Finland: Engagement with business leaders in Northern Europe around Vision 2050

Published: 4 Mar 2020
Type: News

Helsinki 4 March 2020: FIBS, the Finnish Corporate Sustainability network, supported the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in hosting a business dialogue on Vision 2050 in Finland’s capital. Participants focused on how global trends affect companies operating in Northern Europe, and the role of business in enabling system change while enabling over 9 billion people to live well, within the boundaries of the planet by 2050.

The half-day workshop brought together sustainability professionals from 30 companies and organizations. They provided companies operating in Finland with an opportunity to hear an update on WBCSD’s ambition to refresh its Vision, a collective effort led by over three dozen member companies of the Council.
WBCSD’s Linden Edgell provided an overview of WBCSD’s ambition and approach to refresh its Vision 2050 and shared key findings to date. On the back of these latest insights business representatives had the chance to exchange about the challenges and opportunities for business to catalyze transformation of major economic systems such as food, energy or mobility, and discuss how global trends tend to affect the operating environment for business in Finland over the next ten years, while also considering what actions and processes have already realized change in the country.

Participants welcomed the inspiring discussion around very relevant global themes and challenges and recognized that Vision 2050 work largely captures the key issues businesses in Finland are grappling with. The role of corporate transparency and effective communication, from information on products to public disclosures was particularly emphasized. Discussions also highlighted the need to harmonize regulation across jurisdictions as various layers and varying initiatives can be too resource-intensive. The need to collaborate was strongly reinforced, provoking businesses to work in innovative ways with governments to design new policies. Lastly, the future of work as a foundational element in the work to refresh Vision 2050 was greatly welcomed as it is an increasingly important topic companies need to address and find solutions to.

Those present also recognized that many Finnish businesses are playing a leading role in responding to the issues identified – and need to look at how they can play a greater role in influencing their value chains and demonstrating best practices. The long-standing Finnish model of collaborative approaches to responding to complex challenges is also standing them in good stead as government, business and civil society meet in key forums and develop action-based responses.

This workshop aimed to ensure that the work to refresh Vision 2050 incorporates the varying impacts and importance of sustainability challenges in Finland and Northern Europe, to create ownership of the Vision 2050 process to ensure the initiatives can be practically implemented in the region, while also building a network of collaborators in Finland to drive change.

All this as part WBCSD’s wider efforts to tap into the expertise and know-how of its Global Network partners in rallying companies from all around the world with the ambition to develop a positive and opportunity-based action agenda for business to help realize the Sustainable Development Goals in the decade of delivery and beyond.

About FIBS

FIBS is a unique, not-for-profit promoter of sustainable business and developer of expertise in Finland. Its network already includes more than 300 companies and organizations that invest heavily in responsibility. FIBS goals are to inspire more and more Finnish companies to start developing productive solutions to local and global problems in cooperation with other companies and organizations so that they can rise to the top of sustainable business globally.

FIBS is a partner of WBCSD’s Global Network, an alliance of more than 60 CEO-led business organizations worldwide. The Network, encompassing some 5,000 companies, is united by a shared commitment to provide business leadership for sustainable development in their respective countries and regions.

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