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Nordic companies are more likely than others to recognize the key role of tech, data and analysis in advancing sustainability projects, according to research from Oxford Economics. To accelerate sustainability initiatives, however, the next step would be to focus more on sustainability governance. 

While Nordic countries are world-renowned sustainability leaders, both when it comes to exceeding other regions’ sustainability regulations and in their own aggressive targets, they are also ahead in using technology. According to a Cognizant and Oxford Economics study, where 3,000 executives across the globe were surveyed, Nordic businesses increasingly see sustainability as part of their growth strategy and consider technology as vital to reaching that goal (get the full Deep Green report here).

The survey reveals several findings the status of sustainability work in Nordic companies:

  • More than half of respondents said they’d deployed an array of core digital technologies to improve their sustainability performance (i.e., cloud, IoT and artificial intelligence and analytics).
  • More than eight in 10 respondents said they were using digital tools to make their operations more energy-efficient. Other popular initiatives focus on recycling waste, both in the back office (63%) and manufacturing (59%) operations.
  • Over two-thirds (69%) of Nordics respondents said their organization’s sustainability strategy is greatly focused on operations, compared with 57% for supply chain and 50% for products and services.
  • Cloud, IoT and AI are the most commonly implemented technologies to stimulate sustainability efforts. You can learn more about how Nordic companies work with AI to empower sustainability here.
  • Looking ahead to 2025, many have plans to make premises and processes more sustainable (46%). Over 40% will start using digital twins and data analytics to identify green process improvements, reflecting the acknowledged power of digital to meet sustainability goals.
  • The average annual growth in sustainability investment across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden is expected to jump from 6.3% between 2018 and 2020, to 11.5% between 2025 and 2030.

What’s next then? Our study reveals a need for more accountability for success at the top corporate levels. More Nordic businesses are hiring chief sustainability officers (CSO), but there’s still work to be done to create the right KPIs and ensure people are incentivized to achieve them across the organization. You can learn more about the specific Nordic survey findings here, where you also find our five recommendations for how businesses in the Nordics can outperform their markets by embedding sustainability at their core.

For further information about this topic, please visit our Sustainability & Resilience webpage

Adam Karnama

Head of Sustainability Consulting Nordics at Cognizant

Adam Karnama

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