The economic, environmental, and social challenges companies face nowadays are forcing them to reconsider their objectives, their strategy, and their business models.
The program Strategizing Sustainable Business Transformation is designed to help anyone working with sustainability in the corporate sphere or whose professional role means that training in sustainability – in every sense of the word – will help them change attitudes and processes within their company.
So, what led you to take this course?
– My role within DeLaval changed and my focus now will be on sustainable commercial development within digital services. When my role changed, I decided to look for educational courses in sustainability because I realized I had so much more to learn.
The program, which is held in both France and Sweden, provided both a good introduction to and a big picture understanding of the field.
– It taught me exactly what I wanted to learn. It not only allowed me to build a solid foundational base of knowhow in the field, also it focused heavily on sustainable business models – which was directly applicable in my work.
The EU’s new CSRD Directive comes into force in 2024 and its expanded requirements will mean changes to all companies’ sustainability reporting. The new Directive will oblige companies to present their strategies and goals in a way that shows both that they are addressing sustainability issues and how they are doing it.
– Thanks to the program, I now have a broader understanding of things like the EU’s new legislative requirements, ESRS reporting standards, and CSRD. It’s given me a foundation and an understanding of the vocabulary entailed, which is so important, says Joanna.
Which parts of the course particularly stood out for you?
– Personally, I found the company visit to Northvolt, and the guest panel where other companies talked about their sustainability work, was really exciting. They gave me a fascinating insight into their operations. Another thing that was hugely inspirational and useful was the involvement of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, which works to develop a scientific understanding of the complex, dynamic interaction between people and nature in the biosphere and educates sustainability researchers and leaders.
At the end of the program, the participants conduct studies, examining their own or another company’s existing sustainability work, and identifying where there is scope for improvement. Joanna chose to present sustainable development goal proposals for DeLaval – something that she will be putting into practice in her new role.
– Evaluating your own company and receiving feedback from professors and other participants was instructive, says Joanna.
Switching between meeting up in Sweden and in France was also a positive experience.
– Yes, it was great relocating twice to a chateau in France and having the chance to meet up there with the other participants from Sweden and elsewhere.
Joanna is currently working on the Milk Sustainability Center – a partnership with John Deere that aims to support dairy farmers with their sustainability work. She is also a new member of the Global Sustainability Group, which is in charge of sustainability work at DeLaval.
– The program presented a wide range of practical examples, and we learned about the sort of requirements and frameworks you need to monitor and understand. As someone who’s always been interested in sustainability issues, I’ve realized that there’s always more to learn.
Info box: EU legislation – CSRD and ESRS
CSRD: the sustainability information that those companies affected have to provide.
ESRS: new sustainability reporting standards detailing how the information is to be presented.
New provisions mean, for example, that companies are obliged to report not only how their operations impact people and the environment, but the financial effects of sustainability issues on the company.