Steen Riisgaard, CEO, Novozymes
Steen Riisgaard talks about a ‘bio-based society’. Watch him unfold a vision of a world less dependent on fossil fuels.
Steen Riisgaard was educated from the University of Copenhagen and holds an MSc in Microbiology from 1979. Protecting nature and the environment was a priority early on and Steen Riisgaard founded a local branch of the environmental organization Noah (Friends of the Earth Denmark) in Ballerup, Denmark.
Steen Riisgaard started his career as a research fellow at the Serum Institute of Denmark and a research microbiologist at Foss Electric, Denmark. In 1979, he joined Novo Nordisk in Enzymes Research & Development. In 1982 he moved to Tokyo to start up an Enzymes Research & Development unit in the Novo Nordisk subsidiary Novo Industri Japan Ltd. After his return to Denmark in 1985, he held a range of jobs in the company before he was promoted to Corporate Executive Vice President with special responsibility for Enzyme Business in 1989.
When Novozymes was spun off from Novo Nordisk in a demerger in 2000, Steen Riisgaard was made President and CEO of the new company. He has held this position since then.
In interviews, Steen Riisgaard has stated that an important motivation for working in Novozymes is the company’s positive impact on the environment:
“I’m very happy that my job isn't only about making money (…) the more products we sell, the more enzymes we develop, the cleaner the world becomes”
Steen Riisgaard is also Chairman of WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Denmark, Vice Chairman of the Boards of Egmont International Holding A/S and Rockwoll International A/S, and he serves on the Board of EuropaBio.