Our mission is to enable our customers to win by creating quality nonwovens. The objectives of our strategy are growth and improved profitability through sustainability, customer focus and efficiency.
Our vision is to be the frontrunner for nonwovens innovation and sustainability. Our focus is on wipes. We strengthen our capabilities in Europe and the Americas and evaluate opportunities in Asia. We execute our strategy through our five strategic focus areas.
Progress in Strategy
We continuously improve the efficiency and quality of our operations, promote the occupational health and safety of our employees, and increase cost awareness throughout the organization.
Safety is a top priority for us, and we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has required special attention to health and safety issues. When the pandemic started, we implemented several safety and other precautionary measures which remained active in 2021. We believe a strong safety culture is created through an open and continuous dialogue and we want to make Suominen even safer by strengthening our employees’ safety awareness.
We continue to work on our efficiency and performance by systematically developing our processes and operations. We have launched several efficiency initiatives and actively share best practices between our sites to drive improvement in this area.
We leverage our pioneering fiber-based nonwovens know-how and our unique asset base to achieve a leading position in the sustainable nonwovens market.
The requirements for more sustainable products have increased rapidly, with customers’ growing interest towards more sustainable choices and legislation as the main drivers. We are leading the market change by actively developing new products to meet the growing demand. During 2021, we launched 16 sustainable products. These nonwovens are made of biodegradable, recycled, compostable and/or renewable plantbased fibers. We are also constantly researching new potential fibers such as nettle, hemp, and regenerated cellulose in our New Fiber Center.
Our target is to use resources efficiently and to operate with the smallest possible impacts on the environment. We have set concrete reduction targets for four environmental impact KPIs in own operations: greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water consumption and waste to landfill.
In 2021, we progressed well in all these areas. For example, as part of our work to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we made the decision to shift entirely to fossilfree electricity in all our European sites. We monitor our progress regularly and are always seeking new ways to further improve our operations.
We launched our renewed Code of Conduct in the beginning of 2021, and a mandatory training about the Code was arranged to all employees.
Differentiate with innovation and commercial excellence
We offer best-in-class products and build close relationships with our customers. Our versatile and experienced R&D team together with our pilot line capabilities enable our industry leading product development. A close collaboration with customers plays an important role in our R&D strategy.
During the year, we held innovation and sustainability workshops with many of our customers to understand their needs even better. The share of new products of our net sales reflects our strong ability to innovate and meet the market needs – in 2021, the share of new products was over 25% of our net sales.
We continued our sales training program in 2021 aiming to further strengthen our commercial excellence in order to reach the full potential of our competitive advantages.
Great place to work
We harness the organization’s positive energy and commitment to deliver results. We are systematically developing employee engagement and implementing targeted actions based on our Vibe employee engagement survey. In 2021, we conducted the survey for the second consecutive year. The results identified good progress in topics that were chosen as areas of development based on the previous survey. We will continue to build on our strengths and focus on improvement possibilities.
We are further developing our processes and practices to drive excellent performance and to reward for it through a pay-for-performance compensation model. In 2021, we implemented renewed performance development process and launched a competency framework to systematically support our employees in their professional development.
Dual operating model
We optimize our operations through separate operating models for our standard and specialty products. We allocate standard products into the production lines that are best suited for them, while making specialty products on smaller and more flexible production lines.
In 2021, we defined target portfolios for each production line to optimize the way we drive the lines and developed metrics to follow the asset optimization efforts. We will continue to implement operating models that will enable us to deliver higher volume standard products with improved cost efficiency and at the same time address the more diverse customer needs concerning specialty products often produced in lower volumes.