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Speed is key to connecting a greener world

Feb 24, 2023

Letter of commitment to the UN Global Compact: Accelerated action is needed to mitigate the effects of climate change. In the past year, we have seen extreme heat across Europe, wildfires in North America and massive rainfall across Asia.

Medium voltage installation project
This calls for unified and immediate action to reduce global CO2e emissions to keep the hope alive that we can prevent temperatures from rising by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This trajectory is under pressure due to the  lack of speed in the global transition to a low-carbon and sustainable future. Furthermore, Europe is experiencing an energy crisis with high prices and fluctuating supply impacting all areas of society. The combination of the war in Ukraine and a dry summer with low wind has left energy  supply at the top of the political agenda in Europe. The way forward is to strengthen climate action, accelerate and increase the renewable energy generation and to continue to invest in an interconnected power grid.
Immediate climate action is necessary
At NKT, we encourage political leaders to continue to set ambitious targets and to follow through with the necessary initiatives to stay on the 1.5°C trajectory. We have heard the ambitions and speeches – now it is time for immediate action and investments for the sake of future generations. To meet the politically set climate targets, we need more swift and agile processes in the permitting and tendering phase of energy infrastructure projects. Furthermore, an increased focus on sustainability in the value chain is central to drive the decarbonization of the energy infrastructure. A key element is to strengthen the significance of low-carbon footprint in tender criteria. This would enable the environmental impact from manufacturing, transportation and installation of products and solutions to be more carefully considered. 
Connecting a greener world
In 2022, we continued to conduct our business with a strong focus on sustainability while building the global power grid essential to the green transition. In close collaboration with our partners, we have connected offshore wind farms to shore, enabled hydro power to flow across borders and ensured necessary upgrades of the low-, medium- and high-voltage power grids across Europe – and soon in North America.
Internally, we continue to operate all factories and most offices using renewable electricity and have further reduced the carbon footprint from our operations. Here, we have a near term target to reduce the corporate CO2e emissions by 90% in 2030 compared to 2019 despite of a substantial increase in our activity level. We are well on our way to meeting this target with a 79% reduction already achieved. The next steps are to stop all use of natural gas and complete the transition to fossil-free fuels.
As a central player in the power sector, we are obliged to lead the way towards a more sustainable future by engaging in dialogues with key stakeholders in the industry. In 2022, we were a founding member of the Powering Net Zero Pact, where we join forces with other companies to decarbonize the energy sector, and we engaged in discussions for a more sustainable sector at COP27 in Egypt. It is a long, transformative journey, and collaboration across the value chain is essential to succeed.
A good example of innovative collaboration is the project where the world’s first HVDC power cables using low-carbon copper will be installed at Dogger Bank C, the third phase of one of the world’s largest offshore wind zones located in the UK. This initiative will reduce the carbon footprint of the HVDC power cable system by more than 35%, demonstrating the potential for low-carbon solutions in the offshore wind industry.
Responsible partner and employer
Part of our sustainability journey is to continue our aspiration and efforts to be a fair and responsible partner and employer. We have a strong focus on health and safety while safeguarding human rights and work to empower people across the organization, the industry and in local communities.
As a leading company in the power cable industry, a high-performing, diverse and inclusive organization is a key enabler for our growth ambitions. This makes attracting, developing and retaining talents and employees a high priority area for NKT. In 2022, we have continued to strengthen our focus on talent management, diversity and inclusion. We remain committed to conducting our business in accordance with the principles of the UN Global Compact and look forward to continuing to support the necessary acceleration of the green transition.
Our power cable systems are the backbone of the green transition – without a proper infrastructure implemented fast the green transition will stall. Let us take immediate action, speed up processes and connect a greener world – together.
Alexander Kara President and CEO in NKT
This letter has been published as part of the NKT Sustainability Report 2022