The past weeks the BSCC has been following some of our member companies at the COP26 in Glasgow. Team Sweden has been live-streaming panel discussions from the Swedish Pavilion at the COP26 and the BSCC has been tuning in to what our member companies have been discussing. We have summarised some of the major take-aways from these discussions.

BSCC Member Companies at COP26

The Path Forward – Innovations, Sustainable Solutions and Green Chemistry

On Tuesday 2 November Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group participated in the panel discussion: “The Path Forward – Innovations, Sustainable Solutions and Green Chemistry”. Together with students from Yale University and Paul Anastas, the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment at Yale University, they discussed the importance of implementing science into enterprise.

Martin Lundstedt started off by underlining the importance of cooperation and accelerating implementation of innovation. Lundstedt stated that prosperity for business must be considered in terms of social and environmental sustainability. Lundstedt also spoke about Volvo Group’s work with circularity in their production and product life cycle. Lundstedt then asked the students what values are important to them when considering future potential employers. Beyond being in line with their personal values, when considering future employers, the students answered that they look for: commitments that are backed up by demonstrated implementation and that the organisations work with communities which they affect.

Boosting Sustainable Financing - A Nordic Perspective

On Wednesday 3 November Nordea’s Head of ESG Analysis, Veronica Palmgren attended the “Boosting sustainable financing – A Nordic perspective”- panel discussion. Palmgren stressed the crucial role of data in navigating the choice of measures and methods to use. Emphasis was also put on the importance of having a uniform and standardised way of defining and measuring progress, clarifying the implications of commitments and their objectives across industries.

Veronica Palmgren also stated a need for the public sector to set standards and potentially verify certain ways of reporting, measuring and  alike, however she states that the public and private sectors need to work in partnership to see this through. However, all panellists agreed collaboration is key.

Energy Transitions for 1.5°C – Scaled and enabled by Energy Efficiency, Innovation and Digitalisation

On Thursday 4 November, Skanska’s SVP Sustainability Lena Hök participated in a discussion on what actions Swedish industry believe are necessary to reach the 1.5°C goal. The talk was hosted in the Swedish Pavilion and featured key issues such as recommended policy changes, how to help poorer countries with sustainability issues, and what the impact these policies would have on jobs.

Lena Hök discussed in particular governments’ role in forward thinking policies, highlighting the need for public procurement to push for scaling up energy positive buildings while allowing them to share energy with other buildings. Mrs. Hök also spoke about the need for government plans that encourage businesses to invest and invent within the area of long-term large scale energy storage for renewables.

Building Zero-Carbon Economies – Aligning Technology, Policy and Finance

On Monday 8 November, our patron company Nordea’s Climate Strategist Stefan Henningsson participated in a discussion on how technology, policy, and finance can be aligned to help cities go green. The talk featured key issues such as green finance requirements, the problems with green bonds being project based, which projects need including within the green bond framework, and the importance of correct and up-to-date data on green projects for financial instruments.
Stefan Henningsson discussed in particular the taxonomy and choice of metrics when doing financed emission accounting and the importance of standardisation, as well as the importance of green municipal bonds as a driving force behind cities transitioning to green economies and how they can be improved.