Business

Suominen’s business areas are Europe and Americas. In 2020, Americas business area accouted for 63% of the net sales and the Europe Business area accounted for 37% of the net sales.

Strategy 2020-2025

 

Mission

Enabling our customers to win by creating quality nonwovens

Vision

Frontrunner for nonwovens innovation and sustainability.

Strategy

We will grow by creating innovative and more sustainable nonwovens for our customers and improve our profitability through more efficient operations and a high performance culture. Our main focus is on wipes. We will strengthen our capabilities in Europe and Americas, and evaluate opportunities in Asia.

 

Suominen’s five focus areas to achieve its strategic targets:

Operational excellence

Improving our efficiency and cost consciousness across the organization

Sustainability leadership

Leveraging our pioneering fiber-based nonwovens know-how and unique assets to lead the market with sustainability

Differentiate with innovation and commercial excellence

Creating closer customer relationships and offering best in class products and services

Great place to work

Harnessing the positive energy and commitment to deliver results

Dual operating model

Optimizing our operations and improving our results by managing two different types of business, specialties and standard

Values

Our values are ownership, teamwork, performance and integrity.

Progress in strategy

 

At the beginning of 2020, we published our new strategy for the period 2020–2025 and started to implement our five strategic focus areas. The core in our strategy is sustainability, and our sustainability agenda fully supports our achievement of our targets.

Suominen’s vision is to be the frontrunner for nonwovens innovation and sustainability and our mission is to enable our customers to win by creating quality nonwovens. The main objectives of our strategy are growth and improved profitability. We pursue growth by creating innovative and more sustainable nonwovens for our customers and improve our profitability through more efficient operations and a high performance culture. Our focus is on wipes. We strengthen our capabilities in Europe and the Americas and evaluate our opportunities in Asia.

We execute our strategy through our five strategic focus areas.

Focusing on operational efficiency

In our Operational excellence focus area, we continuously improve the efficiency and quality of our operations, promote occupational health and safety of our employees and increase cost awareness throughout the organization.

Within the framework of our World Class Operations program, we continue to systematically develop our operations and enhance our performance and cost efficiency. A concrete example of our continuous improvement approach is the regular sharing of best practices between our plants to further improve our operational efficiency.

Occupational safety is a key topic for us, and we systematically strengthen our safety culture and employees’ safety awareness by taking into use the best-in-class practices, tools and systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has required even more attention to health and safety issues than normally. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have focused on safeguarding our employees’ health through extensive global and local safety measures and protocols.

Taking sustainability to the next level

The goal of our Sustainability leadership focus area is to leverage our pioneering fiber-based nonwovens know-how and our unique asset base to achieve a leading position in the sustainable nonwovens market. Many of the biggest global challenges and concerns of our time are related to environmental issues. As part of this development, the demand for sustainable nonwovens is growing globally. We are leading this market change by continuously developing new ecological products for our product offering.

During 2020, we introduced several new sustainable products made of biodegradable and renewable plant-based fibers. We are continuing our determined work to create new sustainable products and, among other things, investigate opportunities to use new renewable fibers as raw materials.

We strive to use resources efficiently and to operate with the smallest possible impacts on the environment. In 2020, we set new targets to decrease these impacts and defined action plans and timelines to reach our targets as part of our sustainability agenda. Our target is to reduce our energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste to landfill by 20% per ton of product by 2025, compared to the base year 2019.

We also renewed our Code of Conduct during 2020 and mandatory training will be arranged for all employees in 2021.

Offering leading innovations and increasing customer understanding

Through our Differentiate with innovation and commercial excellence focus area, we aim to offer best-in-class products and build closer customer relationships. Our customer-centric research and development focuses on creating sustainable products, product patterning and superior dispersibility. In 2020, the share of new products was over 25% of our net sales.

In 2020, we launched a program to further develop our sales capabilities and common processes. By strengthening our commercial excellence, we will be able to reach the full potential of our competitive advantages. We also further developed our key account management practices.

During the year, we conducted a global customer survey to strengthen our understanding of the needs of our customers to further enhance their experience.

Strengthening employee engagement

Our Great place to work focus area concentrates on harnessing the organization’s positive energy and commitment to deliver results. In 2020, we conducted a global employee engagement survey. The results will be used to create actionable development plans to further increase our employee engagement. 

We continuously develop our processes and practices to identify excellent performance and to reward for it through a pay-for-performance compensation model. In 2020, we revamped our job architecture and further improved our rewarding and performance development processes.

Optimizing our operating models

The goal of our Dual operating model focus area is to optimize our operations by introducing separate operating models for specialty and standard business. 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 2020, we defined targets and KPIs related to optimization of operating models and developed an asset strategy for all our production lines. We will continue to implement operating models which 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.