All around the world, people have become more interested in running businesses in a better way that aligns with sustainable practices. In Norway, the connection between the business entities and the country’s economic sustainability practices is quite pronounced because they are quite connected. Making a difference: How are Norway businesses setting better sustainability standards? Read on to learn more.
Although companies worldwide have recently become interested in adopting more economically friendly solutions, this procedure is not new in Norway.
The nation has plenty of organizations that believe their companies should go hand in hand with caring for the people and treating the planet correctly. Numerous companies in Norway emphasize integrating social, ecological and economic responsibilities in their operations. As a result, the journey of these enterprises doesn’t focus only on offering clients the best experience but also on creating a positive impact on the environment and society.
Together with its other Nordic cousins, Norway is a global leader in sustainability and environmental responsibility. From business and shopping to eating habits and transportation, Norwegians have prioritised improving the state of the world and reducing their environmental impact.
Let’s look at Norway’s major achievements in terms of sustainability and environmental performance and how businesses are participating in creating a better future.
A decarbonized energy mix
Norway has gone through an advanced energy transition. Thanks to its essential hydropower resources, the country has an energy mix that ensures a lower carbon footprint than most of its other EU counterparts. For example, 90% of the total Norwegian power production comes from hydropower, and the rest from thermal and wind energy. In the late 19th century, Norway increased its hydropower, which led to industrialism. Hydropower has remained the backbone of the nation’s power system since that moment.
Also, the Nordic country is a leader in decarbonizing its transport industry, as it has adopted electric vehicles for some time already. For instance, in 2022, 79% of the car registrations were electric vehicles. Additionally, using electric cars is clean in Norway, as the country’s electricity comes mainly from hydropower.
More businesses in Norway are expected to embrace sustainable practices and commit further to environmental responsibility. This can be done by reducing carbon emissions, using renewable energy and minimizing waste. Moreover, Norway’s goal by 2030 is to become carbon neutral. So, all businesses must switch to green energy and adopt sustainable practices to align with this goal. In addition to the growing use of green power and focus on carbon neutrality, enterprises in Norway should also reduce their waste. Using compostable packaging materials, cutting down on plastic waste, opting for a balpressar (bale press), applying circular economy practices and encouraging recycling are the best ways to reduce waste.
Encouragement to social responsibility
Social responsibility is also an important aspect that companies focus on in Norway. The collaboration between the public and private sectors is very close in society. Thanks to the active role and cooperation from the state, Norwegian organizations have a powerful CSR culture. The egalitarian values of Norway are based on ethics like good working conditions, the welfare state and substantial labour rights. These values can be seen through the nation’s legislation, including the Working Environment Act, the Labour Market Act, The Social Welfare Act and the Gender Equality Act.
All companies in Norway are expected to treat their employees correctly and uphold high labour standards. This includes providing reasonable working hours, equitable pay, safe working conditions, providing good chances for professional development and welcoming diverse values, opinions and cultures. Numerous companies have a good relation between management and their employees, which supports power-sharing, cooperation, participation and negotiation.
Ethical sourcing of services and products is another key feature of the businesses in Norway, which is why organisations in this state are not correlated with human rights abuses or environmental damage. Running a sustainable company in Norway includes shaking hands with the local community and influential individuals to improve everyone’s efforts.
The Economic Dimension
The Norwegian companies that run eco-friendly operations also benefit from a significant economic impact. Although, at first, they will need to put in more resources associated with conducting research and finding good ways to impact the environment, in the end, they will benefit from many long-term advantages. This might include cost reduction, increased efficiency, and access to new markets.
Also, these practices can attract more customers, as people worldwide have become more environmentally conscious and support brands that are committed to sustainability. Moreover, these organizations are viewed more positively by investors and customers alike. So, if Norwegian companies embrace sustainability, they can boost their brand image and reputation.
Additionally, by focusing on sustainability, enterprises can bring in precious savings. This happens because businesses can save on buying additional equipment by reducing waste. Also, companies can have significant savings by reducing energy and water consumption.
Making a difference: How are Norway businesses setting better sustainability standards? Conclusion
Sustainable organizations in Norway are expected to create value in three dimensions, meaning the social, environmental and economic areas. So, if you plan to run a business in Norway, remember that sustainability in this country is no longer a choice. Instead, it has become a focal point for anyone who wants to create a net-positive impact on the environment and society. Norway’s investment in sustainable initiatives and greener spaces is a shining example for the rest of the world. This country also uses gas and oil exports to fund projects benefiting the entire planet.
With all the practices this nation has adopted, Norway demonstrated that environmental responsibility and economic prosperity can go hand in hand. This is why countries worldwide should use Norway’s example to set eco-friendly standards and learn more from their innovative approaches. From the electrification of docks to the waste management system powered by solar energy, every other nation can have essential lessons to learn from this Nordic country. By implementing just a little from the strategies of Norway, all of us could create a better world that will focus on sustainability and offer a brighter future both for ourselves and future generations.
Making a difference: How are Norway businesses setting better sustainability standards? Written for Daily Scandinavian by Mary Hall.
Feature image (on top) © Freepik