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Monthly Archives: May 2020

Equinor donate USD 500,000 to Norwegian Refugee Council and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

Now, more than ever, safety and caring for people comes first. In Equinor, health and safety are always our top priority—but the magnitude of the corona crisis calls for a broader contribution. That’s why we’re announcing donations of USD 500,000 each to Norwegian Refugee Council and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization powered by Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and UN Foundation.

A number of our employees are working from home offices at present, but certain tasks are more difficult than others to carry out there. So when you can't use a geology lab onsite at the office, what about bringing the geology lab home? 📲 Our proprietary "Rock'n Log" tool makes it possible for our geologists to study Johan Sverdrup subsurface core samples from the safety of their living rooms and kitchens. “How cool is that? This gives us enormous opportunities 🤩,” says Elisabeth Bratli, who uses the technology in her workday.



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COVID-19 update from Norwegian Companies in Australia


An update on the current situation from a few Norwegian companies in Australia

May 2020


This report provides information about eight different companies. Ekornes, Viking Cruises, Nordic Bev, 50 Degrees North, Handelsbanken, Tieto, DNV Global and Q-Free are all members of Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce

(NACC). You can read about what the companies do and how they are doing now. Some of the companies have interesting resources, and ongoing campaigns we would like to share. Covid-19 has forced many businesses to make big changes. You can read about how NACC´s members are dealing with the current situation in this Covid-19 update.




Ekornes is Europe’s biggest furniture producer. The company is best known for its famous brand Stressless, which is sold in over 40 countries, and in several Australian furniture shops like David Jones and Easy Living. They think that a great idea can come from anywhere, and encourage their employees to be a part of a company that creates.


Ekornes is a company that cares for the environment. They are experts in reuse of materials, and always avoid using extra resources. Nothing goes to waste in their production process, and left overs from sofas and chairs are sold to other businesses who creates smaller products.


The business is currently applying to become a member of the Leather Working Group (LWG) to promote improvement in the leather manufacturing industry by creating alignment on environmental priorities (Ekornes, 2020)


They also have a summer intern program, which is a great opportunity for young people to become a part of a big brand. This is advertised on Ekornes Facebook page.


Covid-19 update:

  • The Stressless team are helping healthcare workers globally as a way of saying thankyou. The sewing department in Norway and America has turned their skills to producing reusable facemasks to be used in hospitals. As long as there is a demand, the team will continue to do what they can to help.
  • Working from home special offer, 25% off the luxury office collection.



Viking cruises


Viking Cruises is a cruise line, voted the world´s best. Since founded in 1997, they have expanded massively, and are introducing new cruises regularly. On their webpage you can even do a virtual tour of all their cruises.


In 2022 they are launching expedition journeys to arctic and Antarctica, as well as North America´s great lakes. The cruise line also recently introduced Viking Mississippi 2022-2023.  Viking cruises continues to introduce new destinations, and is a growing company.


Viking Cruises recently partnered with TED, a non-profit organisation devoted to spreading bold new ideas and sparking conversation. Ted talks are now screened on board Viking Cruises.


Covid-19 update:


  • The business has temporarily suspended all cruise operations until May 1. 2020. Viking Cruises is offering full refunds for bookings or a 125% voucher for a future cruise.



Nordic Bev


Nordic Bev is a small Norwegian business making gins, aquavit, beers, ciders and other drinks. The business is most famous for its Harahorn gin, which was recently awarded number 5 spirit in the world by London Spirits Competition 2020. Nordic Bev´s Harahorn gin has been spotted in several bars and restaurants in Hong Kong, and it is a business with great growth potential.


The gin is the best selling premium gin in Norway, and the company´s vision is to start the fairy tail in the rest of the world, and open minds to Harahorn gin and other drinks.


The company has a sustainable way to harvest. Their secret and most important ingredient is called einebær and is a berry that grows high up in the Norwegian mountains. It takes 2 years to grow, and gives the spirits a powerful taste.


Covid-19 update: Operating as per usual with online sales.



50 degrees north


50 Degrees North is a company passionate about their own home – the Nordic region. They want people to have an authentic experience that creates life long memories. The company has offices in Norway, Canada and Australia. Lapland tour and a tour of the Norwegian fjords 2020 are the newest tours introduced in 2020.


The business is active on social media, and while people cannot travel, they want to spread positivity and the Norwegian Term “hygge”. This term is about creating cosy and peaceful environments, and the business is encouraging people to spread hygge in these uncertain times.


They want people to have something to look forward to, and just opened up for family Christmas holidays 2021 bookings.


Covid-19 update:


  • 50 Degrees North is not planning travels at the moment, but will open for bookings again in September 2020.





Handelsbanken is the only Nordic bank with presence in Australia. The company has more than 12.000 employees, where 40% are employed outside Sweden. They are also proud to announce that at the moment 40% of all their managers are women. The bank wants to be a sustainable business, and focuses on strong, long lasting business relationships, low risk taking and cost awareness.


Looking at the summary for Q1 2020, the operating profit went down by 10%. This was expected because of Covid-19. What they also announced in the report is that their costumer satisfaction was shown to be an index of 72.6 compared to the average of 65.6.


Covid-19 update:


  • Handelsbanken recently invested SEK 220 million in Covid-19 response bond, and want to contribute to easing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • All services are available as usual.
  • Handelsbanken offers temporary financial support for individuals who are impacted by the coronavirus.




Q-Free is a global supplier of class-leading Tolling, Parking, Traffic Management and Connected ITS (C-ITS)/Connected Vehicle solutions. The company is working to maintain and improve the flow in an increasingly complex traffic environment


In the first quarter of 2020 Q-Free reported a 10% drop in revenues. This quarter was negatively impacted by delayed purchase orders deliveries in the Traffic Management segment. The company is 6% up from previous quarter.


Covid-19 update:


  • Q-Free has taken the necessary action across its different offices to ensure that colleagues, clients and the public in general are kept safe. Most colleagues are working form home in countries where this is required.
  • Business continues as usual while respecting the instructions outlined by authorities.



DNV Global


DNV GL is an independent expert in risk management and quality assurance. The company provides customers with facts and reliable insights so that critical decisions can be made with confidence. DNV GL´s purpose is to safeguard life, property and the environment.


The business focuses on being safer, smarter and greener, and signed the United Nation´s nine sustainable ocean principles earlier this year. By doing this DNV GL has committed to providing both customers with expertise on how to manage risks while safely exploring further, and setting the standard for future generations.

Covid-19 update:


  • Business continues.
  • DNV GL´s employees have limited their business travel to essential only since early March, and are continuing to support customers virtually wherever possible.
  • The business has increased focus on providing remote surveys and audits, online support and training, and continued communication with key contacts at DNV GL.





Tieto creates digital advantage for businesses and society, and has a global team of 15 000 employees in almost 20 countries. The company foster an open source culture that promotes respect for every individual, openness, good teamwork, diversity and equal opportunities.


Tieto aims to minimise their environmental impact along their value chain. The company´s overall goal is to reduce the global CO2 emissions of their indirect energy consumption by 50% by 2020.

Covid-19 update:


  • Tieto has taken strict measures to mitigate the potential financial impact of Covid-19 pandemic to ensure health and safety of employees and ensure critical services to customers.
  • Current guidance, according to which Tieto expects its comparable full-year adjusted operating profit (EBIT) to increase from the previous year´s level, is withdrawn.



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COVID-19 Drives Positive Outcomes for Stentofon

Stentofon, one of our Business Members, is experiencing some impressive and unprecedented positive effects from COVID-19: an incredible influx in inquiries for its Australian operation focused on Waste Sites Resource Recovery and sites with Track Gate, to name a few.

Here are some of the sentiments currently being expressed by Stentofon’s customers which they shared with us:

  • Clients don’t want people getting out of cars and talking to staff face-to-face so Stentofon solved that thanks to their Norwegian Noise Cancelling Intercoms allowing drivers and passengers to remain in the car with their engines still running
  • Since Intercom buttons are a place for COVID-19 transfer, Stentofon solved this customer issue by using its technology so that a Control Room can initiate a call to the driver, providing a hands-free reply
  • As clients did not want people passing things back and forth – Stentofon’s technology has enabled conversations to take place remotely, allowing appropriate dockets to be printed and issued allowing drivers and staff to carry on their work in a safe and hygienic manner

While Stentofon’s technology has existed for years, with its initial deployment in the Norwegian North Sea, it is uplifting to now see it helping Australian businesses and Australian families stay safe and keep working!

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Covid-19: How SEARCHER SEISMIC Reaps Unexpected Benefits and Positive Outcomes

Our Business member, Perth based Searcher Seismic, a geoscience data and technology enabling company in the exploration, geology, petroleum and gas sectors  – and its sister companies Finder Energy, Theia Energy (clean oil fuelling + Great Sandy Dessert Project) and Discover Geoscience (Petroleum Subsurface Consultancy) – like many organisations, have now moved its workforce on to a reduced working schedule and remotely for the first time. This has largely been in response to their clients: major oil companies slashing and reducing their budgets left right and centre.

But as Searcher Seismic’s Founder and Managing Director, Odd Arne Larsen, has observed together with his co-owner Jan Ostby, not only are they learning a lot from the impact COVID‐19 is having on their business so far but also on how their staff and oil companies are rapidly adapting to a new way of working remotely which has resulted in some interesting outcomes for them all.

Some of our senior geo’s believed you had to always go to the office to put in a day of honest work. However after a short period of time they find themselves enjoying the flexibility working from home can give. Staff with small children, especially with schools being closed during the main COVID-19 outbreak, are finding working from home more challenging. However, we are seeing some of these staff now coming back and telling us that with schools opening they would like to be working more from home in the future when things return to normal.

Odd and Jan have also been surprised how fast the oil companies and contractors responded to the changed work environment. Pre the COVID-19 pandemic, you had to meet face-to-face to discuss or negotiate your business. This was the case especially if several technical advisors or managers were involved in the process. The COVID-19 measures have demonstrated that productive meetings can be held remotely via video conferencing which is more time efficient and less costly.  However, it is noted that there will always be the need to meet in person, albeit maybe not that often anymore?

Before the pandemic there was an expectation that if you cared about your business relationships you had to travel, even long distances, to meet with clients and project partners. The COVID-19 measures have reset these expectations and highlighted the effectiveness of video conferencing which will provide efficiency and effective benefits in the future.

This pandemic has forced business to deal with technical challenges associated with video conferencing facilities and be more familiar with the various technologies to be able to participate across the different video conferences applications.

For those members and companies who are targeting and working in the sectors that Odd and Jan’s  companies specialises in, check out their interest publications and resources which provide sector insights and updates on how its technology and technical know‐how are leading the way to unlocking further commercial potential and outcomes. The Searcher Seismic, Finder Energy or Discover Geoscience websites being the central communications hub allowing the oil companies  to browse extensive data libraries, evaluating farming opportunities or looking for subsurface consultancy support. You will also find their technical papers plus being informed on their latest and most recent news and developments. And if you make contact with Odd or Jan you may even get some tips on working remotely!

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