How Denmark's Chr. Hansen is using natural products in the transition towards a sustainable economy
For decades, the summers along the coast that stretch south from Copenhagen were plagued by tons of seaweed that would wash up on the beaches and start to rot.
The stench was a big problem for the locals. But it was an even bigger problem for the tourism industry as holidaymakers from the Danish capital and beyond went elsewhere for their annual breaks.
Today, all of that has changed thanks to a biogas plant that collects the seaweed and mixes it with biological residue from Chr. Hansen, the Danish bioscience company. The smell has gone, the beaches are cleaner and carbon-neutral energy has replaced fossil fuels for thousands of local residents.
“We are not only part of delivering cleaner sources of energy and supporting local farmers; we also have a more cost-efficient alternative for handling our biological waste-streams,” explains Michael Juhler, Chr. Hansen's Senior Director, who is responsible for the company's biggest production site in Copenhagen.
The contribution of Chr. Hansen, which produces food cultures, probiotics and enzymes for the global nutrition, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries, is an example of the steps that some companies are taking to reduce waste and cut emissions.
This transition towards a Circular, Lean, Inclusive, Clean (CLIC™) economy is happening, and it will inevitably produce winners and losers as companies, industries and entire sectors move at different speeds. But the companies that understand the urgency of change and that are taking transformational steps today are more likely to emerge as leaders of tomorrow's CLIC™ economy.