How to be a winner in the Sustainability Race?


Year 2012, I am with my group at the University course on Entrepreneurship and Management, arguing why corporate social responsibility is important to every organization. It is, because an organization is a part of the eco system and the society. Every human being or human lead organization, idea or action has to contribute to its own eco system and society. Eight years later, at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, at the same hall with Alexander, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Pekka from The Greens Party, Nina, Corporate Responsibility Director of Fazer, Kati, Vice President, Sustainable Development from Finnair, Roger, Economist from MustRead and hundreds of young people are here to discuss 17 sustainable development goals of The UN organized by The UN Youth of Finland. No surprize that I am here, being a member of a relevant community – The UN Association of Jyvaskyla. If the SDGs are new to you, you can find more information from here.

I have to note that, Alexander Stubb touched upon an important point. What is the role of Artificial Intelligence in promoting and implementing the SDG’s? It is a good news that Fazer and Finnair already found how to utilize SDG’s in their businesses. While Finnair rise one of its successful implementation of SDG such as continuously decreasing fuel emissions and trying to tackle human trafficking, Fazer is doing well at waste and supply chain management. All discussion almost “failed” by the statement of Roger, saying that he is not very hopeful since we should not expect a lot from corporations towards SDG since corporations perceived to care only about rising their benefits. Stabilising answer came from other panellists saying that actually effective consideration of SDG goals in corporation’s decisions and implementations positively effect company’s overall profitability and image. For instance, employees are much happier to work in responsible organizations in Finland. I personally though, how gigantic corporations like British Petrol, Shell, Nestle, Facebook, Google i.e. feel about SDG’s?

In conclusion, the idea of rising awareness for SDG starting from an individual level, for instance starting from school was brilliant. Living in Finland, we have to be careful in judging other nation states on their less effort in SDG. Instead, putting great effort in “bringing SDG in to the everyday life of individuals” awareness and demand accountability and responsibility from companies that we consume their products and services would make a great influence. Seeing the progress and the best examples of Finland, the world will follow.

This article was first published by UN Youth of Finland:

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