Nordic CEOs meet with regional Prime Ministers to accelerate sustainability action

A case study

Nordic CEOs.JPG

The Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future, an alliance of the leaders of the Nordic region’s leading businesses, met today with the Prime Ministers of the five Nordic countries to discuss a collaborative approach to addressing sustainability challenges.

The CEOs presented their vision for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through greater public-private sector collaboration and the transition to purpose-driven business practices. The alliance will initially focus on climate action and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The meetings formed part of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ session held in Reykjavík, Iceland, this week.

Integrating the SDGs into business strategies

The CEOs are committed to integrating the SDGs into their business activities and decision-making, incorporating sustainability into their own policies and across their value chains.

Recognizing that the 2030 deadline for achieving the SDGs is fast approaching, the companies are in particular looking at strengthening their efforts within the areas of climate change and diversity and inclusion. This will include:

  • Identifying scalable solutions across their value chains to accelerate the reduction of emissions and collaborating on joint emission reduction efforts with other companies in the alliance.
  • Strengthening common reporting on diversity and inclusion, using the insights gained to share best practices across the region, and joining forces on actions to improve.

Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future was created in 2018 to inspire joint leadership and action towards the delivery of the SDGs in the Nordic region. The industry leaders in the group represent companies that have collective annual revenues of more than EUR110 billion, directly employing more than 290,000 people around the world, with operations in 119 countries, serving hundreds of millions of citizens every day.

Companies represented in the group include Equinor, GSMA, Hydro, Íslandsbanki, Marel, Nokia, Posten Norge, SAS, Storebrand Group, Swedbank, Telenor Group, Telia Company, Vestas and Yara International.

By collaborating, across industries and borders, Nordic CEOs can accelerate progress on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Marel CEO

Arni Oddur Þórðarson, CEO of Marel

Visit to Marel HQ

As a part of the meeting agenda, the CEOs visited Marel headquarter where they were met with Árni Oddur on a tour of Marel’s innovation and manufacturing facilities. The group gained insight into Marel’s contribution to sustainable food production through equipment and software that allows food processors to increase efficiency, yield and quality while reducing waste.

Marel focuses its efforts to benefit people, the planet and operations on three of the UN’s SDGs: goal 2 to achieve zero hunger, goal 9 to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, and goal 12 for responsible consumption and production. Across the three goals, innovation is the key means by which Marel aims to make a meaningful contribution. Every year, we invest around 6% of our revenues in research and development.

Marel is founded on partnerships and to this day, partnerships with customers, investors and employees remain cornerstone of our success. The Nordic CEOs forum is another important partnership for Marel. It will enable us to gain new perspectives and develop ideas on how Nordic companies, including Marel, can contribute to sustainable development and growth through innovation.

The Nordic region is playing a pioneering role in implementing sustainability into the heart of our business and political agendas, allowing us to focus in on areas where we can deliver positive and impactful change.

Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA

Nordic CEOs

In November 2018, the Nordic CEOs partnership was formed by CEOs of some of the Nordic region’s largest companies with the objective of transforming business to achieve the UN Sustainable Development and deliver purpose-driven business models. Together, Nordic CEOs focus their efforts on three areas of business transformation to deliver purpose-driven strategies aligned with commercial opportunities: responsible business practices, purpose-driven company culture and shared valued products and services.

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