Meaningful Development: Nordic CEOs join forces for a sustainable future


A group of Nordic-based CEOs announced a joint initiative to speed up the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Representatives from the group presented their shared ambitions to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg during the 70th Nordic Council session in Oslo.

The group consists of the CEOs of Equinor, Hydro, GSMA, Ìslandsbanki, Nokia, SAS, Swedbank, Telenor Group, Telia Company, Vestas and Yara. The CEOs have joined forces to highlight the need for new business models that will drive the transition to a 21st century economy aligned with the ethical, social and environmental priorities of our time.

The initiative also creates a platform for the Nordic Prime Ministers to engage directly with the CEOs on how to move from sustainability as a compliance exercise to purpose driven companies. A key objective is to explore ways to deliver more impact through collaboration.

Anchored in business strategies

The CEOs have committed to responsible business practices aligning their companies’ strategies with the UN SDGs and to exploring opportunities for collaboration. The arena will facilitate experience exchange, shared learning and explore how the companies can best measure effects and maximize impact of their efforts.

Joint letter to the Nordic Prime Ministers

In the early stages of forming the initiative, the CEOs sent a joint letter to the Nordic Prime Ministers in June 2018 announcing their ambitions. This resulted in today’s meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who is also a co-chair of the UN’s Global SDG Advocate group, during Nordic Council’s 70th joint session. In the meeting, the CEOs presented the shared ambitions on behalf of the initiative and an updated joint letter. The group also discussed the importance of global trade and public-private partnerships as vital preconditions for realizing the UN SDGs.

Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia, said: “This collaboration comes at precisely the right time as we enter a new era of profound change driven by technology. Working with industry partners and prime ministers across the Nordic region, we can leverage our native strengths in technology, industry and sustainability to become a powerful voice for advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and work to ensure that the promised benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are realized by all.”