The core principle in sustainable development is to secure good living conditions for the present and future generations. It is about thinking in the long term and understanding that the resources of our planet are limited. To help achieve this, Metsä Group has set strategic sustainability objectives spanning until 2030.
Companies are important actors in achieving sustainability and that is why it is essential to understand the impacts of our operations. Metsä Group’s purpose is to advance the bioeconomy and circular economy by efficiently processing northern wood into first-class products. Our eight strategic sustainability objectives are aligned with this purpose. They are based on our desire to mitigate climate change, while safeguarding biodiversity in forest habitats and ensuring safety and inclusiveness in our own corporate culture. These long-term objectives ensure that we as a company create sustainable value for our business partners.
Despite the exceptional year, a lot happened in 2020, and I would like to share a few highlights.
In 2020 we
• proceeded with major mill projects. The decision to construct a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, beginning construction of the world’s most modern sawmill in Rauma, and deciding to start renewing the Husum pulp mill all support our transition to fossil free mills and otherwise support improving resource efficiency.
• launched a new ecological sustainability programme concerning forest habitats. It aims particularly at strengthening forest growth and carbon storage, the protection of biodiversity in forest nature, and the enhancement of water protection in forest management.
• conducted our first ever internal "ethics barometer". The aim was to better understand how our staff perceives our corporate culture and, after analysing its results, also design measures to improve. A key action was to launch a programme to promote diversity, equality, and inclusiveness at the workplace. The intention is to repeat the barometer every two years.
• renewed our Supplier Code of Conduct. It is important for us that our suppliers act at the same standards of sustainability as we do. For this, dialogue and mutual understanding is needed. The renewed Supplier Code of Conduct allows for this even better than before
Metsä Group's parent company is a cooperative, owned by around 100,000 forest owners. This ownership base inherently values long-term thinking - a cornerstone of sustainability. To meet our commitments and objectives, we continuously develop our operations and processes further and encourage our personnel and stakeholders to raise concerns and ask questions. Sustainability should be at the core of the business to have a true impact.