Orsted and WWF Working Together for Ocean Biodiversity
Together for ocean biodiversity
In a new partnership, the renewable energy company Orsted and WWF will be exploring how to support a rapid transition to renewable energy, while addressing the global biodiversity crisis. By uniting our expertise in offshore wind and nature protection, we believe we can find concrete solutions to address them both, together.
Orsted and WWF are two organisations with clear and complementary biodiversity agendas. Orsted's ambition is to create a net-positive biodiversity impact from 2030, while WWF fights to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by the same year.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are closely interrelated crises, and by uniting our expertise in offshore wind and nature protection, we wish to find concrete solutions to address them both, together. In partnership, we want to show what can be done, setting a new standard for biodiversity protection and restoration in offshore wind development. We want to encourage others to join us in making offshore wind something that has a net-positive impact on ocean biodiversity.
“We need to shift our thinking to accelerate new solutions for how renewable energy and nature can coexist at sea.” – Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF
Governments around the world have ambitious plans to grow the green energy capacity, both to fight climate change and increase the energy independence. In this decade, the global installed offshore wind capacity is expected to increase by a factor of seven. But this expansion needs to be done in a way that supports and enhances biodiversity in the delicate ocean environments. Together with Orsted in this partnership, we believe this is possible.
“If done the right way, offshore wind projects can enhance ocean biodiversity, leaving nature in better shape than before.” – Mads Nipper, CEO, Ørsted
Our partnership starts with a joint project in Denmark in collaboration with DTU Aqua, to find methods for restoring flat oyster and horse mussel populations. These two species were once abundant in the North Sea. They’re considered ‘ecosystem builders’ because of their ability to form biogenic reefs (reefs made up of living creatures, not just rock). These reefs provide food, shelter, and breeding grounds for other species, and surfaces for algae and soft corals to grow on. They also filter many litres of water every day, improving water quality and clarity. Today, both species’ populations are significantly diminished in this area, due to decades of physical disturbance from human activities. The OSPAR Commission categorises horse mussel reefs as a red-listed ‘threatened habitat’ and European flat oysters as a ‘threatened species’ in the Greater North Sea region. The project aims to establish methods and protocols for developing and producing the two species, and for establishing flat oyster and horse mussel reefs in the wild. Furthermore, the partners aim to establish one or more viable biogenic reefs in the Danish North Sea or Kattegat, bringing immediate local benefits. At the end of the project, we’ll share the methods and results publicly.
The Orsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Orsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, renewable hydrogen and green fuels facilities, and bioenergy plants. Moreover, Orsted provides energy products to its customers. Orsted is the only energy company in the world with a science-based net-zero emissions target as validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and Orsted aims to deliver a net-positive biodiversity impact from all new renewable energy projects it commissions from 2030 at the latest.
An inspiring partnership