Systembolaget has worked with social sustainability for a long time, but in recent years the ambitions regarding environmental and climate issues have grown substantially. Deepening the knowledge at the management level as well as among the employees has been a critical part of this process, and the executive programme became a source of inspiration.

– Everyone must contribute to these vital issues, and we needed to deepen our knowledge of the environment, climate and resilience in order to navigate successfully and invest ineffective measures. Therefore, the choice to participate in the Executive programme was easy. The academic foundation combined with the network of influential industry representatives and the opportunity to use the knowledge directly in our company’s work was a success factor. The programme helped us prioritize different initiatives based on scientific grounds.

Focusing on reducing the harmful effects of alcohol and promoting good working conditions in the supply chain has always been fundamental to Systembolaget. In other words, our co-workers are used to purpose-driven change work. This experience has helped a lot when including environmental and climate issues to a greater extent into our agenda and goals.

– We have a clear routine of social sustainability and co-creation of attractive and broken down targets together with owners, stakeholders and employees. This is something we use in the environmental and climate work as well. This inclusive process did not only deliver increased commitment, it also contributed to the launch of the Beverage Industry’s climate initiative together with the ”Spirit and Wine Suppliers Association” and the ”Swedish Brewers Association”. The initiative has the ambition to become climate neutral by 2045 throughout the value chain.

As a course assignment, Magdalena chose to develop and integrate their new sustainability strategy throughout the company. With new tools, knowledge and connections from the programme, an education was created for all near 6000 employees.

– Engagement comes from knowledge and insight. Therefore, training for both management team and employees is central for us. The Executive programme provided us with the knowledge, insights and networks needed to create our in-house training. And the result is fantastic. Employees and management are actually in many places bursting with ideas on how we can continue and further develop our sustainability work. All in all, we meet a large commitment from both employees and suppliers where everyone wants to contribute.

Systembolaget holds sole rights to retail sales of alcohol in Sweden and is a state-owned enterprise, a model used in 30 countries, regions and states mainly in North America and the Nordics. In this model, the public is the largest shareholder, and their interests should be represented at all times. This means an extra-large responsibility for both people and planet, and a central role in the transformation to a prosperous planet.

– We exist to 100 per cent for the public and have both an expectation and ability to include all sustainability perspectives in our core business. With 125 million customer visits a year, we also have a great opportunity to raise awareness about these issues to our customers. The customers and consumers have sustainability high up on their agenda. Also, it is obvious that environmental and climate issues are related to social and economic sustainability.

Collaboration and co-creation of targets based on facts run through every part of the company´s sustainability work. Including everyone as well as prioritization and focus has been important to achieve success.

– No individual is an island, but with strong relationships, we can solve these fundamental issues. When researchers, suppliers and employees are working together we can all succeed.

Magdalena participated in the Executive Programme 2019-2020.