Renewable energy, right from Amsterdam
Roland Sundén and his colleagues at the LM Wind Power Group are proud of the fact that their wind turbines are contributing to a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. From his office that looks out over Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the surrounding area, the CEO estimates that this amount is more than enough to offset a medium-sized city’s carbon footprint.“This company owes its growth to the enthusiasm of its employees,” says Swedish-born Sundén. “I have never worked for a company with such fervent dedication to product and organisation alike.” However, he notes that the task for the company now is to further globalise and professionalise its operations, while “preserving our unique corporate culture.”
For this reason, the company opted to open a new office in addition to its headquarters in Denmark. The key requirements were “an international orientation, easy accessibility from all over the world, and sufficient appeal to offer our existing all-star team a new challenge and attract new talent.” Eventually, the choice fell on the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.
Although it began life as a furniture factory, today LM Wind Power Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of parts for wind turbines. Traditionally, production was based in Europe and the USA, but has shifted to China and India in recent years. “Both countries are turning into increasingly interesting markets fior wind power,” says Sundén. He explains that the Chinese plan to transform their entire energy supply into clean, renewable energy by 2050. Wind energy will play a significant role in that. “Right now, 40% of our turnover is generated in China,” he says. “I expect to see this figure go up. And we are seeing a similar trend in other emerging markets.”
The USA and Europe will remain important markets for LM Wind Power Group too. But the rapid growth in wind-power projects comes with a challenge. “We must expand capacity and scale in order to be able to meet increasing global demand,” says Sundén. The new office in Amsterdam will contribute to that aim. “Of course, the fact that the Netherlands has used wind power for centuries influenced our decision,” he adds. He points to the knowledge legacy of this early development. Delft University of Technology, for example, is one of the world’s leading specialists in sustainable energy.
Other advantages are Amsterdam’s strategic location, and the proximity of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “Plus, office and housing costs here are reasonable,” says Sundén. But he maintains that the biggest plus is the area’s ability to attract the best professionals. “This is a place where talented people from all over the world converge,” he says. “That’s an incredibly significant asset for us.”
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