies and consumers in order to encourage responsible growth in Denmark. As part of the plan, Denmark is also establishing a new mediation and complaints institution for responsible corporate conduct. The institution will help victims of human rights abuse and poor working conditions. •



Top-Toy: Strong-willed newcomer The company, which imports and sells toys in the Nordic region, is a newcomer to CSR reporting but according to FSR has a committed, systematic and very open approach to communication. The company won this year’s FSR prize for the best emerging CSR reporting.

Insights into TOP-TOY’s Sustainability and Financial Performance

“Engagement shines out of the report. It is a breath of fresh air; easily accessible for readers and strong in its communication, with suggestions to sub-suppliers regarding opportunities to focus on CSR,” says Birgitte Mogensen, who chairs the CSR committee at FSR and is a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers.


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By Josephine Christine Hald

Expats who are living and working in Denmark give their impressions.


Why did you move to Denmark? I moved here because I was touring a great deal within the European theatre circuit. I was always working in Germany, Britain and Scandinavia. The main reason why I chose Denmark was that I began to fall in love with the gender politics and the democratic process here. I felt that there was a social responsibility that I had not found in other places. And the bread is nice, too. I often joke about the importance of rugbrød (rye bread) in the Danish genetic pool and that it makes you all so beautiful… What are the strengths of living and working in Denmark? The strength is the social system that commits to the individual regardless of gender. I am staunchly feminist in belief and love the strength of the women here. Also, when you have children, you really start to appreciate living in a country where the social system works and there is a social coherence. I also think the tax system in Denmark sends a statement. Once you begin to understand or live in a country where the tax threshold is high, you understand the power of taxation. You feel that you directly support a country and you feel that your rights are protected. It’s a good feeling giving back to a society that helps you.

What can the Danes learn from you? And what can you learn from the Danes? It’s quite funny how words aren’t just words but also sounds. In English, the expression “excuse me” is extremely useful, because it starts quite hard: EXcuse me. It’s easy to make others aware of you with that word. The Danish equivalent, undskyld, is softer, and that makes it a lot more difficult. I often find when standing in line and someone wants to get past you, but hasn’t got a word to use, they just push past you. What I’ve learned from the Danes is to slow down, soften up, and the importance of social gathering. How do you get by language-wise? I get by but I can’t make fast or long, intellectual conversations. But I have some lectures in Danish to practise. I’m not as good as Crown Princess Mary, and that annoys me, because she’s been in Denmark way shorter time than me, and she is really good.



What are the weaknesses of living and working in Denmark? There is one very clear one, which is the lack of drive to work, within the theatre community. If you work and work and work in Britain or America you know that something will happen with your career. It’s not necessarily the case in Denmark. When I first came to work in Denmark, I worked and worked, and then a friend of mine, a choreographer, asked me “why do you work so hard?”, and I looked at him in amazement. What he was trying to tell me was that you also need to have a good network.



December 2012

Stuart Lynch English/Australian Born 1965 Performance artist, theatre director and teacher Artistic director, Lynch Company Resident in Denmark since 2001 Married to an African-born Dane, two children

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