Eva Berneke fronts Climate Partnership for Service, It and Consultancy

“Denmark must be a green pioneering country, and we must therefore stick to our ambitious climate goals.” Those were the words, when the Danish government introduced 13 climate partnerships each representing one or more branches within Danish business back in November 2019. CEO of KMD, Eva Berneke, was appointed chairman of the climate partnership for Service, IT, and Consultancy.

The 13 climate partnerships were given the mission of solving the difficult and important task of developing concrete proposals to the government on which efforts could contribute to achieving the goal of reducing Denmark’s CO2 emissions by 70 percent by 2030, thus making Denmark a pioneering green country for the rest of the world to follow. The knowledge, experience and recommendations of the Climate Partnerships should then form the basis of the government's overall climate plan.

The Partnership for Services, IT and Consultancy handed in their recommendations to the Government on 16 March this year (2020).

In addition to the partnerships, the government has set up the “Green Business Forum.” Over the next few years several ministers, the chairmen of the 13 climate partnerships, trade union representatives and experts will attend meetings on an ongoing basis. The forum will be used to monitor the development of partnerships and to strengthen dialogue between government, business and trade unions on opportunities and barriers in the green transition of business.

4 ambitions - 13 recommendations

The Climate Partnership for Service, IT and Consultancy counts 164,000 Danish companies - or more than every other company covered by the government's 13 partnerships. The 164,000 companies in the partnership range from hairdressers and filmmakers through telecom operators and dentists to restaurants and accountants. With 494,000 employees in these companies, the partnership covers more than one in three jobs.

The recommendations of the Climate Partnership, among other things, are based on the breadth and weight of the branches in the partnership in relation to the opportunities to influence and create new markets for green transition.

The 18-page report covers a total of 4 ambition goals and 13 concrete recommendations to the government:

  • Ambition 1: Through data, AI, and digitization, we will pave the way for green transition in all sectors.
  • Ambition 2: We will create new markets that drive demand among businesses and consumers.
  • Ambition 3: We will drive new behavior through customer contacts, employees, and supplier relations.
  • Ambition 4: We will continue to reduce our own climate footprint through sustainable business models.

The concrete recommendations to the government include:

  1. Harnessing the potential of data, IoT and AI
  2. Smart Communities
  3. Standardized impact targets and climate reporting
  4. Purchasing as a change engine
  5. Greener transport - in multiple ways
  6. Using excess heat from data centers
  7. Sustainable buildings
  8. Access to green venture capital
  9. Well-functioning labelling schemes
  10. Making green tourism visible
  11. Reducing food waste
  12. Circular economy and good recycling
  13. SMEs Green Digital

Development - not settlement

The 18-page report consistently points out that Denmark must achieve its ambitious climate goals through development and not decommissioning. In particular it emphasizes the role of the public sector as a locomotive, which must take the lead by promoting the possibility of, among other things, including the introduction of new - or existing - technology into the task-solving. For example, in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, we have seen how already available solutions can be rapidly implemented and help in situations where physical presence is not an absolute necessity. Not least in the form of telemedicine in hospitals and in the immediate health care system, where communication between doctor and patient can be made via video.

The government can therefore benefit from the fact that in Denmark we have technologies that we can scale up and roll out into larger parts of society, we have strong digital infrastructure, strong public data and last but not least, a digitization ready population.

May affect and move behavior

A feature of the sector is that it both creates new and develops existing markets. Politically, this means that the Service, IT, and Consultancy sector can, under the right conditions, act as a strong player for change. Gravity again plays a significant role in influencing behavior in everything from procurement policy to digitization to green transport and food waste. Behavior that spreads like rings in the water - for what we do on the job, in many cases also rubs off on our private behavior.

You can read an excerpt of the overall report behind the recommendations of the Climate Partnership Service, IT and Consultancy here.

You can learn much more about the Danish government’s climate strategy here.

In KMD we take our own medicine

But what does an IT company like KMD do to reduce CO2 emissions? According to KMD's Sustainability Manager Ditte Haugaard Clausen, the focus is on several initiatives in the company. Among other things, she points out that CO2 emissions from transport today account for about a quarter of KMD's total CO2 emissions.

"Our primary CO2 emissions as a software company come from energy consumption and transport. Even if we as a software company are not in an industry with the greatest pollution, the amount of our CO2 emissions can still be reduced. That is why we have been working for many years to ensure a green transition and reduce the total CO2 emissions in KMD," she says, pointing out that the green transition consists, among other things, of holding more online meetings instead of travelling between KMD's various locations. This may eventually lead to a change of the meeting culture in KMD.