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Charlie Taylor

So sustainability can be a competitive advantage for Swedish trading companies

Published: 28 June 2022, 09: 00Updated: 4 July 2022, 10:31Mats Bergman, professor of economics at Södertörn University, and Sara Rosengren, professor of business administration at the Stockholm School of Economics, are both members of the Trade Council’s Economic Council. Photo: Janne Lundberg, FotoForm. New regulations within the EU mean that trade actors will have a greater impact on global climate change. – The climate impact from our consumption will be increasingly in focus. Companies that bring products into the EU but which are produced elsewhere will have a greater responsibility, says Mats Bergman, chairman of the Trade Economic Council, who recently released the report “Sustainable all the way – the role of trade in climate change”. The European Green Given is an initiative of the European Commission to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050. Among other things, there is new legislation aimed at more sustainable consumption, with less climate impact along the entire product life cycle, mainly during manufacture and use. to mean increased demands on trade to act as a setter of demands towards suppliers, where trade is expected to help consumers make sustainable choices. – It is about achieving improvements in sustainability in other countries based on what we consume within the EU. This is very important, says Mats Bergman, to everyday professor of economics at Södertörn University.Create common ground rulesThe EU will also establish or tighten product standards, which in addition to benefiting the environment and climate also prevents unscrupulous players from gaining a competitive advantage over serious and responsible manufacturers and trading companies. Mats Bergman. An effect of the new regulations is that the documentation requirements and thus the workload for trade actors will increase. According to the report, therefore, the new requirements must be bureaucratically manageable. – It can be about increasing the pressure gradually and with common sense, and trying to find smart solutions so that it works in practice, he says. Sara Rosengren is professor of business administration at the Stockholm School of Economics and co-author of the report. Her focus is on how the players in the trade react to this change. – Many companies I have talked to see this as something we must do. Regulations are important to raise the level and to create an even game plan where everyone competes on equal terms, she says.Trade Economic Council: Sweden can be a winnerAmong other things, companies will need to train their staff to ensure that the products purchased from countries outside the EU keep their promises and meet the minimum requirements for sustainability. – There are many challenges here and trade will need to think differently about issues related to purchasing , but several companies in the trade, especially in Sweden, have already started with this type of adaptation, she says. But especially for smaller players, the transition can be tough. There may therefore be reasons for industry-wide initiatives. – In order for the sustainability work to be done systematically, trade will, for example, need to develop competence in life cycle analysis and sustainability calculations. This is resource intensive and the information required is difficult to produce on your own. That is why it will be important to make joint investments, especially for small and medium-sized companies, says Sara Rosengren. One of the report’s conclusions is that Sweden has good prospects of becoming a successful country in sustainable consumption, in the same way as the country is already in sustainable production. However, coordination will be required between decision-makers and the industry, where investors, owners, boards and employees will also play important roles.About the Trade Council The Trade Council is the co-operation platform for employers’ organizations and trade unions in the trade area. The assignment is to develop the trading industry, its companies and employees. Within the framework of the collaboration, the Trade Council was formed in 2016, which presents an annual report and is independent of the parties in its conclusions.Read more at: www.handelsradet.seRead more about the Trade’s Economic CouncilClick here to download the report “Sustainable all the way – the role of trade in climate change” The article is produced by Brand Studio in collaboration with the Swedish Trade Council and not an article by Dagens industri

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