Published: 08. Sep 2020

Aarhus Vand goes all in on the UN's Global Goals

Fns Verdensmål Aarhus

Aarhus Vand is taking sustainability to the next step and becomes the first water company in the world to be certified according to the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant - 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 they do, and the company has an ambition to be completely energy and CO2-neutral by 2030.

Measured and weighed on sustainability efforts

This 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 the company will be measured and weighed on its 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 SDGs 6 – Clean water and sanitation, 11 – Sustainable cities and communities, 13 – Climate action and 17 – Partnerships for the goals.

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. The result of this is a certification, which is Aarhus Vand is the first utility to get.

This certification means a lot to us. It shows that we work hard for the environment and want Aarhus to become an attractive municipality to live in. It’s proof we’re doing well in terms of the UN's global goals, and our ambition is to do even better. At the same time, it’s a quality stamp which will help attract new employees and partners. It’s also important to our international commitment, because the global goals have indeed been placed on the global agenda.
- Lars Scroeder, CEO at Aarhus Vand

Sustainability and the circular economy are important parameters in future projects

Lars Schrøder points out that the certification means that Aarhus Vand will demand of its partners and suppliers that they also work actively towards observing the UN's global goals and contribute to sustainable development. This means that sustainability and the circular economy are important parameters in the projects facing Aarhus Vand such as the establishment of a new domicile and Aarhus Rewater, which will replace Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2028.