The Nordic Region will become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. This is the Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision for Nordic co-operation. This means working together actively to ensure that development is sustainable and that the region’s countries are integrated with each other.
Although the Nordic countries are at the forefront of efforts relating to sustainable development, and although we’re ranked the highest internationally when it comes to achieving the global sustainable development goals, there are still several shared challenges to sustainability that we need to address. Above all, this applies to challenges linked to ecologically sustainable development – the Nordic countries are particularly challenged by their unsustainable consumption and production – and to climate change and the biodiversity crisis.
Although the Nordic countries form one of the most integrated regions in the world, each year dozens of obstacles to freedom of movement between the countries are identified. The COVID-19 crisis has reminded us that we must continue to strive for a more integrated Nordic Region. For the Nordic Region, integration primarily means a shared Nordic identity, cohesive societies based on the same values, and mobility and freedom of movement within the region.
It is incredibly important that we follow up on progress towards the achievement of our ambitious vision of the Nordic Region being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. Consequently, the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation have adopted indicators for Our Vision 2030 to provide an overall picture of progress in the Nordic Region towards the achievement of this vision. The indicators have been developed by the Nordic Council of Ministers with the help of Statisticon AB.
The Ministers for Nordic Co-operation adopted the Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030 in September 2020. This document describes the indicators – what their purpose is and how they will be followed up on and communicated – and includes a complete list and description of them.
It is very important that in our efforts to achieve our vision, we actively monitor the decisions that are made and the work that is carried out by all of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ ministerial councils and institutions. I am certain that the indicators will be useful not only for decision-makers and senior officials in the Nordic countries, but also for anyone else who is interested in the Nordic Region’s progress towards becoming the most sustainable and integrated region in the world.
Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers
Our Vision 2030 is the Nordic prime ministers’ vision for Nordic co-operation and involves the Nordic Region being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. In their declaration on Our Vision 2030 of August 2019https://www.norden.org/en/declaration/our-vision-2030, the Nordic prime ministers emphasise that “The time has come to use the Nordic Region's strengths in the interests of the climate and society, and to make that our highest priority. Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement show the way, but we need to work even more ambitiously and faster”.
In order to realise the vision, three strategic priorities have been identified:
The objective of Our Vision 2030 is an ambitious one. So as not to lose focus, efforts will be continuously monitored by way of indicators for the development of the Nordic Region as a whole towards being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. Consequently, in September 2020 the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation adopted the Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030.
The Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030 are an important instrument for following up on progress towards achieving the vision of being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. The purpose, structure, follow-up, and communication in respect of the indicators are presented below. In the following three paragraphs, the indicators are contextualised within the strategic priorities: a green Nordic Region, a competitive Nordic Region, and a socially sustainable Nordic Region.
The purpose of the Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030 is to follow overall progress towards the vision for the Nordic Region. The development indicators show whether the Nordic Region is the most sustainable and integrated region in the world and, within this, whether we are a green Nordic Region, a competitive Nordic Region, and a socially sustainable Nordic Region.
There are a total of 45 Nordic indicators, which are structured according to the three strategic priorities and underlying focus areas. The focus areas have been identified based on the declaration for Our Vision 2030 and the global sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030. Three indicators have been identified for each focus area.
The Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030 are indicators for the Nordic Region. This means that they have been developed as an aggregate indicator for the Nordic Region, based on data from national and international statistical databases. The development indicators will therefore not be divided up according to the individual Nordic countries and Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland.
The Nordic development indicators have been developed on the basis of specific principles:
Emphasis shall be placed on clarity and communicability to all target groups in Nordic co-operation.
The Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030 will be followed up on an ongoing basis between 2021 and 2024 by the Nordic Expert Group for Sustainable Development, which acts as the advisory body to the Nordic Committee for Co-operation and the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation. The indicators will be followed up on through the production of a status report for Our Vision 2030 of being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world, as well as by using this as a basis for discussion with the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation and the Nordic prime ministers on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ further efforts relating to Our Vision 2030.
The status reports will be published every other year and will include an assessment of the status of all Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030, thereby describing what there is left to do for us to achieve our vision. The status report will transcend the individual indicators to highlight differences based on age, gender, social group, and region where relevant. For example, this means that all statistics relating to Nordic citizens are to be broken down by gender.
The Nordic Council of Ministers will provide internal and external communications regarding the Nordic indicators for Our Vision 2030. Internally, the indicators will primarily be communicated in connection with the Nordic Council of Ministers’ efforts with Our Vision 2030, such as by way of background material in factual presentations for meetings of the Nordic committees of senior officials and ministerial councils. Externally, the indicators will be communicated on a rolling basis on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ website, in the Nordic statistics database, and on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ social media channels.
|Climate action (SDG 13)|
|1.1.1||Greenhouse gas emissions*13.2.2||The indicator shows the trend of total territorial greenhouse gas emissions (including international aviation).|
|1.1.2i||Consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions*13.2.2||The indicator shows the trend of total consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions.|
|1.1.3||Extent of Arctic ice||The indicator shows how many square kilometres of the Arctic are covered by ice.|
|Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7)|
|1.2.1||Proportion of gross energy consumption provided by renewable energy*7.2.1||The indicator shows the proportion of gross energy consumption provided by renewable energy.|
|1.2.2||Energy consumption in relation to GDP*7.3.1||The indicator shows the relationship between energy supply and economic production (GDP). A lower ratio indicates that less energy is used to produce one unit of GDP. GDP is expressed in constant prices.|
|1.2.3||Intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from energy consumption||The indicator shows the progress in the relationship between energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and gross domestic energy consumption (in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents) compared with the year 2000.|
|Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12)|
|1.3.1||Material footprint per inhabitant*8.4.1/12.2.1||The material footprint is the amount of primary material required to cater for a country’s total material demands. The material footprint per inhabitant thus describes the average material use for a country’s total material demand.|
|1.3.2||Degree of recycling of municipal waste*12.5.1||The indicator shows the proportion of total generated municipal waste that is recycled.|
|1.3.3||Number of registered eco-label licences||The variable presented is the number of registered licences linked to the Nordic Swan ecolabel on 31 December each year.|
|Life on land (SDG 15)**|
|1.4.1||Proportion of protected land areas (in relation to the country’s total area)*15.1.2||The proportion of land protected in accordance with Natura 2000 (Denmark, Finland, and Sweden). Iceland: National parks, nature reserves, and protected habitats. Norway: National parks, nature reserves, and protected landscape areas.|
|1.4.2||Proportion of organic agricultural land*2.4.1||The proportion of all agricultural areas that is made up of organic agricultural areas (productive and sustainable).|
|1.4.3||Common birds in agricultural landscapes*15.5.1||An index of the presence of common birds in agricultural landscapes, selected by each country’s BirdLife organisation. Index 2000 = 100.|
|Life below water (SDG 14)***|
|1.5.1||Protected marine areas (total area)*14.5.1||Marine areas protected in accordance with Natura 2000 (Denmark, Finland, and Sweden). Norway: Marine areas protected.|
|1.5.2||Eutrophication of the Baltic Sea*14.1.1||The indicator shows the number of tonnes of nitrogen and phosphorus added to the Baltic Sea each year. The measurements are based on seven areas, from the Gulf of Bothnia in the north to the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden in the south. The total supply by air and from watercourses is measured.|
|1.5.3||Fish stocks in the Arctic and Barents Sea*14.4.1||Fish stocks in the northeast Arctic and Barents Sea. This indicator describes the total stock of cod, herring, and blue whiting, expressed in thousands of tonnes.|
|Quality education (SDG 4)|
|2.1.1||Level of education attained: college/university education*4.1.2||The proportion of the population aged 30 to 34 that has completed post-secondary school studies.|
|2.1.2||People who leave education prematurely||The proportion of people aged 18 to 24 who leave education prematurely.|
|2.1.3||Adult participation in continuing education*4.3.1||The proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 who have participated in continuing education during the past four weeks. Participation in education is a measure of lifelong learning.|
|Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8)|
|2.2.1||Employment rate||The employment rate shows the proportion of the population aged 15 to 64 in employment.|
|2.2.2||Share of employment in private companies related to the circular economy (and bioeconomy)||The indicator shows the proportion of the total number of employees who are employed in the recycling sector, the repair and reuse sector, and the rental and leasing sector.|
|2.2.3||Annual GDP growth*8.1.1||The indicator shows the percentage change in gross domestic product compared with the previous year, in constant prices. Constant prices (instead of current prices) remove the effects of price fluctuations, and the series shows the change in volume of GDP.|
|Industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9)|
|2.3.1||Expenditure on research and development as a share of GDP*9.5.1||Internal expenditure on research and development as a percentage of GDP. Internal research and development expenditure is all current and fixed expenditure for research and development in a certain period, regardless of the source of funding.|
|2.3.2||Number of patent applications in environmental technology||The number of patent applications to the European Patent Office in the area classified as environmental technology by the OECD.|
|2.3.3||Digital economy and society index (DESI)||Based on a weighting of 37 measures, the digital economic and society index looks at the countries’ overall digital performance and progress in terms of digital competitiveness.|
|Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)|
|2.4.1||Proportion of total passenger transport on buses and trains*11.2.1||The proportion of all passenger transport on public transport, expressed in passenger kilometres (pkm). Public transport refers to buses and trains. Total passenger transport includes cars, buses, and trains.|
|2.4.2||Exposure to airborne particulate matter pollutants in urban areas*11.6.2||The annual average concentration of particles smaller than 2.5 µm in the air in urban areas. The indicator is population-weighted so that urban areas are weighted in proportion to their population size.|
|2.4.3||Average proportion of public open spaces in cities in built-up areas*11.7.1||There are currently no statistics for this indicator.|
|Freedom of movement|
|2.5.1||Intra-Nordic immigration||The indicator shows the number of residents per 100,000 residents in the Nordic Region who move to or live in a different Nordic country than their home country.|
|2.5.2||Imports of goods from Nordic countries||The proportion of total imports of goods that come from other Nordic countries.|
|2.5.3||Intra-Nordic cross-border commuting for work||This indicator measures the number of people per 10,000 employees who are employed in a different Nordic country than the one they live in.|
|Good health and well-being (SDG 3)|
|3.1.1||Average life expectancy at birth||The anticipated life expectancy at birth.|
|3.1.2||Self-rated health||The proportion of people who rate their health as good or very good.|
|3.1.3||Mortality before the age of 75 from diseases that can be prevented and cured||The number of deaths from specific diseases per 100,000 inhabitants aged 0 to 75. The age distribution is standardised so that the countries can be compared. The diseases that are included are those that are deemed curable or preventable.|
|Gender equality (SDG 5)|
|3.2.1||Gender-segregated labour market||This indicator is a measure called the standardised index or the Karmel MacLachlan index (IP). It can be interpreted as the proportion of the employed population that would need to change occupation in order to achieve an equal distribution between men and women in those occupations.|
|3.2.2||Fathers’ share of parental leave||This indicator shows fathers’ share of parental leave.|
|3.2.3||Proportion of women in national parliaments*5.5.1||This indicator shows the proportion of women among those elected to national parliaments.|
|Reduced inequalities (SDG 10)****|
|3.3.1||Gini coefficient||The gini coefficient is an economic measure of inequality, e.g. income distribution.|
|3.3.2||Proportion of people living at risk of poverty and social exclusion||A summary measure based on the following criteria: 1) people below the poverty threshold (60 percent of national median disposable income after social transfers), 2) severe material poverty, and 3) households with very low labour intensity.|
|3.3.3||Difference in unemployment/inactivity between those born outside the EU and those born in the country||This indicator shows the difference between the proportion of unemployed or inactive people who were born outside the EU compared with those born in the country.|
|Peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16)|
|3.4.1||Social trust||This indicator shows how much people trust others in general on a ten-point scale, where 0 indicates no trust and 10 indicates trust in most people.|
|3.4.2||Electoral turnout in general elections||The proportion of the population entitled to vote who cast one vote (valid, blank, and invalid votes).|
|3.4.3||Proportion of the population who experience problems with crime, violence, and vandalism*16.2.1||This indicator shows the proportion of the population who have reported experiencing problems with crime, violence, or vandalism in their local area.|
|Strong cultural scene|
|3.5.1||Imports of culture-related goods from Nordic countries||The proportion of culture-related goods that come from other Nordic countries.|
|3.5.2||Public expenditure on culture as a share of GDP||This indicator shows the share of the state (including regional and municipal) budgets allocated to culture.|
|3.5.3||Household cultural expenditure, index (2015 = 100)||This indicator shows household expenditure on recreational and cultural services. It is expressed as the development in constant prices compared with 2015. Individual and household expenditure on cultural goods and services is considered an estimate of participation in cultural activities.|
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Nordic co-operation is one of the world’s most extensive forms of regional collaboration, involving Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland.
Nordic co-operation has firm traditions in politics, the economy, and culture. It plays an important role in European and international collaboration, and aims at creating a strong Nordic community in a strong Europe.
Nordic co-operation seeks to safeguard Nordic and regional interests and principles in the global community. Shared Nordic values help the region solidify its position as one of the world’s most innovative and competitive.
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