International engineering firm Cowi has announced it is to reject all future fossil fuel projects.
Cowi will honour its current fossil fuel contracts, it says, but the company will no longer participate in tenders for new fossil fuel projects.
Cowi has set itself a goal of ensuring 100% of its revenue comes from projects focussed on sustainability within three to five years’ time.
Commenting on the move, group CEO Lars-Peter Søbye said: “This is one of the strongest statements in Cowi history, and with the decision not to take on any projects which are accommodating the exploration of fossil fuels from now on, we are accepting the role as one of the frontrunners worldwide within our line of business.”
He added: “Sustainability is at the heart of Cowi’s DNA, our new vision, and our upcoming strategy.
“With our extended expertise within sustainability, we have a special responsibility to accelerate the green transition, which is also the biggest growth opportunity in Cowi history.
“We need to be ready to seize green projects and support our customers in the green transition.”
In 2021, fossil fuel projects comprised up around 5% of the group’s turnover, while around 45% of its revenue came from projects not directly related to the green agenda.
However, this is something that will soon change, according to the CEO.
Søbye said: “With a new strategy comes new priorities as well as new opportunities.
“The world will still need roads and airports, and we will be helping our customers in these areas, but we must and will deliver solutions that make the world more sustainable, regardless of segments.
“We will still work with energy majors on their green transition, but not on projects exploring or producing fossil fuels. When it comes to establishing, for example, offshore wind or green hydrogen projects, we are pleased to assist.”
Søbye said that he believes the business upside of allocating all resources to sustainability will beat the negative financial impact of withdrawing from fossil fuel projects.
He said: “Given the ‘EU Green Deal’ and the massive investments planned in the US, around £800bn euros and around $1.75bn are allocated to investments in the green transition and sustainability.
“On top of this, pension funds will also invest billions in green energy and infrastructure. Being a preferred partner thanks to our technical expertise and customer centricity opens an unseen palette of opportunities for Cowi and our people.”
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