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About Environment & Resources

State of green

Environment & Resources

With limited resources and a global population expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, taking care of the environment will only become more essential in the future. Dynamic action on several fronts is therefore necessary to create sustainable economic growth and new jobs on a global scale while tackling environmental challenges.

Waste as a resource
Traditionally, waste has been considered a health hazard and environmental problem. Today, however, waste is considered a potential resource of raw materials for production, nutrients for agriculture and a source of energy. Denmark holds a long tradition of far-sighted, stringent environmental legislation combined with targeted investments in research and development. Since passing the world’s first environmental protection law in 1973, Denmark has been the first country in EU to implement a ban against landfill of waste suitable for incineration and recycling. As a result, less than 5% of all waste in Denmark ends up in landfills.

The first waste-to-energy plant was built in Denmark in 1931, and Danish waste-to-energy plants are the cleanest and most efficient in the world (90-95% energy efficient), generating approximately 2 MWh heat and 2/3 MWh electricity from every tonne of waste incinerated. However, the Danish government has presented a new strategic approach to waste – encouraging recycling over incineration. By 2022, 50% more household waste will be recycled.

The circular economy
In the circular economy, there is no waste. Circular economy is all about shifting from the linear take-make-waste economic model to an economic model where the economic value of the resources is fully utilised and the burden on the global ecosystem is reduced. Products are designed in such a way that materials and components can be restored and looped into the economy.

In 2015, Denmark won the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders award 'The Circulars' for being global front-runners in exploiting the potential for a circular economy. Danish companies have already developed pioneering circular economy solutions by e.g. reducing the use of mineral and raw materials or shifting consumption to renewable resources. Other companies are designing their products in such a way that the lifetime of the products is extended and materials or components can be reused and recycled at a high value in the economy.

Environment and resources for all
A combination of regulation, ambitious target setting, focused business programmes, private engagement and decades of experience has made Denmark one of the global frontrunners regarding reuse, recycling, circular economy, cradle-to-cradle, air quality, and waste-to-energy:

- Explore more than 330 ‘Solutions’ within Environment and Resources
- Connect with more than 250 ‘Profiles’ within Environment and Resources

Interested in learning more?
For further information on Environment and Resources, please contact Gry Brostrøm, Senior Project Manager, gbr@stateofgreen.com / +45 2249 6515

We hope you will be inspired.

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