Interview

Many Swedish companies are too streamlined for CSR

Utvecklingsmagasinet talks with Marianne Bogle from CSR Sweden about how Swedish companies work with responsibility and sustainability issues, so-called CSR issues. As operations manager for an actor who works for goal 17 on partnership, she describes how Swedish companies are good at, among other things, environmental and climate issues. But there are still obstacles for companies to fully promote the work towards sustainability goals and too strong a focus on efficiency and growth in Swedish companies hinders the prioritization of CSR.

In order to achieve the sustainability goals and Agenda 2030, commitment from various actors is needed. Traditional aid alone cannot free up the resources and knowledge needed to achieve the global goals. An important player who needs to pull his weight is the business community. Utvecklingsmagasinet meets Marianne Bogle from CSR Sweden to talk about Swedish companies' social responsibility and sustainability work. 

Business has more potential 
Marianne Bogle from CSR Sweden.

In Sweden, there is a special interest in environmental issues and Swedish companies have come a long way in this area, describes Marianne Bogle. There is also a great deal of commitment to human rights and knowledge of technical solutions that contribute to sustainability work. But there are also factors that slow down Swedish companies  

- Right now it feels like people are too stressed. Too many go with the nose in the hill and focus on efficiency and growth. Society is going too fast and many organizations are so slim that there is no room to look up. 

However, the business community is a fantastic force for achieving sustainability goals and contributing innovation. If we are to achieve the goals, however, we need to start collaborating even more and find partnerships that we would not normally have worked with, says Marianne Bogle. The public sector needs to cooperate more with business and civil society. Competitors in business should also strive for partnerships in CSR issues. She is critical of whether we will achieve Agenda 2030 if we do not begin to see the potential for cooperation, especially such collaborations we have not seen before. 

The pandemic has affected - to some extent

As in other areas, CSR Sweden has noticed a certain impact from the pandemic among its members 

- We have not gained as many new members as in a "normal" year. It has happened that companies have saved on employment in the CSR area. In addition, the pandemic has been affected by companies not being able to ensure compliance at the supplier level in the same way as before.

The pandemic has also had a positive impact. Through digitalisation, it has been possible to reduce its climate impact by flying less. In general, Marianne Bogle describes that she feels that the impact on most Swedish companies has been marginal, even though some industries have been affected more than others. The companies that already have CSR as an integral part of their business model have not reduced it. The requirements that exist from consumers or legislation mean that you can not "crawl out" if you have already come a long way. If you see the effect of your sustainability work, the tendency is that you do not disconnect it to save resources, says Marianne Bogle.

 

What is CSR?

CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility and refers to corporate social responsibility. The idea with CSR is that companies should take responsibility for how their business affects society from several perspectives - both sustainably, financially, environmentally and socially. Agenda 2030 today sets the framework for the issues that are included in CSR.

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