Sustainability disruption, Scandinavian epicentre

Since its re-conceptualisation in the 1980´s, culminated with the Brundtland Report (Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) (“Our Common Future,” n.d.), sustainable development and, namely, organisations´ sustainability are concepts in steady, sound expansion worldwide. Featuring different approaches, peculiarities and qualitative and quantitative degrees of development in different regions around the globe, sustainability is now a real industry and, furthermore, a factor able to dismantle the organisation´s development followed up to recent times. Those organisations and regions leading or being early-adopters of the sustainability disruption may gain a situation of competitive advantage. Many organisations in the Scandinavian region are already enjoying it.

On paper, Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) are top-rated in relevant indicators such as green economy performance, ecological footprint, environmental legislation and policies and citizenship´s engagement. The Scandinavian approaches in sustainable development at all levels are fuel for case studies, lessons, good practices source, reports, books and so on, worldwide ( McCormick, Richter, & Pantzar, 2015)

When analysing the development of a given country or a supranational entity, as is the case of the referred Scandinavian region, several parties stand out as key drivers that measure its performance: society, businesses, public bodies, educational institutions and other influential organisations. In the Scandinavian countries, sustainability is a major issue among these key drivers, qualitatively and quantitatively. This can be observed in the huge amount of companies related to the green economy, employment and professional specialisation, R&D schemes, public bodies and policies, NGO´s actions, high-ranked educational institutions and programs or people´s behaviour in which sustainability is central ( McCormick et al., 2015) (Mairal, 2016)

In addition, the individual sustainability performance of each actor makes a positive impact in the related parties, creating a net of interconnected win-win loops which, eventually make a perfect storm. E.g. more public bodies and policies focused on susty mean more businesses interested in green products or processes which, in turn, need more specialised workforce, what triggers the interest of people to get trained in educational institutions and programs that must give response to the demand.

Source: own elaboration

A glance at sites like LinkedIn (jobs, companies, education), education platforms like Coursera or edX or universities´websites, NGO´s and other highly influential organisations like this, follow the consensual messages and stance on the Internet by policy makers and public representatives, etcetera, provide evidences of the extraordinary concentration of sustainability-driven schemes in the Scandinavian region, the ultimate epicentre of the very boosting and game-changing sustainability industry.


McCormick, K., Richter, J. L., & Pantzar, M. (2015). Greening the Economy Compendium (p. 64). Lund University. Retrieved from
Commission on Environment and Development, W. (1987). Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. Retrieved April 7, 2017, from
Mairal, D. (2016, March 11). La bicicleta en la ciudad: mucho más de lo que imaginas. El caso de Copenhagen. Retrieved April 7, 2017, from
Our Common Future. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2017, from