November 7, 2023

Sustainable Countries: Denmark

Denmark, a beautiful country located in Northeast Europe, is known worldwide for their sustainable practices. The Danish people's profound connection to their natural surroundings has motivated them to treat their land with respect. This commitment reflects in their remarkable environmental achievements, with around two-thirds of Danish energy deriving from clean sources. In addition to using clean energy, the Danish design their buildings to be more energy efficient. They do this because heating is needed more than half of the year, contributing to a large percentage of their overall energy usage. Denmark has also introduced a Climate Act with the intention of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to 70% below their 1990 levels by 2030. 

Specifically in Denmark, the city of Copenhagen, is committed to being the first carbon-neutral capital in the world by 2025. Copenhagen uses the CopenHill, a waste to energy plant topped with several tourist attractions such as a ski slope, hiking trail, and climbing wall, to convert 440,000 tons of waste into clean energy every year. Since 2015, Copenhagen has also been deemed the most bikeable city in the world, and if you take a visit, you can see why. This award is given based on infrastructure, local culture, policies, and other factors. The city was designed to be walkable and bikeable, so vehicles are not needed. In 2022, the government of Denmark declared it the “Year of the Bike,” which was a year dedicated to investing millions into improving the bikeability of the city. 

Samso Island, renowned for its potato production, stands as another shining example of Danish sustainability. Potatoes, which already only produce .12kg of CO2 per pound, are a relatively low carbon food. The majority of the potato CO2 footprint comes from the resources spent growing and packing the potatoes. Samso has been 100 percent sustainable in their potato packaging since 2007. The way they do this is by using only renewable energies such as wind, solar, and biomass energy. In addition to the potato production, the residents of Samso replaced their oil burning heaters and added insulation to their homes as another method to develop a sustainable city.

Denmark is also committed to its global impact. Denmark is actively helping the United Nations achieve their 17 sustainable development goals by 2030. Their goals include a plan to address environmental sustainability and social goals in making a more environmentally conscious world. All across the board, both in their internal actions and international impacts, Denmark is making big strides towards carbon neutrality and clean energy usage.