We need to do our own homework to reach the sustainable development goals
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a part of a new universal Agenda that is of highest priority to the Swedish Government. It is Sweden’s ambition to be a leader in implementing the Agenda 2030 – both at home and through contributing to its global implementation. To deal with climate change we need international frameworks and joint efforts by all stakeholders and we need to cooperate, we need multilateralism - but we also need to do our own homework through transformative steps to shift our way of living and move our societies onto a sustainable and resilient path. And these measures are urgently needed! In contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs cannot be achieved without far-reaching change in domestic policy and action - also in developed countries like Sweden. Another important difference is the interlinkage of the goals. The Swedish Government therefore recently presented the largest ever investment in climate and environment in the Budget Bill for 2018. An additional 500 million euros will be invested in environment and climate efforts in Sweden and outside our country. It includes major structural investments to adapt Sweden and foremost its industry and transport sector, but it also includes investments so that sustainability becomes a natural part of everyday activities. Examples of this are investments in solar cells, charging points for e-cars and subventions on electric bikes. These measures include country-wide investments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, adapt to renewable energy and safeguard biological diversity in oceans and on land. Special measures are also being presented to ensure flourishing and sustainable urban areas. “Our generation must be able to pass on to our children a society in which the major environmental problems have been solved and where there are flourishing urban areas with healthy environments to grow up in. A lot remains to be done if we are to succeed with this – investments in sustainable development have been insufficient for far too long," says the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Isabella Lövin. I’m very much looking forward to the important discussion on this topic on the 10th of October in the framework of the “Nordic talks”. Per Holmström Swedish Ambassador to the Netherlands [caption id="attachment_2841" align="alignnone" width="187"] Foto: Sören Andersson/Regeringskansliet[/caption]
Charlotte Wolff-Bye, Vice President Sustainability Statoil, Keynote speaker at #NordicTalks 2017 – No time to waste!

Today we proudly announce that we have an additional Keynote speaker to join the #NordicTalks 2017 conference; Charlotte Wolff-Bye!

Charlotte Wolff-Bye joined Statoil in 2014 as Vice President Sustainability. She introduced Statoil’s first group-wide sustainability strategy, followed by concrete actions on carbon emission reductions, international climate change advocacy and human rights. She is also Statoil’s representative on the Executive Committee of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative. Previously Charlotte was General Manager, Group Head of Corporate Responsibility for the global steel and mining company ArcelorMittal. During her 7-year tenure at ArcelorMittal she established industry-leading practices in: good governance, stakeholder engagement, human rights and reporting. Demonstrable improvements were achieved in industrial operations across Europe, the Americas, Africa and the CIS. Prior to her career in the extractives and manufacturing sector Charlotte spent a decade in the telecommunications industry holding a number of positions relating to sustainability, most notably with Telefonica and O2. Previous experiences include working in multilateral lending, music marketing and diplomatic affairs. In 2011 Charlotte was entered into the prestigious group – ‘Top 40 under 40 International Development Leaders in London’ by Devex. Charlotte is based in London, where she engages proactively in the public debate on the power of business enterprise in tackling social and environmental issues. Register for this years edition of #NordicTalks 2017 by clicking or by sending an email to
André Veneman, Corporate Director, Sustainability Akzo Nobel

Keynote Speaker #NordicTalks 2017 October 10

Sustainability as a driver for shared value

In Akzo Nobel we have embraced sustainability as a value driver, supporting our:

-          Purpose

-          Core principle

-          Brand equity

-          Employee value proposition

-          Innovation, technology and resource productivity programs

We have a strong conviction that all technologies are present to ensure that by 2050 nine billion global citizens can enjoy decent living standards within the boundaries of one Planet. That’s why we are optimists and why our sustainability strategy is called Planet Possible. However, it is obvious that required changes will not come easy. Our business will have to contribute to a deep transition in those market segments where all energy and raw materials are used:  Building & Infrastructure; Transport & Mobility; Consumer Goods; Food & Agri and new Industrial Applications.  Over the past fifteen years AkzoNobel has firmly moved sustainability from Integrated thinking to Integrated Business strategy, Integrated Management and Integrated reporting. Definitely all Akzo Nobel managers are familiar with our slogan:  Sustainability is business and business is sustainability. As chemicals industry we can contribute significantly in reaching these global goals through our core business activities – providing a new lens on creating long-term and shared value - in economic, environmental and social terms. The context of sustainability is ever changing. More recently the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement have set a clear direction for a more sustainable society.  Leading companies have embraced these goals because they provide such a clear compass for business growth and development.  The changing world requires that we focus on CO2-reduction in our own processes and across the value chain, radical resource productivity, technical innovation and the production of safer chemicals that improve the quality of people’s lives. Indeed no company can drive this transition alone. Obviously positive change depends on strong partnerships between business partners and end-users. Even more importantly, economic development, employment, circular use of materials and carbon reduction can be further accelerated by new partnerships  between the private sector, government, civil society and expertise centers. Generating a great opportunity to make a significant contribution to a sustainable society.    
Meet Anne-Wil Lucas, Program Manager Talent, Knowledge & Skills at StartupDelta, speaker during YP 10 Year Anniversary
The Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber are very pleased to introduce Anne-Wil Lucas, Program Manager Talent, Knowledge & Skills at StartupDelta, who will be speaking during the YP 10 years anniversary about innovation and sustainability! Before joining StartupDelta, Anne-Wil Lucas was a member of parliament for the liberal party in the Netherlands, from 2010 till 2016. In the Parliament, she proposed a startup-bill which led to the founding of StartupDelta. Anne-Wil is passionate about building a sustainable future by paving the way for ambitious entrepreneurs, who can find smarter and cleaner solutions for the grand challenges the world faces.
Don't miss the YP 10 Year Anniversary on September 22, and your chance to be inspired by interesting speakers and learning from each other about innovation and sustainability! Sign up for the event here: 
A summer meeting with H.E. Ambassador of Sweden Per Holmström in the lovely garden of the Swedish Residence

A beautiful summer day in July Kerstin and Johanna had a chat with the Swedish Ambassador Per Holmström in his lovely garden about Swedish Chamber adding value to the Swedish Brand name, Trade relations Sweden - the Netherlands, Team Sweden and Young Professionals YP10NL!

In what way does the Swedish Chamber of Commerce add value to the assignment of the Swedish Embassy in the Netherlands? We are both part of team Sweden and there is a good reason for that. The Swedish Embassy has a broad task to support and promote trade between the two countries, especially Swedish export and investments in the Netherlands. The Swedish Embassy has well established contacts with official representatives and together with the business network of the Swedish Chamber which is mostly in the private sector, we are able to reach our goal of covering the entire market. How is the Swedish Chamber of Commerce contributing to increase the trade relations between Sweden and the Netherlands? The market itself is mature and it is sometimes hard to reach smaller players that potentially could reach the Dutch market only through government official channels. Therefore, the Swedish Chamber plays an important role with their solid and well-developed network for newly established Swedish companies to become a member and to build their relations and network in their new country. The events and promotional activities of the Swedish Chamber might not show in the statistics straight away but are equally as important as any other work we do to promote the relations because it helps build a long-term and sustainable business society for Swedish and Dutch companies. How is the Swedish Chamber succeeding in enhancing Brand name Sweden in your opinion and how can we improve even more? By offering events and conferences that touch upon sustainability, equality and gender issues, the Swedish Chamber help promote core values that Sweden stands for. The Chamber has hosted several events during the last couple of years that raises these questions and gives a forum for the member companies to elaborate on their thoughts on the subject. A good example is #NordicTalks the annual Nordic event that this year promotes the UN Sustainability Goals. That is a very important topic for Sweden and it relates to many of our values. The Swedish Chamber has also done a great job working with social media and promoting other government officials and public opinion makers who support those values. I see this as a great possibility for more collaboration in the future, working side by side with the Swedish Chamber in our social media presence to promote Sweden. The Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber are turning 10 years as a network. How important is such a network in your opinion and why is it important to give them our fully support? It is extremely important to offer a forum for our young talents that are pursuing an international career or studying abroad here in the Netherlands. The Chamber does a great job offering activities and special events that are directed towards the interests and needs of the Young Professionals, which are not necessarily always the same as for the member of the Chamber. It is in that age and place in life that one needs support and encouragement to be able to build a good professional network that can be useful throughout the career. What is your advice to the Young Professionals? My advice for all Young Professionals is to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid of failures or making wrong decisions. Mistakes create experience. Network… and have fun! The Ambassador would like to congratulate the Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber with their 10th anniversary and is looking forward to the celebrations on September 22!
Meet Remy Steijger, Digital Captains, Digital Marketing & Social Media specialist and Moderator at YP 10 Years!

The Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber are very proud to present Remy Steijger, Digital Captains, Digital Marketing & Social Media specialist and Member of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce as Moderator at the Young Professionals 10 Years Anniversary on September 22!  Remy is advisor, speaker, trendwatcher and a content strategist and we are looking forward to welcome him to lead the discussions in our Seminar part on September 22! Find out more about Remy and our Keynote Speakers and how to get your free tickets for the event at

Swedish Chamber Office Running Full Speed
Summer is eventually coming to an end and it is as of today time to say goodbye to our fantastic summer trainee Johanna. Since Monday this week, it has been full speed in the Swedish Chamber office while introducing the two new trainees Anna and My to all of the exciting events taking place this fall. While we thank Johanna for all her effort and commitment put into the Swedish Chamber’s activities this summer, we look forward towards the fantastic events she has been working on during the time passed. The event calendar this season is packed with everything from social, networking and, business events – something that could suit everyone’s interest. Close to heart is, of course, the Annual Traditional Crayfish Party and the Chamber Luncheon. Furthermore, we are looking forward towards the 10 year Anniversary of the Young Professionals organization. A fantastic evening, free of charge, with amazing guests such as keynote speakers, the fashion show by Filippa K, whiskey tasting by Mackmyra and, much more. If you have not already registered for the Young Professionals 10 Year Anniversary, you will find the link to registration here:
Update Dutch Politics – New Dutch government not expected soon, but don’t worry about it

Public Matters Political Update 09-08-2017

After a two-week break, the four negotiating parties - VVD (Liberal Conservatives), CDA (Christian Democrats), D66 (Liberal Democrats) and ChristenUnie (Christian Conservatives) - have resumed talks to form a new government in the Netherlands. It’s been 147 days since Election Day (15 March, 2017), which already makes it the third longest formation period in Dutch political history. There are essentially three reasons why forming a government is taking so long:
1. Parliament is very fragmented 13 parties are represented in parliament and the largest party, the VVD (Liberal Conservatives), only has 33 of the 150 seats (22%) and the second largest party, Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) only 20 seats (13%). This means that at least four parties are required to form a majority government. 2. The tradition of negotiating a relatively detailed government programme before the government is actually installed In many other countries where coalition governments are common, they often agree on basic guidelines or principles and then deal with differences of opinion among coalition members as they occur. In the Netherlands, a detailed government programme is written, which dictates the policy direction during the life of the government. This lengthens the time it takes to form a government but on the other hand limits the risk of constant disagreements between coalition parties). 3. Most parties have excluded the second biggest party - Geert Wilders' populist Party for Freedom (PVV) - from the negotiations This makes it more difficult to form a government, as it leaves the other parties less options. Although the outcome of the current talks seems difficult to predict, most insiders believe that an agreement is not expected soon – at least not this month. In addition, the following observations with regards to these talks can be made: 1. Main points of difference between the negotiating parties are policies regarding climate, immigration and medical-ethical topics (euthanasia, etc.). 2. Employers’ organisation VNO-NCW and union federation FNV have been invited to provide input to the talks, which could be a sign the negotiations may be entering their final phase. In the meantime, the situation seems fine - both from a political and economic perspective: 1. It’s business as usual, as the old government stays on as care-taker government, led by the current Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, who is very experienced, well-respected across most political parties and popular among the public. 2. The economic conditions are favorable – high economic growth, low unemployment rate and no significant problems with the public finances - following which there doesn’t seem to be any major acute financial or economic issue that needs to be addressed. Therefore, whatever happens, whether a new government is formed soon or it will take a while - the Netherlands are doing just fine, don’t worry about it.