In the past year, Storebrand has jumped from 24th place to an amazing 2nd on Corporate Knights List of Most Sustainable Corporations. Sustainability Hub reached out to Harald Martens Holm, communication manager at Storebrand, to learn more about the achievement.
“Norwegian consumers need sustainability close to their wallet, their home and their mind if they are to be triggered by it”
A recurring theme Martens Holm brought up is how the Norwegian consumer is lagging behind in terms of sustainability awareness. “To crack the consumer code we have to get closer to the consumer”, Martens Holm said.
Martens Holm points out that sustainability is gaining an increased importance on the consumer agenda on a worldwide scale. “In China, if you look out of the window, you see smog, so you want to do something about that”. Norwegian consumers on the other hand are harder to influence.
“Norwegians say sustainability is important, but they don't do anything about it. It is really difficult to crack the consumer code when it comes to sustainability. You can send out as many surveys as you want and get politically correct answers, and still, when you look at the business and sales, you don't see this commitment."
Break the palm oil code
Martens Holm turns to an example from the food industry. “Palm oil in Norway hasn't been about the rainforest, it has been about whether it is healthy or not. People are interested in what they eat and how that affects their body”.
“Break the palm oil code in your sector! In finance, it is about the revenue of your investment. We sincerely mean that sustainability should not cost anything, it's better for your money, not worse. You get more money in the end if you invest sustainably.”
"We want to contribute with knowledge sharing"
Norway and the rest of the world is witnessing an increased integration of sustainability issues into the business sector. Rather than a loss to its competitive advantage, Martens Holm sees this as win for Storebrand.
“That is a great thing because if more and more of our competitors are turning to sustainability, there is more fuss out there about it. I think that's great because then we are together in moving the sustainability agenda forward."
“We want people to have sustainability in their mind when they make choices, when they buy products and when they live in their houses. We need more businesses to talk about sustainability. Sustainability Hub can be the hub driving that agenda. We are looking forward to meeting other businesses to gain knowledge about how we can work together to create the future we want", Martens Holm said.
Storebrand is S-HUB’s first startup partner!
Storebrand is an acknowledged international and national sustainability leader. The valuable knowledge of Martens Holm and his team will be used to push the S-HUB community towards a sustainable pathway. We are therefore proud and honoured of this new partnership.
Storebrand is equally excited about this partnership as they also see the "need for more cocreation, more dialog, more cooperation and more knowledge sharing". Martens Holm explains that “S-HUB is a place where we can meet other businesses, we can learn from each other and we can cooperate with each other.”
STOREBRAND SUSTAINABILITY ACTIONS TO FOLLOW
#1 Begin by spreading sustainability internally to all of your employees
Bring sustainability to the agenda by using all of your channels to communicate it - through internal channels, intranet, speeches, have the CEO talk about it, through company gatherings, sales gatherings and more.
Storebrand created “Storebrand Talks”- an internal arena inspired by “Ted Talks” where sustainability is intentionally set on the agenda.
#2 Have different people talk about sustainability
Engage sustainability people in all the departments of the business. If those responsible for sustainability are the only ones carrying out the message, you are not getting attraction.
#3 Do not separate your business strategy with your sustainability strategy - make it one!
You have to integrate sustainability into your core strategy. If your middle manager has three goals, sustainability can’t be the fourth - it has to be one out of three.