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CSR and Innovation Strategies in Nordic Companies

  • Published 03/01/2012


The development and growth of the 500 largest companies in the Nordic countries is vital to the sustainability of economic growth in the Nordic region. Internationally, the focus on good corporate governance has increased. The participation of the Nordic corporate world in the global market has sharpened the requirements and focus on innovative capacity, competitive strength, and social responsibility.


The Nordic region cannot compete on the basis of a low-cost labor market, but through knowledge and competence. The Nordic governments are also generally concerned with the connections between Nordic cultural perceptions and business strategies, especially with an emphasis on equality and social responsibility.


The focus for the project will be how and to what extent the large companies in the Nordic region implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) and make this a major force for the development of innovation strategies.



The project is funded by Nordic Innovation and corporate partners.



The Nordic Project will develop a systematic review of Nordic companies in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway. There are four specific goals for the project:

  • The project will create a knowledge base for Nordic companies with the target to develop and implement a dynamic relationship between corporate social responsibility values and innovation activities.
  • The project can contribute in the efforts companies make to implement a common understanding of the value of ambitious reporting practices, and understand the business validity of CSR-innovation.
  • The project will contribute to strengthen best-practice initiatives and exchange of practical experiences - what makes CSR-driven innovation successful.
  • The project will enhance the focus on how Nordic companies can make a difference in the global presence especially related to good corporate governance and Corporate Social Responsibility.


The Center for Corporate Diversity (CCD) is project leader. CCD has registered the extent of reporting of the Nordic 500 companies to the UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative.






A study will establish the 2011 register of the 500 largest Nordic companies and monitor the extent and level of reporting of the Nordic 500 companies to the UNGlobal Compact and Global Reporting Initiative. In October 2012 there will be a CSR conference in Norway.

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In October 2010, the Nordic Trade and Industry Ministers agreed on a new industrial and innovation policy cooperation program focusing on green growth. Six lighthouse projects were launched for the period 2011-2013. Nordic Innovation is contributing to the realization of the projects together with the Nordic countries.