On Friday the 6th of December Global Compact Network Sweden and the Nordic Council of Ministers co-hosted the event “The climate aware generation – is your company ready?” as a part of the COP25 Stockholm Hub. The event focused on what role companies play in climate action and what the youth expects from them in terms of commitment, combining the presence of companies and students/youths.
Our Executive Director Maria Collin and Fanny Rehula, Project Officer at Nordic Council of Ministers opened the event and Maria presented the Global Compact initiative and the Swedish network.
The event was moderated by Vide Richter, Sstainability consultant at AFRY.
Presentations and panel discussion
First out was Pernilla Bergmark, Master Researcher, Sustainability at Ericsson and Co-Author of “Exponential Climate Action Roadmap”, who presented the key insights and take aways from the report. She set the context in terms of what companies needs to be achieved in order to reach the Paris Agreement and limiting global warming to 1.5°C. She stressed the need for exponential change instead of incremental change, with the emission budget for 1,5°C running out in just a few at present pace. “The immediate CHALLENGE is not only how to cut emissions 100% by 2050. It is how to cut 50% by 2030.” Pernilla also focused on the need for climate leadership, where businesses need to commit to the 1,5°C targets. Businesses’ impact can also be scaled through partnerships, pledges and commitments.
Next up was Morten Jastrup, Managing Partner at Nordic Sustainability and Author of “Nordic Businesses and the 2030 Agenda: Global Compact Nordic Survey 2019“. Morten gave a summary of the most interesting results from the report which was based on a survey of Global Compact member companies in the Nordics. The result showed that companies think that the SDGs they can impact the most are: climate action, responsible consumption and production and good health and well-being. The biggest challenges in working with the SDGs were identified as: setting relevant KPIs and progress targets, and translating the SDGs to be relevant for the business context.
Morten also talked about that the expectations on business are changing, where businesses’ purpose have gone from focusing on creating shareholder value, to shared value and now to creating “system value”, in which society and environment needs to be taken into account and are seen as preconditions to business’ success.
The last up was Kristoffer Ravnbøl, CEO and Co-founder of Naboskap
to talk about the expectations from Nordic youth, based on “Nordic Youth As Sustainable Changemakers : In the transition to sustainable consumption and production” which Kristoffer is the co-Author of. Kristoffer’s main message to the audience was: “Go out into the world to involve and understand the youth”, as this will be crucial to succeed with your company’s sustainability ambitions.
The report was based on a survey of youth (age 13-29) in the Nordic countries, which showed that: 89 % are worried or very worried, 83 % are ready to do more and take action. 93 % find living a sustainable life important, whereas 25 % find it easy to live and consume in a sustainable way.
The presentations was followed by a panel discussion which also included panelists representing students and companies. Alva Jonevret, Vice President Stockholm School of Economics Students for Climate Action talked about why sustainability is so important when choosing a future employer and how more and more students are refusing companies that won’t take climate responsibility. Ulrika Skantze, Head of Talent Acquisition at Cybercom, affirmed that there has been an increase in interest in sustainability among applicants in recent years.
The event was concluded with a workshop exercise where groups of company representatives and students/youths discussed expectations on companies regarding climate action. The groups expressed expectations on companies to communicate honestly and transparently, the most important isn’t to be perfect it is to show high ambitions to build trust. Dare to share the bad numbers!