Sustainability management

Sustainability concerns everybody at Metsä Group and each of us plays a role in contributing to it. Our Code of Conduct forms the basis of our ethical business practices and guides our sustainability work.

Everything we do involves sustainability. We train our employees on ethics and sustainability regularly.

Sustainable governance and management

Metsäliitto Cooperative is a Finnish cooperative and Metsä Group’s parent company, owned by over 90,000 forest-owner members. In Metsäliitto Cooperative, the highest administrative body to steer sustainability is the Board of Directors. The President & CEO is responsible for strategic sustainability in Metsä Group operations.

Sustainability is an inherent part of planning

We operate a model of sustainability management, which emphasizes strategic, operational, and cultural integration. Sustainability concerns everybody at Metsä Group and each of us plays a role in contributing to it. The operational model ensures that our way of working is proactive, transparent, and systematic as well as that all three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social, and ecological – are considered across our operations by default, and that they become an inherent part of planning and decision-making.

There is a Group-level process concerning sustainability management, which is overseen by the Sustainability Process Management Team. Its key task is to ensure that our sustainability objectives are visible in business area, process, and function plans. The Process Management Team follows progress against Metsä Group’s strategic sustainability 2030 targets, and ensures consistency of sustainability work across Metsä Group, including concerning external commitments, as well as acts as a steering group for the implementation and functioning of the sustainability management process. It consists of business area representatives and function heads who are responsible for ensuring that the sustainability objectives are implemented in their organization and for reporting back on progress, as well as Metsä Group’s VP, Sustainability, and the Sustainability Process owner, SVP, Corporate Affairs.

Bioproduct mill

Materiality – topics with the greatest impact

We focus our sustainability work on the most important i.e. material topics for us and our stakeholders. Based on the materiality assessment, we identified the seven sustainability themes, which will guide our sustainability work and sustainability 2030 targets. The themes represent and support Metsä Group’s whole business and take into account impacts throughout our value chain.

Metsä Group's material topics:

  • Safeguarding biodiversity and the ecological sustainability of forest use
  • Climate change mitigation and the reduction of emissions
  • Efficient use of resources and sustainable production
  • Respecting everyone and doing the right thing
  • Promoting safety and wellbeing at work
  • The societal significance of a forest-based bioeconomy
  • Innovation and open-minded cooperation

Long-term risk mitigation

Metsä Group’s risk management’s purpose is to ensure continuity of operations in the short and long term, while considering impacts to our stakeholders and surrounding environments. Our risk management covers risks related to our entire value chain and broader sphere of influence. In our risk management, we rely on science-based information. 

Sustainable forest use and management is the foundation of Metsä Group

In northern Europe, our wood procurement area, the forests are a vast resource: in Finland, for example, currently some 40% of the annual growth of wood is left unused. Employing and using sustainable practices in forest management for a long time, our forests are growing healthily, providing wood today more than ever before.

Preserving biodiversity is integral for the wellbeing of forests. This is ensured with the PEFC (PEFC/02-31-03) and FSC® (FSC-C014476) forest certification schemes in our wood supply areas, as well as with Metsä Forest’s Ecological Sustainability Programme. Both forest certification schemes aim to manage the risks related to the well-being of forests as well as protect waters and other natural values. Low biodiversity heightens risks of damage caused by climate change, storms, and pests to forest environments.

Risks related to social responsibility and human rights

Concerning risks related to social responsibility and human rights, Metsä Group’s own operations are located mainly in European countries where societal circumstances are relatively stable. Nevertheless, we have recognized risks relating to adverse human rights impacts in our own operations, as well as in our supply chain. For example, logistics and construction sites have been identified as some of the operations carrying with a risk of adverse human rights impacts in our supply chain.