Sustainability Focus 2020

We are excited to share this year’s Sustainability Focus (Hållbarhetsfokus 2020 in Swedish). It is the second issue of our annual report, identifying current sustainability challenges and trends that Swedish companies are facing.

How do they view their sustainability work today? What are their predictions for the coming five years? And who will lead the transformation to a sustainable society?

The decade of action is upon us.

We have just over 10 years before the Global Goals for Sustainable Development have to be achieved. And there is still a long way to go.

Today we are seeing a behavioral change in the western hemisphere that is generating demands on products and services that are hard to meet. The need for new solutions has accelerated in a great speed, much faster than businesses have managed to transform. Companies will need to keep up with the changes in consumption patterns and social norms. Adapting to a changing world has become vital for companies to survive, and will impact recruitments as well as innovation, corporate culture and leadership during the next decade.

In the coming years, companies will experience a growing demand for sustainability actions and also – that they are being communicated. Our report shows that businesses are expecting to take an extensive leap in their sustainability endeavors during the next five years. At the same time, only around half of the companies have defined goals for their efforts and are aware of their challenges. Much is yet to be done, but the cost of being static is outgrowing that of transformation.

Sustainable business? Yes, but not yet.
The responding companies believe sustainability will be a more integrated part of their business (in five years) than in last year’s report. Yet their rankings are unchanged from last year. This shows a growing gap between vision and action.

Owners and investors demand sustainability
90% of the respondents believe that demands from owners and investors have a major impact on their companies’ sustainability work. Last year’s figure was 69%.

Political decisions drive sustainable development
The main driving force behind global sustainable development is considered to be political decisions. And public opinion and Generation Z are rated higher than EU, media reporting and the United Nations.

The strategic work with sustainability has already begun
Half of the respondents have defined goals for their sustainability work and their challenges mapped out. For 7 out of 10 sustainability is a part of their vision.

6 out of 10 consider sustainability as a central part of their general communication
More than half of the responding companies communicate their sustainability work continuously – both internally and externally. 50% uses their webpage and corporate sustainability report to spread it. And for 61% sustainability is a major topic in their overall communication.

Lastly, a big thank you to Marie Renberg and Anna Norrman, students at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet), who created the basis of the report together with us. Great work!

For more insights, please download the full report in Swedish.

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