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Nordic CEOs seek to collaborate with governments on climate action

The CEOs alliance presented its vision for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through greater public-private sector collaboration.

Reykjavik was host to the Nordic Council of Ministers' session
Reykjavik was host to the Nordic Council of Ministers' session

An alliance of the leaders of the Nordic region’s leading businesses have met with the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries to discuss a collaborative approach to addressing sustainability challenges.


The meetings formed part of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Nordic Council of Ministers session held in Reykjavik, Iceland this week. 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.


Achieving the UN’s SDGs


The CEOs presented their vision for achieving the United Nations (UN) 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 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.


“There is a strong interest in the Nordic region for collective solutions. At the same time, we’ve seen CEOs in this region are personally engaged in realising the SDGs,” said Mats Granryd, director-general, GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.


“All of the companies have strong track records in sustainable business practices, but these CEOs have seen an added value in committing to address certain areas collectively. I believe that’s a powerful foundation to drive change not only in this region but globally.”


“No less than the futures of our children and grandchildren are at stake – let’s collaborate now and start solving those challenges”


Recognising 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 reduction of emissions and collaborating on joint emission reduction efforts with other companies in the alliance;
  • strengthening reporting on diversity and inclusion, using the insights gained to share best practices across the region, and joining forces on actions to improve.

“The Nordic nations are respected around the world for two things: business innovation and strong social systems,” said Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri, who supports the initiative. “We can combine those two qualities through public-private partnerships, and, in doing so, meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


“By working closely together, business and governments can harness the advances of the fourth industrial revolution to fight climate change and make workplaces more diverse. No less than the futures of our children and grandchildren are at stake – let’s collaborate now and start solving those challenges.”


Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future was created in 2018 to inspire joint leadership and action towards 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.


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