Businesses must help speed up the realisation of our Global Goals
Change starts at the top. Nordic CEOs are committed to take lead.
Realising the UN SDGs is a business imperative
The world needs new business models that will drive the transition to a 21st century economy aligned with the ethical, social and environmental priorities of our time.
CEOs of some of the Nordic region’s largest listed companies have joined hands in a common commitment to integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals in their respective business strategies, and create a forum for exchange of experiences and exploration of shared initiatives. All with the ambition to speed up the realization of the world’s most important “to do” list.
A global platform built around a Nordic approach
The initiative also creates a platform for the Nordic Prime Ministers to engage directly with CEOs on how to move from sustainability as a compliance exercise to purpose-driven companies. A key objective is to explore ways to deliver more impact through collaboration.
Nordic companies are built on shared values of inclusion, equality and long-termism. The Nordic CEOs believe these characteristics can help advance and accelerate the collective efforts outlined by the UN SDGs and the Paris Climate Accord.
Who we are
The CEOs and companies that share the commitment.
“Swedbank, as engaged believers in collaboration, stands behind this important initiative. Our aim is to be a contributing part in accelerating the transformation of the society towards a more sustainable future. This network could strengthen national and Nordic agendas towards fulfilling the SDGs, and together tackle some of the underlying barriers, especially within areas such as climate, sustainable finance, gender and equality, education and innovation.”
“Technology creates new opportunities to solve massive challenges connected to health, education and inequality. Businesses and the public sector play a key role in facilitating positive impact on society – that’s why we need close and constructive collaboration across sectors and industries. Several of the major Nordic companies have acknowledged this and, as Telenor, aligned their business strategies to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We want to be ambassadors of change and encourage more CEOs and business leaders to join in. This isn’t about charity, it’s about facilitating long-term sustainable growth.”
“The Nordics is not just where we do business, it is our home. Coming together as CEO’s and working across sectors to achieve the SDG’s and build a more sustainable future is essential for citizens, employees and customers. I am proud that Telia Company is leading from the front and this is just the beginning. Further collaboration with our Nordic Governments is essential in achieving more.”
“Companies have a profound effect on their community, which is why it is vital that they operate responsibly and make a positive impact. We see numerous opportunities in joining forces with other firms in the Nordic region and working with governmental authorities towards the achievement of the UN Global Goals. Not only is this important to our environment and society, but it will come to determine companies’ competitiveness in the future.”
“The ability to meet the ambitious targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals requires visionary leadership, and I am honoured to be part of this commitment by Nordic business leaders in putting the SDGs at the very top of their agenda. As we enter a fourth industrial revolution, sustainability becomes an even more critical element of our business – as well as a business opportunity - and we must continually deliver value to society and respond to the many challenges facing our world.”
Odd Arild Grefstad
“Sustainable and socially responsible investments lie at the core of our savings strategy through strict sustainability requirements in our investments. As Norway's largest private asset manager, our most important influence on the UN Sustainable Development Goals is how we invest the more than 720 billion NOK we manage. We also see the importance of collaboration to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A Nordic cross-sectoral collaboration allows us to learn best practices from each other, discuss challenging issues and also push the sustainability agenda together.’’
“SAS takes ambitious steps to reduce the negative impact from aviation through innovation, smart solutions and major investments in technology, without compromising the important role of the aircraft in our society – enabling people to meet and contribute to value creation and growth. With reference to UN Sustainable Development 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.”
Svein Tore Holsether
“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. For instance, thanks to a joint effort between Yara, Kongsberg, SINTEF and Kalmar, supported by the Norwegian government, we can soon launch the world´s first autonomous and emission free container ship. This we would never have achieved alone.”
”Vestas’ vision is to be the global leader in sustainable energy solutions and we are therefore proud to join Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future to support UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and drive sustainable development towards 2030. As part of integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into our business, we focus on six of the Sustainable Development Goals, with goal number seven of affordable and clean energy being the natural center.”
“This collaboration comes at precisely the right time as we enter a new era of profound change driven by technology. Working with industry partners and prime ministers across the Nordic region, we can leverage our native strengths in technology, industry and sustainability to become a powerful voice for advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and work to ensure that the promised benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are realized by all.”
“To be successful in the coming decades, companies must be part of the response to the great challenges facing the world. We are inspired and guided in our activities by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and believe collaboration between governments and companies committed to long-term sustainable value creation will help make change happen.”
Árni Oddur Þórðarsson
“We, as leaders in global businesses, need to walk the talk and align our vision and execution towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Every day, team Marel is guided by a clear vision where we envisage a world where food is affordable for everyone and produced in a sustainable way. In partnership with our customers and suppliers we are transforming the way food is processed.”
“The transport and logistics sector has a decisive role to play in contributing to a sustainable future – our sector is part of the challenge but this also means we are part of the solution. Sustainability at Posten Norge is about creating long-term viability through efficient resource management. We have taken significant steps to reduce our impact on climate change over the last 10 years and we will continue to work towards our ambitious goal to only use renewable energy sources in 2025. Aligning our efforts with the UN’s SDGs is important as it creates a common global framework that will accelerate sustainability efforts – we have no time to lose.’’
The letter submitted to Nordic Prime Ministers
Dear Nordic Prime Ministers,
We, the Chief Executive Officers of Equinor, the GSMA, Hydro, Íslandsbanki, Nokia, SAS, Swedbank, Telenor Group, Telia Company, Vestas and Yara International place societal value at the centre of how we run our businesses.
The adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Accord offer opportunities to embrace more sustainable and inclusive economic models. We also witness a changing tide amongst the mainstream investor community, supporting companies that demonstrate value to society beyond profits.
Recognising that change starts at the top, we, as business leaders:
Recognising that the support of all stakeholders is necessary and will be a catalyst for companies to achieve more, we call on: