he basis of social responsibility at Suominen is to ensure employees a fair, safe, equal and healthy work environment and to adhere to high ethical standards as described in the company’s Code of Conduct.
Suominen requires its raw material suppliers to commit to ethical conduct, full compliance with all applicable national laws and international treaties, and to respect human rights as set forth in internationally recognized standards and treaties, such as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The requirements set for suppliers are presented in Suominen’s Supplier Code of Conduct.
In 2018, Suominen spent EUR 181,051 (EUR254,167 in 2017) on personnel training. During the past years, we have had on-going training programs related to our operating system renewal and personnel training related to the ramp-up of the new production line in Bethune. Consequently, the reduction in training costs in 2018 is related to decreasing training needs within these programs rather than reduced contribution to employee training in general level.
We continued to monitor absences due to illnesses, and unfortunately our absences rate increased from the previous year, as absences amounted to 2.2% of total working hours (1.6% in 2017).
In 2018, Suominen continued to implement its professional development process covering executive management, middle management and specialists, 117 employees in total. The process consists of a biannual structured employee–manager discussion
and a self-reflective questionnaire measuring issues such as motivation, work load and career plans.
Suominen respects human and labor rights and treats all employees fairly and equally. We promote diversity and ensure equal opportunities for job applicants by following blind hiring principle in recruiting.
The blind hiring process was established in 2015 and was established in 2015 and we are utilizing these principles in new recruitments when possible, including top management. All the personal information,
such as name, gender, ethnicity and age, is masked from the recruiting manager and applicants are only assessed based on their achievements. The purpose of the blind hiring principles is to avoid any unconscious bias affecting
the recruitment process.
In 2018, Suominen continued to monitor pay equity between men and women for the fourth year in a row by analyzing the indexed salaries of all salaried employees globally, covering 287 people in total. Employees with hourly wages, approximately 419 people, were excluded from the analysis because of the comparability issues between salaried and hourly employees. As a result of pay-equity analysis, women’s salaries in Suominen were on average 80% of men’s salaries (81% in 2017). On executive management and middle management level, women’s salaries were higher than men’s, but the highest pay gap exists amongst the specialists. Our conclusion is that gender pay gaps still exist at Suominen and it is important to continue monitoring them and take corrective actions when needed.
In 2018, we continued to target zero lost-time accidents. This target was not reached, but all our safety performance indicators show positive progress. In total, four lost-time accidents (LTA) occurred at Suominen sites in 2018 (five in 2017). Four out of eight sites were able to reach the LTA target in 2018. The accident frequency rate (AFR) decreased to 3.20 in 2018 (4.06 in 2017) and the accident severity rate (ASR) decreased to 0.10 (0.15 in 2017).
The Behavior-Based Safety program kept rolling for the fifth year in the row in 2018. The program covers all the Suominen employees, both working at production sites and at office premises. The program emphasizes the individual’s own responsibility in occupational safety and focuses on influencing the attitude and motivation of individuals. The program is implemented through safety walks, where a trained employee walks through the premises identifying both safe and unsafe behaviors and conditions, and then engages in an open discussion with the employees. In 2018, the Behavior-Based safety program was complemented by virtual safety walks for non-operational employees. The focus is to help everyone to understand the importance of safe behavior and how these principles can be incorporated into daily lives of all eployees.
Safety walks training is mandatory for all new employees as part of their onboarding process. By the end of 2018, more than 25,000 safety walks were performed globally. Altogether 4,792 unsafe actions or conditions were identified that need to be rectified, resulting in more than 3,000 hours of work fully dedicated to safety walks and 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.
Suominen refrains from all unfair business practices, such as fraud, corruption and bribery. The company has a whistleblowing practice established with an external lawyer. The practice is described in Suominen’s Code of Conduct. In 2018, no suspected violations of the Code of Conduct were reported through out third-party whistleblowing channel regarding cirruption and bribery.