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Conference on Sustainable Business in the Arctic

On Thursday April 19 the Swedish Chairmanship hosted a Conference on Sustainable Business in the Arctic in Stockholm. Over 50 participants representing government, industry, Indigenous Peoples, research institutions, and organizations were present.

The afternoon conference consisted of several panel discussions and presentations with Johan Kuylenstierna from the Stockholm Environment Institute acting as moderator. SAO Chair Gustaf Lind welcomed participants and addressed the need for Corporate Social Responsibility in the Arctic. He stressed that the Arctic Council is not a regulatory body for governments, interest groups or businesses. Its function is to serve as a forum for open and constructive discussion among all Arctic stakeholders.

The second part of the conference focused on how to apply already existing international frameworks for sustainable business, such as the OECD Guidelines, the UN Global Compact, or the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), in the Arctic. The third panel was cross-sectoral with participants from WWF, Protect Sapmi, GRI, and the shipping industry.

The final presentation of the day was given by Patrick Hébert from the Canadian Embassy in Stockholm. Mr. Hébert spoke about the upcoming Canadian chairmanship and the chairmanship program "Development for the People of the North", which includes sub-themes on Responsible Arctic Resource Development, Safe Arctic Shipping, and Sustainable Circumpolar Communities.

This conference was the third and last event on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business organized by the Swedish Chairmanship and Mikael Anzén, chair of SDWG, ended by saying he would present his conclusions to the Arctic Council.