Social responsibility

The 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 2017, Suominen spent EUR 254,167 (EUR 316,382 in 2016) on personnel training. The reduction in costs reflects the completion of major training programs, such as training related to the construction and start-up of the new manufacturing line at the Bethune plant.

Absences due to illness continued to decline for the fifth year in a row and amounted to 1.6% of total working hours (1.8% in 2016).

Suominen’s global professional development process measures motivation, work load and career plans of its executive management, middle management and specialists, among other things. The process consists of a self-reflective questionnaire containing statements and open questions, and also of a structured employee-manager discussion. As an example, employees were asked to rate their devotion to achieving results on a scale of 1 (Rarely, seldom) to 4 (Consistently, always). In 2017, the average value calculated of all responses to the statement was 3.52, slightly down from 3.59 in 2016. The process covered 114 employees in total.

Equal opportunities

Suominen respects human and labor rights and treats all employees fairly and equally. We do not tolerate any kind of discrimination and we are committed to the principle of equal pay for equal contribution. In addition, we follow the blind hiring principle in our recruiting to promote diversity and to ensure equal opportunities. In the blind hiring process, the hiring manager will receive and assess candidates’ applications and resumes without any personal data on them. The masked data includes, for example, the applicant’s full name, gender, ethnicity and age. This minimizes the possibility of unconscious biases affecting the recruitment process.

In 2017, Suominen continued to monitor pay equity between men and women for the third year in a row by analyzing the indexed salaries of all salaried employees globally, i.e. some 280 people in total. Employees with hourly wages, approximately 390 people, were excluded from the analysis because of the comparability issues between salaried and hourly employees. Based on the pay equity analysis, on average, women’s salaries at Suominen were 81% of men’s salaries. Due to the relatively small size of the target groups in the pay equity analysis, organizational changes and exchange rate fluctuations may have a disproportional impact on the results of the analysis.

We concluded that, on average, the overall pay equity is not optimal and gender pay gaps still exist at Suominen. This is caused by a structural imbalance, i.e. women and men not being equally represented in all jobs 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 Male  Female
Executive management 266 213
Middle management 99 97
Specialists 57 49
Total 110 90

Suominen reports on the CEO pay ratio for the second year in a row for transparent remuneration. In practice, the ratio is a comparison between the salary of the President & CEO and the average salary of salaried employees. In 2017, the CEO pay ratio at Suominen was 6.02 (7.66 in 2016). Further information on compensation at Suominen can be found in the Remuneration Statement, starting from page 46 in this Annual Report.

22% of Suominen’s total workforce, i.e. 663 employees at the end of the year, were women (22% in 2016) and 78% were men (78% in 2016). Of the 114 employees included in the Suominen Variable Remuneration System (a global short-term incentive plan for specialists, middle management and executive management), 38.6% were women and 61.4% were men. Of Suominen’s top management, the Corporate Executive Team, 25% were women (28.6% in 2016) and 75% were men (71.4% in 2016).

96% of Suominen’s total workforce were permanent employees (94% in 2016) and 4% had fixed-term contracts (6% in 2016). 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.

60% of Suominen’s total workforce are hourly (63% in 2016) and 40% salaried employees (37% in 2016). Hourly employees are typically production line operators and other production workers, and salaried employees include specialists, middle management and executive management.


Suominen continued to target zero losttime accidents in 2017. In total, five losttime accidents (LTA) occurred at Suominen sites in 2017 (10 in 2016, restated). Five of eight sites were able to reach the zero LTA target in 2017. The Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) decreased to 4.06 in 2017 (9.18 in 2016, restated) and the accident severity rate (ASR) decreased to 0.15 (0.34 in 2016). While every single accident is to be avoided, the safety indicators developed favorably in 2017 thanks to the continuous efforts made to build and sustain strong safety culture at Suominen.

The Behavior-Based Safety program kept rolling for the fourth year in 2017. 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. In 2017, the concept of safety walks was extended to be applied also in office environments.

At the end of 2017, 99% of Suominen employees had attended Safety Walk training. The 1% having not attended a training consists mainly of new employees, who are required to attend the Safety Walk training as part of their onboarding process. During 2017, a total of nearly 25,000 safety walks took place at Suominen’s locations, allowing us to identify more than 4,500 unsafe actions and unsafe conditions that need to be rectified. That amounts to almost 3,000 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 preventive measures, influencing attitudes, behaviors and operating models and on building a culture of work safety. Safety monitoring is part of the daily activities of our production plants.

Anti-corruption and bribery

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 2017, zero contacts were made through the whistleblowing system regarding suspected violations of the Code of Conduct.