Earth Day: Nordic Businesses Fighting for a Greener Future

Today, the 22nd of April, is the International Earth Day. International Earth Day is here to remind us all about the global crisis the earth is facing, when it comes to climate change, the growing population, our food habits and so on. The list is growing, and so is the list of companies who are here to make a change and meet these challenges. The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Restore our Earth”, which is all about decreasing our environmental footprint and repairing the damage we have already caused.

In recognition of International Earth Day, Goodwille have shortlisted 10 Nordic companies who focus on green and sustainable development that we think deserve some more recognition.

SOLAR FOODS, FINLAND

Solar Foods was founded in 2017 and has created a new sustainable food diversity. They introduced a revolutionary natural protein source for the entire food industry, which is suitable for consumer diets. The completely unique pure single-cell proteins are produced from only CO2, water and electricity. This means that the biotech solution Solein is independent of the weather, agriculture, and the climate!

Most recently Solar Foods raised €10 million funding to build their first Solar Foods production facility in Finland. This production facility is making it possible to commercially produce the Solein food products. Watch out for the protein made from thin air, because Solein is the food of the future!

NAAVA, FINLAND

Humanity spends more and more time in urban environments away from natural air. The poor quality air impacts both our performance and health, which is something Naava has found a solution to. Naava has with innovation, natural design and future technology developed beautiful green walls, which naturally purify the air we breathe. The vision is to create high-quality natural air in all indoor spaces, which gives healthier and human-friendlier indoor environments. Their green walls are 100 times more efficient than regular green walls and are also optimising humidity.

Naava is bringing nature inside, while enabling sustainable everyday urban living!

SPACEMAKER, NORWAY

By helping users discover smarter ways to maximize the potential of a building site, it is safe to say that Spacemakers Al technology is game-changing! A big threat to sustainable urban growth is the ever increasing urbanisation, slow and low-quality site development. This is the challenge Spacemaker aim to accommodate by utilising artificial intelligence and the clouds power. They have created a fantastic collaborative workflow among engineers, architects, municipalities, and real estate developers which enables the insight needed to sort out the best solution of a building site.

Spacemakers technology is the future when designing cities to accommodate the growing population.

NOFENCE, NORWAY

NoFence is behind the world`s first commercially virtual fencing system for sheep, cattle and goats. The technology behind the “fenceless” solution eliminates the need for physical fences and allows farmers to handle their pasturelands and herds flexibly from their smartphones! It is a GPS-based virtual fencing system, which uses audio warnings and potential electrical impulses to keep the animals inside the NoFence pasture. Not only is the technology revolutionising for the farmers, but it is also sustainable agriculture and good animal welfare. By having virtual fences, the animals are kept in their designated pasture, which satisfy their natural behavioural needs.

The company has gone from being a start-up to an international scale-up company, where millions of animals currently are under the NoFence technology!

TOO GOOD TO GO, DENMARK

Global food waste involves between one-third and one-half of all food produced. This is a massive problem for the environment and climate, but it is also a waste of resources. Luckily, Too Good To Go is here to fight food waste around the world! Too Good To Go is the world`s largest marketplace for surplus food, where they are collaborating with 50,000 supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries, hotels etc across 15 countries.

Too Good To Go dreams of a planet with no food waste, and is therefore working on making it a reality every day. The app enables the customers to save perfectly good surplus food from local stores at a reduced price!

BOWER, SWEDEN

Summer 2019 Bower (previously called PantaPå) launched as the world`s first container-deposit app. The Bower app allows consumers to recycle cans, bottles and other deposit packaging at recycling stations. A very easy way to recycle, where the deposit is paid directly to your mobile phone as cash or coupons! As a consumer, you can return items of packaging from suppliers that don`t work with Bower.

At the moment, Bower works with several brands including Procter & Gamble, Fazer, Unilever, Skincity and Clas Ohlson. Each brand gets to set their own value for the different packaging! Recycling doesn`t get any simpler than with Bower!

CLIMEON, SWEDEN

The technology behind Climeon produces clean electricity 24/7 without being dependent on weather conditions. They are complementing solar power and wind to create clean electricity – with the aim of a cleaner planet. Climeon`s Heat Power system can generate clean electricity from low temperature waste heat and geothermal energy. Climeon has been recognised several times and received awards, because of the positive impact their innovation has on the environment. Back in 2016 The World Wildlife fund named Climeon as one of the annual “Climate Solvers” – since Climeon`s technology could save over 21.6 million tons of CO2 emissions annually!

Climeon has received a lot of attention, and has attracted the attention of people like Richard Branson (Virgin`s), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) – who have all invested in the company!

ORBITAL SYSTEMS, SWEDEN

“We`ve taken water for granted for too long. It`s time to use it smarter” says Orbital Systems, who has created the world`s only circular shower system. The system allows you to save up to 90% of the water used and 80% of the energy! Water is a limited resource, and in a few years the demand will outstrip supply. Orbital Systems has therefore found a solution to save one of the world`s most important resources – water!

Forbes has recognised Orbital Systems as: “The Tesla of Showers”, and we believe they deserve some more recognition for their innovative circular shower system!

NORTHVOLT, SWEDEN

Northvolt is helping us getting one step closer to a carbon neutral society with their high-quality green batteries. Their whole blueprint for battery manufacturing is built around a promise to sustainability. They use ethical sourcing of raw materials, while ensuring a minimal environmental footprint through their production. Northvolt are well aware of the loop on batteries, and have therefore created an ecosystem for battery recycling in order to close the loop!

Recently Northvolt won the “Standout Fundraising Achievement of the Year 2020” award, because they had combined $2.2 billion in fundraising!

ENVAC, SWEDEN

Envac has created an innovative waste collection system called pneumatic, which makes recycling smart, sustainable and cost-efficient, while enabling a circular economy and a better living environment. They are the market leaders when it comes to the implementation of the next-generation recycling using resource-efficient waste handling. Envac`s whole vision is to create smarter cities whilst improving quality-of-life and ensuring a more sustainable planet for the future generations.

Future cities with the Envac waste collection system would look a lot different from today’s cities. There would be no open waste containers, overflowing waste bins, traffic jams and pollution caused by the current waste collection vehicles!

If you are a Nordic business looking to enter, grow or scale in the UK, please contact usGoodwille is an essential business service provider helping foreign-owned businesses expand to the UK. To find out more visit goodwille.com.

5 Norwegian Startups Supporting the Future of Remote Working

Office closures and social distancing measures have forced many companies to operate remotely. A few months in – what can be considered a transition period – the potential and positive side-effects of a remote workforce have been realised by many. Yet, there are of course challenges to overcome.

Many businesses have struggled as a result of COVID-19, however those assisting in this new, remote way of working are thriving.

From improving connectivity to making remote working more fun for your team, we have listed 5 Norwegian startups who are making remote working life easier for both employers and employees.

Whereby

There’s a new solution on the block when it comes to smooth, seamless communication. If you’re tired of stalling videos, dropped conversations and downloading alternative ‘new’ conference solutions, then let us introduce you to Whereby – a subscription-based videoconferencing tool available directly in your browser, which allows you to connect seamlessly from any location.

The Norwegian startup has its roots from telecommunication company Telenor, where it started as an intern project in 2013. Later on, the project spun out and was acquired by its current parent company, Videonor. The service changed its name from appear.in to what we know it by today – Whereby.

Huddly

Oslo-based startup Huddly offers a combination of hardware, software and AI to enable collaborative, remote working. Their products include AI-powered conferencing cameras in sleek Scandinavian design, paired with a user friendly desktop app.

Huddly was founded back in 2013 by Sten Ove Eriksen and Anders Eikenes. Ever since, their team has raised a total of $25 million during five investment rounds – way to go, Huddly.

Hold

Working from home is full of distractions, so it is important to stay focused on the task at hand. And just to be clear – the task at hand is not your mobile device! Whats App, Instagram, Angry Birds – the distractions are plentiful. That is where this clever mobile app, Hold, comes in to play. Hold will block distractions and simultaneously reward you for the time you are not on your phone – perfect to keep the productivity going when working remote!

Hold was founded back in 2015 and has been used by large companies such as Disney and Lloyds Banking Group.

Memory/Timely

Norwegian tech startup Memory has received great success since it was founded back in 2013, with representatives across 20 different countries and a total fundraising of $6 million. In their pursuit of helping people do more of the work that matters to them, they released their first product Timely – an AI-powered time tracking and planning application. Timely can not only assist employers to track and manage remote teams, but also help employees in terms of productivity, motivation, and how to prioritize your work – win-win!

Recently, Memory released their second product Dewo, which focuses on deep work.

Kahoot!

With a jingle that will chime in your ears long after the fun has ended, Kahoot! is a game based learning platform. Bringing fun to 1billion+ players, this clever bit of kit will bring your students or colleagues together for some educational fun.

If you are still holding quizzes the traditional way, then Kahoot! can teach you a thing or two. Organise a social gathering with your colleagues or clients and do not stop the good times just because you are not with them in person!

Goodwille provide essential business services to Norwegian businesses looking to enter, grow or scale in the UK, whether via setting up a UK subsidiary, registering a UK branch orrecruiting UK based employees. To find out more contact hello@goodwille.com

Four lessons UK businesses could learn from the Nordics

The Nordic countries regularly top the world happiness indexes, while also sitting at the top of lists measuring economy and productivity. It’s no wonder, then, that businesses around the world tend to look for inspiration in the business cultures of countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. As you would expect, there are many subtle and not-so-subtle differences between cultures in these countries. However, there are some common themes that businesses in the UK looking to innovate may want to take note of.

Less hierarchy, more democracy

Nordic businesses tend to be arranged in flat structures, with little respect for rigid hierarchies or displays of power. Fundamental to business in these countries is the idea of trust. Employees trust managers to keep their best interests at heart, and managers trust employees to act independently and get on with the job. Decision making is done in a democratic manner. In Sweden in particular, everyone is expected to have their say in company meetings.

Communication is key

Following the reduced importance of hierarchy, lines of communication in Nordic businesses tend to be short, with colleagues always able to confer with management. This leads to a generally informal culture – employees are usually on first name terms with management, and socialising with fellow colleagues is expected. If your Danish business associate suggests you grab a beer after work, it really would be rude not to!

Ethics first

Nordic countries tend to have a strong sense of ethics, with a low tolerance for corruption and high regard for environmental issues. A downside of this is that reaching a decision can sometimes take a long time, as each employee’s take on a matter is valued and the ethical impact of each decision is carefully weighed.

Benefits and welfare

Nordic countries are famous for their excellent benefits and strong welfare systems. Sweden, for example, has one of the most generous parental leave policies in the world. All employees in Denmark are entitled to five weeks of annual leave. And in Norway, a policy of transparency regarding salaries has lead to narrow wage gaps and strong pay equality. Higher taxes supports the strong welfare systems to minimise the fear of employment gaps for those not in work. These benefits and the security of the welfare systems have lead to happier employees and, in turn, more productive companies.

Nordic values are increasingly influencing businesses world-wide, and businesses form the Nordic region are highly regarded in the UK especially. If you are a Nordic business thinking about expanding into the UK, you should speak to us. We have been helping Nordic businesses successfully launch in the UK for 20 years and would love to help you too! Contact Goodwille today to find out more how we can help you get started on the UK market.

3 challenges of setting up business overseas

Whether you’ve just moved to the UK and are looking to start a business here, or you’re the owner of an established business in Germany, Norway, Sweden or elsewhere that is looking for opportunities to expand overseas, setting up business in another country can be daunting. Developing an in-depth understanding of a country’s laws, politics, culture and the way they do business can take a long time, which you may not have if you’re looking to establish your company quickly. Here are just a few of the many challenges faced by business people who want to start a business overseas.

1. You’re not accustomed to the different laws

Of course you have done your research thoroughly, and you have more than the basics cemented firmly in your mind, but you may not know all of the subtle differences between trading laws in the country you have just left and the UK. It is these subtle differences that could affect your entire business model and the way your company will operate. You need to be fully aware of them so you can be safe in the knowledge that your business is legally compliant.

2. You aren’t familiar with the culture

Only after spending a considerable amount of time in a particular country can you fully understand its cultural nuances, so if you haven’t had that opportunity before setting up business, you may feel like you’re at a considerable disadvantage. Being familiar with cultural differences is important for even the most basic sort of communication, navigating business deals and solving problems in the workplace.

3. Hiring the right people

Recruiting the best people for your company is difficult enough in your home country, but it can be even more complicated when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Even if the language barrier isn’t a problem, you have to know where the best places are to look for candidates, and be able to determine whether they have the experience to fit your requirements.

Goodwille understand how difficult it can be to set up business in a new country, and we can support you every step of the way. We will help you to navigate UK trading laws, take care of financial administration, find the most suitable people for your company, and more. Get in touch to see how we could assist you.

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