Published: 07. Jan 2023

Strategy 2025

Lighthouse Solnedgang Large

Aarhus Vand’s business strategy towards 2025 is a further development of our strategy 2020, which over the past 10 years has turned Aarhus Vand into a national market leader. Strategy 2025 will improve our capability for shaping tomorrow’s water company.

The global water sector is facing huge challenges—and opportunities—in coming years, and this is what strategy 2025 has been based on. A number of conditions—in particular climate change, which means a lack of water in some places and too much water in others—may turn the market upside down.

At the same time, we at Aarhus Vand are facing extraordinary investment in coming years, in particular the establishment of a new resource plant—Aarhus ReWater—which will replace Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project is estimated at about DKK 2 billion.

When developing the strategy, we therefore considered four long-term scenarios to help us navigate a complex market that may develop in various ways.

These scenarios are:

  • The blue revolution
  • Water powered by knowledge
  • The Danish water model 2.0
  • The super water company.
  • These strategic scenarios were used to clarify the possibilities available to Aarhus Vand in an unpredictable world in constant, rapid development.

The scenarios led to discussions of whether it would make sense to continue to consider the water supply in isolation in an attempt to meet market demand; whether, in future, customers will consume water the way we do today; and whether water can be digitised.

The answers to these and a long list of other questions entail a number of possibilities for the development of Aarhus Vand. Based on an overall consideration of the possibilities offered by the individual scenarios, we developed Strategy 2025 to prepare Aarhus Vand for various future scenarios and adapt its strategic focus to the development of the market.

The publication “Water for the future” offers a description of our work with the strategic scenarios as a basis for Strategy 2025.

Our 'strategy house' is an illustration of Strategy 2025:

Strategihus EN

Our purpose of the company is to create health through clean water—for the population and for the planet. Our vision is to create a national platform as a driver for local and global solutions for a healthier water cycle.

The four cross-disciplinary principles of the strategy are: 

  • Creating customer solutions
  • Partnership formation
  • Investment in new knowledge
  • Sustainable action

The strategy points out the three most important overall areas in which the company must develop over the coming years. The focus areas furthermore sharpen the focus of our strategy work towards 2025.

The strategic focus areas are:

  • Commercialisation
  • Innovation
  • Globalisation

Commercialisation is about utilising the commercial opportunities for establishing an independent business arm. Our strategic objectives for commercialisation are:

  • Ensuring risk-assuming capital to increase turnover
  • Establishing a business area with commercial focus and competence 
  • Expanding development from local to national and international level

Innovation is about accelerating the development of knowledge and technologies for future water solutions. The strategic objectives for innovation are:

  • Forming partnerships and clusters with companies and universities
  • Creating and developing competitive resource-efficient services and business models with national and global appeal 
  • Accelerating technological development that promotes new business opportunities 

Globalisation is about spreading national solutions to the world and bringing new knowledge home. The strategic objectives for globalisation are:

  • Sharpening our focus on sustainable development in support of the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development
  • Acting as innovator of and ambassador for Danish solutions
  • Establishing an international business area via international hubs at strategically important locations

The foundation for these focus areas consists of two parts: An excellent basic service and a purpose-driven organisation. An “excellent basic service” involves treatment of wastewater and the supply of healthy drinking water—resource-efficiently and climatically optimised. A “purpose-driven organisation” involves strengthening the organisation through the development of our corporate culture and management.

The focus areas for an excellent basic service are:

  • Offer customers excellent service with a high degree of certainty and security
  • Offer the most resource and cost-efficient services in the entire water cycle
  • Optimise processes and services to ensure minimal impact on the climate

The focus areas for a purpose-driven organisation are:

  • Establishment of a productive organisation through digitisation and management development
  • Development of an innovative culture with a commercial mind-set
  • Establishment of a new domicile which promotes a healthy working environment with a focus on innovation and collaboration

Business goals focusing on development and progression

For each of the focus areas of commercialisation, innovation, and globalisation, we attach a business goal which focuses on the development and progression we want to succeed with. The business goals reflect the strategy towards 2025. 

One of our statutory goals is an annual 2 % improvement of productivity towards 2025 where operating and capital expenditures are concerned.

The following strategic projects support productivity during the period 2020-2025:

  • Project portfolio and resource management in the entire Aarhus Vand
  • Digitisation
  • Asset management

Focus on commercialisation

Generating a profit for innovation and development activities is a central element in our strategy. This means that Aarhus Vand must be turned into a market-oriented company. Our understanding of this transformation is continuously changing, but the focal point is the concept of commercialisation. Essentially, we want to take a more business-oriented and professional approach to development and finances - i.e., how we develop new products and services and, on the whole, how we create business for ourselves and others. 

It is an area with room for improvement, and we need to be more conscious of how to generate earnings rather than share our know-how without paying special attention to the commercial value. We simply need more value creation, earnings, and capital in order to meet our growth objectives. Up to now, our growth initiatives have been funded by enhancing the efficiency of operations. In the long term, however, growth must, per se, generate more growth - sustainable growth that is - which may spread and become even more useful in cooperation with other partners.