ESG targets in Metsä Fibre’s daily operations: Part S – Appropriate operating methods improve wellbeing and safety at work

Metsä Fibre’s social sustainability targets include operating ethically as well as promoting wellbeing and safety at work.
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  • 2023, Sustainability

Metsä Group’s vision – Metsä For All – specifies the focal areas and targets of development related to social sustainability by providing a company-level definition of what the future workplace should be like. Among the key principles are equality and gender equity, diversity and inclusion.

The culture of ethical behaviour is promoted by providing training across the Group and measured with our ethics barometer survey conducted every two years. The extensive survey of all employees helps determine how the Code of Conduct is implemented in practice. The responses help us address concerns and further develop our operations.

The results of the latest ethics barometer, conducted in the summer of 2022, have been used to draw up a plan of action and address concerns.

Metsä Fibre’s employees regularly participate in training where the main content of the Code of Conduct is discussed.

Everyone has the right to be accepted

Metsä Fibre is committed to developing an egalitarian culture in which discrimination is not tolerated, and in which everyone has equal prospects for acceptance and advancement in the workplace.

“We want to act ethically and respect others. In this way, we also promote wellbeing and safety at work,” says Kaija Pehu-Lehtonen, SVP, Business Development, who is in charge of strategic sustainability targets at Metsä Fibre.

Diverse personnel and an inclusive culture for everyone in the workplace community support renewal and innovation. Anonymour recruitment has been adopted across Metsä as a tangible way of promoting the equeal treatment of applications and applicants. One of the goals of an equal culture is raising the proportion of female executives to at least 30 per cent by 2030.

Proactive safety work plays a key role

The deployment of common safety standards is a key element of safety work. Harmonised requirements are the foundations of safe work. The same requirements apply to the company’s partners.

Metsä Fibre aims for zero accidents. In 2022, the company’s TRIF (Total Recordable Injury Frequency) index dropped to 5.2 compared to 10.2 a year before. The number of lost-time accidents also decreased.

“Our goal is to make sure that every employee working for Metsä Fibre and our partner companies leaves work healthy. We consider safety at work a universal responsibility,” Pehu-Lehtonen says.

All accidents, hazardous situations and close calls are investigated, and corrective measures are adopted to prevent similar situations in the future. Employees are encouraged to engage in proactive safety work. Some of Metsä Fibre’s mills have currently been operating for several hundred days without a single work-related accident.

“The safety observations made by our employees play a key role in preventing accidents. Around 10,000 observations concerning safety risks, tools and work methods are made every year, which means that each of our employees makes on average eight observations,” says Marko Ruottinen, Metsä Fibre’s Sustainability Manager.

Other proactive safety measures include regular safety talks and safety walks, as well as personal risk assesments.

Going to work must be fun

Wellbeing is a personal experience consisting of many elements such as meaningful jobs, a tranquil daily life, and feeling good about going to work.

The employee job satisfaction survey is an important indicator of wellbeing at work. We use the survey results to decide on measures related to wellbeing and job satisfaction.

“Our goal is to reach the AAA level of job satisfaction,” says Pehu-Lehtonen.

Sharing good practices with customers

As ESG reporting becomes more common worldwide, Metsä Fibre’s customers find they must explore questions concerning ethics and safety in their own value chains.

“Particularly in safety at work, we have shared our good practices with our customers and helped them develop their own work safety,” says Ruottinen.

As customers often have similar safety targets and measures, it is easy to develop operations by sharing best practices.

“If our own operations are in good shape and our ESG specifications are in order, our customers benefit as well,” says Pehu-Lehtonen.

In early 2023, Metsä Group revised its 2030 sustainability targets. In line with the ESG criteria for sustainable business, the targets are divided into three categories: Environmental, Social and Governance.

For global companies and investors, ESG considerations are an essential part of decision making. ESG reporting is used to assess the sustainability and ethical impact of a company’s operations.

This is one of a series of three articles in which we describe what the ESG targets mean for Metsä Fibre’s production, operations and customers.