The challenge

The commercial sector in Denmark comprises a total of 34,250 retail and wholesale companies with 300,000 full-time employees. The sector does not have a big, direct carbon footprint (0.14 million tonnes of CO2e), but is indirectly responsible for the emissions caused by Danish consumers’ consumption of food, clothes, electronics etc. Furthermore, the sector has vast potential to secure climate-friendly products and solutions by means of its companies’ purchases, agreements and knowledge s...

The commercial sector in Denmark comprises a total of 34,250 retail and wholesale companies with 300,000 full-time employees. The sector does not have a big, direct carbon footprint (0.14 million tonnes of CO2e), but is indirectly responsible for the emissions caused by Danish consumers’ consumption of food, clothes, electronics etc. Furthermore, the sector has vast potential to secure climate-friendly products and solutions by means of its companies’ purchases, agreements and knowledge sharing with other enterprises. In addition, the commercial sector can directly influence consumer behaviour to select sustainable alternatives.

The potential

The commercial sector takes global responsibility and goes even further than the Paris Agreement. The sector is deeply enmeshed in complex value chains, which means that the climate crisis cannot be overcome without thinking globally and taking initiatives that transect value chains, sectors and national borders. The commercial sector has unique,
direct access to consumers, which must be utilised to enable companies to make it easier for their customers to choose climate-friendly produc...

The commercial sector takes global responsibility and goes even further than the Paris Agreement. The sector is deeply enmeshed in complex value chains, which means that the climate crisis cannot be overcome without thinking globally and taking initiatives that transect value chains, sectors and national borders. The commercial sector has unique,
direct access to consumers, which must be utilised to enable companies to make it easier for their customers to choose climate-friendly products. The commercial sector has committed itself to working together with authorities and NGOs in terms of shared, action-oriented
messaging enabling the sector to achieve genuine behavioural change for the benefit of the climate.

Recommendations

01
A taxation reform to kick-start the sustainable transition

A CO2e-tax will ensure that it is the emitter who pays for the emissions. This will incentivise innovation and reward sustainable front-runners with lower costs. Together, it will affect both the market forces and the green transition

02
Significantly improved recycling of resources

Discarded packaging, textiles, electronics, food, and other waste generated by the commercial sector largely end up being incinerated, because we are unable to efficiently collect, separate and recycle it. This area can be improved by initiatives such as clear common packaging principles, partnership for Sustainable Clothing and Textiles, streamlined recycling of resources, and implementation of manufacturer liability for packaging

03
Climate information for Danish consumers

Significantly improve the level of climate related information provided to consumers
together with the authorities to make climate-friendly purchases more enticing. This entails initiatives such as reliably communicating about food and non-food product’s climate footprints

04
Less resource waste to secure CO2e reductions

A reduction in resource waste will help us avoid unnecessary costs and reduce the waste stream. The sector has already come far in achieving this goal, especially when it comes to reducing food waste. Nonetheless, there is still unexploited potential, and an incentive could for instance be to simplify the rules relating to product donations

05
Incentives for climate-friendly behaviour to help the sector

A number of incentives must be brought into play and barriers broken down to support the sector’s contributions to achieve a more sustainable consumption and production of goods in Denmark. This entails initiatives such as public-sector procurement as a driver of climate-friendly behaviour and an implementation of a repair arrangement

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The climate partnership for Commerce

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Contact

Danish Chamber of Commerce

Frederik Bergenfeldt Friis
[email protected]

7 tonnes

CO2e. Each Dane emits 7 tonnes of CO2e annually via their food consumption and other consumer goods

54%

of the companies in the commercial sector believe that the climate agenda creates new business opportunities for them

Chairman
Michael Løve, Executive Vice President, Netto International

Vice chairman
Signe Frese, CSR Director, COOP
Jens Obel, Owner & CEO, DK Company
Rune Jungberg, Communications & CSR, Director, JYSK
Carsten Wandorf, CEO, Fritz Schur, Consumer Group

Private partners

  • Danish Chamber of Commerce
  • Conferation of Danish Industry
  • Trade Association for Danish Fashion & Textile
  • SMEdenmark
  • And many more

Public partners

  • Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs
  • Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities
  • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Ministry of Environment