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A societal value compass for the Swedish steel industry

This fact sheet introduces a project combining SDGs with capital theory to help Swedish steel producers assess the societal value created by their operations and products.

Karl Hallding / Published on 17 February 2017

Hallding, K. and E. Blixt (2017). A societal value compass for the Swedish steel industry.

In 2013 the Swedish steel industry launched an industry-wide vision for 2050: “Steel shapes a better future. According to this vision, the industry aims to to become “an even more active participant in the ongoing shift to a sustainable society – with a greater responsibility for people and the environment”. Central to achieving this vision are leadership in technical development, creativity, and improving resource use and processes to the extent that “only products of value to the community leave our plants”.

SEI and the Swedish Steel Producers Association (Jernkontoret) have previously collaborated on creating a suggested strategic action plan (Swedish) to achieve the vision. They are now working together with the steel industry to develop a societal value “compass”: a methodology and toolkit with which the industry as a whole, as well as individual producers, can evauate different options in terms of their impact on broader societal ambitions and goals.

This will be the first such tool developed for, and with, a specific industry. It is potentially be useful for many other actors and sectors.

SEI Jernkontoret Strategic action English 350
Proposed strategic action points for achieving the Swedish steel industry’s 2050 vision

The compass will combine social capital accounting approaches with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework to quantify the societal value potentially created (or subtracted) by a given option, under conditions of future uncertainty. The methodology also uses cross-impact balance analysis to assess how progress on one SDG target may affect progress on others.

This fact sheet provides an overview of the project and outlines the stages of development of the compass, from scoping and co-creation of a prototype with steel producers and other stakeholders, to testing on topical industry case studies.

Download the factsheet (PDF, 350 KB)

Learn more about SEI’s work on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development »


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