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 productsand to continuously improve the current ways of working. This is how we want to participate in creating a more sustainable future.

Materiality

The identification of the most material sustainability aspects helps us to prioritize our work and efforts in terms of sustainability. At Suominen, the material sustainability topics are defined according to their significance for Suominen’s business as well as stakeholders’ expectations. To make sure that Suominen’s sustainability work continues to focus on the most important sustainability topics we conducted a materiality assessment in collaboration with an independent third party in the summer of 2019.

The survey consisted of two phases, a web-based questionnaire and indepth interviews for certain stakeholder representatives. The respondents in the survey represented a wide range of stakeholders including customers, employees, shareholders, investors, suppliers and industry associations. The survey results were analyzed in Suominen’s internal workshop. As a result of our analysis, the six most material sustainability topics for Suominen were chosen. The results of the assessment serve 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 revised its sustainability agenda as part of the business strategy work. The agenda was published in January 2020. The agenda crystallizes the sustainability themes and targets for the strategy period 2020–2025. The agenda and targets were approved by the Executive team and they are monitored regularly.

The agenda focuses on four themes, People and safety, Sustainable nonwovens, Low-impact manufacturing and Corporate citizenship. For each team, measurable targets have been set and the progress will be monitored and reported regularly. We will report our progress first time in 2020 reporting.

The Sustainability Agenda has four focus areas

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The Sustainability Agenda targets

People and safety

 

Sustainable nonwovens

 

Low impact manufacturing

 

 Corporate citizenship

Zero Lost Time Accidents (LTA)

Engagement index (target to be set when index ready)

 

 

 

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

Goal 8 focuses on promoting sustainable economic growth and decent work for all, including protection of labor rights and safe and secure working environment, equal pay and elimination of any kind of forced or child labor. Suominen promotes responsible business practices throughout the value chain and does not tolerate any kind of slavery, forced or child labor or human trafficking in its own or its suppliers’ operations. Suominen promotes equal opportunities for all. Our principle is “equal pay for equal contribution”. A safe workplace is one of our top priority and we are continuously striving to improve our safety culture to achieve an accident free workplace.

 

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

Goal 12 emphasis efficient use of natural resources and responsible consumption, the main targets being efficient management of natural resources, reduction of waste generation and adoption of sustainable business practices and reporting by companies. Our goal is to use natural resources as efficiently as possible and strive for minimization of waste in our production and finding alternative outlets for non-recyclable waste. With our product offering we contribute to this goal by taking into account the whole value chain in our product design in order to decrease any negative impacts on the environment. We report our activities and progress towards our sustainability goals publicly.

 

 

SDG 13: Climate action

Goal 13 focuses on mitigating climate change and its impacts. Suominen is committed to reduce greenhouse gases from 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 carbon footprint of our products including the whole value chain and developing solutions with smaller impact on climate.

 

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 2019.