Leaders representing the Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future met with the Prime Ministers of Norway and Iceland, Jonas Gahr Støre and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, in Reykjavik this week. Collaborative efforts aimed at advancing sustainability were on the agenda.
- The Nordics are in a great position to lead the way on the path towards a more sustainable and just society. Our meeting with Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Jonas Gahr Støre confirms that there is a need for the public and private sectors to work even closer together to make sure we stay on track, says Arni Oddur Thordarson, CEO of Marel.
Thordarson is the chair of the network Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future. Since 2018, Telenor, Yara, Posten, Storebrand, SAS, Swedbank, Íslandsbanki, Marel and GSMA have collaborated on joint commitments to sustainability. This week the network is gathered in Iceland, parallel to the annual meeting of the Nordic Prime Ministers.
Increased focus on nature
The meeting focused on discussing the contributions of Nordic businesses towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement. The Ministers acknowledged that the countries are moving in the right direction but lagging behind on climate. The role of businesses in limiting nature loss and finding solutions to balancing climate and nature were discussed.
- We need to accelerate the transition. Cooperation between private and public sectors must fuel this acceleration, and we are glad to see that the Nordic governments recognize this. We are also glad to see commitments towards reporting on nature among companies, as both the private and public sector need to recognize the value of nature in the transition to a low carbon society, says Odd Arild Grefstad, CEO of Storebrand.
Launched new commitments in April
In April this year, the network launched a new set of updated mutual sustainability commitments on climate, nature, diversity and inclusion, and suppliers. In all companies, this includes, among other things, to:
- Aim to offer a minimum of four months fully paid parental leave for primary caregivers, and aim to give secondary caregivers support if they wish to take up to one-month parental leave.
- Set 1.5-degree science-based targets across all scopes if possible. For sectors where it is not possible, contribute actively to establish a sectoral decarbonation approach.
- Start initial reporting of nature data for the reporting year 2023.
- The uncertain time over the last years have been challenging to all businesses. However, it is crucial that we do not ignore our sustainability efforts, says Grefstad.
A closer collaboration on a Nordic level
In 2019, the network and the Nordic Prime Ministers presented a joint statement on private and public collaboration on climate and gender equality. The network has had a close dialogue with the Nordic prime ministers throughout the pandemic.
- We need to step up when it comes to climate actions and diversity and inclusion. Nordic CEOs look forward to having open discussions and continuing pushing each other on key topics such as climate and energy actions, diversity & inclusion and sustainable procurement, says Arni Oddur Thordarson.