At the last Annual General Meeting Torbjörn Magnusson was elected to be part of the SwedCham HK Board. Since then he has taken up the position as Chair of the Sustainability Committee. Hence, we asked Torbjörn a few questions in order for you to get to know him better.
Starting off; who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Torbjörn Magnusson, and I am the Area Director in Asia for HL Display. HL Display is a Swedish company that helps retailers equip their stores for a better shopping experience in a sustainable way.
We aim to make retailing in general and grocery retailing specifically an experience rather than a transaction. This is actually an important mission for the future; all societies, especially after covid, needs a vibrant scene in which people gets out of their homes and offices to interact with each other. To provide physical shopping that holds an edge over online [shopping] is an integral part of getting back to socializing and interacting after Covid, instead of hunkering down at home in front of a screen!
What made you engage in SwedCham, and why is it a benefit of being a member?
Swedcham is a great platform to join ranks with other like-minded companies and individuals to help Hong Kong and China on the journey of improving sustainability by influencing both policy direction and public opinion. Swedcham is also a great networking platform and provides many engaging social activities.
My commitment to the Sustainability Committee stems from influencing policy direction, public opinion, and consumer preferences since it's the best way to motivate the necessary price premium and make it economically viable to sell sustainable services and products.
You're head of the Sustainability Committee. Can you please tell us about your engagement in the topic of sustainability and the committee?
I believe the best way to ensure sustainable development is to make it economically viable for companies to market and sell sustainable offerings. Sustainable offerings today often come at a price premium vs the less sustainable offerings (because they consume our common resources that, for the moment, are not adequately charged for). My commitment to the Sustainability Committee stems from influencing policy direction, public opinion, and consumer preferences since it's the best way to motivate the necessary price premium and make it economically viable to sell sustainable services and products. As we build scale, prices will decrease, and sustainable alternatives and solutions will be more accessible and affordable.
What sustainable initiatives are you most excited about in Hong Kong right now? Are there any?
There’s a lot more to do both in Hong Kong and in Mainland China, but I think it’s better to lift how Hong Kong can learn from mainland China on this one. Since the year 2000 Mainland China has reduced CO2 emissions per TWh by almost 40%. China is leading the way on electric vehicles, high-speed rail, electrification of public transport, gamification of eliminating single-use plastics for food deliveries, next-generation nuclear power plants etc. The pledge of carbon neutrality by Hong Kong for 2050 is noble and 10 years ahead of Mainland Chinas 2060 target, but we are yet to see the concrete roadmap to reach the goals set today.
Finally, do you have a hidden gem you like to visit when you aren't working?
For the sustainability-minded consumer, the second-hand kids' clothes store RETYKLE is really unique, then we have a secret rock pool in Wu Kai Sha, but I won't share the exact location here ...
Torbjörn Magnusson, Chair of Sustainability Committee, with his family