Denmark’s DONG Energy is changing its name to reflect its new pure play status as a renewables developer.
The former oil and gas operator, who shed its assets to focus on green projects, has said the current name – which stands for Danish Oil and Natural Gas – does not “fit the company anymore”.
As a result, the boards has today called an Extraordinary General Meeting to ask the shareholders to approve a change of the company name to Ørsted.
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 in 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.
Thomas Thune Andersen, chairman of the board said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
Henrik Poulsen, chief executive, said that 2017 would 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.
He added that it has “never been more clear” that it is possible to create a world that runs entirely on green energy.
He said: “The time is now right for us to change our name to demonstrate that we want to help create such a world.”
Over the past decade, DONG Energy has transformed itself from an energy company based on coal and oil to a market 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%, and by 2023, they will have been reduced by 96% compared to 2006.
The company’s strategic focus for growth will be on based on existing business platforms in offshore wind, biomass, green customer solutions and advanced waste-to-energy solutions.
In addition, the company has established a new storage team to explore new business opportunities in energy storage.
DONG Energy has also established a new corporate ventures unit in Silicon Valley, California, to explore emerging energy technologies and potential long-term business opportunities.
The Extraordinary General Meeting will be held on October 30 to formally decide the name change.
The notice convening the Extraordinary General Meeting is enclosed.
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 31 October 2017, assuming a positive outcome at the general meeting.
The roll out of the new name and design across DONG Energy’s markets, will begin on November 6.