Part 1. Introduction by Mr Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation
Minister Michael Damberg opened the morning session of day 2 by presenting the Swedish government’s view of how sustainable business is a competitive advantage, both for Sweden as a country and for businesses.
Mr. Damberg gave a brief overview of the development from the early days of globalization and how the industrial growth have left us with a price tag consisting of environmental issues, workers exploitation and social injustices. Issues that are being addressed internationally in several different policies and agreements over the years, like the when Global Compact on Human rights launched by UN 1999 and last year’s agreement on the new Sustainable Development Goals – SDG’s.
Mr. Damberg explains how Sweden wants to contribute to achieving these longterm goals for a sustainable future. There are several examples of Swedish businesses that are already lead by example. Mr. Damberg mentions waste to energy initiatives like Scania’s biogas development project in India through which they fuel city buses. H&M’s old garments collection initiative in all stores worldwide to recycle textile fibres as well as their overall commitment to reduce use of water, energy and land use. Also, IKEA’s selling 100% led lighting worldwide helping consumers reducing light energy consumption with up to 85%.
Swedish government has now launched a new ambitious CSR strategy that states that Swedish companies are expected to follow the international guidelines and standards and to act as role models, nationally and internationally.
Corporate Sustainable Responsibility is more than charity. By doing good businesses it is proven that CSR contribute to growth, profit and a strengthened brand.
Consumers, employees, investors and the communities – we will all benefit by acting in a long term sustainable way.