A list of external and internal media coverage on the Danish Cleantech Hub.

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New York

Danish-American Roundtable to Discuss Private and Public Climate Action of Tomorrow

September 19, 2019 / Posted by Rune GadeRune Gade / Climate adaptation, Green buildings, New York, Renewable energy, Urban planning

The climate change movement has gained serious momentum in recent years. Spearheaded by government and the private sector, more and more stakeholders are signing up to set and help meet energy and climate targets, taking more responsibility by curbing emissions and making significant investments in clean energy and sustainability measures.

“Both government and private sector action are imperative to achieving clean energy and climate goals. Governments provide the policy foundation assuring industry that investments can be made to the market size and scale that the policy has established. The private sector, in creating its own business opportunities, then brings innovation to the economy, and competition delivers value to consumers. In combination, they both drive market transformation to allow clean energy to become an everyday decision, said John Williams, Vice President in NYSERDA one of the organising partners of the event.

“Corporate and Government Climate Action – The Clean Economy in Denmark and New York” is a high-level roundtable organised by the Confederation of Danish IndustryDI EnergyDanish Cleantech HubState of Green and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which will focus on the impact and nature of the private and public sectors’ climate action commitments towards a low-carbon economy.

-Related news: Strong Danish green footprint at this year’s New York Climate Week

Showcasing initiatives

The timing is perfect. With the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City as the backdrop, the event will convene clean economy leaders from state and city governments, businesses and financial institutions – such as NY Green Bank.

“NY Green Bank exists as a part of the New York State’s comprehensive energy strategy to lean in early to emerging markets and provide financing solutions that are replicable, scalable, and ultimately attract private sector investment. It is the government’s role to implement good policies that generate market activity and enable greater private sector investment,” said Alfred Griffin, President in NY Green Bank

Each path is different, but the idea is for participants to showcase leading collaborative initiatives for confronting and solving climate change.

One of the speakers at the event is Ditlev Engel, Denmark’s Special Envoy for Climate and Energy, and CEO of DNV GL’s Energy business: ”In my work as Denmark’s Special Envoy for Climate and Energy my main focus has been to speed up the global investments in the green transition in order to reach the climate goals. This entails creating an investment climate enabling both institutional investors and the private sector to engage and make the necessary investments. At the ‘Corporate and Government Climate Action’ event, I look forward to engage with both Danish and international stakeholders on how to create the best conditions for climate action”, he said.

-Related news: Securing the framework for offshore wind in New York

Strong line-up of prominent speakers

Speakers at “Corporate and Government Climate Action – The Clean Economy in Denmark and New York” include:

  • Alfred Griffin, President, NY Green Bank
  • Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA
  • Lea Wermelin, Minister of the Environment, Denmark
  • Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor, City of Copenhagen
  • Dale Bryk, Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
  • Lars Sandahl Sørensen, CEO, the Confederation of Danish Industry
  • Jens Birgersson, CEO, ROCKWOOL
  • Thomas Brostrøm, President, Ørsted North America
  • Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman, Carlsberg
  • Alzbeta Klein, Director and Global Head of Climate Business, International Finance Corporation

“Corporate and Government Climate Action – The Clean Economy in Denmark and New York” will take place in New York City on 24 September, 2019 from 11.30am to 4.30pm.

Programme of the event

11:30am: Lunch & welcome

12:10pm: Executive fireside chat – Green investment: How countries can become magnets for private green investments

12:30pm: Panel session I – Regulatory uncertainty at the city and state level: The role of corporate climate commitments

1:10pm: Break

1:30pm: Executive fireside chat – A renewable future: Driving climate action through offshore wind

1:50pm: Panel session II – Profitability and competitiveness: How the private sector can combine good business with climate goals

2:30pm: Curated roundtable discussions: Common ground and commitments

3:30pm: Reception

Visit the conference website for all he deatils.

World Water Day 2019 – The Future of Water in New York

April 8, 2019 / Posted by adminadmin / Climate adaptation, New York, Urban water

NY Blue Tech, New York’s first international and interdisciplinary water sector network, operates on the mission to help meet the challenges for the water sector in New York through knowledge-sharing.

The annual global World Water Day serves as an excellent occasion to leverage the multi-stakeholder scope of the NY Blue Tech network by convening experts, stakeholders and public decision makers for a day of discussing water sector challenges and opportunities in New York. This year, we decided to center the discussions around how to meet the water challenges through P3s and cross-disciplinary collaboration. A successful water event in Westchester earlier this year teed up the importance of rethinking P3 collaboration within the water sector. Hence, World Water Day symposium provided a unique platform to continue this discussion in a wider New York State setting “New York can benefit greatly from international collaboration on how to manage and implement cross-disciplinary collaboration. As two global frontrunners, Denmark and the Netherlands have successfully innovated the water sector through public-private partnerships. Being able to convene the entire New York water sector to discuss key issues like this is exactly why we co-founded NY Blue Tech in 2017”, said Klaus Lehn Christensen, Director, Danish Cleantech Hub and Co-founder of NY Blue Tech Network.

The first section of the half-day symposium took form as panel debates, where more than 18 speakers where given the opportunity to enlighten the attendees on how they actively focus on improving New York’s water sector by considering P3 collaboration and by applying an integrated water management approach, which recognizes the connection between upstream and downstream water assets. Among the high-level speakers where Josh Mendes, Technical Advisor, DHI Group, a Danish company that serves the US market with innovative technology for asset management and modelling within the water sector: “It is essential that we view the water cycle through a holistic lense. As we strive to future-proof our cities in the face of climate change and increasing density, we have to recognize that energy net-neutrality at our waste water resource plants is connected to how we manage for example stormwater further upstream”, said Josh Mendes, Technical Advisor, DHI Group.

The following break-out sessions proved the immense engagement from New Yorker stakeholders in discussing how we accommodate for future water challenges, and lot least how we finance implementation of long-term solutions.

NY Blue Tech’s 2019 World Water day symposium shed light on the complexity of the public-private partnerships needed to finance the badly needed water infrastructure upgrades in New York, and the US in general. And specifically, it brought together a diverse group of stakeholders together, who collectively identified existing technology and financial tools which are ready for deployment, if stakeholders are willing to take on risk and act.

Read more about NY Blue Tech and how to become a member here

Download article here

Access Cities Teams up with NYC Mayor’s Office to Develop Urban Tech Challenge

February 8, 2019 / Posted by adminadmin / Climate adaptation, New York

For the first major Access Cities challenge, Danish Cleantech Hub teams up with Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Economic Development Corporation and the city’s premier cleantech incubator, Urban Future Lab, to develop an open challenge based on problems prioritized by NYC Agencies, and for which Danish technology providers have a strong value proposition.

New York City offers a high value opportunity as a global megacity market for companies looking to get involved in market challenges coming out of the Access Cities program. Danish Cleantech Hub, a joint initiative by The Confederation of Danish Industry and State of Green, is the New York lead on this 2.5-year multi-city program aimed at testing out emerging, and proven, technology and solutions through a challenge and living lab-based approach in New York, Munich, Singapore, Copenhagen and Aarhus.

“Leveraging our position in the New York City urban tech ecosystem, we are teaming up with Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Economic Development Corporation and “our own” cleantech incubator, Urban Future Lab, to develop this first  open challenge. In this challenge both Danish technology providers and New York counterparts can compete in order to share knowledge across the Atlantic,” says NYC Access Cities Project Manager Klaus Lehn Christensen, Director at Danish Cleantech Hub.

As part of the Access Cities program, Danish Cleantech Hub, offers individual support for companies interested in the New York market by assisting with market entry, partner search and/or visibility.

At the same time, in Denmark, Climate KIC offers market preparation support for companies interested in the challenge, and who are looking to take on the US market. The challenge is expected to launch during the Smart Cities NY expo 13-15 May 2019.

Apart from co-created challenges, the Access Cities program also promotes existing challenges on the target markets. Below an outline of currently open challenges on the New York market.

New York State 2019 Forecast – Political and Cleantech Trends

December 14, 2018 / Posted by adminadmin / Climate adaptation, New York, Renewable energy

Clean energy forecast in the midterm elections aftermath

The U.S. mid-term elections resulted in a Democratic take-over of the House of Representatives. Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi Democrats seem determined to launch a new “better green deal” on climate change and other environmental issues, which have taken a back seat in light of Republicans’ deregulatory agenda. However, forces within the Democratic party are arguing for the more progressive stance that the country should commit to 100 % renewable electricity generation within a decade.

With a Congress mired in gridlock under the Trump Administration, which celebrated Thanksgiving by sweeping an alarming climate action progress port under the rug, it is more likely, however, that the clean energy efforts will be spearheaded by states and cities. The US Climate Alliance currently includes 17 states which have committed to delivering on the Paris Agreement. And, early December it was announced that Ohio became the 100th U.S. city to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2030-2035 (depending on the city), in a national campaign promoted by the influential non-profit, The Sierra Club.

Governor Cuomo Continues to drive New York’s environmental leadership

The two-term New York incumbent Andrew Cuomo was resoundingly reelected to a third term as governor of New York, winning 59% of the votes, which even improved his 2014 showing. His victory came as fellow democrats in Albany celebrated a wave of victories in the State Senate, regaining control of that chamber for just the third time in 50 years.

New York State continues to boast one of the nation’s most progressive Clean Energy Standards committed to the goal of securing 50% of the State’s consumption from renewable sources such as such as solar, wind, and hydro by 2030.

Off-shore wind plays an important piece in the new energy mix for New York, and the East Coast in general, which collectively has committed to produce 8GW by 2030. New York for its part signed up to this virtual East Coast race with a 2.4GW goal by 2030, enough to power 1.2 million homes. That decision has further catalyzed the decision to shut down Indian Point by 2021, one of New York’s four nuclear powerplants, attracting additional investment in clean energy

In New York City, the midterm elections offered a further Democratic boost, which included young rising candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio winning a congressional seat to become the youngest woman to join Congress, and Max Rose securing a Democratic victory on Staten Island, New York most conservative borough.

Mayor de Blasio is focused on delivering on the Paris Agreement, and the additional 1.5 C plan the city committed to, as the first one in the world, which includes alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The City’s 10-year development plan, OneNYC plan, works to deliver on the climate action goal of 80% emission reductions by 2050.

Silicon Valley vs Silicon Alley

In the great West Coast vs East Coast battle to attract investment and talent to the tech world, New York continues to ramp up its “Silicon Alley” brand. While still dwarfed by Silicon Valley venture capital abundance, the Mid-Atlantic region, mainly driven by New York, came in 2nd with 20.4% of all venture capital deals in Q3 2018, against Silicon Valley’s 38.3%.


A genuine tech hub

Zeroing in on cleantech, or Urban Tech, as it is dubbed here, New York City has become a genuine hub. The City’s Economic Development Corporation continues to funnel investment into the growing ecosystem by creating more visibility, and opportunity, for investors and companies. As an example, in 2019 New York City’s urban tech sector will be centralized on one single website, and ecosystem, called The Grid.

New York City closed out the year with a big tech announcement with Amazon deciding to set up its second U.S. headquarters (split with Northern Virginia) creating 25,000 skilled tech jobs at $130,000 a year. The move solidifies the City’s position as a tech hub, where Amazon is joining other major job creators such as Google, Facebook, BNY Mellon, Capgemini, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.


Opportunities abound for Danish cleantech companies in New York

Danish Cleantech Hub, a joint initiative by The Confederation og Danish Industry and State of Green, is in a valuable position to help Danish companies benefit from New York’s consistent commitment to sustainability and climate adaptation. Imbedded in the New York ecosystem system since 2014, Danish Cleantech Hub enters 2019 with a variety of new business opportunities: Circular City Week (March 4-10) is an industry festival organized by Danish Cleantech Hub to boost the awareness of circular economy – a paradigm which Denmark is among the global frontrunners within.

As a second new initiative, Danish Cleantech Hub is part of Access Cities – a multi-city 2.5year program with the aim of testing out emerging, and proven, technology and solutions through a challenge and living lab based approach in New York, Munich, Singapore, Copenhagen and Aarhus.

In addition to that, Danish Cleantech Hub opens the new year as a partner in The Westchester water symposium (January 17), and later on with Word Water Day programming (March 22) through the water network NY Blue Tech co-founded by Danish Cleantech Hub.

Access the article here

Get in Contact

Louis Funder

General Manager, US

(+1) 202 813 2276


Klaus Lehn Christensen


(+1) 646 997 4019



NYC-Copenhagen Collaboration on Cloudburst Management to be Extended – and Expanded!

September 28, 2018 / Posted by adminadmin / Climate adaptation, New York, Urban planning, Urban water

New York’s Next Nickname: The Big Sponge?

New York City has its nicknames: the Empire City, Fun City, the city that never sleeps. Now, because of a partnership between New York and Copenhagen, another might join the list: Sponge City.

New York, city officials said, needs to do better at dealing with weather phenomena that are becoming more common — cloudbursts, which are especially intense rainstorms that dump enormous amounts of water in a short time. Climate change means cloudbursts are likely to happen more frequently.

So officials have spent three years studying how Copenhagen coped with heavy storm water runoff after a deluge in 2011. A Danish official called it a thousand-year weather event.

The storm drenched Copenhagen with six inches of rain in two hours. Afterward, officials considered ways of making the city more absorbent with design changes, like planting grass to replace asphalt (because asphalt does not absorb rainwater) or lowering playgrounds and basketball courts so they hold water in a storm.

Then in 2012, Hurricane Sandy flooded 51 square miles in New York, about 17 percent of the city’s total land mass, according to city statistics.

When New York officials learned that Copenhagen had developed a master plan to deal with storms and runoff, the two very different cities formed a partnership. Copenhagen’s population is less than 10 percent of New York’s, and Copenhagen covers far less land than do the five boroughs.

“Yours is much, much bigger, but the principle is the same,” said Lykke Leonardsen, a Copenhagen official involved in the partnership. “The idea of creating a new type of infrastructure for the management of storm water is a way of making sure that you do not experience an unwanted flood from sewer water and storm water, because then you’re not just talking about a nuisance but a health issue.”

Officials from both cities decided they needed open space that can, in effect, absorb water like sponges, or at least slow runoff gushing through populated areas during or after a storm. Finding such spaces is a tall order in urban areas, but “sponges” help to keep water out of the sewer system when sewers are overwhelmed in a storm.

“The obvious thing is, why don’t you build bigger sewers,” Vincent Sapienza, the commissioner of New York’s Department of Environmental Protection, said in an interview. “One is, they cost a fabulous amount of money to do, and two, on many residential streets, there’s no room for bigger sewers.”

Ms. Leonardsen said Copenhagen’s experience showed that turning to green infrastructure and solutions like sponge areas had economic advantages.“We found that instead of digging down in underground reservoirs and expanding the sewer system,” she said, “this was much cheaper.”

After the 2011 cloudburst, Copenhagen began 300 projects to drive storm water away from populated areas and manage flooding better. “Copenhagen showed you can take it a step further by creating spaces where you can store larger volumes of water,” said Alan Cohn, a managing director in the environmental agency’s Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis.

Adding green space or replacing asphalt with grass could increase the spongelike properties of a neighborhood. And when sewers are overwhelmed by a rainwater runoff, he said, the goal should be “flooding by design” — that is, designing the landscape so water goes where it can be stored temporarily if it cannot be absorbed into the ground.

Designing a basketball court like an amphitheater, with steps leading down, could accomplish that.

On an appropriately recent rainy day, officials from the two cities, along with environmental experts and officials from other cities, gathered at the Center for Architecture in Greenwich Village for a discussion of what could be accomplished through international collaboration.

Susanne DesRoches, a deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, said the project with Copenhagen had been “a huge success.” Mr. Sapienza said the partnership would continue and expand to include other cities.

Other officials said it was important to share ideas because each city tends to formulate plans in its own way.

“There’s no cookbook for how to make cities resilient,” Ms. Leonardsen said. “It’s new for us, and we all have to figure it out.”

In 2016, the second year of the partnership, New York began a cloudburst study in southeastern Queens, where storm water drains into Jamaica Bay. Now in the planning stages is a pilot program at the South Jamaica Houses, a public-housing project that dates to when Fiorello H. La Guardia was mayor.

A second pilot-project area is in St. Albans, Queens, which also sustains heavy flooding.

Southeastern Queens is shaped somewhat like a bowl and sits at a low elevation with inadequate sewer infrastructure, officials said, so the city is committing $1.9 billion to reduce flooding and improve street conditions there. The money will go to 45 infrastructure projects to be completed over the next 10 years.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, co-chairwoman of the New York City Panel on Climate Change and a professor at Barnard College, said municipalities across the country needed to think bigger.

“In Europe, they take a larger approach,” she said. “Here, we take a jack-o’-lantern approach,” concentrating on limited projects that are the equivalent of the eyes or the mouth on a Halloween pumpkin. “We need to scale up to the neighborhood level and beyond.”

Read the article on the successful  NYC-Copenhagen collaboration in The New York Times.

Copenhagen-New York Collaboration Leads to Cloudburst Management Being Included in NYC Resilience Plan

The ongoing knowledge exchange between New York City and Copenhagen has lead to a 3-year official collaboration on Climate Adaptation and Cloudburst Management, with Danish Cleantech Hub as local facilitator in NYC.

Read the study

Danish Cleantech Hub in Close Cooperation with Local Partners Advancing the Circular Economy Movement in New York

September 27, 2018 / Posted by adminadmin / Circular economy, New York

Today, four out of five products in the United States are only used once before being dumped, and in New York only 17 per cent of waste is reused. There is, however, significant potential for boosting these numbers comparing them to the world’s leading country in recycling, Germany, where 65 per cent of waste is recycled. Looking deeper into waste issues such as plastics, where circular economy creates new opportunities for waste management, Europe currently recycles 30 per cent of its plastics compared to 9 per cent in the United States. These dauting facts have contributed to making New Yorkers increasingly curious about the new term ‘Circular Economy’.

Business as usual cannot continue – which is why New York-based Danish Cleantech Hub has taken the initiative to create the first ever ‘Circular City Week New York’. A festival of dispersed events, which will share the best circular practices across a range of sectors. The festival will take place for the first time in March 2019.

The backdrop of circular economy is the resources scarcity of the world. Everything is of value – also waste. Reuse, recycling, and recirculation have become new types of business models. Cities, corporations, and citizens have a common interest in creating efficient urban systems which design out waste, create well-functioning markets for second-hand products, enables greater reuse, and promotes a sharing economy.

All the signs points in the direction of this being a new global mega-trend and a multibillion dollar business opportunity.

For decades Denmark has had a strong focus on sustainability, and circular economy is the next innovative paradigm. Especially after the adoption of the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals 2030 – where the ambitions related to responsible consumption and production are defined in goal 12.

At Tuesday’s event, Commissioner Kathryn Garcia from NYC Department of Sanitation, also confirmed that circular economy is a focus area in New York City, but implementation must be a lengthy process: ‘Circular economy requires long-term relationships, where the city and the companies are willing to make investments in order to make it work.’

Emphasizing the need to showcase how the Circular economy is a transformative force to a wide range of industries and urban life, Circular City Week will feature activities affiliated with sectors such as fashion, architecture, energy, e-commerce and food. Circular City Week is dedicated to engaging the business community, academia, public stakeholders, investors, and civil society in pursuit of meaningful impact and change – one step at the time. The transformation to a circular economy is a process, and with the Circular City Week, New York has secured a new vehicle to drive future progress.

Karsten Dybvad, CEO of Confederation of Danish Industry, who together with State of Green are founders of Danish Cleantech Hub, said, ‘Denmark is a world leader in development of solutions with a circular foot print. We hope to engage and inspire companies, decision makers and citizens. We want to visualize that circular economy is relevant also to the food sector, fashion and design, the build environment and e-trade.’

Circular economy receives support from the Danish Crown Princess and the Prime Minister

In her keynote speech at the high-level event on Tuesday, HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark brought forward the textile and fashion industry as an example of a sector that has started a massive transformation. It is a multi-trillion-dollar industry, employing more than 60 million people globally, but it is also one of the most polluting industries, with highly resource intensive production. The pressure from consumers who demand sustainable products and textile employees needing better working conditions, can be turn into a source of inspiration for companies to create new business models and innovative technologies: ‘In the past years we have seen a rise in the number of businesses that choose and strive to design more sustainable products. For more and more companies, sustainability is already an integral part of their business strategy. Not a separate CSR-strategy, but one, which is truly integrated in the core strategy of the business. Fashion and textile companies no matter how large or resourceful cannot overcome such challenges alone. It will take a joint effort by the industry as a whole. But when large companies commit themselves to a one hundred per cent circular business model through the use of sustainable resources, recycled fabrics and consumption solely on renewable energy, they serve as an example for the entire industry,’ HRH Crown Princess Mary said.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen underlined the profitable rational for engaging in a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has concluded that Denmark by 2035 can increase the GDP by 0.8 – 1.4 per cent by facilitating a more circular economy. Against that background, the Danish Government published a National Strategy for A Circular Economy in September 2018: ‘We are basing our efforts on proven concepts. For instance, in the Danish city of Kalundborg, we have piloted an industrial public-private partnership where energy, water and waste-materials are exchanged in closed loops. One company’s waste becomes a resource in another company. This is the essence of the circular economy. And it is good business. But it is not enough that we make such solutions in one city. We need to promote this way of thinking to the rest of the world. And we need to show that it pays off.’

The event presented several concrete examples of high impact circular economy initiatives and partnerships around the world, which set examples for others to follow.

    • The World Economy Forum addressed their research on a New Plastics Economy which was undertaken in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a broad group of corporate frontrunners. The aim being to take concrete steps to design a plastics system founded on circular economy principles. By 2050, oceans are expected to contain more plastics by weight than fish, while the plastics industry will consume 20 per cent of the total oil production. There is an urgency for change – and a strong business opportunity as well.
    • P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030) presented some project ideas that have applied to be part of the initiative. One of these The Green Logistics City Partnership by Chinese company Alibaba was highlighted, focusing on the booming e-commerce and reduction in packaging waste in China. Alibaba as the world’s largest e-commerce company, distributes 28 billion packages to locations in China every year. It creates a massive amount of waste. In Xiamen, a city of 3.5 million people, a pilot project was launched in 2017 and since then more than a million delivery boxes have been recycled for reuse. The partnership is planning to expand to other cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
    • LEGO’s shared their circular mindset. The signature brick has been in production since 1958 and has been designed to last just as long – each element can be used again and again, with no end-of-life in sight. More so, LEGO is the embodiment of the most basic circular principles, as it is designed for disassembly and reconfiguration. It is also LEGO’s ambition to refashion the product and build its toys from bio-based or recycled plastic in the future.
    • New York City Department of Sanitation used the event to extent on its NYC Zero Waste Strategy launched in 2016. It is a 4 year strategy to keep garbage from landfills by limiting the use of materials hence to reuse and recycle the rest. The department has now reached 20 of the 46 original initiatives and has among others grown the largest curbside organics collection program in the United States, now serving 3,5 million residents.


The high-level conference that was hosted during Climate Week NYC proved that circular economy is rapidly taking off, where both the public and the private sector are increasingly implementing initiatives in the shape of policies, partnerships, and new business models forwarding the agenda. As Ian de Cruz, the Global Director of P4G stated: “There is a demand for circular economy from businesses, governments and civil society. The hard part is now to implement it and I am very optimistic that we will have Circular economy models in the future.”


Fighting Water with Water

September 21, 2018 / Posted by adminadmin / Climate adaptation, New York, Urban water

A feasibility study, prepared by Danish Cleantech Hub in New York, helped kick off a US journey for the Danish company Environment Solutions, which specializes in flood control barriers.

In the wake of the damages caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, along with prospect of severe future flood events and the costs of repair, New York City has taken a proactive approach to climate adaptation, putting flood mitigation and resiliency high on the political agenda. Protecting critical infrastructure from flooding, such as tunnels, roads and railroads, are among the top priorities. Long Island Railroad is a strong case. Comprised of over 700 miles of tracks, Long Island Rail Road is North America’s busiest commuter railroad, and thus a critical infrastructural vein in the City of New York.

Through their partnership with Danish Cleantech Hub, Environment Solutions identified Long Island Rail Road as a potential. public client, and through a strong U.S. contributor, Flood Control Barriers LLC, Environment Solutions was in the right position to win the contract: “Environment Solutions is very excited to be awarded the first public contract in a North American megacity such as New York,, and it truly underpins Denmark as a frontrunner within sustainable flood protection solutions”, says Anders Philipsen, CEO of Environment Solutions.

With the contract Long Island Rail Road aims to prevent critical underground rail tunnels from flooding. Environment Solutions and their distributor will also be responsible for deployment training of railroad personnel.

Read the article here

Circular Furniture Showcase

September 10, 2018 / Posted by adminadmin / Circular economy, New York

As to showcase how a range of different design companies and furniture manufactures have already taken on this call for action, Arup and Danish Cleantech Hub in New York are the initiators behind a Circular Furniture Showcase. We believe that a circular approach to furniture and interior design, entails an immense potential to create sustainable and livable office spaces. Well-designed and durable furniture will allow component reuse, informed material choices, and valuable takeback systems, just to name a few benefits.

The showcase was first exhibited at a high-level circular economy event hosted by the Danish Cleantech Hub on September 25th. The furniture was exhibited at stage and used as an active part of the conference. Subsequently the exhibition, in a slightly reduced version, have moved the New York HQ of Arup.

Read all about the Circular Office Furniture Exhibition here.



Meet the Danes Trying to Help New York Deal With Climate Change

June 6, 2018 / Posted by adminadmin / Climate adaptation, New York

Meet the Danes Trying to Help New York Deal With Climate Change

When Danish company WindowMaster wanted to expand to the United States, they visited the Brooklyn offices of the Danish Cleantech Hub. There they met Jakob Olesen, a tall blond Dane who serves as the Hub’s project manager, and his team. They presented Olesen with their product: a miniature engine (known as an actuator) that can automatically open or close windows to exactly the angle that will provide optimal air temperature and quality, and, in turn, lower HVAC costs.

Olesen and his team connected Window Masters with a local architecture firm, and the two businesses are now working together to install Window Masters windows in a new Brooklyn building.

“Our goal is to figure out what we are doing in Denmark that is good for the U.S. in terms of clean technologies and vice versa,” says Olesen, who has been living in the United States for the past five years. “The idea is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and ideas that are mutually beneficial.”

The Danish Cleantech Hub is the result of a public-private partnership between the Confederation of Danish Industry — a business organization with 10,000 members — and State of Green, a nonprofit aimed at promoting Denmark’s environmentally friendly agenda around the world.

“If Copenhagen wants to discuss flooding solutions with New York City, we can facilitate that.” Julius Meilstrup, Danish Clentech Hub “Because Denmark is one of the lowest-lying nations in the world, we have been facing the consequences of a changing climate for a long time,” explained Julius Meilstrup, a business analyst with Danish Cleantech Hub. “Therefore we have already developed solutions for some of the issues other nations are just starting to face, and we want to make sure we share those solutions.”

The Brooklyn branch of the Danish Cleantech Hub operates out of the Urban Future Lab, a cleantech incubator in MetroTech Center. It functions mainly as a consultancy, performing market research and legal services for Danish organizations focused on urban planning, green development and renewable energy that are looking to expand into the U.S. The Hub also hosts about 25 events annually aimed at sharing cleantech knowledge and ideas.

“By virtue of us being in the United States and having this network of technologists, lawyers, distributors and public authorities, we can really help provide great access to the market,” said Meilstrup. “If Copenhagen wants to discuss flooding solutions with New York City, we can facilitate that.”

Since opening in 2014, the Danish Cleantech Hub has worked with over 40 private and public entities. While Danish organizations have been enthusiastic about leveraging their services, Olesen says he wants to market more to American stakeholders.

“We want America to understand how they are going to benefit from working with Denmark,” Olesen says. “If you are experiencing issues with building performance, efficiency, or renewable energy, we can help you find someone who has solved your issue.” Bigger picture, the Hub wants to expand to help bring Danish solutions to every part of the world experiencing the effects of climate change. Along with Brooklyn, the organization has offices in Shanghai, Dubai, Nairobi, Munich and Gujarat, India.

“Climate change is not something the public or private sector can solve on their own,” Olesen said. “It requires a collaborative approach by all of us.”

The Case for Resiliency in Municipal Water

June 6, 2018 / Posted by adminadmin / New York, Urban planning, Urban water

In New York, maintaining municipal water assets has gained added significance in recent years with the high ambitions set forth by OneNYC — a comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy for the city’s development. Here, attention to water infrastructure is a prominent feature, identified within several of the strategy’s visions and subordinate initiatives.

These plans — perhaps most notably a net-zero energy target for the city’s 14 wastewater treatment plants by 2050 — position New York as a national leader in water solutions. Catalyzing evolution in New York’s water scene, the various goals are driving stakeholders to explore novel technologies for more efficient, sustainable water treatment and supply.

The net-zero goal, for instance, has led NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop energy conservation measures across all 14 of the city’s WWTPs, including evaluation of opportunities for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations.

By the end of December 2017, construction had begun on a 12 MW cogeneration system at the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant. And at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, waste-to-energy technology has been deployed as part of a codigestion demonstration project ramping up to process 250 tons food waste per day by June 2019, from 60 tons per day achieved in 2017.

“DEP is simultaneously meeting the ambitious OneNYC energy reduction goals and new energy-intensive water/wastewater quality regulatory mandates, while integrating and not sacrificing state-of-good-repair needs,” said Tara Deighan, DEP deputy press secretary, describing the utility provider as “becoming a progressive leader in sustainable operations and resource recovery, seeking the best investments for environmental and social solutions.”

There’s a “robust capital program” financing the aspirations too: N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo has made funding of blue infrastructure a priority, with $2.5 billion pledged for 2017-2018 alone.

Still, there is another aspect to the evolution of New York’s water scene, one characterized less by state-of-the-art technology and more by its approach to planning water assets.

Arcadis, a leading engineering firm heavily involved in NYC’s urban development scene, is contributing in no small part to this. “With changing climates, the new normal can be pretty extreme, and with the associated risks urban spaces must be designed to address these circumstances in a proactive, rather than reactive, manner,” said Edgar Westerhof, flood risk and resilience lead at Arcadis.

“Resiliency is about developing assets with an eye towards the future and recognizing how multiple urban systems are connected. It involves raising the bar wherever possible and assuring we’re building for this new normal while safeguarding asset functions of the past.”

A textbook example of Arcadis’s application of this systems-­based mindset is evidenced in its development of the Big U and Waterfront Resiliency Plan of Manhattan, which after much anticipation is slated to break ground on an initial 2.5-mile stretch of sea level defense around lower Manhattan later this year.

Alongside private actors embracing the new ways, so too are public bodies. DEP’s Office of Integrated Water Management is taking an active role in responding to these new circumstances. Leading the office is Alan Cohn, who told WaterWorld: “Resilience involves optimizing the system to absorb shocks more readily. Anything we can do to reduce demand on the system whilst optimizing our resources makes us more resilient to otherwise harmful events.”

Cohn explained that the office’s twofold focus prioritizes demand management (including water conservation) and climate resiliency: “We see the two as very much intertwined, as demand management is a central tool in our climate resilience toolbox when it comes to drinking water supply and sewage.”

Since New York operates a majority combined sewer system, water asset resiliency hinges upon recognition of relationships between combined sewer overflow, stormwater management and water quality.

A prime example of the value of this mindset in action presents itself in the increasingly critical context of tackling New York’s susceptibility to extreme rainfall, or ‘cloudburst’ events. Such events can overwhelm sewers and associated infrastructure, and create localized flooding. With the potential consequences as severe as they are, the circumstances prompted the DEP’s Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study to assess risks and management strategies, and develop new solutions.

“With Cloudburst we recognized we cannot just upgrade infrastructure and build bigger pipes. Even if we did, there would always be a larger storm above the design standard,” said Cohn.

He continued: “The new perspective is that this isn’t a DEP problem but an issue we need to collectively understand and solve as a city. City agencies with property, streets or parks, need to ask how we can use groundwater management to address flooding and reduce discharge from sewers to harbor.”

Inspired by a program of cloudburst mitigation undertaken in Copenhagen, Denmark — and working with the city under a three-year MoU on cloudburst management that commenced in 2015 — DEP is applying a resiliency lens to address the threat.

Although not at the same scale as in Copenhagen, DEP has multiple cloudburst pilot projects underway. Here, in place of traditional engineering measures to manage stormwater runoff, investment is made in public spaces and so-called blue-green infrastructure. Examples include permeable pavement, rain gardens, and stormwater green streets — assets that can absorb high volumes of water in order to reduce damage to and stress on traditional assets where water would otherwise go.

Remarking on Arcadis’s experiences with similar infrastructure in Pittsburgh, Westerhof said: “We’ve seen that rather than large pumps and extended sewers to prevent flooding or handle water, success is possible through large-scale green infrastructure implementation and holistic solutions.”

Within a DEP demand management program, Cohn explained that incentives for retrofitting building plumbing geared towards reducing loads on sewer system and simultaneously saving on potable water is another kind of solution in play.

These novel solutions can necessitate interagency partnering and carry challenges of their own, but they bring positive consequences across all sorts of metrics high on the city’s political, social and environmental agendas.

“Assessing water supply savings, we’ve been able to quantify reductions in flow to individual WWTPs and consequent reduction in energy consumption for treatment, both before coming through pipes from reservoirs and energy used at WWTPs for treatment. There’s a clear environmental impact,” said Cohn, highlighting that this water-energy link hasn’t always been made explicit. With the aid of Water-Energy Nexus tools developed by DEP, however, it provides a compelling account of holistic approaches.

A DEP Water-Energy Nexus study that quantified benefits associated with four of DEP’s programs during 2015 — green infrastructure, water demand management and conservation, wetland restoration and water supply forestland protection — reports:

• 687 million gallons per year (MGY) of stormwater input to NYC’s 14 WWTPs was avoided via green infrastructure;

• 528 MGY of reduced water demand and associated wastewater treatment via conserving fixtures;

• 133 MGY of reduced water demand via repairs to leaking water mains.

Associated with the programs, the study calculated an estimated reduction in total emissions for 2015 of 178,000 metric tons (MT) of CO2 (which is equivalent to removing approximately 53,000 passenger cars from the road).

Urban green spaces provide recreation areas that align with much needed passive protection of urban watersheds. Image courtesy BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.


It’s against this backdrop of a progressive water sector that NY Blue Tech has been established. A public-private partnership, NY Blue Tech was co-founded last year by the Danish Cleantech Hub in concert with DEP, NYC Economic Development Corporation, Columbia University, and the Dutch Consulate. Touted as New York State’s first interdisciplinary and international water think-tank, its ethos echoes the city’s ambitions of instilling sustainability and resiliency into its water systems.

One of the co-founders of NY Blue Tech is Klaus Lehn Christensen, project director at Danish Cleantech Hub, a public-private partnership based in NYC working to accelerate cleantech solution sharing between Denmark and New York.

“We saw a need for a forum in which public, private, and academic stakeholders could convene and collaborate around emerging technology and solutions, particularly ones relevant to wastewater and stormwater management,” Christensen said of the network’s founding.

In February 2018, NY Blue Tech hosted its first mini-­conference. Examining the future of water in New York, it brought together the Commissioner of New York City’s public water utility, the Danish water-engineering consultancy DHI Group, the Regional Plan Association and Dutch ONE Architecture.

Such interdisciplinary activities — exploring the intersection of business, politics and civil society — are precisely the kind needed for the multi-sectoral resiliency approach. As Westerhof explained: “The transition we’re seeing towards collaborative planning and collaborative water management relies on people from various agencies coming together — people from public and private sectors, politics and economics, water treatment, parks, infrastructure and so on.”

“But it also requires confidence from local leaders to look towards other places where solutions have been successful before. The Copenhagen MoU is a great example of creating an agenda for collaboration,” he added.

It’s a sentiment shared by NY Blue Tech and Lehn Christensen, who said: “There’s a growing recognition for the value of integrated water management in New York and consequently there’s opportunity for the city to be adopting and adapting European models where these practices have matured somewhat already.”

To facilitate this, NY Blue Tech aims to support knowledge transfer of, for example, Danish water-tech solutions, channeling in proven solutions and expertise. “Introducing world-leading Danish water technology in a New York context is a great asset for the tech transfer and partnership aspirations of the NY Blue Tech network,” said Lehn Christensen.

Cohn, who has been involved in NY Blue Tech since its days on the drawing board, is enthusiastic for the platform created by the think tank, saying: “Showcasing examples from other cities and across the world where innovative solutions have been implemented is inspirational. Connecting people from multiple city agencies together, it becomes an occasion to discuss challenges, experiences and ideas when we simply wouldn’t have done so otherwise. It’s been exciting and I look forward to more to come.”

Artist rendering highlights coastal flooding initiatives featured within the BIG U project. Image courtesy BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

Cohn noted that whether it’s multiple agencies, departments or varied stakeholders from disparate industries, there can oftentimes be a disconnect between people seeking solutions to new and emerging problems and the groups with solutions. It’s an ubiquitous issue, but one NY Blue Tech aims to address. In particular, it’s pitched to facilitate the kind of public-private partnerships thought to lend themselves to a resiliency approach.

Describing the scale of challenges faced by water stakeholders amidst the new normal, Westerhof commented: “Solutions should and need to be a shared responsibility, with collaboration between public and private. But I’m confident [that] methodologies, tools, and financial models are evolving rapidly to include this collaborative thinking and planning.”

While cities throughout the U.S. are beginning to adopt systems-based resiliency approaches, it seems New York is getting ahead of the curve.

“We all agree that we’re facing challenges of our lifetimes when it comes to protecting a city like New York. But we’re seeing the city adopting new approaches and implementing things in an impressive way,” said Westerhof. “It’s not just talk, and a lot has been accomplished in the last five years. New York is definitely leading the charge.”

About the Author: William Steel is a freelance reporter covering renewable energy, water and cleantech industries.

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