New CCD Study:
2011-2013 NORDIC 500

Nordic Experiences:

Corporate Social Responsibility and Innovation Strategies in Nordic Companies

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.

The focus for the Nordic 500 project 2011-2013 will be:

  • How and to what extent the large companies in the Nordic region implement corporate social responsibility as part of their development of innovative strategies for sustainability and growth. The areas of CSR they implement in the value chain will vary between companies, often depending on whether the company is globally oriented and represented or limited to the Nordic market. The Center for Corporate Diversity (CCD) has established the first Register and Report on the 500 largest Companies in the Nordic countries and earlier profiled diversity and ethical guidelines in the companies.

  • The 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 UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative. The general belief is that Nordic companies hold themselves to ethical standards also in the global arena.

  • The study will research and profile individual company progress on the relationship between corporate social responsibility and innovation. The study will attract the international awareness that this relationship could be an inherent condition for growth and expansion of business.
    • 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 will contribute in the efforts companies make to implement a common understanding of the value of ambitious reporting practices, especially with regard to international initiatives. The project can contribute to understand the business validity of CSR-innovation.

    • The project will strengthen best-practice initiatives and exchange of practical experiences. The exchange of experiences will help us understand and describe 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 sharing of best-practice knowledge will, in addition to publication activities from the project, be organized through a Nordic Corporate Champion Conference in 2012, at the same time as Norway become in charge of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

History of the Nordic Projects

In 2004, The Center for Corporate Diversity presented the first overview of the largest 500 Nordic companies and the number of women board directors and executive directors in each of the companies. This was also the first benchmarking of diversity in the largest Nordic companies, based on the same principles used to analyze the 500 largest corporations in the US, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
The international attention that the Nordic 500 Report attracts is due to the interest and respect for characteristics of the Nordic social profile: Gender equality, inclusiveness, and proximity to power.

  • The 2004 Nordic 500 established a reference for the Nordic countries, in line with similar listings used to analyze the top corporations in other countries. The Nordic 500 was the only existing registration of board directors and executive management in the 500 largest Nordic companies.

  • In 2007 the Diversity Council decided to include measures of ethical practice and transparency in the future Nordic 500 studies. The Council organized a conference on corporate ethics on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

  • The 2008 Nordic 500 brought to light the progress of the top 500 Nordic companies and their challenges for improved diversity.  

    • How companies recruit and retain diversity in their board of directors. If companies recruit people with international and multicultural skills to their boards.

    • If more women board directors have been recruited in the Nordic 500 boards compared to 2004 numbers.

    • The differences between the Nordic countries.

  • The wider analysis examined whether and how the 500 companies had included ethical guidelines and procedures to secure transparent behavior. The 2008 Nordic 500 was released at an international conference in the National Library in Oslo.