Interview with Jonas Fredsted Villadsen, Regional Director, Public Affairs & Εxternal Relations at Grundfos & Water Europe Board Member of Multinational Corporations


You are a Water Europe board member of college A ‘Multinational Corporations’- Could you tell us what drives you personally to have this role at Water Europe? What do you want to achieve?

My professional career has been about pushing for positive changes in how we treat the environment. Water Europe is a place to meet and discuss with like-minded who have the same passion. We all are ready to bring our expertise and commitment into play and to help solve Europe’s common water challenges. With the rest of the board members and collaborators at Water Europe, I’m dedicated to giving the water agenda the attention it deserves in European politics. Together we in the coalition at Water Europe highlight that water innovation is essential for the water sector, renewable energy, the European industrial complex, and the European way of life.

Why is it important for Grundfos to be part of Water Europe? 

Grundfos is a value-driven company, and our commitment to securing that everyone around the world has access to clean water is deeply rooted in Grundfos’s DNA. To respect, protect and advance the flow of water and to ensure that we have an intelligent answer to the challenges posed by climate change and resulting water scarcity, we are ready to bring our expertise, technology, and commitment into play to help solve our common water challenges. But it is something we cannot do alone. Together with the other members of Water Europe, we share best-practices for bringing water to people and helping Europe live up to our global responsibilities as expressed in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which both we, from Grundfos and Water Europe, are committed to helping achieve.

Which ones do you consider the biggest challenges of the European water sector at the moment, and how do you see us overcoming them? 

In the past couple of years, it has become adamant that the challenges we are facing regarding water management. The European Industry is water dependent and is already facing water risks due to, for example, water scarcity, impacting not only jobs but the resilience and competitiveness of the European economy. Solutions are needed in each part of the water cycle to alleviate this. Decarbonising the water cycle is of utmost importance, and we need to speed up the green transitions to reach the climate change targets set out in the European green deal. Green and blue solutions go hand-in-hand, and energy efficiency has great potential in the water sector. Challenges of this magnitude are not to be solved by one company or one sector working alone. We can achieve much more together when working across spheres, joining public, political and private stakeholders.

Building a Water-Smart Society is our vision. Which actions shall we prioritise to make this happen?

Digitalisation. Through digital solutions, we can gather valuable data to build more efficient water systems by detecting leaks and revamping aging infrastructure where needed. With smart sensors and digital solutions, we can cut down on non-revenue water and conserve water. Closing the water loop should be prioritised across Europe. Smart water use involves reusing water and finding ways to best utilise the water available in Europe. Setting up cascading water systems where fit-for-purpose water is reused in industries, homes and irrigation will enhance water availability, putting less pressure on our precious water resource, and alleviate the impact of droughts in places where water scarcity is becoming an issue. With Water-Smart solutions, excess heat from industrial processes and data centers can be put into the district heating grids. These solutions will play an essential part in securing the green transition.


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