Social responsibility

The basis of social responsibility at Suominen is to ensure employees a fair, safe, equal, and healthy work environment. This is a self-evident part of our sustainability strategy, which states that we focus on operating sustainably across the company.

Successfully executing the business strategy requires the determined development of employees’ capabilities and promoting motivation. In 2016, Suominen spent EUR 316,382 (EUR 122,902) on personnel training. The significant increase in personnel training costs was a result of investing in the training needs of Suominen’s major process and ICT system renewal project, the production line investment in Bethune and training supporting strategy implementation, e.g. project management and commercial skills.

We were pleased to see that the declining trend in employee absences due to illness continued in 2016, as absences amounted to 1.8% of total working hours (2.2% in 2015).

In 2016, Suominen started to monitor more closely the work-life balance of its executive management, middle management and specialists, 111 employees in total, as part of personal development reviews. Work-life balance was measured with six claims related to the employees’ own views on their work-life balance and stress management, but also to the views of their family members and friends.

Employees answered each claim on a scale of 1 (Fully disagree) to 4 (Fully agree). The average value calculated on all six answers of all employees was 2.95, which equals Good. Suominen will continue to monitor the work-life balance of its employees also in the future.


Equal opportunities

Having a fair place to work with equal opportunities for all means that Suominen respects human and labor rights and treats all employees equally. We do not tolerate any kind of discrimination and we are committed to the equal pay for equal contribution principle. In addition, we follow the blind hiring principle in our recruiting.

In 2016, Suominen continued to monitor pay equity between men and women by analyzing the indexed salaries of all salaried employees globally, i.e. some 290 people in total. The analysis was conducted for the first time in 2015, and the 2016 analysis was identical in its approach. Employees with hourly wages were excluded from the analysis because of the comparability issues between salaried and hourly employees.

Salaries at Suominen did not change markedly during 2016. Due to the relatively small size of the target groups in the analysis, organizational changes and exchange rate fluctuations may have a disproportional impact on the results of the analysis. We concluded that the overall pay equity continued to be fairly good.

Gender pay gaps still exist at Suominen, but they are caused by a structural imbalance, i.e. women and men not being equally represented in all functions and on all organizational levels, rather than men and women being paid unequally for the same work. Suominen will continue to monitor the gender pay gaps and is committed to taking corrective measures whenever necessary.

Average salary, indexed at 100

  Male Female
Executive management 419 462
Middle management 157 148
Specialists 86 70
Total 108 92

To further increase the transparency of its remuneration, Suominen has begun reporting on the CEO pay ratio, that is, a comparison between the salary of the President & CEO and the average salary of salaried employees. In 2016, the CEO pay ratio at Suominen was 7.66.

Further information on compensation at Suominen can be found in the Remuneration Statement.

22% of Suominen’s total workforce, i.e. 646 employees, were women and 78% were men. Of the 110 employees included in the Suominen Variable Remuneration System, 39% were women and 61% were men. The Suominen Variable Remuneration System is a global short-term incentive plan that rewards specialists, middle management and executive management if targets set for both personal and organizational performance are met. Of Suominen’s top management, the Corporate Executive Team, 29% were women and 71% were men.

94% of Suominen’s total workforce were permanent employees and 6% had fixed-term contracts. Suominen’s employees in the USA are employed in a so-called at-will employment relationship and, in this statistic, are included in the permanent employee figure.

63% of Suominen’s total workforce are hourly employees and 36% are salaried employees. Hourly employees are typically production line operators and other production workers, and salaried employees include specialists, middle management and executive management.


Zero lost-time accidents continued to be Suominen’s target also in 2016. After a disappointing 2015, we managed to improve all three safety rates.

In total, eight lost-time accidents (LTA) occurred at Suominen sites in 2016 (nine in 2015). The Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) decreased to 7.34 in 2016 (8.29 in 2015) and the accident severity rate (ASR) also decreased slightly to 0.34 (0.37).

The Behavior-Based Safety program kept rolling for the third year in 2016. The program emphasizes the individual’s responsibility in safety and is implemented through safety walks. In a safety walk, a trained employee walks through the plant premises, identifying both safe and unsafe behaviors and conditions, and then engages in an open discussion with the employees.

During 2016, a total of nearly 17,000 safety walks took place at Suominen’s production plants, allowing us to identify more than 3,700 unsafe actions and unsafe conditions that need to be rectified. That amounts to more than 2,400 hours of work fully dedicated to improving occupational safety.

Suominen develops occupational safety according to the principle of continuous improvement and constantly shares the best practices of individual plants to benefit the entire plant network. In improving safety, Suominen places particular emphasis on influencing attitudes, behavior and operating models and on building a culture of work safety. Safety monitoring is part of the daily activities of our production plants.