16.05.2019 | Samfund
Ørsted is Denmark’s best for tax transparency
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The world’s leading developer of offshore wind is ranked number one for responsible tax practices among Denmark’s top 100 companies.
Ørsted ranks number one for responsible tax practices among Denmark’s top 100 companies
Ørsted is the only Danish company to report voluntarily on how much tax it pays in each of the countries it operates in. That has helped it rank number one for responsible tax practices among the top 100 Danish companies, according to an annual survey by Danish financial newspaper Økonomisk Ugebrev.
The survey scored companies for their tax performance in categories such as governance, disclosure on tax havens, country-by-country reporting, and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
“There’s a public perception and political debate that multinational companies don’t pay their fair share of tax,” says Karl Berlin, Head of Tax at Ørsted. “Ørsted is a complex business operating in many jurisdictions and dealing with large sums of money. By being transparent about our tax practices, we help to better inform the debate about multinationals and tax.”
Tax transparency by companies also enables regulators to create tax legislation that reflects the realities of doing business in individual countries, which benefits both society and businesses, he adds.
Tax policy supports Ørsted’s expansion into new markets
Ørsted discloses how much it earns and pays in tax in individual countries. This approach is outlined in the company’s tax policy, which sets out the principles by which the company manages its tax affairs.
“The policy helps our employees make informed choices and decisions about tax and has been critical to our first place in the ranking. It has been well received by our external stakeholders who say that, by disclosing our country-by-country tax payments, we go beyond what’s required by law,” Berlin says.
The policy is important for Ørsted as it enters new markets where it can face unique or additional tax compliance and reporting requirements.
Honouring the social contract
Ørsted’s tax policy aligns well with the company’s focus on sustainability. It helps bring certainty around the tax cost of doing business and builds credibility with regulators, authorities and NGOs. A responsible tax approach enables Ørsted to help build a world that runs entirely on green energy, while paying its fair share of tax.
“We aim to provide green energy at scale and at a price that is competitive with fossil fuels. Tax is one of many business costs which needs to be managed, but it’s also a part of the social contract and cannot be reduced by any means possible,” Berlin says. “By aligning our tax and sustainability policies, we help build green energy in a sustainable way and give back to society.”
Ørsted has 20 sustainability programs including a program on Responsible tax practices. Through the program, the company seeks to contribute to effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels, in line with SDG 16.
• Ørsted ranks number one for responsible tax practices in an annual survey of the top 100 Danish companies across sectors including energy, finance, transportation and industrials.
• Ørsted is the only Danish company to voluntarily disclose tax payments on a country-by-country basis.
• The company’s tax policy supports SDG 16 on peace, justice and responsible institutions.