Green Business Growth in Danish Municipalities


Green Business Growth (“Grøn Erhvervsvækst”) is an innovative private-public partnership that aims to enable the creation of 300 new jobs in the construction industry by promoting energy-efficient construction and renovation of public and private buildings. The initiative has been half funded by the EU and the Southern Denmark Growth Forum and half by the partners. The partners include municipalities, business centres, private companies, a training institution, advisory companies, a financing institution and local craftsmen.

Results and impacts

The initiative’s strategy is to increase demand for energy-efficient construction and renovation through increasing public awareness and dissemination of information. At the same time, they provide training for local energy craftsmen to gain the relevant skills and knowledge to be able to carry out the energy-efficient building improvements. It is through the collaboration and contribution of the private and public partners that Green Business Growth is able to realise this strategy.

Since their launch in December 2009, Green Business Growth has enabled the training of 180 energy craftsmen and an initial 165 new green jobs have been created over 3 years. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is at the centre of the organisation’s values and was recognised in 2012 when they won the CSR Award for the best public-private partnership in Denmark, they were also nominated as one of the top 5 projects in Denmark.

Enabling economic growth is one of the initiative’s main targets. Since Green Business Growth launched in 2009, 180 energy craftsmen have been trained and initial 165 new green jobs have been created. The number of new jobs created was calculated based on surveys in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to partners, energy artisans, exhibitors and partners with direct relation to the Green Industry Growth. The figures are complemented by results from a survey of participants at the energy fairs. The figures have also been cross-checked with the Danish statistics for creating full-time jobs.

A very important result is that the post-educated master craftsmen in Green Business Growth have experienced a 29 % turn-over increase. This result can be compared with an almost stagnant growth rate in the rest of Denmark due to the economic crisis. The master craftsmen have identified network, marketing and business development as the main new and innovative aspects that affect their trade.

Green Business Growth Achievements (2010-2013)



Growth rate for master craftsmen educated in Green Business Growth

29 % [1]


15 M EUR (110 M DKK)

Number of single family houses renovated


CO2 Savings

3300 tons

(1.5 tons per house [2] )

[1] Figure 2010-2012

[2] Estimation: 1.5 tons/house: 30-50 % ca. 3-7 tons CO2/house depending on energy supply: central heating, natural gas and individual oil heating.

Aims and objectives of this sustainable energy action

The way that Green Business Growth operates is highly reliant on the collaboration of local stakeholders who participate for the benefit of the region. With the goal to improve the quality of buildings in the region and reduce CO2 emissions, other regions will surely be able to pull together to create similar opportunities.

The project takes inspiration from the EU Directive on energy efficiency which encourages public authorities and private businesses to focus on energy efficiency in order to achieve the EU’s goal of 3 million new green jobs by 2020.

By the end of 2013 Green Business Growth will properly reach 200 new jobs within businesses promoting energy efficiency in existing buildings. Between 2014 and 2017 they aim to create a further 700 jobs in the Southern Region of Denmark based on the expected investment of 60 million EUR (450 million DKK) for energy renovation in private buildings.

From 2010-2013 Green Business Growth did not have any specific goals on CO2 savings, instead focusing on green jobs and calculating the positive side effect of CO2-reduction and number of energy renovated houses.

For 2014-2017 Green Business Growth have goals for both green jobs and CO2-reduction. The target for this period is to save 12,000 tons CO2 in 6000 houses.

Technical and financial implementation

Green Business Growth enables economic growth by simultaneously increasing both the demand for energy-efficient buildings and the supply of energy craftsmen to do the work.

In order to promote energy-efficient buildings Green Business Growth emphasises on the dissemination of case studies and fact sheets, exhibition of demonstration projects and energy trade shows. Other focus areas include evening meetings for the public to learn about how to finance projects, a "Cross-cutting Energy Retrofit” workshop, and a common regional energy project for energy savings in public and private buildings. The initiative also facilitates partner meetings, networking and conferences for the future of Green Business Growth.

Partner municipalities, energy companies, IBC Courses and a technological institute have collaboratively developed a concept for an evening course on how to "Become a Master in Energy" to train local energy craftsmen. Ongoing training encourages business development, networking across professional groups, joint marketing and spreads knowledge of new energy solutions.

The actual team at Green Business Growth is made up of 4 members including a project manager, energy consultant, communications consultant and a project consultant.

Green business growth has been partially supported by the EU, the Southern Growth Forum and the partners in the period between 2010 and 2013. The support from EU and South Denmark make up 52% of the financing and 48% is provided by the partners.


Value [1]


Self-financing hours and cash distribution

759,000 EUR (5.66 M DKK)

48 %

EU Structural Funding

768,000 EUR (5.73 M DKK)

49 %

Southern Denmark Growth Forum

47,000 EUR (0.35 M DKK)

3 %

Total Financing

1,574,000 EUR (11.75 M DKK)

100 %

After 2013 Green Business Growth will still be supported by the partners cash distribution (municipalities, private companies and educational institutions) but will no longer be supported by EU Structural Funding. Instead, the other 50% is financed though 2 new projects:

1. A project financed by the Danish ministry for cities, housing and rural districts. The project entails ESCO for energy-efficiency renovation in rental houses with a warranty for no rent increases.

2. A project financed by the Southern Growth Forum that entails implementing an affordable intelligent energy management system and insulation solutions in single private houses constructed before 1980.

Besides this known financing, Green Business Growth has applied for a project called “ESCO at home” within the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and is currently awaiting an answer from the EU.

[1] Using conversion 10 DKK = 1.34 EUR on 26/09/2013

Lessons learnt

The most important lesson learned is that the municipality is an absolutely necessary driving force for local action, the development within energy efficiency, job building, post-education of master craftsmen and a positive motion in the market of private building mass. Without the local action of a municipality in a public-private partnership, the dynamics and the chain of value are short-lived.

The strength within the public-private partnership is the network and the engagement of partners with man-hours and development of new project ideas, as well as a dedicated secretariat to lift and manage the different projects.
The strength is also the common branding between partners and the visibility of the communication of results.
Challenges are to continuously maintain the entire chain of value, from private home owner, craftsman, partners and politicians and to service each partner according to their own business and values. The secretariat overcomes this challenge by active listening to the partners’ wishes on the semi-annual meetings.

How this action could be replicated

The concepts of the project (post-education energy craftsmen, evening class and energy fairs) can easily be replicated elsewhere. In Denmark, the concepts are easily replicable in all municipalities, especially those with an agenda of making an effort towards local businesses and the private building mass, e.g. in connection to an overall municipal CO2-reduction or job growth plan. There are two different ways that Danish municipalities are able to participate; if the municipality is part of the region of southern Denmark it is possible to become a partner in Green Business Growth. If the municipality is outside the region, it is possible to obtain a coaching agreement and thus gain access to the concept.

The Green Business Growth concept is also replicable on a European scale because as they are locally adaptable. Green Business Growth are hoping for a positive response on the EU-application “ESCO at home” and will through this project also inspire other countries to go forward in creating green jobs, C02 –reduction and a demand for intelligent energy solutions and educations.



Assens Kommune –

Faarborg-Midtfyn Kommune –

Kolding Kommune –

Middelfart Kommune –

Nordfyns Kommune –

Odense Kommune –

Vejen Kommune –

Businesses, Educational Institutions, Financial Institutions and Other – contribute knowledge and resources to the partnership

Bright Energy ApS –

Business Kolding –

Byggecentrum –

Fiberline Composites –

Fjernvarme Fyn –

Grontmij –

Hans Jørgensen & Søn –

IBC Kurser –

Isover –

Middelfart Erhervcenter –

Middelfart Sparekasse –

O. Adsbøll & Sønner A/S – and

Pettinaroli –

Schneider Electrics –

TRE-FOR Energi –

Udvikling Vejen – and

Contact details

Project website (if applicable):

Organisation / Agency : Grøn Erhvervsvækst (Green Business Growth)

Main contact person : Lotte Lindgaard Andersen

Address :


Telephone :


E-mail :


Organisation website :


Printed reports or other literature available :