“Nordic and green is not necessarily an advantage”

- When it comes to sustainable building, the US is clearly lagging behind Europe. But a change is taking place, and it is now faster than ever, says Carsten Nørgaard, business development manager at the Danish company Grundfos.
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Nørgaard says that it seems like the interest for green building has grown with the financial crisis.

 

- 15 years ago there was nothing, and now, suddenly, it is like the ketchup is coming out of the bottle. Due to the crisis there are for example many empty office buildings, and this has led to a competition on who can provide the best work place.

 

Traditionally in the US, convenience has won over sustainability.

 

- Somebody said: If it is convenient it is invented in the US. Fast and easy is the way to do it over there. And just as we think that they are far behind when it comes to green solutions, they think that we are less good at convenience – we have simply had different priorities.

 

Grundfos has been operating in the US for many years, where they now have three production companies and two sales companies. In January 2013, they will introduce a new pumping system in Dallas, which reduces the energy use with 25%. Nørgaard says that there are some significant differences in how things are being done.

 

- The selling process is for example a more complicated process. Directs sales barely exist, everything is going through distributors. It is therefore crucial to find the right ones, people that know the market.

 

Nørgaard adds that being “Nordic and green” is not automatically an advantage to their mainstream customers.

 

- They tend to think that we act superior, as we know better. If you want to sell your products to Americans, you need to respect that the green development has not gotten as far here as in Europe, and that this takes time.