Telenor leads Nordic CEOs on journey towards a sustainable future
- Joint initiative to speed up the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Group of Nordic-based CEOs present their shared ambitions to Norwegian Prime Minister
- Includes the CEOs of GSMA, Nokia, Telenor and Telia
- Proposing new business models for a 21st century economy
Telenor is leading a Scandinavian-based initiative that seeks to establish new business models that will drive the transition to a 21st century economy, aligned with current ethical, social and environmental priorities. The group of CEOs also want to accelerate the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which whilst highly laudable often suffer from a lack of inaction from governments. The group, which includes telecoms companies Nokia, Telenor, Telia and the GSMA, presented their shared ambitions to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg during the 70th Nordic Council session in Oslo today.
It’s an interesting move, which brings together CSPs and vendors with leading vertical industries, whilst also establishing direct engagement with the highest political offices in the region. It’s a very Scandinavian approach, which may not be easily replicated elsewhere. However, the need for CSPs and their vendor partners to create stronger links with enterprises and key verticals is becoming increasingly urgent, as financial pressures on legacy business models get worse and the realisation dawns that the only route to an economically-viable 5G business is through agile enterprise services – especially industrial use cases. And if they can get assistance from government economic policies, then so much the better.
“Technology creates new opportunities to solve massive challenges connected to health, education and inequality,” said Sigve Brekke, President and CEO, Telenor Group. “Businesses and the public sector play a key role in facilitating positive impact on society – that’s why we need close and constructive collaboration across sectors and industries. This isn’t about charity, it’s about facilitating long-term sustainable growth.”
“This collaboration comes at precisely the right time as we enter a new era of profound change driven by technology,” said Rajeev Suri, President and CEO, Nokia. “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 SDGs, and work to ensure that the promised benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are realised by all.”
“Coming together as CEOs and working across sectors to achieve the SDGs and build a more sustainable future is essential for citizens, employees and customers,” said Johan Dennelind, President and CEO, Telia Company. “I am proud that Telia Company is leading from the front and this is just the beginning. Further collaboration with our Nordic Governments is essential in achieving more.”
“As we enter a fourth industrial revolution, sustainability becomes an even more critical element of our business – as well as a business opportunity,” said Mats Granryd, Director-General, GSMA, “and we must continually deliver value to society and respond to the many challenges facing our world.”
Original Press Release:
Nordic CEOs join forces for a sustainable future
(Oslo, 31 October 2018) Today, a group of Nordic-based CEOs announced a joint initiative to speed up the realisation 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, the GSMA, Ìslandsbanki, Nokia, SAS, Swedbank, Telenor Group, Telia Company, Vestas and Yara International. 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 and responsible business practices.
“Technology creates new opportunities to solve massive challenges connected to health, education and inequality. Businesses and the public sector play a key role in facilitating positive impact on society – that’s why we need close and constructive collaboration across sectors and industries. Several of the major Nordic companies have acknowledged this and, as Telenor, aligned their business strategies to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We want to be ambassadors of change and encourage more CEOs and business leaders to join in. This isn’t about charity, it’s about facilitating long-term sustainable growth,” says Sigve Brekke, President & CEO, Telenor Group.
Anchored in business strategies
The CEOs have committed to aligning their business 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.
Telenor Group’s core business of connectivity is a driver for reducing inequalities. The UN SDG #10, Reduced Inequalities is ingrained in the company’s strategic direction and Telenor has committed to concrete contributions by 2020. These include facilitating seven million mobile birth registrations in Asia, providing online safety training for 4 million children, and delivering 100,000 hours of supply chain sustainability training.
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.
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