Sustainability Agenda

Sustainability means that we do things efficiently and responsibly in terms of the environment, people and the economy. All three dimensions are critical throughout our value chain, from raw material supply to end product. How we want to promote sustainable development is to innovate sustainable products and to continuously improve the current ways of working. This is how we want to participate in creating a more sustainable future.


Identification of the most material aspects of sustainability helps us to prioritize our work and efforts in this area. At Suominen, material sustainability topics are defined according to their significance to Suominen’s business and stakeholders’ expectations. A materiality assessment was conducted in 2019. The process included a stakeholder survey sent to stakeholders such as customers, employees, institutional investors, suppliers, industry associations and owners, and interviews with key stakeholders. The current business environment and key market drivers affecting the industries in which Suominen and its customers operate were also reviewed as part of the process. The topics were then assessed — on the basis of their importance to Suominen and its stakeholders — at an internal workshop involving key experts and management.  

As a result of our analysis, the six most material sustainability topics for Suominen were chosen: Eco-friendly products, health and safety, energy efficiency, waste prevention, financial stability and employee engagement. The results of the assessment served as the basis for our sustainability agenda 2020–2025. 

Material topics

  • Eco-friendly products
  • Health and safety
  • Energy efficiency
  • Waste prevention
  • Financial stability
  • Employee engagement

Sustainability Agenda 2020–2025

Suominen’s sustainability agenda was published in January 2020. The agenda crystallizes the sustainability themes and targets for the strategy period 2020–2025. The agenda was approved by the Board of Directors and progress in different areas is regularly monitored.  

The agenda focuses on four themes, People and safety, Sustainable nonwovens, Low-impact manufacturing and Corporate citizenship. 

The Sustainability Agenda has four focus areas

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Our sustainability targets and key performance indicators (KPIs)



Target for


People and
  Lost time accident    0    1 In progress
  Employee engagement index    73%    69% In progress

Sustainable nonwovens
  Number of sustainable
product launches
  Over 10 per year    9 In progress

  Sales of sustainable products   50% increase in sales*   22.5% increase
in sales*
In progress

  Coverage of renewed
Code of Conduct
  100% of existing employees
and new hires
  Code of Conduct renewed In progress   

  Supplier audits   Raw material suppliers
audited against supplier code (based on risk assessment)
  Auditing process planning ongoing In progress

Low impact manufacturing
  Energy consumption
(GJ/t of product)
  20% reduction*    8,0% reduction* In progress

  Process waste to landfill
(kg/t of product)
  20% reduction*    2,4% reduction* In progress
  Water consumption
(m3/t of product)
  20% reduction*    12,2% reduction* In progress
  Greenhouse gas emissions
(t/t of product)
  20% reduction**    14,9% reduction** In progress

*Compared to the base year 2019
**Compared to the base year 2019. Target is set for Scope 1 and 2 emissions (emissions from our own operations and purchased energy generation).




The Sustainability Agenda targets

People and safety


Sustainable nonwovens


Low impact manufacturing


 Corporate citizenship

Zero Lost Time Accidents (LTA)

Engagement index 73% by 2025




Over 10 sustainable product launches per year

Sustainable products: 50% increase of sales by 2025*



Reduction targets are set per ton of product*:

  • 20% reduction of energy consumption
  • 20% reduction of process waste to landfill
  • 20% reduction of water intake
  • 20% reduction of emitted
    greenhouse gas emissions**


Renewed Code of Conduct coverage: 100% of existing employees and new hires

Raw material suppliers audited against supplier code (based on risk assessment)

* Compared to the base year 2019
** Target is set for Scope 1 and 2 emissions (emissions from our own operations and purchased energy generation)


The agenda and the targets helps us to concentrate our sustainability work on the most material aspects. We will also continue to increase internal awareness of sustainability related topics and systematically integrate sustainability thinking into all our process.

People and safety focus area concentrates on safety and employee engagement. Our safety goal is to improve our safety culture with the long-term target to have zero lost time accidents (LTA). In order to measure and improve our employee engagement, the employee engagement survey will be conducted in 2020 to create an action plan in order to systematically develop our employee engagement and performance.

Low impact manufacturing focus area aims to decrease the environmental impacts of our own operation. We continue to focus on the most significant environmental impacts which are energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste to landfill. Each target is set for one ton of product, base year being the year 2019.

The key targets of our sustainable nonwovens focus area are to increase the sales and product launches of our sustainable offering. We have defined that our sustainable product portfolio consists of products that are made from renewable raw materials or are having recycled content.

Corporate citizenship focus area concentrates on responsible and ethical business practices in our own operations and in our value chain. Our main target is to revise our internal code of conduct and make sure that all our current employees as well as new hires have received code of conduct training and that these ethical guidelines are integrated to our operations. We also expect that our business partners comply with our Supplier Code and our goal is to develop auditing program in order to make sure that our raw material suppliers (based on risk assessment) are audited against our Supplier Code.

Suominen and the Sustainable Development Goals


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 define international sustainable development focus areas and goals. We want to do our part to promote the achievement of the goals in our value chain by increasing our positive impacts and decreasing our negative impacts. We have identified three SDG’s which covers the areas where we can make the biggest contribution and our sustainability agenda guides our work towards these goals.


SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Suominen promotes responsible business practices throughout the value chain and does not tolerate slavery, forced or child labor, or human trafficking in any form in its own or its suppliers’ operations. Suominen promotes equal opportunities for all. Our principle is “equal pay for an equal contribution”. A safe workplace is one of our top priorities, and we are continuously striving to improve our safety culture in order to achieve an accident-free workplace. 


SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

Our goal is to use natural resources as efficiently as possible and strive for minimization of waste in production, by recycling and finding alternative outlets for non-recyclable waste. With our product offering, we contribute to this goal by taking account of the entire value chain in our product design, in order to decrease any negative impacts on the environment. We publicly report our activities and progress towards our sustainability goals. 



SDG 13: Climate action

Suominen is committed to reducing the greenhouse gases emitted due to its operations, by improving its energy efficiency and finding alternative low-carbon energy sources. With our product offering, we are contributing to this goal by calculating the carbon footprint of our products and developing solutions with a smaller climate impact. 


Sustainability reporting


Suominen publishes annually its Sustainability Report as part of annual report. The purpose is to share information for our key stakeholders about Suominen’s sustainability approach and progress in sustainability. The sustainability report fulfills the requirement of Non-financial information required by Directive 2014/95/EU and the Finnish Accounting Act.

We continuously develop our sustainability reporting and strive for open, meaningful and equal stakeholder communication. Suominen reported its sustainability performance according to Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standard for the first time in 2019. Take a look at our Sustainability Report 2020.