Agenda 2030 Compass – a tool for navigating toward increased societal value
The Agenda 2030 Compass helps users to find solutions which bring societal benefits. The Compass points the user in a direction which is as beneficial as possible in contributing to all the 17 UN Global Goals. The Compass has been developed in a co-creation research process in which Jernkontoret (the Swedish iron and steel producers' association), SEI (Stockholm Environment Institute) and others have participated. Currently, Jernkontoret’s technical area 86, "Agenda 2030 Compass”, is hosting the tool and its further development.
Sweden is a very favourable location for steel making. Swedish steel products play a vital role in generating societal or community value around the world. In its industry-wide vision for 2050, Sweden’s iron and steel industry has established the goal that only products of value to society will leave the steel plants.
Jernkontoret has together with SEI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the IT-company Swedwise, developed the Agenda 2030 Compass to be able to live up to that obligation. The Agenda 2030 Compass is built around the system analysis thinking expressed in the UN Agenda 2030 declaration: that the 17 UN Global Goals must be regarded as an indivisible whole, where each of the goals is more or less interdependent on all the others. Three research projects looking in to how to build a compass using knowledge about how the goals affect each other in different contexts, for example in different countries, were conducted during the years 2015-2022 (more about the different research projects below).
The Agenda 2030 Compass contributes to a sustainable development
The Agenda 2030 Compass helps the user to find solutions which benefit society broadly by contributing to many of the 17 UN Global Goals synergistically, while making the user aware of potential conflicts with other goals, making it easier to adapt the way forward to be even more societally beneficial.
In May 2022, Jernkontoret set up a new technical area, TO 86 Agenda 2030 Compass, to make use of, and further develop the Compass and its strategic decision support system and the workshop method accompanying it.
TO 86 uses the Compass to test new product concepts, possible investments, strategies, reforms or whatever the user wants to analyse concerning impacts on all the 17 UN Global Goals, including possible indirect effects stemming from synergies or trade-offs between goals. More information about TO 86 can be found here:
- Jernkontoret’s technical area 86, Agenda 2030 Compass
- Fact-sheet: Jernkontoret’s technical area 86, Agenda 2030 Compass (pdf)
Why and how the Agenda 2030 Compass was developed (project history)
In the steel industry’s vision for 2050 there is a commitment to leadership in technical development, individual development and societal value creation. Stakeholders who ensure their activities deliver societal value will find their activities justified as ever more discriminating customers and consumers make ever higher demands.
Both products that create societal value (operations and products) and societal value itself are relative concepts. They need to be interpreted in both the shorter and longer term, regionally and globally as well as in respect of the products and processes themselves. The work to implement the third commitment founded on the convictions that focusing on value to society strengthens the competitiveness of the Swedish steel industry; that Swedish steel products play a significant role in creating societal value globally and, last but not least, that Sweden is a particularly good place to make steel.
To find out more about how the concept of societal value can be applied and understood, Jernkontoret, the steel industry and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) initiated in 2015 a seven-year collaboration project in three parts. The project was run jointly in a co-creation process, in which the organisations’ knowledge is utilised and combined with invited participants from across society as a whole; the academic world, politics, public authorities and companies.
The purpose was to generate a deeper understanding of the concept of societal value and what the steel industry and other players must do to contribute to a sustainable community and to societal value creation. The project resulted in, among other things, a proposal for ten strategic action points for community value and a scenario report for 2050.
The year 2016 saw the start of a new two-year project, based on the action plan to develop a "societal value compass" in order to steer the industry towards goals for 2050, using as a starting point the UN’s 17 global goals and the Agenda 2030. A prototype of an Agenda 2030 compass was presented in June 2018.
In late 2018, a project was granted within one of Vinnova's strategic innovation programs Metallic Materials, to take the prototype to an internationally useful full-scale model. The project was concluded at the end of 2021 and final reporting will take place in 2022.