UN report from Swedish Initiatives for Agenda 2030

Coverage by IISD Report Service of Selected Side Events at the Ocean Conference - for full article see below link. The event presented by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Swedish Steel Producers’ Association, and Zero Vision Tool (ZVT), in cooperation with World Ocean Council (WOC), UN Global Compact, and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

This event, moderated by Christine Valentin, WOC, featured panelists speaking on projects falling under four initiatives: ZVT, an industry-driven public-private partnership (PPP) collaboration method and project platform for a safer, more environmentally and energy-efficient maritime transport; a partnership for a carbon-free steel industry; a partnership for resource-efficient water purification utilizing mineral-based by-products from steel and metal industries; and an innovative technology to achieve clean drinking water.

In a discussion on how ZVT projects contribute to SDG 14, Per Bondemark, SSAB, explained work to reduce CO2 emissions from maritime transport. Erik Fridell, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, spoke on assessing the benefits of ZVT projects and calculating the reduced costs they bring to society. Dick Höglund, Terntank Shipping, spoke on piloting a special financial instrument to reduce the risks of investing in green infrastructure. Edvard Molitor, Port of Gothenburg, spoke of installing new generation scrubber technology. Tryggve Möller, Tärntank, said his company is committed to reducing ship emissions. Anna Petersson, Swedish Transport Agency, said her agency's participation aims to identify and eliminate potential regulatory barriers to developing a more sustainable future.

On the steel initiative, Bondemark said the “disruptive technology” sought to significantly cut CO2 emissions and in the process help reduce ocean acidification. On the water projects, Niklas Lång, Höganäs AB, explained that the project seeks to reduce steel industry waste, purify water of certain substances and recycle them back into the value chain, while Tandukar Madan, Höganäs AB, explained the technology will reduce groundwater contamination and prevent contaminants from reaching the Ocean.

Valentin asked panelists to identify the most important outcomes of their projects. On ZVT, Bondemark pointed to a 40-50% cut in CO2 emissions, Höglund said funding innovation, and Molitor replied securing safer and sounder technology for cleaner shipping. Möller said his project has brought together many stakeholders with the goal of minimizing the ecological footprint of maritime transport. Petersson said the ZVT collaborative model is now being duplicated within the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM). On water purification, Lång and Madan emphasized how their processes promote resource efficiency and circular economy.

In closing, Mattias Landgren, Sweden, emphasized that sustainability must be a priority in the blue economy, and underscored good business opportunities that a sustainable blue economy provides. Noting that Sweden was recently named by Forbes magazine as the number one ranked country for business, he said they aimed to keep that position and serve as a source of inspiration and innovation.