Four key industries identified for a green and competitive business sector

The industries with the greatest potential for green, profitable and export-oriented growth in Norway are: renewable energy, maritime industry, seafood and the process industry.

These four industries are identified in the report “Climate change in the Norwegian business sector – Status and opportunities for green, profitable and export-oriented growth”, which will be presented at the ZERO conference on 7 November. Menon Economics was commissioned by Export Credit Norway and the environmental foundation ZERO to draw up the report.

The report is the first of its kind to assess the status and potential industry by industry, measured against three criteria: low greenhouse gas emissions, high profitability and strong international competitiveness.


Norway has strategic competitive advantages in the four key industries presented in the report, and they are so large and global that continued international growth is realistic.

The report will be presented to the Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen at the ZERO conference on 7 November.

Green solutions provide a competitive advantage

Ivar Slengesol, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Export Credit, believes that Norway must make a concerted effort to reverse a long-term negative trend of falling market shares for Norwegian exports.

“We are facing an export gap. High oil prices over time have camouflaged the fact that Norway is the OECD country that has lost the largest export volumes in the last 20 years. Today, oil and gas account for about half of Norwegian exports. From the mid-2020s, production on the Norwegian continental shelf will decline significantly. So, not only do we need to reverse this export trend, but we actually need to double Norwegian mainland exports towards 2040 to compensate for the drop in future oil revenues,” said Slengesol.

The report points out that, if the Norwegian business sector is to become more robust in a climate-friendly future, efforts must be directed at industries that have the greatest potential for low greenhouse gas emissions, good profitability and international growth.

“There a are a lot of positive things happening. For example, Norwegian companies have tripled sales of green solutions to the maritime sector in the last five years. Climate-friendly industries will play an important role in closing the export gap. Three of the four industries highlighted in the reports are already major export industries. Renewable energy is still a small export industry, but we believe it has great growth potential – especially in terms of offshore wind power,” said Slengesol.

Ivar Slengesol, Eksportkreditt Norge.

Wants stronger initiatives

According to the report by Menon Economics, the current status of the Norwegian business sector is that employment and value creation are increasing in industries that can be categorised as green, while exports largely come from industries with high greenhouse gas emissions. The industries with the highest emission intensity account for 80 per cent of emissions, 10 per cent of employment and 60 per cent of exports. These are also are also most internationalised and most profitable.

Marius Holm of the environmental foundation ZERO is calling for stronger political will to focus on industries that meet the growing demand for climate-friendly products and services.

“The report shows that Norway needs a clearer policy to develop and export climate solutions that can contribute to global emissions cuts. If Norwegian politicians don’t take action, we will lose green competitiveness. The international market for climate-friendly goods and services will grow rapidly over the next decades,” said Holm.


The report “Climate change in the Norwegian business sector – Status and opportunities for green, profitable and export-oriented growth” was be presented to Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen at the ZERO conference on 7 November. This is the first time anyone has produced such a comprehensive analysis of the Norwegian business sector with a view to sustainable, profitable and export-oriented growth.

Contact us
Ivar Slengesol
Ivar Slengesol Director Strategy and Business Development +47 991 14 110 +47 991 14 110
Ellen B. Svaheim
Ellen B. Svaheim Head of Communication +47 482 24 093 +47 482 24 093

Published 14. Nov 2019