Sustainability Leadership: Lead, Adapt or Fail

How should leaders take concrete steps to make their companies sustainable? How can companies create partnerships between industries and research institutions to find sustainable solutions? These issues were discussed in a Science and Business in Dialogue series event, organised together with Amcham Finland.

Despite coming from different professional fields and industries, all panelists spoke to the importance of goal setting as a starting point for business culture transformation. Sustainability leadership isn't about knowing the how of achieving sustainability targets; it's about being prepared to answer why.

Nestlé CEO Michiel Kernkamp, believes high transparency is key to a top placement in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. To spread their message, the company publishes an annual Creating Shared Value report which highlights internal commitments to improve society and meet collective objectives.

Bodo Steiner, Professor of Food Economics, emphasized the role of human values, our motivations for reaching sustainability, and how companies can use the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards to produce sustainability reports. You can view his entire presentation right here.

Sami Lundgren, VP of Responsibility at UPM, suggested benefits of reaching out to other companies, even competitors or across industries, to put pressure on certain goals. Assistant Professor Kirsi Mikkonen and postdoctoral researcher Jaana Korhonen shared some concrete exmples on research - industry collaboration projects which aim to boost sustainable solutions within the forestry and packaging sectors.

What is Science and Business in Dialogue?

Science and Business in Dialogue is a University of Helsinki network that brings together various professionals and leading scholars to together examine current challenges and find solutions. The network and the events are hosted by the rector of the university.