Denmark-headed energy utility major DONG Energy has announced its intention to change name to Ørsted in a bid to better reflect the nature of the company following its "profound" strategic transformation from black to green energy and the recent divestment of the upstream oil and gas production. The name change is subject to approval from an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders to be held October 30.
According to a statement and calling of Extraordinary General Meeting, the name DONG Energy does not fit the company anymore.
DONG was originally short for Danish Oil and Natural Gas. With our profound strategic transformation and the divestment of our upstream oil and gas business, this is no longer who we are. Therefore, now is the right time to change our name. Our vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Climate change is one of the most serious challenges facing the world today, and to avoid causing serious harm to the global ecosystems, we need to fundamentally change the way we power the world by switching from black to green energy, said Thomas Thune Andersen, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
From green transformation to green growth
Over the past decade, DONG Energy has transformed itself from an energy company based on coal and oil to a global leader in renewable energy. The company has increased earnings considerably while reducing the use of coal in its power stations and building out new offshore wind farms. Since 2006, carbon emissions have been reduced by 52 percent, and by 2023, they will have been reduced by 96 percent compared to 2006.
2017 will be remembered as the year when offshore wind became cheaper than black energy, as demonstrated by the recent tenders for offshore wind in Germany and the UK. It has never been more clear that it is possible to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. The time is now right for us to change our name to demonstrate that we want to help create such a world, said Henrik Poulsen, CEO of DONG Energy.
In February 2017, the company decided to phase out the use of coal in its power stations by 2023 replacing it with sustainable biomass. Last week on September 29, DONG Energy completed the divestment of its upstream oil and gas business to INEOS.
Today, we’re dedicated to green energy. Our focus going forward will be on green growth based on our existing business platforms in offshore wind, biomass, green customer solutions and advanced waste-to-energy solutions. We’ll also explore new green growth opportunities to strengthening our existing platform, if they support our vision, provide a strong competitive position and create value for our shareholders, Poulsen said.
The company has established a new storage team to explore new business opportunities in energy storage and has also established a new corporate ventures unit in Silicon Valley, California, to explore emerging energy technologies and potential long-term business opportunities.
As battery storage and new energy technologies mature and as a more flexible demand side is developed, natural gas will, in the coming years, continue to support the transition to an entirely green energy system. DONG Energy says it will continue to trade in and sell natural gas to its customers, facilitating the bridge to a world that runs entirely on green energy.
Electromagnetic new name and brand
According to the company, the new name – Ørsted – references the innovative Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851). Ørsted spearheaded several scientific discoveries, including the discovery of electromagnetism in 1820, which helped lay the scientific foundation for how today’s societies are powered.
As part of becoming Ørsted, a new logo and brand identity will be introduced. The new brand identity is inspired by the Danish design tradition of being “simple, functional and human and supporting a sustainable way of life”. The brand identity will consist of a full spectrum of colours, inspired by Scandinavian nature and the Danish 20th-century artist Vilhelm Lundstrøm.
We’ve undertaken significant efforts to find the right name and brand identity for our company. Our new name recognises H.C. Ørsted’s curiosity, dedication and interest in nature and our brand identity speaks to the innovation and profound understanding of nature, which is vital to creating a world that runs entirely on green energy, explained Poulsen.
The planned name change will necessitate an amendment to the company’s Articles of Association. An Extraordinary General Meeting will be held on October 30 to formally decide the name change. As a consequence of the name change, DONG Energy will change its stock exchange ticker to Orsted. The change in ticker will become effective from the start of trading on October 31, assuming a positive outcome at the general meeting and with the rollout of the new name and design across DONG Energy’s markets slated to begin on November 6.