Maritime SDG Accelerator


The Maritime SDG Accelerator is an intense business development programme as part of Danish Maritime and UNDP's project "The Sustainable Development Goals - a new platform in the maritime industry". The platform aims to accelerate maritime companies' work to develop new business solutions under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Maritime SDG Accelerator starts at the beginning of 2021 and lasts just over one year with 10 Danish maritime companies across the Blue Denmark with customized tools from UNDP's SDG Accelerator for SMEs programme.


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a plan of action for addressing the world's most pressing challenges, and thereby also a framework for sustainable solutions. The private sector and the maritime companies are an essential part of these solutions, and more and more companies recognize the SDGs as levers for innovation, growth, and better competitive performance. The SDGs also make up a powerful framework for strengthening the companies’ purpose narrative and for attracting talents, customers and investors. These are some of the lessons learned from UNDP’s SDG Accelerator for SMEs programme with 32 Danish industrial companies who have all used the SDGs as a driver for business innovation. Examples from the programme:

DESMI has developed equipment that can be used for cleaning some of the world’s most polluted rivers.

The solution will stop plastic waste from flowing into the oceans where it is even more difficult to contain. BLUETOWN has, on the side of its solar-powered parabolic masts providing Internet solutions for the unconnected, developed a local cloud solution that can operate in isolated and poor rural areas with an adapted business model. Specializing in ingredients, the company TripleNine utilized mussels for the purification of nitrogen in the sea and subsequently use the mussels as an ingredient in animal feed. Plastix joined a public-private partnership with new partners to create a new circular model for recycling post-consumer hard plastic, which is currently not recycled in Denmark.

UNDP puts together the programs for each workshop and organizes the participation of consultants who will coach and advise the companies at each workshop. UNDP will also be in dialogue with the participants and lead the programme.

Danish Maritime will adapt the workshops to the needs of the participating companies.


The programme has three overall change objectives:

1.      Promote sustainable innovation in maritime companies and develop at least one SDG solution, be it a product, service or business model.

2.      Use sustainable innovation as a basis for creating a broader understanding of how maritime companies can work with social and environmental sustainability, both locally and globally.

3.      Create a model that can inspire maritime companies outside the programme to get started with integrating the SDGs in their business.

The ten participating companies in the programme will receive guidance and a comprehensive method to develop new business solutions that address the challenges embedded in the SDGs. In addition, companies will be assisted in communicating and engaging their employees in their work with the SDGs through internal campaigns and activities. This is done through the following activities, which take place from February 2021 to the beginning of 2022:


Workshop 1 (half day): Vision and reality

Presentation on sustainability as a strategic guiding star, companies’ sustainable visions, and an introduction to the SDGs as a strategic framework. This is followed by a workshop in two parts: 1) Exercise with a focus on thinking the company into the SDGs and the SDGs into the company and 2) Create your SDG vision - what will a Danish business magazine (for example Børsen) write about your company in five years from now? In addition, the companies are introduced to the work of translating the SDGs into internal communication and activities via various materials that can increase awareness of the SDGs and strengthen the commitment of the company's employees.

Workshop 2 (half day): The SDGs as a platform for innovation

Presentation on how the SDGs can be used as a platform for innovation. This is followed by a joint workshop where the participating companies use the SDG Opportunity Cards to generate new ideas and plot them into a chart with SDG impact, commercial potential, and level of complexity.

Workshop 3 (one hour virtual meeting): Employee engagement with the SDGs

Virtual follow-up meeting with the participating companies on their work in engaging their employees in the SDGs and making use of the materials from the Employee Engagement SDG Toolbox.

Workshop 4 (full day): From idea to action

Introduction to the modified Business Model Canvas (SDG Solution Canvas), SDG Impact Model and test plan. Then each company will work with filling out the Business Model Canvas, where the companies can draw on a pool of consultants focusing on the business part. After that, we will focus on the SDG impact, where the company can draw on UNDP expertise and a pool of consultants. Finally, we will focus on the test plan.

Workshop 5 (half day): Follow-up on solution progress

Meeting with each company in order to revisit the company's work with the SDG Impact Model, the test plan and the implementation plan. Brief follow-up on the work with employee engagement in the SDGs.

Workshop 6 (half day): Storytelling and communication

Check in in relation to progress. Focus on how the company formulates and communicates their vision and solution followed by a workshop on the company's communication with a small group of experts that the companies can draw on. In addition, a plan is being developed for further implementation of activities related to employee engagement.

Workshop 7 (half day): Solutions Fair

The participating companies pitch their solutions for a Sounding Board consisting of business people with core competencies in the maritime sector, investments, communication, sustainability et cetera. Prior to this, potential partners for the solutions have been identified and these are, as far as possible, invited. Followed by a matchmaking exercise.


About Danish Maritime and UNDP

Danish Maritime is an industry organization for Danish suppliers of maritime equipment and ships. As a service body for its more than 125 members, Danish Maritime works to ensure that the Danish maritime industry can continue its success and strengthen its global competitiveness. Partner in the project is UNDP, the UN's global development organization, which plays a central role in relation to the implementation of the SDGs throughout the world. With funding from the Danish Industry Foundation, UNDP has implemented ‘SDG Accelerator for SMEs’ in Denmark, in 2018 and 2019, where 32 Danish companies developed sustainable solutions with commercial potential.



Cecilie Lykkegaard, Danish Maritime, +45 31608591, [email protected]

Stine Kirstein Junge, UNDP, +45 21448918, [email protected],


Company cases

Will be updated. Stay tuned!