Georg Kell’s Thoughts on Sustainability: Sweden Stands Out

Georg Kell’s Thoughts on Sustainability: Sweden Stands Out

As corporate sustainability has evolved in recent decades, founder and former Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact Georg Kell explains, executives from Sweden have distinguished themselves. 
——————————————–
Corporate Sustainability Still Debated 
——————————————–
Corporate sustainability | Learn more on Commonshare | is still a concept that is subject to debate and contention, Kell explains. On the one hand, the debate looks broadly similar in different countries, but it has also been shaped by national histories in each nation. Values and legal requirements alike have affected both differences and similarities.    
For example, in the United States the debate between shareholder and stakeholder capitalism is ongoing, even as public interest in corporate activity and sustainability actions grows. 
———————–
Sweden as a Model 
———————–
On the other hand, Sweden has emerged at the forefront of sustainability efforts, with Swedish executives establishing themselves as something of paragons for the world. Kell points to a book written by Henrik Henriksson, CEO of Scania, and Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, a long-term sustainability veteran and founder of the AI Sustainability Center. 
The book, Sustainability Leadership: A Swedish Approach to Transforming your Company, your Industry and the World, provides candid accounts from more than a dozen CEOs. The Swedish executives interviewed for the book are from startups and multi-nationals across several sectors.
The Swedish sustainability mindset 
—————————————-
The book explains how and why Swedish companies enjoy high trust and worldwide success despite their relatively small domestic consumer base. At the same time, the book challenges the leaders of the contemporary business world to tackle massive sustainable development challenges. 
Perhaps the most provocative aspect of the book is the way that it portrays corporate sustainability: as a leadership imperative, one that comes from a conviction that corporations and society should have a mutually beneficial relationship that acknowledges their dependence on the planet. 
Sustainability and profitability: complementary goals
—————————————————–
The book repeatedly makes the case that sustainability and profitability are not only compatible, but positively go together: both are essential, and they are complementary. The authors provide a three-phase leadership model for working toward these goals.
The first phase
—————
It is called “The Foundation.” In this phase, the company works to discover purpose, with a full knowledge of stakeholder insights and a strong sense regarding how to earn trust.
The second phase: The Core
————————–
In this phase, the company practices deep integration of environmental and social perspectives into business models. It is particularly important to build links with customers and capacity to measure impact.
The Leap
——–
The third phase, “The Leap,” is about the ambition that sustainability leaders bring to bear in confronting challenges and how to explore their role as part of the corporate sustainability solution. 
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *