The Swedish steel industry aims to become an even larger stakeholder in the ongoing transformation to the sustainable society, and also to take a greater responsibility for people and the environment in which they live. Several of the UN’s global objectives for sustainable development show that the steel industry’s work is proceeding in the right direction.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (the Bruntland Commission’s definition from 1987). Sustainable development comprises three dimensions that interact and support one another:

  • Ecological sustainability
  • Social sustainability
  • Economic sustainability

Joint vision: Steel shapes a better future

The Swedish steel industry's joint vision for 2050 shows the way forward to a sustainable society. Three commitments arise under the heading "Steel shapes a better future":

  • We lead technical development
  • We nurture creative individuals
  • We create environmental benefits

UN’s global goals for sustainable development

The UN's 17 global goals, taken in their entirety, provide an opportunity to integrate all three dimensions of sustainable development. The steel industry welcomes this approach. Even if the development goals are set at an overall level, several of the goals are directly applicable to the Swedish steel industry.

Agenda 2030 compass for increased societal value

Jernkontoret works together with, among others, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and MIT in the USA to produce an Agenda 2030 compass. The compass weighs in that the UN's 17 goals are linked, so that planned measures can be evaluated on the basis of their overall impact on sustainability. The Agenda 2030 compass will be tested during the first half of 2021 and is expected to be fully completed in September 2021.

UN Global Compact

The Global Compact is a UN initiative aimed at making companies take responsibility in a number of areas related to sustainability: human rights, labor law, the environment and corruption. Several Swedish steel companies have joined the initiative: SSAB, Sandvik, Outokumpu and Höganäs. With the accession, they have committed themselves to follow ten principles and to report their efforts to the Global Compact.

Network for collaboration on sustainability

There is a network for the mining, iron and steel companies intended to advance collaboration and the interchange of experiences surrounding sustainability issues. The network is jointly co-ordinated by Jernkontoret, SveMin and the Swedish Association of Industrial Employers.
Read more about the network

Business@Biodiversity Sweden

Business@Biodiversity Sweden is Jernkontoret's and Svemin's initiative to create a cross-industry network of biodiversity and strategic business development. The network cooperates on issues related to ecosystem services, biodiversity, natural capital and how all these can benefit business development. The network is run by Ecogain.
Read more:

Creative employees create environmental benefits through technical development. Photo: Mikael Ullén for Ovako.