This statement was first launched at UN Private Sector Forum in New York on 18 September 2023. More CEOs from Nordic companies have joined the statement to be relaunched in Dubai during COP28.
CEO Statement from Nordic Businesses to stand together globally with high ambitions for a just and green transition to a net-zero future:
As representatives of Nordic companies driven by high sustainability ambitions, operating globally across various sectors, we take UN Secretary-General Guterres’ call for ambitious and credible commitments and clear and transparent plans and pledges to “rescue the SDGs” very seriously. Therefore, we stand united, resolute in our determination to take even bolder and measurable steps for a more sustainable and just future and towards combating the climate crisis, reaching our net-zero targets, and upholding the principles of the Paris Agreement.
Reaffirming our commitments to a sustainable future
We reaffirm our strong support for the UN Global Compact's Ten Principles and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Much action has been taken since the SDGs were formally adopted in 2015, but we must realize that we are already halfway towards 2030. Now is the time to not only reaffirm our commitment to the SDGs but also to take measurable steps to increase momentum.
A cornerstone of reaching the SDGs is ensuring a green and just transition to reach net-zero global emissions before 2050. We make a commitment to help reach that overarching goal by setting net-zero targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The target requires our businesses to cut emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and reach organization-wide net-zero targets before 2050.
We acknowledge that a net-zero target calls for a comprehensive business transformation in our own operations and our supply chains. That transformation entails investments in renewable energy, strong supplier collaboration and engagement, embedding circular principles in product designs, relentless efforts to drive energy efficiency, and many other important objectives. It also entails a constant focus on reducing any negative effects of this transformation on our workforces and other important stakeholders.
To meet our net-zero targets and help safeguard the future of humanity and our planet, we commit to:
- Set public energy transition plans and specific, measurable targets for renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels.
- Increase our accountability and transparency by annually disclosing our greenhouse gas data, net-zero targets, and the plans for, and progress towards, meeting those targets, and other relevant information against our baseline along with comparable data to enable effective tracking of progress toward our net-zero targets.
- Restrict our use of carbon credits only to be complementary to actions to implement our long-term science-based targets or an option for neutralizing residual emissions at the net-zero target date.
- Lobby and advocate for positive climate action, with public disclosure of our policies, activities, and affiliations.
- Mobilize investments in sustainable projects and green initiatives.
- Explain how we contribute to a just transition in our transition plans to deliver a net-zero and climate-resilient economy in a way that delivers fairness and tackles inequality and injustice. These transition plans must consider and address the broader social consequences and impacts of mitigation actions, including on race, gender, and intergenerational equity.
- Annually report on progress on these commitments from COP to COP.
A sustainable and just transition
At the heart of our climate actions lies a commitment to putting people and planet first, ensuring that the transition is just, benefits all, and leaves no one behind. Our support for a just transition is rooted in the principle of responsible business conduct as set out in the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact rooted in UN declarations. Acknowledging that the transition to a fossil-free economy may disproportionately harm workers, communities, or vulnerable populations, we are committed to embedding principles such as social dialogue, labour rights, supplier engagement, decent employment, and proper due diligence processes in our own operations and value chains through focused policies and strategies.
With the above actions and our individual plans, we embrace the call for accelerated action and heightened accountability. By engaging in this collective effort, we seek to inspire others to join us on this transformative journey. Only together, in strong public-private partnerships and cross-sector coalitions, can we build a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world. Therefore, we call on companies and governments worldwide to incentivize the transition to green energy, adding capacity for green fuels and setting measurable, transparent phaseout timelines for fossil fuels.
Recommendations from pioneering Nordic companies on how governments across the world can enable a faster green business transformation include:
- Acceleration of investments in green and energy-efficient solutions at scale; first, setting short and medium-term action plans built on climate partnerships; secondly, expanding existing technologies and developing new innovations for a green transition that also tackles environmental and social impacts of source materials and production; and ultimately, supporting infrastructure development to connect new sustainable energy installations to the public grid. Investments in waste infrastructure are also needed to improve access to high-quality secondary materials to drive circularity and the use of recycled materials.
- Advocacy efforts for solid regulatory frameworks that encourage green investments and ensure that frontrunners are not penalized. It is critical to remove the bureaucracy and continue implementing fast-track permitting processes that enable sustainable supply chains and new business models and incentivize the transition to fossil-free societies in a just and fair manner. Furthermore, market-based measures consisting of a greenhouse gas price on fuels are vital to close the competition gap between new, green fuels and fossil fuels.
- Support for companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, is needed to encourage them to take action in partnerships and set ambitious sustainability targets. As global companies, we rely on our suppliers to provide solutions and act within their sectors. The public sector likewise plays a key role by implementing ambitious green public procurement policies, including for construction materials.
- Access to green finance is key to bolstering the energy transition. We call on governments globally to continue to explore ways to ensure public and private finance is used to back the transition to a sustainable and resilient future for all. There is an urgent need for support in financing new business models, particularly during the current initial phases of the transformation to disincentive the use of fossil fuels. Private and Public Financial Institutions have a key role in driving mission-oriented innovation and change. Focus is needed on ensuring a substantial and rapid scale-up of renewable energy production all over the world, including in emerging markets and developing countries. Government funds can be used as catalytic capital in collaboration with the private sector to finance the development of tomorrow’s green technologies.
A strong, continued partnership
As Nordic businesses, we applaud the Nordic Government's support for the UN SDGs and address them with a renewed spirit of partnership, urging the government to maintain and strengthen the Nordic's position as a global sustainability pioneer.
With the technology currently at our disposal and growing market demand for sustainable solutions, we acknowledge that we cannot succeed in isolation. To bring about real change, we call upon regulators and policymakers to support our efforts, level the playing field, and incentivize sustainable choices. Momentum is key, and together, we can drive the green transition forward.
Dubai, 2 December 2023
Aasted ApS – Piet Hoffmann Tæstensen, CEO
ACCEDO BROADBAND AB – Michael Lantz, CEO
Ambu – Britt Meelby Jensen, CEO
A.P. Moller – Maersk – Vincent Clerc, CEO
Arion Bank – Benedikt Gíslason, CEO
Arla – Peder Tuborgh, CEO
Atea AS – Ole Petter Saxrud, CEO
Balco Group AB – Camilla Ekdahl, CEO
Bang & Olufsen – Kristian Teär, CEO
Bellagroup A/S – Christian Folden Lund, CEO
Canon Norge AS – Maiken Furre, HR & Corporate Comm. and Marketing Services Director
Carlsberg – Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO
Coloplast – Kristian Villumsen, President & CEO
Coor Service Management – AnnaCarin Grandin, President and CEO
COWI – Jens Højgaard Christoffersen, President & Group CEO
CRI – Björk Kristjánsdóttir, CEO
Danish Crown – Jais Valeur, Group CEO
dbramante1928 – Dennis Dress, CEO & Co-Founder
Demant – Søren Nielsen, President & CEO
Devold of Norway – Øystein Vikingsen Fauske, CEO
DLG Group – Kristian Hundebøll, Group CEO
DSB – Flemming Jensen, CEO
DSV – Jens Bjørn Andersen, Group CEO
Duni Group – Robert Dackeskog, CEO
EFLA hf. – Sæmundur Sæmundsson, CEO
Elisa – Veli-Matti Mattila, CEO
Fagerhult Group – Bodil Sonesson, President and CEO
Fiskars Group – Nathalie Ahlström, President and CEO
FLSmidth – Mikko Keto, Group CEO
Foxway – Martin Backman, Group CEO
FSN Capital – Frode Strand-Nielsen, Founder and Chairman
Glamox AS – Astrid Simonsen Joos, CEO
Grundfos – Poul Due Jensen, Group President & CEO
Hexagon AB – Paolo Guglielmini, President and CEO
HMD Global Oy – Jean-Francois Baril, CEO and Chairman
Höegh Autoliners ASA – Andreas Enger, CEO
Íslandsbanki – Jón Guðni Ómarsson, CEO
ISS World Services – Kasper Fangel, CEO
Katapult Ocean – Jonas Skattum Svegaarden, CEO
Klappir green solutions – Jon Agust Thorsteinsson, CEO
KLP – Sverre Thornes, CEO
Koatek A/S – Thomas Gotsæd, CEO
KONE – Henrik Ehrnrooth, President & CEO
Kongsberg Group – Geir Håøy, CEO
Lindström Group – Juha Laurio, President & CEO
Midsona AB – Peter Åsberg, CEO
Nilfisk – Rene Svendsen-Tune, Interim CEO
NKT Caples Group A/S – Claes Westerlind, CEO
Norlys – Niels Duedahl, CEO
Novo Nordisk – Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, Group President & CEO
Novozymes – Ester Baiget, President & CEO
Pandora – Alexander Lacik, Group President & CEO
Pension Danmark – Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO
Position Green – Joachim Nahem, Executive Chair
Posti Group Corporation – Turkka Kuusisto, President and CEO
Rambøll – Jens-Peter Saul, President & CEO
Reykjavík Energy – Sævar Freyr Þráinsson, CEO
Salling Group – Anders Hagh, President & CEO
Scan Global Logistics A/S – Allan Melgaard, Global CEO
SKF Group – Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO
Slättö – Johan Karlsson, Founder & Managing Partner
Solar A/S – Jens Ellegaard Andersen, CEO
STARK Group – Søren P. Olesen, CEO
TDC NET – Michel Jumeau, CEO
The LEGO Group – Niels B. Christiansen, Group President & CEO
Third Rock Finland Oy – Leo Stranius, CEO
Topsoe – Roeland Baan, President & CEO
TourCompass – Claus Palmgren Jessen, CEO
Uponor Corporation – Michael Rauterkus, President and CEO
VELUX Group – Lars Petersson, CEO
Vestas – Henrik Andersen, Group President & CEO
WindowMaster International A/S – Erik Boyter, CEO
WS Audiology – Eric Bernard, CEO
Ylva – Leea Tolvas, CEO
Ørsted – Mads Nipper, Group President & CEO
Össur hf. – Sveinn Sölvason, President & CEO