The US continues to face still more challenges as a result of its aging water infrastructure. As the demand for better water infrastructure from the US citizens is growing, action as well as input is needed. To promote exchange of knowledge between Denmark and the US, the Danish Embassy hosted a lunch briefing in cooperation with the Congressional Clean Water Caucus at the US Capitol.
Between 2013-2020, the cumulative cost from degrading water/wastewater infrastructure will be more than doubled according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. The overall cost for residential units is predicted to exceed $59 billion, whereas it is expected to be more than $147 billion for businesses. The objective of the lunch briefing in the US Capitol was to highlight how modern wastewater treatment facilities can be net positive energy producers and a very good investment business case.
Clean Water Caucus welcome Danish input
At the Capitol lunch, Congressmen and co-chairs of the Clean Water Caucus, Mr. Dan Lipinski and Mr. John Duncan stressed that we cannot take water resources for granted, and that a large-scale transition of the water sector in the US is necessary. The Congressmen welcomed the input from Denmark and remarked that the lessons from Denmark can serve as inspiration for the US infrastructure bill.
The lunch briefing featured Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency Ms. Molly Walton, who presented the current state of the US water infrastructure. Walton put great emphasis on how potential energy savings could be achieved in the US water sector by optimizing the process. Subsequently, Marketing Director at Danfoss, Mr. Bioma Morray presented the net energy positive wastewater treatment facility in Marselisborg, Denmark, as the first case study. He was followed by Mr. Tom Kunetz from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, who went into details on recovering resources and converting wastewater into biomass and thus a source of sustainable energy.
Finally, Ms. Maureen Holman from DC Water provided unique best practices from Washington DC, highlighting the alternative financing opportunities such as green bonds.
The lunch briefing showed how mutual beneficial synergies arise from increased cooperation between Denmark and the US. If you want to see how the lunch briefing unfolded, check out our video from the event below:
On October 25th the “Champions of Wind” learned that great results come from great cooperation. And for this cooperation to succeed, it is crucial to share experience and capabilities across the Atlantic.
In cooperation with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the Danish Embassy hosted a reception in the US Capitol celebrating individual states and companies that have been driving the deployment of wind energy in US.
Senator Chuck Grassley is the “father” of the US production tax credit for wind energy, and his home state Iowa generates around 35 % of its electricity from wind energy – just the same as in Denmark. “Climate change is taking place and we must take that seriously. My way of doing this is to promote alternative energy,” Grassley stressed on the evening.
The other Champions of Wind, Democratic Senator Ed Markey even wanted his state, Massachusetts, to be “the new Saudi Arabia of Wind”. Ed Markey encouraged all parties present to now promote investments in offshore wind energy specifically with the key argument that off-shore wind energy is not only a cost-effective source of energy, it also creates thousands of jobs:” There are only 50,000 coal miners left in the United States. With the current tax arrangements, by 2020 we will have 500,000 employees in solar and wind energy.”
Democratic Congressman Bill Keating from Massachusetts made clear that President Trump’s energy policy will not determine the investments in renewable energy by the individual states:” The reality is that coal cannot compete economically. Gas and renewable energy is the future and a single man [President Trump] does not have a chance to stop it. The individual states all want clean energy”.
Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities, and Climate Mr. Lars Chr. Lilleholt embraced the opportunity to meet with US counterparts and to learn how much potential there is for offshore wind energy in the US
Prior to the reception, Minister Lilleholt and US Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke signed a partnership on offshore wind energy between Denmark and the US. The Department of Interior is the government entity that ultimately gives all licenses for offshore wind development in the US. This is the first partnership Denmark is entering at the Federal level under the Trump Administration.
At the same occasion, Minister Lilleholt extended an invitation for Secretary Zinke, and Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, to take part in the Nordic Clean Energy Week in Denmark 2018.
On June 5th the Ambassador hosted a celebration of the 168th anniversary of the Danish Constitution.
More than 600 guests were at the residence to celebrate, with Danish Minister of Defense, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, kicking off the night with the traditional constitution speech. Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus co-chair Congressman Tom Cole then spoke about the strong bond between Denmark and the United States, which was underlined by the attendance of several members of congress.
As Warrior Week was the week leading up to the Constitution Day, a week you can read more about HERE, numerous Danish and American veterans were also in attendance. Jacob Panton-Kristiansen, a Danish wounded veteran, gave a stirring speech, which left everyone very emotional. As Ambassador Lars Lose said following the event:
“I am truly grateful that we were joined by Danish and American veterans and their families. It was a true honor for everybody here at the Embassy that we got this chance to say thank you for your service to our countries. A special shout out goes to Jacob Panton-Kristiansen who works day and night to assist his fellow Danish veterans, and who gave an incredible speech that reminded all of us of why Denmark and the US stand shoulder to shoulder around the world.”
The residence and garden had been transformed into the most incredible setting for a festive night, showcasing Danish art, food and drinks. Particularly the signature cocktails made with Danish aquavit proved very popular. Following the speeches, live jazz music was played all night, with the dance floor quickly being filled. Financial support from ADBC made the event possible, and donations from Danish suppliers of cheese, flødeboller and chocolate made sure everyone got to try a taste of Denmark.
The event will be a flagship event for the Embassy going forward, so mark your calendars for 5th of June, 2018.
As of August 1st Lina Gandløse Hansen will be leaving her post as Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Denmark, and thus also her position as Executive Secretary at the American Danish Business Council. She will take over the position as General Consul in Munich, Germany.
”The last three years as Executive Secretary of ADBC have been exciting and I am very happy with what we have achieved. We have built an organization and a platform with focus on trade promotion, networking and cooperation between Danish and American companies, allowing our members to gain the most from each other’s competences” says Lina Gandløse Hansen.
Lina leaves the post to Jess Møller Knudsen, who will take over Lina’s position at the Embassy. Jess is an international executive with over 10 years of senior management experience in strategic business development, sales and marketing. He has a broad commercial background, with particular experience within architecture/green build, healthcare and ICT. Currently Jess is the Consul-General and Trade Commissioner at The Royal Danish Consulate General in Toronto where he is responsible for developing new business opportunities for Danish companies in Canada.
”I am excited to take over for Lina at ADBC. It is an important organization and I look forward to getting to know ADBC and the Companies better, so we can continue promoting trade between Denmark and the US” Jess said on the takeover.
We at ADBC welcome Jess and look forward to working with him.
In this and the coming newsletters, we will feature an article series focusing on the benefits of being a ADBC member, seen from a member perspective. In this first article, we will focus on the two Danish companies Terma who produce military equipment and the shipping giant Maersk.
We have asked Jay Bonitt, Vice President US Government Affairs in Maersk and Steve Williams, President and CEO in Terma North America to describe some of the reasons they are a ADBC member
Aligned Danish companies
For Jay Bonitt the ADBC provides a platform for cooperation, and he highlights the advantage of cooperating with other Danish companies. “Membership provides an opportunity to hear about the issues and priorities of other Danish companies, and to work in tandem on issues facing Danish companies when our interests are aligned. Working with the embassy and other Danish companies strengthens efforts to get Members of Congress to join the Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus.”
Access to important actors
Both Maersk and Terma agree that ADBC is the perfect venue for meeting important political – and business actors from both Denmark and the US. Trough ADBC companies gain access to the Danish Ambassador, Danish ministers, and senior members of the US congress, and this allows companies to be aware of the Danish government’s Washington priorities and vice versa.
As Steve Williams from Terma writes: “ADBC memberships allows Terma leadership to communicate with senior Members of the US Congress and US Administration at ADBC sponsored events. ADBC provides companies such as Terma with an exceptional opportunity to engage multiple times each year with cabinet-level officials, including the Foreign, Defense, Innovation and Business Affairs, and Labor ministries. Those engagements assist with growing Danish business interests in the US, sustaining high tech jobs in both Denmark and the US, and promote Danish-US collaboration, joint research and development, and combined efforts to export.”
ADBC is a great partner
For Terma, ADBC does not just set the venue for meeting important political actors, “From pharma, life sciences, security, IT, and furniture, to food products, and even craft beers, the ADBC is a great partner for Danish industry. The ADBC is always ready to listen and always ready to assist and engage” Steve Williams, Terma.
Become a member
To become a member or hear more about what we can do for your company, please click HERE, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of Congress joined the Embassy of Denmark and numerous ADBC members for the inauguration of the Danish Caucus on the Hill.
On May 19th, members and friends of the Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus participated in the Caucus’ first event of the 155th Congress.Rep. Rick Larsen, Rep. Stacey Plaskett, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Annie Kuster and House Minority Whip Hoyer all stopped by the inaugural along with multiple Danish and US company representatives.
The event was also a chance to show a little bit of Danish beer culture as the Danish brewery Evil Twin Brewing joined for a successful beer tasting.
Ambassador of Denmark to the United States, Lars Gert Lose, made some opening remarks talking about the close relationship between Denmark and the U.S., the benefit of free trade, and the Danish and US companies’ impact on the job creation in both countries. He also thanked Members of Congress for being a part of the Caucus and enhancing the collaboration. House Minority Whip Hoyer followed up, saying that “Denmark is among the United States’ top 5 allies in the world. No doubt about it. Founder of Evil Twin Brewing, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, told his amazing personal story from the podium on how the U.S. has given him a chance to live his dream brewing beer.
The Ambassador had the pleasure of attending “Danish Heritage Night” at the Washington Capitals, along with Congressman Hoyer and several ADBC members. The evening proved to be a great success for both ADBC members and the Capitals, with ADBC members enjoying a rewarding opportunity to network and the Capitals beating Minnesota Wild after a thrilling game. The occasion of the “Danish Heritage Night” was the Danish Capitals player Lars Eller, who after joining the Capitals in 2016 has proven to be a hit with the fans.
The Embassy representing Denmark
Several representatives from the Embassy were also present at the game, providing fans with both information about Denmark and some entertainment. Many enthusiastic fans grabbed both flyers and asked questions about Denmark, but what seemed to be the most popular attraction was the Embassy representative dressed as a Danish Viking, with dozens of fans wanting to get their picture taken with him.
On March 21, 2017 Danish Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S., Lars Bo Møller, and U.S. Charges d’Affaires, Laura Lochman, presented Vestas as winner of the 2017 Transatlantic Company of the Year Award, at AmCham Denmark’s Annual Meeting and the Transatlantic Summit at Maersk Headquarters in Copenhagen.
The Danish Transatlantic Company of the Year Award recognizes the importance, contributions and positive impact of Danish companies actively investing in the United States. From a large pool of applicants, 4 finalists were nominated for their outstanding achievements in the U.S. market.
Again this year, the American Danish Business Council (ADBC) partnered with AmCham Denmark for the Transatlantic Company of the Year Award.
The four finalists were:
Falck is a Scandinavian-based organization with more than 100 years of experience in handling critical and vital tasks in close collaboration with local and national authorities. Having enjoyed rapid international growth in recent years, Falck currently has operations in 46 countries on six continents and more than 38,500 employees. Falck’s mission is to prevent accidents, illness and emergency situations, to rescue and assist people in emergencies quickly and competently and to rehabilitate people after illness and injury. Based on this mission, it is Falck’s vision to develop a major international business working broadly within emergency, assistance, healthcare, and safety training services.
Hartmann is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of molded-fiber packaging and machinery for producing molded-fiber packaging. Sustainability and environmental considerations are integral to Hartmann’s business model and strategy. All Hartmann’s packaging products are based on recycled paper; a renewable, CO2-neutral and biodegradable resource. Headquartered in Gentofte, Denmark, Hartmann has approximately 2,000 employees servicing our customers in the main markets of Europe, South America and North America. Founded in 1917, Hartmann celebrates its 100-year anniversary this year.
ROXUL is the North American subsidiary of ROCKWOOL International, the world’s largest manufacturer of stone wool. With approximately 10,500 employees in more than 35 countries, ROCKWOOL Group’s stone wool products and expertise are perfectly suited to tackle today’s biggest sustainability and development challenges, from energy consumption and noise pollution to fire resilience, water scarcity and flooding. From building insulation to acoustic ceilings, external cladding systems to horticultural solutions, engineered fibers for insulation use, to insulation for the process industry and marine and offshore, our stone wool solutions support our stakeholders in reducing their carbon footprint.
Wind. It means the world to us.™ Vestas is the only global energy company dedicated exclusively to wind energy. Wind is our business and our passion. Founded in 1898 as a blacksmith shop in western Denmark, we started producing wind turbines in 1979, and have since gained a market-leading position with close to 82 GW of installed wind power and more than 71 GW under service across the globe, including close to 7 GW of non-Vestas turbines. Today, everyone at Vestas works to ensure that we deliver best-in-class wind energy solutions and set the pace in our industry to the benefit of our customers and our planet.
Vestas the winner
The jury, comprised of: Jørgen Bardenfleth (Arkitema); Karsten Dybvad (CEO of DI); and Majken Schultz (Professor at CBS) who in the end selected Vestas due to their growth and market position in the U.S.
Majken Schultz said: “the jury was very impressed by the growth and market position Vestas has achieved in the United States. Vestas is now no. 1 in the U.S. market for wind turbines, with a turnover of more than 4 billion Euro and 6.000 employees. Vestas is a prime example of a Danish company taking the innovations and practices developed in Denmark and using them in a global context, creating a profitable business and increasing sustainability in the process.”
In receiving the award, Morten Dyrholm, Vestas Senior VP, said: “Vestas has been active in the U.S. for 30 years, establishing one of the world’s largest wind energy production hubs in Colorado. We are proud to be recognized for our strong footprint, and that our success contributes to growth, jobs and cost-competitive, green electricity for the American people.”
Stephen Brugger, Executive Director of AmCham Denmark also expressed his view of this year’s winner: “the purpose of the award is to highlight the importance of transatlantic trade for Denmark and to showcase the good examples for others to follow. The energy sector can be volatile, and despite setbacks, Vestas has remained committed to the U.S. – investing massively and positioning the company as the market leader, which we hope will serve as an inspiration to others.”