Summary SACC Sustainability Committee – Circular Economy Forum in Canberra 18 June

Australia has committed to progressing towards a circular economy, with a target to achieve an 80 per cent resource recovery from all waste streams by 2030. This target will only be achieved through meaningful collaborations between businesses across multiple sectors and policy makers. 

On June 18 the Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Committee organised a Circular Economy Forum in Canberra hosted by the Embassy of Sweden in Canberra. Member companies shared their circular initiatives, industry solutions and challenges followed by a discussion on potential ways to accelerate to a low-carbon circular economy and net-zero society.

HE Pontus Melander Ambassador of Sweden to Australia welcomed and opened the forum. Jo Clay MLA, ACT Greens spokesperson for Circular Economy, highlighted the ACT Government’s progressive measures that support circular economy thinking and the ACT Circular Economy Strategy and Action Plan in her keynote address.

SACC Vice President Teresia Fors, welcomed all on behalf of the SACC and SACC Sustainability Committee Chair Flavia Vaz outlined the committee’s vision and purpose to take a leadership role and be part of the conversation to advance Australia’s sustainability actions. Paul Klymenko, member of the Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group presented key findings of the CEMAG recommendations and work to provide expert advice to the Australian Government outlining strategic interventions to drive circular economy transformation forward. Linda Nordin, SACC Sustainability Committee member and Circular Economy Expert presented examples of key initiatives that Swedish companies are taking towards a circular economy.

A panel discussion on challenges and potential ways forward was led by Nicole T Garofano, Head of Circular Economy Development at Planet Ark. On the panel we had Lauren Pulitano, Volvo Group Australia, Penny George, AstraZeneca, Boris Munster, Tetra Pak Oceania, Paul Klymenko, CEMAG and Linda Nordin, SMEC.

The event offered engaging discussions on actions to accelerate to a circular economy and net-zero society through applied experiences, learnings from Europe and key principles that need to be embedded in organisations. Here are some of the key messages:

“Circular Economy must be embedded within a company’s vision.”

“For a circular economy to work, we need to make the unfamiliar, familiar.”

“It is important to get the culture and mindset right across every section of the business.”

“Can we grow while using less materials?”

“Circular Economy is about design and circularity aspects must be addressed in the design process of products and services.”

“Collaboration is needed from the beginning of the design process and circularity must be driven throughout the value chain.”

“When circular principles are integrated with the business operations and value chain, we can create complementary benefits for de-carbonisation, efficiencies, and preservation of resources.”


Flavia Vaz: SACC Sustainability Committee – Presentation of the committee and examples of circular economy initiatives.

Paul Klymenko: Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group

Linda Nordin: Key initiatives that Swedish companies are taking towards a circular economy.


The Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability Committee was set up in 2022 to bring together Swedish companies committed to the Sustainable Development Agenda through actions and contributions.

The SACC would like to thank all involved with a special thank you to the Embassy of Sweden for hosting the forum and the Sustainability Committee for brilliant content and organisation!





SACC Executive Forum 15 May at the Embassy of Sweden in Canberra

The SACC Executive Forum took place on 15 May at the Embassy of Sweden in Canberra. HE Pontus Melander Ambassador of Sweden to Australia opened the forum with a warm welcome. Martin Ekberg Country Manager at Business Sweden presented on Australia and Sweden economic relationship. We also heard from Jason Collins CEO European Australian Business Council (EABC) who gave us an indept update on the importance of a Free Trade Agreement. SACC Board Director, Penny George Corporate Affairs Director at AstraZeneca moderated the Q&A and engaging discussion following the presentations. Thank you to all participants, speakers and the Embassy of Sweden for hosting this forum.

AI Key Trends and How to Stay Competitive – Event at the Hexagon Sydney office 1 May

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) stands at the forefront of transformative trends shaping industries worldwide. The integration of AI technologies is no longer a luxury but a fundamental strategy for businesses aiming to secure their competitive edge and thrive. But what exactly are the emerging trends in AI that leaders must be aware of, and why is embracing these innovations critical for success in the digital age?

On 1 May SACC organised an event with focus on AI, key trends and how to stay competitive. We heard from event host Mattias Tidebrink SVP APAC Hexagon Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial who gave us an overview of Hexagon a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies.

Dr Sandra Peter, Director of Sydney Executive Plus and Associate Professor at the University of Sydney presented how AI has moved beyond the hype and is fundamentally transforming how businesses operate and society functions. She talked about how AI is practically applied across different sectors, unlocking new capabilities and raising new questions. “AI is developing and moving very quickly, we don’t have time to build it into our systems. Education, learning, and using AI to assist, create and explore is necessary.”

The SACC Digitalisation Committee was introduced at the event, a new forum where Swedish companies collaborate, share best practices and showcase digital technology capabilities. A discussion and Q&A followed the presentations.

Special thanks to event speakers and Hexagon for hosting!




EU-Australia Ministerial Lunch & Industry Forum – 4 April 2024, Sydney

On Thursday 4 April, the SACC and its members were invited to the European Australian Business Council’s Ministerial Corporate Lunch and Industry Forum with the European Commissioner (Minister) for Energy, Kadri Simson and Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen at the Four Seasons Sydney.

Here is a summary of the forum by SACC Member and participant Michael Luxton, President Asia Pacific at Arjo.

Forum Purpose

Commissioner Kadri Simson, European Commissioner (Minister) for Energy and Hon. Chris Bowen (MP) Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy shared their vision for enhancing EU-Australia cooperation to overcome the critical challenges and capitalise on the significant opportunities of collaboration to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Following the Ministers’ keynote speeches, an expert panel of leaders discussed Europe and Australia’s joint ambitions and capabilities for achieving energy and sustainable transition. The panel included:

  • Brett Wickham, Managing Director, ACCIONA Energy Australia
  • Professor Ross Garnaut AC, Director, ZEN Energy; Member, Net Zero Economy Agency Advisory Board
  • Stephen Forshaw, Chief Representative, Airbus Australia, New Zealand and Pacific 
  • Martin Merrick, CEO, Volvo Group Australia
  • Danny Nielsen, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Vestas Australia and New Zealand
  • Daniel Westerman, CEO, Australian Energy Market Operator

Moderated by:

  • Professor Emma Johnston AO, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), The University of Sydney
  • John Lydon, Co-Chair, Climate Leaders Coalition

Background Briefing provided by EABC Summary – EABC Simson and Bowen – 4 APR 2024

The transition to net-zero emissions by 2050 is one of the greatest challenges Australia, Europe and the global economy face. The transformation required is unprecedented in scale and complexity, underpinned by the transition of energy systems.

For Australia, it is estimated that investments totalling $1.9 trillion will be required in the energy sector alone to reach net zero by 2050. For the European Union on the other hand, an estimated €1.5 trillion of investment will be needed every year to reach its mid-century target. Investment in the energy sector alone will be required to reach €396 billion per year to achieve its 2030 targets and €670 billion per year from 2030 to 2040


Delegates included senior representatives of EABC members, and a diverse range of European and Australian stakeholders including European ambassadors, trade promotion agencies, chambers of commerce, industry associations and companies.

Main takeaways

  • Australia & the European Union are in close alignment with each other in respect to the acceleration of decarbonisation across our collective economies and moving towards a more sustainable approach to both production and consumption.
  • Minister Bowen acknowledged that the EU is already a significant investor (50-60%) in the Australian renewable energy sector. But he would be extremely happy to see this triple! And has an open door policy to any Global CEO visiting Australian willing to achieve this goal.
  • Recognition we must continue to focus on energy security with its significant influence on a countries national security. This risk was highlighted with the EU member country’s requirement to rapidly transition from a significant reliance on Russian energy to alternative sources including renewables. In some respect, this requirement has led to an acceleration of the later.
  • Energy security will be underpinned by the transition to lower cost renewables as compared to coal.
  • Australia will continue to accelerate the transition to renewables given the high cost of maintaining the current coal fired power stations and impending closures – already locked in.
  • There was a strong link to the current FTA being negotiated between Australia & the EU. Particularly with respect to the need to “increase coordination on standards and regulations that will facilitate cooperation in areas ripe for growth including renewable energy, critical minerals, decarbonisation technologies, energy efficiency and circular economy solutions and green finance, to name a few.”
  • Skills shortages will remain a significant challenge for Australia. Minister Bowen indicated, as an example, Australia has a shortage of 30,000 plus electricians required to support our renewable energy targets by 2030.
  • The FTA will also assist the skills shortage with a more efficient visa process & recognition of professional qualifications allowing people to move in and out of Australia more easily.
  • Consideration must be given to the circular economy, both with respect to full life cycle management of goods embedded with renewables e.g. EVs, but also the environmental impact in establishing renewable energy sources e.g. wind turbines. A good example was given of the reduced land clearing impact on modified trucks transporting and setting up wind turbines. And also the recycling of the wind turbines themselves into shoes?!

Comments from Industry Panel & Questions from the audience

Brett Wickham, CEO Acciona AU: Program currently in place for 300 female graduates to facilitate increased diversity in a male dominated industry.

Stephen Forshaw, CEO Airbus ANZ/Pacific: Local investment in Sustainable Aviation Fuels including a $300M investment in Jet Zero (using agricultural bi-products). Australia will require 10 Billion L of fuel annually by 2030. Investment in renewable powered planes will be much slower but is certainly in the pipeline for the next generation of planes.

Danny Nielsen, SVP Vestas ANZ: Significant investment in QLD manufacturing Wind turbine manufacturing plant.

Siemens Representative: Remarked the importance of always considering the circular economy – and not wanting to create a ‘cane toad’ effect, where the solution can be worse (for the environment) than the initial problem.

Martin Merrick, CEO Volvo Group Australia: Highlighted the significant investment in AU onshore manufacturing, the use of hydrogen powered vehicles in the future in addition to the current commitment to battery powered EVs, and mentioned 85% of their trucks can be recycled.

Prof. Ross Garnaut, Director ZEN Energy: Emphasised push back on the notion that Australia should aim for on-shore manufacturing and focus on those processes etc. that can add value to the supply chain. For example, Australia has a comparative advantage in producing goods embodying energy (low cost/low emission) and will remain in demand from North Asia & Europe.

Concluding comments on joint ambitions and capabilities for achieving energy and sustainable transition:

Martin Merrick, CEO Volvo Group Australia: Seek out the facts about climate change – if we don’t invest in transition now the future impact and cost will be huge.

Danny Nielsen, SVP Vestas ANZ: Plan for the next generations they are the ones who will live with the impact.

Daniel Westerman, CEO, Australian Energy Market Operator: Focus on the objective and plan around it.

Prof. Ross Garnaut, Director ZEN Energy: Everything that is possible today was not possible before – the impossible is possible!


The SACC thanks Michael Luxton, President Asia Pacific at Arjo, for sharing event highlights and a special thank you goes to the EABC team for inviting us to take part in this insightful and well organised event!


Summary – Ambassador of Sweden to Australia’s visit to Perth on 26 March

On the occasion of the Ambassador of Sweden to Australia HE Pontus Melander’s visit to Perth on 26 March the SACC Perth WA Chapter organised company visits to Scania and Fortescue together with delegates from SACC and the Swedish Consulate followed by a Swedish inspired dinner at Moose Restaurant in Claremont. 

Martin Melin, Head of Operations, Autonomous Mining Solutions at Scania presented good insights into their Electrification roadmap for sustainable transport system that by 2030 more than half of Scania’s new vehicle sales volume is expected to come from electrically powered vehicles. We learnt about Scania’s charging solutions as well as work around the safety of batteries used for their electric trucks was provided and the company visit was finished with a good tour around the facility where the delegates got a good overview of the electric trucks specific offering for the Australian market.



Following the Scania visit HE Pontus Melander Ambassador of Sweden to Australia and delegation visited Fortescue in Perth. During the visit, Fortescue representatives guided us through their Research and Development facility in Hazelmere where we learnt about their 240-tonne green hydrogen truck. The Fortescue green team have been designing zero emissions haul trucks. Fortescue is aiming to demonstrate that renewables can power the energy needs of Australia’s mining and resources sector, and they are continuing to develop a zero emissions locomotive to enable Fortescue to decarbonise their rail network by 2030.

The day concluded with a delightful Swedish dinner at the Moose Restaurant in Claremont.

Thank you to everyone involved in the organisation of a successful visit!

Martin Melin, Scania

Ross Lemmon, Fortescue

Lisa Jahrsten, Honorary Consul of Sweden and SACC Perth WA Chapter Board

Joseph Olsson, Sandvik and SACC Perth WA Chapter Board Chair

Pia Nilsson CWG Project Services and SACC Perth WA Chapter Board

Jonas Edner, Moose Café and Restaurant Claremont and SACC Perth WA Chapter Board


Summary – Circular Economy Workshop in Brisbane 12 March

On 12 March the SACC Brisbane Chapter together with the SACC Sustainability Committee organised an insightful Circular Economy Workshop at the Sandvik office.

The event started with a welcome from Sandvik Australia Managing Director Wayne Scrivens and an intro from Teresia Fors, SACC Vice President and Chair SACC QLD Chapter. Dr Nicole T Garofano, Head of Circular Economy Development Planet Ark Environmental Foundation gave us an introduction to Circular Economy for businesses followed by a workshop, led by Circular Economy Specialist Linda Nordin, on how to transition your business models from linear to circular and how this aligns with the upcoming ISO standard for CE.

After the workshop there was a thought-provoking panel discussion, featuring below panellists, who shared key initiatives, opportunities and challenges switching to circular today; Dr Nicole T Garofano, Catherine Hill, Senior Investment Advisor for Circular Economy – Europe Desk at Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)Lauren Pulitano, Vice President of Public Affairs at Volvo Group Australia and Brittany Wappett, Sustainability Advisor at Sandvik.

The event concluded with a brief presentation of the SACC Sustainability Committee, its members and focus here in Australia by SACC General Manager, Camilla Jennings.

A big thank you to all involved in this engaging event! Special thank you to Sandvik for hosting us at their central office in Brisbane!

#SACCevent #circulareconomy #circularity #businessnetworking #sustainability #brisbane #businessevent






 The annual Nordic Open Golf Day 2024 took place on 1 March at Moore Park Golf in Sydney. What a day we had with 19 teams, 76 players and an extra 22 participants celebrating with us in Nordic spirit at the post golf lunch and networking event.

The Nordic Open Golf Day has become a popular and sold out event within the Nordic and Estonian business community. A great day out with fantastic networking opportunities in a relaxed setting, but the competition for the trophy was still on!

Female and male players, at all levels, take part in a mix of corporate and individual teams. The game is Ambrose, meaning each player hits from the tee-off and then chooses the best ball and continues from there with every player again hitting from this spot. The combined strokes are then counted for each team minus the team handicap to calculate the overall Ambrose score. Via the Moore Park Golf app players could follow the interactive scorecards and live leader board, which added to the comp.

The Nordic Open Golf Day 2024 Trophy winner for the second year in a row was Sweden with corporate team EQT Partners, with Sam Franklin, Ryan Ter, Paul Gately and Jerry Yin. The runner up prize was also awarded to a Swedish team with Christer Engström, Carl Broström, Rickard Wärnelid and Mattias Friberg. In third place, we had Treotham mixed team with Mikael Paltoft, Daniel Hallgren, Johan Hempel and Erik Södergren. The 4th team in the comp was secured by corporate team Husqvarna with Michael Cary, Andrew Murison, Craig McQueen and Ken Ward.

Congratulations to the overall comp winners!

The Individual prizes female and male for Nearest to Pin sponsored by GolfSpace were won by Jinny Park, Volvo Car Australia and Christer Engström, Advancy.

Longest Drive female winner was Marika Kompus, Aero Travel and the male winner was Joona Puhakka, Coredo Group. Both won a robotic Husqvarna mower.

All players had a chance to win a brand new Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, with a hole-in-one on hole 10. Again this year no players were lucky or skilled to hit the hole-in-one, but we introduced a new prize this year to the closest to HiO. The closest to HiO winner was Rob Lord, WIlh Wilhelmsen Investments, who won a Sydney hotel weekend stay for two sponsored by The Fullerton Hotel Sydney.

Congrats all, fantastic effort!

The on time award sponsored by Galvin Watch Company went to Andrew Murison from team Husqvarna. A Kopparberg Rosé Cider was handed out to everyone who hit the green on hole 15 and the lucky door prize winner received a bottle of Aquavit sponsored by Nordic Selection.

During the day we also ran the Nordic Putting Competition, which took place in front of the club house throughout the day for golfers and lunch only participants. The winner of the 2024 Putting comp was Rickard Wärnelid, Mazars. Runner up was Magnus Perry from SighUp Software.

Well done to all who took part in the Nordic Putting comp!

Special Guests at this year’s Nordic Open Golf Day were Per Linnér, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of Sweden Canberra and Erik Svedahl, Deputy Head of Mission Royal Norwegian Embassy Canberra, who both in their speeches highlighted the importance of the Nordic collaboration and what a great joint effort this event resulted in. The Nordic and Estonian Chambers especially thank Per Linnér and Erik Swedahl for taking part in the Nordic Open Golf Day 2024.

Danish Connect was represented by David McLellan and Rikke Gamborg, Joona Puhakka represented FACC, EACCI by Marianna Jolla, NACC by Sophia Demetriades Toftdahl and SACC by Camilla Jennings. Thank you to all chamber representatives and volunteers for your support and contribution to making this event happen!

Big thank you to all participants and the Nordic and Estonian Chambers for kicking off this event for the 8th year and to Moore Park Golf Club for hosting this annual event.

We look forward to next year’s Nordic Open Golf Day, which is planned to be held on the first Friday in March 2025. We welcome new event ideas, feedback and if you would like to get involved please contact us:

Read the event summary with images here

Thank you to all Corporate Sponsors & Event and Prize Sponsors!



Swedish Chambers APAC Virtual CEO Talk 28 February – Helena Hedblom President and CEO of Epiroc Group


In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, transforming a traditional heavy industrial company into a fast-paced technology-driven entity requires a bold approach that encompasses strategic acquisitions, effective change management, and the cultivation of a dynamic corporate culture.

We were delighted to welcome Helena Hedblom, President and CEO of Epiroc Group, as our guest at the Swedish Chambers APAC CEO Talk on 28 February. Ms Hedblom talked about the transformation journey of Eprioc and how to move a heavy industrial company to become more of a fast-paced technology company. The success lies in the strategic blend of acquisitions, change management, and cultural evolution. By embracing innovation at every level and fostering a dynamic organisational culture, companies can position themselves at the forefront of technological progress, ensuring long-term sustainability and competitiveness in the global market.

The discussion was facilitated by Petra Andrén, who is an innovation leader, experienced board member, accomplished investor, and business builder with a track record spanning over 25 years in international markets and advanced technology sectors.

View the recording of the event here

View presentation slides here


Helena Hedblom, President and CEO of Epiroc AB

Current positions
• President and CEO of Epiroc AB
• Member of the Board of Stora Enso Oy and Wallenberg Investments AB, and member of the Royal
Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences

Previous positions
• Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure and a member of Epiroc Group
• President of the Mining and Rock Excavation business area, Atlas Copco
• President of the Rock Drilling Tools division, Atlas Copco

• M.Sc. in Material Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Epiroc AB is a Swedish manufacturer of mining and infrastructure equipment. It is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and has manufacturing facilities in Sweden, the United States, Canada, Australia, China, India, Japan, and Germany. Epiroc’s history began in 1873 when the company – then called Atlas – was founded in Stockholm, Sweden. Epiroc and Atlas Copco shared their history until June 18, 2018, when Epiroc was distributed to Atlas Copco’s shareholders and became a stand-alone listed company. In December 2022, the company had 16,999 employees and a revenue of 49,604 MSEK.


Petra Andrén

Petra is an innovation leader, experienced board member, accomplished investor, and business builder with a track record spanning over 25 years in international markets and advanced technology sectors. Her diverse skill set has been honed through CEO and executive roles in global corporations, commercialisation, venture capital, and government. In her most recent role, Petra led the NSW government’s initiatives on Innovation Districts, strategically fostering collaboration to drive innovation. Prior to this, she played a pivotal role in identifying and managing early-stage health and tech investments for Minderoo & Tattarang, Australia’s largest private investment group. Preceding these roles, Petra served as the CEO and creator of Cicada Innovations, where her visionary leadership earned global acclaim in 2018 when Cicada was recognized as the “Best Incubator in the World” by inBIA, thanks to innovative models for commercialization and seed investment. Beyond her professional roles, Petra is an angel investor, a dedicated startup business mentor, a frequent conference speaker, and an educator teaching entrepreneurship and innovation at Australia’s leading universities.

Previous guests at Swedish Chambers APAC CEO Series:

Micael Johansson, President & CEO Saab Group

Göran Björkman, President & CEO, Alleima

Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group

Mats Ramström, President & CEO, Atlas Copco Group

Christian Levin, President & CEO, Scania Group

Jonas Samuelson, CEO, Electrolux AB

SACC Sydney After Work 15 Feb 2024

On Thursday 15 February, the SACC and YP Sydney, organised their first After Work Networking event for the year.

We are introducing regular After Work networking in Sydney and the first one took place 15 February at the Inna Lounge at The Republic Hotel, Lv 1, 69-73 Pitt St, Sydney. This was an informal catch up with about 35 people attending.

Look out for the next AW – A great opportunity to build connections and meet fellow members and friends from the Swedish-Australian business network!

SACC Sydney 

SACC Melbourne After Work 7 Feb 2024

On Friday 7 February, the Melbourne Chapter of SACC, organised their first After Work Networking event for the year.

We are introducing regular After Work networking in Melbourne and the first one took place 7 February at the Morris House Rooftop: Melbourne CBD’s Newest Rooftop Bar. This was an informal catch up with about 25 people attending.

Look out for the next AW – A great opportunity to build connections and meet fellow members and friends from the Swedish-Australian business network!

SACC Melbourne Chapter