CSR Sweden is a business network whose purpose is to be proactive in issues that concern corporate responsibility for sustainability, such as human rights, corruption, sustainable taxation and inclusion and diversity. Marianne Bogle is operations manager and works daily to remedy the gaps and obstacles that still exist for sustainable business in Sweden. In order to make a difference, courageous and new leadership and a stronger collaboration are needed in 2023, she states.
Hottest on the agenda right now from the perspective of human rights and corporate social responsibility is the importance of moving from discussing and debating to changing behaviour.
− We have a front line of companies that are already up and running but also a large bulk of companies that are trying to find the starting blocks and think about which direction to run. So collaboration is an important prerequisite for making things happen. As well as also taking time to increase knowledge and understanding in order to make the right decision. If I may add one more thing, I would say that we need a brave and perhaps new leadership, says Marianne.
What are the obstacles that stop the companies? What will it take to change behaviours?
− A short answer is ownership. But I mean that companies need to take ownership and understanding what sustainability means to their business in particular. This includes both risks and opportunities. You have to integrate the sustainability issues and be a little careful to make sure it is tailored to the company's operations, then maturity and change will happen. It must also be understood that often the most exciting changes and innovations take place in collaboration with other parties. Sustainability is often best when it happens in collaboration and is not a matter of competition.
Soon the EU's new regulations (Taxonomy) will enter into force, what does this mean for work with human rights and what is the significance of the regulations?
− Right now the taxonomy is green, i.e. it has a focus on environment and climate. But certain sectors/organisations/companies also want to highlight the fact that this must be done in harmony with human rights, eg workers' rights. A concept that is usually used around this is "just transition". It is important to understand that environmental/climate issues cannot be separated from social responsibility. It is connected.
CSR Sweden is a partner for the second year in a row, why is this year's Nordic Sustainability Expo so important?
- So that we can meet! When sustainability becomes strategic and business-critical for most companies and organizations, a meeting place is needed where we can meet and share knowledge and experiences in order to gather strength together to reach Agenda 2030. At NSE you gain new knowledge, new insights and make new contacts. The meeting place provides excellent conditions for collaboration and that is what is needed right now.
What will happen at CSR Sweden in 2023?
− CSR Sweden's member companies set the agenda for our operations and we are careful to always work together with all sectors of society. What is relevant right now is to increase knowledge about the directives and laws that are coming, about sustainability such as requirements for Due Diligence and Human Rights. We have a much appreciated partnership with Parul Sharma, The Academy for Human Rights in Business who hold a very practical training in the field.
And finally, what will you offer the visitors at your place in May?
− Our stage program will be a packed program with tools, good examples and interesting lectures and panel debates on the above theme, concludes Marianne.