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Nanna Ringstad is fighting for sustainability in the finance industry. Her weapon of choice? Regular people’s life savings.
Position: Special adviser
Employer: Finance Sector Union of Norway
Having a conscious relationship with your savings and retirement benefits is far more important for climate, environment and community development than most people realize.
"Having a conscious relationship with your savings and retirement benefits is far more important for climate, environment and community development than most people realize."
As a special adviser within corporate responsibility and business policy in the Finance Sector Union of Norway (Finansforbundet), she thinks there is a great potential for financial institutions to highlight the link between savings and a better world.
Her job is making sure the industry realises the benefits of being responsible. According to her, many companies are already realising they have an important role in society. One example is how major investors increasingly demand social responsibility from the businesses they invest in.
"The financial industry is a complex industry with enormous impact on society. That's why it's so fascinating to work for it to take sustainability more seriously and see the potential."
Nanna considers the ability to influence among the most exciting parts of her job. It is about developing and operationalizing her employer’s policy. It concerns visualization, positioning and getting through to solutions that are good for both members, industry and society.
"I work to influence the financial industry and government in a more responsible and sustainable direction, through dialogue, impact work and investigations. In recent years, I have worked a lot with green finance. It is about sustainable development in both society and industry ‒ and about creating attractive and meaningful jobs."
The Swede has lived and worked in Norway for half of her life, but still thinks Norwegians should look to their neighbour for some green inspiration.
"In Sweden this has been achieved through separate financial policies. There, we also see that education and research have contributed to investments in sustainability. Norway should take note!"
She believes that a clearer political expectation of the financial industry's contribution to a sustainable future would be of great help, but emphasizes that many businesses have already seen the green light.
"Parts of the Norwegian financial industry are at the forefront of sustainable investments by actively influencing companies in the right direction; Include companies for different sustainability themes and exclude companies that violate international standards or harm the environment."
At the beginning of the 2000s, she studied PR at BI, and recently returned to take a master program in green growth. For Ringstad, communication is a major challenge in green finance.
"We must clarify the role of the finance industry, employees and customers. When we manage to be concrete and make it easy, most people will do what they can, both at home and at work, to save the world a little every day."