Nordic CEOs Present SDG Initiative to Nordic Council

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – The 70th Nordic Council session held in Oslo on November 1 yielded the announcement of a joint initiative by a group of Nordic-based CEOs to accelerate efforts to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The group, which consists of the CEOs of Equinor, Hydro, GSMA, Islandsbanki, Nokia, SAS, Swedbank, Telenor Group, Telia, Vestas and Yara International will in consultation with each other highlight the need for new business models to drive the transition to a 21st century economy aligned with ESG priorities.

    The CEOs had previously sent a joint letter to each Nordic Head of State in June 2018 to announce their ambitions, resulting in a meeting at the joint Nordic Council session with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The meeting allowed the CEOs to present their shared ambitions in an updated letter and discuss public-private partnerships as vital preconditions for realising the UN SDGs.

    “I applaud this joint Nordic initiative. Collaboration is indeed the magic formula for reaching the UN sustainability goals. We learn again and again, that through collaboration we achieve results that exceed our imagination,” said Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara. “For instance, thanks to a joint effort between Yara, Kongsberg, SINTEF, Kalmar and the Norwegian Government, we can soon launch the world’s first autonomous and emission free container ship. This we would never have achieved alone.”

    The initiative also creates a platform for the Prime Ministers of each Nordic country to engage directly with CEOs on how to move from sustainability as a ‘compliance exercise’ to purpose-oriented business. The group will explore how to deliver increased impact through enhanced collaboration on developing responsible business practices.

    In addition, the CEOs have committed to aligning business strategies with the UN SDGs and explore opportunities for further collaboration; the initiative will facilitate the exchange of company experiences, create forums for shared learning and develop methodologies for enhanced impact and effect measurement and maximisation.

    “SAS [is taking] ambitious steps to reduce the negative impact from aviation through innovation, smart solutions and major investments in the latest technology, without compromising the important role of aircraft in society – enabling people to meet and contribute to value creation and growth,” said Scandinavian Airlines President and CEO Rickard Gustafson.

    “With reference to UN Sustainable Goals #9, #12 and #13, SAS will reduce CO2 emissions by 25% by 2030, and use advanced biofuels equivalent to all SAS domestic air traffic,” Gustafson added.

    Image: Nordic Council


    Glenn W. Leaper, PhD
    Glenn W. Leaper, PhD
    Glenn W. Leaper, Associate Editor and Political Risk Analyst with Nordic Business Media AB, completed his Ph.D. in Political and Critical Theory from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2015. He is involved with a number of initiatives, including political research, communications consulting (speechwriting), journalism and writing his first post-doctoral book. Glenn has an international background spanning the UK, France, Austria, Spain, Belgium and his native Denmark. He holds an MA in English and a BA in International Relations.

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