Novo Nordisk makes four municipalities boom

January 15th, 2024

The pharmaceutical industry is bankrolling the Danish economy in recent years. Now, places like Kalundborg are thriving, with more and more internationals coming to live and work.

Novo Nordisk in Kalundborg will expand production facilities to be completed in 2029 Photo: Novo Nordisk

Kalundborg, Gladsaxe, Hillerød and Ballerup together account for almost two-thirds of the total Danish GDP growth in 2022, shows new data from the media Momentum, published by Danske Kommuner.

The general growth in Danish GDP was 2.7 percent in 2022. A breakdown of the proportional contribution by municipality points to where the greatest economic progress has taken place.

Municipalities’ share of total growth in GDP from 2021 to 2022

  • Gladsaxe: 26.3 percent
  • Ballerup: 16.1 percent
  • Kalundborg: 10.9 percent
  • Hillerød: 9.2 percent
  • The rest of Denmark: 37.5 percent

Source: Momentum – based on special extracts from Statistics Denmark

“The four municipalities with the highest growth house some of Novo Nordisk’s production facilities. When you have a company that is so successful on a global scale, of course it also shows in this calculation,” says head of analysis at the National Association of Municipalities Søren Aagesen to Momentum.

Means a lot to Gladsaxe and Hillerød
Novo Nordisk’s headquarters in Bagsværd is in Gladsaxe Municipality. Here, mayor Trine Græse points out that the municipality addresses many companies in the life science industry.

The municipality facilitates networks and partnerships for the local companies and seeks to support the companies’ growth.

“We benefit from a good location close to Copenhagen, and we have good infrastructure. Early in the municipality’s development, we made sure to develop business areas, where there is room for, for example, manufacturing companies, which can make a bit of noise and create some traffic,” says the mayor.

In June 2023, Novo Nordisk announced an investment in production facilities worth DKK 15.9 billion in Hillerød. According to mayor Kirsten Jensen, it is Novo Nordisk and Fuji that are driving the growth.

“It creates new opportunities for citizens because there are jobs. And that creates opportunities for our educations because there is someone to educate”, says Kirsten Jensen to Politiken.

Huge investments in Kalundborg
Novo Nordisk has made its largest investment in Kalundborg in West Zealand.

According to Novo Nordisk’s production director Michael Hallgren, the investments in the West Zealand city exceed the last 20 years’ large public construction projects such as the Great Belt link and the Fehmarn tunnel between Denmark and Germany.

“Our company has invested DKK 60 billion in a small local community in Denmark. Of course, it has a huge impact, not just for Kalundborg, but for the entire area,” says Michael Hallgren to Politiken.

Kalundborg is quickly becoming an international city. Thanks go to Novo Nordisk in particular, but also to a dozen other larger companies such as Ørsted, APM Terminals, Novozymes and Kalundborg Refinery, who have joined together in an extensive cross-functional collaboration on energy supply, wastewater, waste products and more.

11 percent of the employees at Novo Nordisk in Kalundborg are internationals. Most are Europeans, but far from all.

“The last time we counted, we had 34 different nationalities. I think all continents are represented. currently we get a lot from Spain,” says Michael Hallgren to Politiken.


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