Swedish companies lead by example, making sustainability and human rights matter

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The term sustainable business is used to describe the work companies do that has a positive impact on society, the environment or the economy.

Efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, promotion of equal career opportunities and involvement with local communities are examples of sustainable business initiatives.

International investment company RobecoSAM, which specialises in sustainability investments, ranks Sweden second of 150 countries in their RobecoSAM Country Sustainability Ranking (last update April 2022), based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators.

Environment
The environmental aspects of sustainable business are very broad, including areas such as paper recycling, the sustainable use of resources, minimising environmental footprints and reducing water consumption.

Cleantech – a term used to describe products or services that improve operational performance, productivity or efficiency while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste or pollution – is another important part of sustainable business.
Internationally, Sweden continues to fare well in energy and environmental technology, coming fifth of 180 countries in the 2022 Environmental Performance Index.

Promoting sustainable initiatives
The Swedish government owns/co-owns 43 companies of various sizes, two of which are listed companies. Altogether, these companies employ some 135,000 people.

The Swedish government’s management principles for state-owned companies largely follow the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises. These OECD guidelines aim to help governments ensure that state-owned companies act efficiently, transparently and responsibly.

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