Sustainability In All Of Its Forms-Helsinki

The Scandinavian ethos of sustainability is thriving. In regards to the green sphere, this is well illustrated by none other than the biggest bank in the region Nordea. Listed as one of the top 100 corporations in the world in regards to sustainability Nordea puts its money where its mouth is. In a recent effort (April 2019 to be exact), Nordea announced it was launching a “Green” loan initiative. This program, designed to encourage an environmentally friendly way of living, offers financial incentives to potential customers to do just that. For example, no loan arrangement fee is charged and customers also benefit from reduced hedge interest rate hedge price if they decide to buy a “green” home. Also, the company tries to invest in companies it deems to have sustainable business practices. These “ESG” investments, while benefiting overall climate change initiatives, are also financially profitable. They tended to outperform their peers by 40% over a three-year period. Clearly these investments bear fruit and are popular with their constituents in this region. This is partially reflected in their economic competitiveness ranking. Globally, Finland (where Nordea is based), is listed very highly in the global competitive indexes at number 10 (Global Competitive Index).

Finland's emphasis on sustainability can not only be observed in its businesses but also in its entrepreneurship ecosystem. Startup Saunas offer complimentary services that help promote sustainable business practice. Seasoned coaches and mentors offer their experience and expertise to help nurture startups. This creates a cyclical relationship between young startups and established firms. At its infancy, startups will receive the support and knowledge from its established elders. As the startups reach the maturation stage, they can in turn relieve growing pains for future startups. This type of practice encourages a mutually beneficial relationship between established companies and startups. The current entrepreneurship ecosystem paves the way for entrepreneurs to make their dreams into reality.

Solar panels in Helisinki charging the local street lamps. Sustainability in action!