By Jeremy Tamanini, Dual Citizen, Global Green Economy Index (GGEI)
Marcus Andersson, Future Place Leadership & Advisory board member, Dual Citizen
The Nordics enjoy a good reputation, no matter what index you look at. However, awareness of these countries in their own desired target markets such as China, India and North America is relatively low compared to its potential. There is potential to attract more talents and investments to the Nordic countries, by better leveraging the already existing positive reputation.
The recent 6th edition of the biennial Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) reveals a now-familiar storyline: the Nordic countries are global green leaders. When considering their green performance across the twenty topics defining the GGEI, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland all land in the top 10, a notable achievement given the 130 countries tracked by the GGEI in this latest 2018 edition.
Of equal importance, these same countries lead the GGEI perception survey results, which polls thousands of global practitioners on their view of country performance on these same twenty topics. Nordic green brands are clearly thriving.
Effective branding is about contributing and mattering to others
These findings are not new and the GGEI suggests that themes of sustainability and green growth are almost inextricably connected with the Nordic countries. In some cases, GGEI survey respondents would respond to a given question by simply listing the Nordic countries, conveying the clear linkage this block of countries had with a particular environmental topic. The Nordic countries have a global authority around building and sustaining green brands.
But what kind of new opportunities emerge from this for Nordic places and the people and companies within them? And how can these advance growth, talent attraction and efforts in other places seeking to emulate some of the Nordic success in this realm?
Here are a few considerations:
Conclusion and takeaway
Nordic governments are successful at embedding sustainability in how they communicate officially, but there is room for improvement. For example, the tourism and investment promotion efforts of most Nordic countries give heavy weight to sustainability, actions that can translate into increased visits and inbound investment. Sweden is for example focusing on sustainable measures on the treatment of heavy metals and has adopted measures for fighting climate change and working with green energy. At the same time, Sweden is one of the world’s largest exporters of pulp, paper and timber. In sustainable tourism the Nordic countries are doing well, but could perform better. Norway is 3rd, Finland 5th Sweden 6th, Denmark 8th and Iceland 15th according to the WEF’s 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
There is great potential in increased Nordic co-operation in cleantech, sustainability, mobility, housing and others solutions, that would allow to package and market these solutions to the desired overseas markets. There is considerable room for the Nordic countries to join forces in bundling solutions that build on the complementary strengths of each country. Building new Nordic value chains and packaging different competencies would make it possible for especially smaller firms to service larger, more complex clients, such as emerging Chinese megacities, to take one topical example, as well as synergising the Nordic brand in joint global marketing efforts.
For more information
Read the interview with Jeremy Tamanini about the index on The Place Brand Observer.
Join us at the Nordic Place Branding Conference 2019 in Stockholm on April 3rd, to learn, network and share how place branding and sustainability improves investment promotion, talent attraction and the value of places.
Read the interview with Marcus Andersson on place branding, The Place Brand Observer.
Contact Marcus Andersson for a free consultation on sustainability and place branding.
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