"The Green Transition is Gradually Becoming Part of our DNA"
By joining our former program Future Now, Danish company Mouritsen gained new green perspectives by actively utilizing design-driven methods. Three years post-program, the company’s commitment to the green transition is increasingly manifesting, evident in internal practices to notable sales successes with visible green aspects
In a series of articles, we look at where our past program participants stand today and how they have evolved toward increasingly sustainable business practices. In this feature, you can get to know Mouritsen and learn more about their journey.
Based in Vejle, the Danish company Mouritsen is on a mission to redefine industry standards by integrating more sustainable solutions in offshore, fluid handling, and surface treatments. They are still at a very early stage of the process – one that Claus Andersen, CEO at Mouritsen, describes as a big challenge but one they are pursuing with great passion.
Finding the answers in the future
Participation in our former program, Future Now, has led to a complete change in the company’s approach to sustainability and a much deeper embedding of ESG measures.
These areas are at the heart of Mouritsen’s new corporate identity and are gradually proving a competitive advantage.
This progress has been driven primarily by Mouritsen’s proactive use of design methods and tools acquired through Future Now, including prototyping and future scenarios. The program ran from 2020-2021, and Mouritsen was one of the 18 participating companies.
“One of the insights that changed our approach was working on future scenarios, which showed us the importance of embracing the green transition and key aspects of sustainable practices rather than resisting it. Regardless of the scenario, it became clear that these aspects are fundamental to our long-term success,” says Claus Andersen.
"The green transition is gradually becoming part of our corporate DNA. We are still a long way from the finish line, but working towards more sustainable practices is critical to our customer strategy and value proposition today"
In one of our recent surveys from 2022, Design Delivers Green, which explores the use of design in Danish companies, we emphasize the importance of design approaches like these in the transition to circular and sustainable business models.
Danish companies demand design skills to succeed in the circular transition:
- 61 percent of companies demand competencies in and knowledge of sustainable materials in the circular transition
- 58 percent of companies demand competencies within and knowledge of user and customer needs within the circular transition (Design Delivers Green 2022).
The survey also shows that 82 percent of companies with a fully circular business model report that going circular has positively impacted the bottom line.
Results foster results
In 2021, Mouritsen unveiled a series of noteworthy results and a robust action plan, marking a new chapter in their business approach. This strategy involved moving from being a traditional production supplier to advising clients on identifying product optimizations.
Building on these achievements, the company has made substantial strides at organizational and corporate strategy levels. They have:
- Boosted sales of sustainability-focused products from five percent to 80-90 percent in just three years
- Formed a strategic partnership with a Danish global company, helping other companies identify improvement opportunities within their production and estimate potentials for reducing CO2 emissions
- Onboarded a new Chairman with a strong ESG focus
- Launched new in-house competencies in product innovation to minimize the environmental impact of products life cycles (production, use, recycling)
- Established an internal ESG support team that embodies Mouritsen’s shared commitment to sustainability.
"One of the insights that changed our approach was working on future scenarios, which showed us the importance of embracing the green transition and key aspects of sustainable practices rather than resisting it. Regardless of the scenario, it became clear that these aspects are fundamental to our long-term success"
Claus Andersen believes that joining Future Now has led the company to new, decisive perspectives and changed Mouritsen’s day-to-day operations.
By adopting a knowledge-based approach, the company has evolved from simply selling appliances to an improved position, now educating customers on how to operate their machines, extend their lifespan, and reduce their environmental impact.
“We have recognized the importance of sharing knowledge about how appliances are constructed and optimally used to reduce their environmental impact. As we are now a more knowledge-based company, we have the opportunity to change the mindset of other companies mindset to the greener,” says Claus Andersen.
Focusing on optimization and optimal use instead of selling new machines has also significantly increased Mouritsen’s customer engagement. In addition, this approach gives the sales team better opportunities to interact with customers and highlight the significant environmental benefits of using more sustainable practices in their production.
Claus Andersen believes that joining Future Now has led the company to new, decisive perspectives and changed Mouritsen's day-to-day operations
Co-shaping the transition
Mouritsen has also put a lot of time and effort into building an ESG support team, which currently consists of four colleagues, including Claus Andersen, who are committed to sustainable progress and perseverance.
Their current focus lies in analyzing ESG data and refining reporting methods. Also, the team has launched a successful initiative: a digital idea box to promote new initiatives with a positive environmental impact.
This platform has already triggered numerous initiatives, such as new deposit systems, more EV charging stations, and new green investments.
As Claus Andersen sees it, this simple but effective internal measure is crucial for ensuring that all team members are motivated to contribute to the green transition of the company.
“Many companies envision a greener future, but the real challenge is to change the mindset and behavior of the company. This requires a collective effort, not just from the management,” says Claus, reporting an overwhelming interest in the idea box.
In fact, they are currently unable to respond to all suggestions, so the ESG support team may need to be expanded soon to cope with the influx of initiatives.
Read the first case with Mouritsen here.
Related articles, tools, cases, and projects:
Five Ways to Future-proof Your Business
Read Christian Bason's column in Danish business newspaper Børsen
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