The Nordic greening of Stanford

A couple of months ago, the Swedish company Alfa Laval was contacted by Stanford University. They wanted to upgrade the heating system in the campus area, and so they turned their eyes towards the Nordic region.
Published 18/11/2012 | Last updated 18/11/2012

Most of the campuses in the country are heated with steam, and many of these systems are outdated. District heating might be common in the Nordics, but it is a rare sight in the US.


- I guess it has something to do with the culture of independence. It is the same culture where a family of four shares five cars. You might love your neighbor, but you won’t consider sharing your boiler with him, say Scot Seifert, Matthew Coplan and Magnus Edin from Alfa Laval.


The Stanford project will be finished in 2015, and they believe that it can be the first of many.


- California leads the sustainable development in the US, and the solutions are often spreading to the rest of the country.


Technology wise, the job is easy – it is the mind shifting process that is difficult.


- As the energy costs keep rising, these kinds of things are starting to become more important. You have to find the week points of your customer, whether it is price or sustainability.


The US market is one of the biggest for Alfa Laval that has been operating over there for many years, but until now only with cooling systems.


- One of the most important things is to find the right partners. A company cannot make it on its own, you need to find your allies to be able to present holistic solutions to your customers, say Seifert, Coplan and Edin.