The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is proud to present a new feature for the Swe-Cham Newsletter- Sustainability Insights. With this feature we invite our Patron Members to share insights into their Sustainability Strategies. The Insights will be shared monthly with our network and lead up to the “Driving the Green Transition Together” event on December 15, 2023.
The topic of sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in the defence industry. In an interview with the Swedish-Dutch Chamber of Commerce, Maria Sahlin, Head of Environment at Saab, and Jan Terlouw, Country Manager at Saab Nederland, explain what the promise “Keeping people and society safe” has in common with heightened environmental commitments.
To what extent can your promise be transferred to the topic of sustainability?
Maria Sahlin: Climate change and pollution have impact on security worldwide. Due to floods, draught, shortage of water, polluted rivers and rising sea level, people have to leave their homes. Refugees can cause tensions when considered not welcome by local communities and are vulnerable to abuse by opposing groups.
Jan Terlouw: UN and NATO have experienced this once and again during peace keeping missions and they have called for action. On the other side of the spectrum, the Ukraine war has shown the downside of dependency of our democracies on fossil fuels such as oil and gas from autocracies like Russia, which poses a considerable threat to our security. The same is true for our dependency on materials and trade with other authoritarian states. The transition to renewable energy and a circularity economy is a solution to that.
Maria Sahlin: It is Saab’s mission to keep people and society safe and therefore sustainability is an integral part of our strategy. More specifically, peace, security and stability are prerequisites to ensure that we can reach the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together, in particular SDG 16 (Peace, justice and strong Institutions) is fundamental in achieving also SDG 13 (Climate action) which are the goals Saab is subscribing in the environmental domain.