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DNV GL’s Haugland to head Norwegian climate network

The former DNV GL sustainability officer appointed as chief executive of the business-led climate group Norway 203040

Bjørn Kjærand Haugland has been appointed as the new chief executive of Norwegian business-led climate network Norway 203040, with the support of leading companies in the Nordic country, including Equinor, Statkraft and DNV GL.

Haugland comes to the role from the position as chief sustainability officer at DNV GL, where he played a central role in driving company-wide sustainability initiatives. He has also been the company’s executive vice president, and one of Recharge's Thought Leader columnists.

“It is extremely motivating for me to lead this business-led climate initiative that gathers companies with the most ambitious climate commitments in Norway to take a leading role in the transition to the low-emission society,” Haugland said.

“Here in Norway there’s a strong focus on green growth, especially in the context of the challenges presented by declining oil and gas production off the Norwegian continental shelf.”

Blessed with abundant natural resources, Norway has long generated most of its power from hydro-electricity, and lately is also tapping increasingly into a rapidly-expanding onshore wind base. But the country’s vast oil and gas sector weighs on its climate balance, and lately massive, gigawatt-scale wind projects have met fierce criticism by indigenous Sami reindeer herders.

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Having started in the oil and gas business, Haugland knows the challenges to the transition to a more climate-friendly economy in his country well.

“Business plays a crucial role in the transition we are facing, and few more so than the maritime and offshore business, which spans massive industries, including more than 90% of all transport, as well as fisheries, aquaculture and offshore wind, oil, and gas,” he said.

“We work with top management and see that gathering companies from different sectors drives innovation. Therefore, it has been crucial that several of the companies that have come the longest have joined the coalition.”

Norway 203040 has the purpose to identify new business opportunities on the way to a low-emission society and to be a driving force in reaching Norway’s climate goals by 2030.

Jens Ulltveit-Moe, chief executive of Umoe, and founder and chairman of Norway 203040, says: “We wanted to strengthen the outcome of the network by hiring a CEO. Our voice has not been strong enough, so we need to strengthen it. I am glad that Bjørn is now entering the role of CEO and I am confident that hiring him will lift us to new levels.”

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