Collaborating on climate change and diversity and inclusion
Joint commitment presented to Nordic Prime Ministers in August 2019
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are broadly accepted as the path to secure long-term human wellbeing, economic prosperity and a stable, resilient environment.
We, the Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future, have joined forces to align our business models with the most important ethical, social and environmental issues of our time. We commit to implementing responsible business practices and integrating the SDGs into our companies’ strategies; a decision we consider to be a societal imperative as much as a commercial opportunity.
With 2030 fast approaching, we must do more to accelerate progress. Collaboration is pivotal to advancing inclusive growth and driving sustainability at the speed and scale needed. As a first step, we will strengthen our own respective efforts, deliver joint projects and promote greater public-private sector collaboration on two areas: climate action and diversity and inclusion.
1: Raise climate ambition across value chains
The SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement provide the direction of travel, and serve as a north star for business action. While Nordic countries are performing well in comparison with other OECD countries concerning SDG 13*: Climate Action, there remains substantial work yet to be done to achieve this goal, with significant opportunities related to SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
We support these climate ambitions and are working to reduce the impact and direct emissions of our businesses. Moreover we will openly disclose how climate action aligns with our respective business strategies, investment decisions and operational activity.
Furthermore, we believe we can bring about even greater impact by playing an active role across our respective value chains**. We will work together to innovate and identify specific scalable solutions to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future coalition gives us the means to work on joint emission reduction projects and combine our diverse strengths for climate action. We also commit to strategic exchange of ideas and practices to help align our businesses efforts most effectively with the SDGs.
We will report openly on performance and progress on an annual basis.
** Value chain refers to the full lifecycle of a product or process, including material sourcing, production, consumption and disposal/recycling processes.
2: Deliver on our ambition on diversity and inclusion
In the Nordic region, we have strong traditions of embracing a culture of diversity and inclusion. By building on our practices, we are certain we will drive greater progress towards all of the SDGs.
For us, gender equality is an important part of the broader themes of diversity and inclusion. While gender equality and women’s empowerment are represented specifically by SDG 5, it is integral to all 17 SDGs and achieving sustainable development. While the Nordic region has been at the forefront of closing the gender gap, there is still much more to do to achieve true gender equality.
We aspire for the Nordic region to continue to lead the way and set a replicable example for how to create diverse and inclusive workplaces where gender equality can be achieved. We aim to strengthen common reporting on diversity and inclusion. We will use the insights gained to share best practices across the region and join forces on actions to improve.
Joint action from Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future
and the Nordic Council of Ministers
The Nordic CEO for a Sustainable Future wish to foster a candid dialogue with the Nordic Prime Ministers around the challenges posed by our common commitments towards the Paris Climate Agreement and the SDGs.
Our deliberations must:
We believe these initial topics of climate and diversity and inclusion will be the start of a longer-term collaborative approach that will drive positive change. We commit to periodic engagement and to communicate progress annually at milestone events, such as at the UN General Assembly.
The letter submitted to Nordic Prime Ministers in October 2018
Dear Nordic Prime Ministers,
We, Chief Executive Officers of leading Nordic enterprises and the GSMA, 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: