Published: 02. Jan 2023

Sustainable Development Goals & climate smart achievements

Social responsibility and sustainability are deeply rooted in our corporate culture and business. That is why we are proud to be the first water company in the world to achieve a certification in the Sustainability Development Goals (SDG). Along with this we have also been recognized as a Climate Smart Utility.

Measured and weighed on sustainability efforts

Our ambition requires intense focus on sustainability throughout the company and the entire production chain. This is why Aarhus Vand goes the whole length and becomes the first water company in the world to be certified according to the UN’s Goals for Sustainable Development. This means that we will be measured and weighed on our sustainability efforts.

Aarhus Vand must prove that the UN's global goals are met in a number of areas that are central to its operation. This includes the SDG's:

  • 6 Clean water and sanitation
  • 11 Sustainable cities and communities
  • 13 Climate action
  • 17 Partnerships for the goals.

The illustration below shows how Aarhus Vand works with these SDG's - which we have done even long before there was anything called Sustainable Development Goals. It is part of our DNA.

Fn Verdensmål Oversigt
The inner bar show the sub-goals we are working with, while the height of the bars is the effect worked with the specific sub-goal.

Recognized as a Climate Smart Utility in 2023

Aarhus Vand was recognized as a Climate Smart Utility April 2023 by the International Water Association (IWA).

A Climate Smart Utility defined by IWA is “water, wastewater, or urban drainage utilities that are improving their climate resilience while contributing to significant and sustainable reduction of carbon emissions. These utilities are public, private, or mixed companies that advocate for climate action.”

Aarhus Vand receives this recognition for both own actions and international engagement.

Climate Smart Utility With Water

Our work with the SDG's

Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) - owned and operated by Aarhus Vand - is among the world's most sustainable wastewater treatment plants. Once a huge energy guzzler, the plant is now producing twice as much energy as is required to clean the wastewater from the city of Aarhus. This energy is returned to the consumers as green electricity and heating.

Aarhus Vand also extracts phosphorus from the wastewater, which is sold and used as a recycled fertiliser. In addition to producing drinking water and handling wastewater, the water company also focusses on groundwater protection, improvement of the aquatic environment and a wide range of climate adaptation projects in the municipality. Sustainability and circular economy play a major role in everything we do, and the company has an ambition to be completely energy and CO2-neutral by 2030.

Aarhus ReWater

Aarhus ReWater (currently Marselisborg WWTP) will become the world’s most resource efficient wastewater treatment plant. And set new standards both nationally and internationally using state-of-the-art technology to enhance its performance. Read more about the entire process here.

Green solutions in urban areas

Further, we are working with sewer separation projects, which are often conducted by establishing separate piping systems for rainwater and wastewater. In the neighbourhood of Risvangen and Vorrevangen in the city of Aarhus, however, no rainwater pipes are dug down. You can read more about this project here.

Partnerships for innovation

In Aarhus Vand we see partnerships as a very efficient way of creating both cheaper and better solutions. In our renewal of drainage system-partnership - we develop solutions - across the companies and competitors in our market. We think that’s the best way of achieving new innovative solutions. Read more about all our partnerships here.

Requires action and continuous follow-up

For each of these four global goals, Aarhus Vand has set a number of milestones, all of which require action and continuous follow-up. Norwegian Veritas has been trawling the length and breadth of the organisation in search of evidence that Aarhus Vand means business.