Stora Enso is an integrated paper, packaging and forest products multinational company based in Finland employing 35,000 employees in more than 35 countries worldwide.
For Stora Enso global responsibility means taking concrete and proactive measures to improve the environmental and social responsibility of our operations together with our stakeholders. We have robust governance and management practices in place to ensure that social and environmental aspects are duly taken into account in our every day operations, as well as in our business decisions. We use a wide range of tools to do this in practice, including:
– Global Responsibility Governance
– Specific responsibilities on Global Responsibility
– Group-level Global Responsibility targets
– Management Systems
– Supply Chain Management
– Social and Environmental Impact and Risk Assessments for Investment Decisions
– Responsibility Reporting and Third Party Assurance
Global Responsibility Governance
Stora Enso’s Group Executive Team (GET) is responsible for our Global Responsibility policy and principles. A Global Responsibility Management team supports and advises the GET on sustainability issues and coordinates and monitors sustainability work across Stora Enso in practice. The Global Responsibility Management team includes sustainability experts from Stora Enso’s Group functions, Business Areas, forestry operations, and regional operations in Latin America and China.
Our Business Areas and all support functions are responsible for the operational management of sustainability issues. The role of the Global Responsibility corporate function is to develop and support Stora Enso’s responsibility work.
Stora Enso has developed a set of policies and principles that define our group-wide approach to important topics, and guide us in our day-to-day operations.
– Sustainability Policy forms the basis for our social and environmental work
– Business Practice Policy sets out Stora Enso’s approach to ethical business practices, dealing with such topics as antitrust, conflicts of interest, bribes and money laundering
– Principles for Social Responsibility define Stora Enso’s approach to human and labour rights and community involvement
– Principles for Occupational Health and Safety define the focus areas of our work related to workplace health and safety
– Principles for Sustainable Wood and Fibre Procurement and Land Management set out our approach to responsible wood and fibre sourcing as well as land management in areas where we have plantations.
We have also established a Code of Conduct, which summarises the key elements of our policies and principles, and provides further guidance on what they mean in practice.
Stora Enso has clearly defined positions on vital issues such as forest certification, illegal logging and the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). All the policies and principles listed above are available with further position papers at: www.storaenso.com/sustainabilitypolicies.
We set group-level responsibility targets to help us efficiently manage our environmental and social performance across our operations. These targets are continuously reviewed, and we proactively set new targets where necessary. We also report annually on our performance against these targets.
Stora Enso’s policies and principles are translated into practice through management systems that help our units to recognise any responsibility-related issues that need to be addressed. These systems are used to set targets and schedules, to assign responsibilities, and to follow up on our performance with regard to environmental impacts, occupational health and safety, product safety and hygiene, and forest and plantation operations.
Most of these management systems are third-party-certified. This means that an external party has verified that the management systems are in line with a relevant nationally or recognized standard.
Supply Chain Management
Stora Enso sources materials and services such as wood, chemicals, and transport and harvesting services from a large network of external suppliers and contractors.
We have practices in place to ensure that also our environmental and social commitments are followed and translated into practice throughout the value chain. Our wood suppliers and the whole wood supply chain are covered by regular controls and audits as part of our traceability, chain-of-custody and forest certification processes. For other suppliers and contractors, Stora Enso has set sustainability requirements which are included in purchasing agreements and duly monitored.
Responsible Investment Decisions
When planning and evaluating potential future investments, we strive to identify risks related to sustainability in good time, in order to guide decision-making in our investment processes. We use tools such as Sustainability Due Diligence and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) to help us to ensure that no unsustainable projects are initiated, and that we fully understand all the related risks and opportunities. These tools also enable us to adapt project plans to suit local circumstances.
Responsibility Reporting and Assurance
Our Global Responsibility reporting is an important tool for managing environment and social responsibility issues. We use third-party assurance to add transparency to our responsibility reporting.
For Stora Enso, a stakeholder is anyone interested in what the Group is doing. In our sector, significant stakeholders include:
– Local Communities
Stora Enso engages with all stakeholders with interest in our operations.
Feedback from our stakeholders helps us to see which issues we should prioritise. In 2010, Stora Enso established a new function within our organization named Global Responsibility to focus on improving stakeholder relations. During 2011, the Group worked to develop a more systematic and comprehensive approach to stakeholder engagement. This work involved systematically following stakeholders’ comments in social media, continuously encouraging stakeholders to provide us with feedback through social media channels, and organising a stakeholder workshop to identify and spotlight weak signals coming from our stakeholders, as well as launching a stakeholder guideline for Stora Enso in line with our Code of Conduct.
This stakeholder guideline is a publicly available tool that our employees can use to build better relations with stakeholders. It provides instruction on how to identify their stakeholders, how to make stakeholder action plans, and how to behave when engaging with stakeholders. It emphasises the need to respect all stakeholders, and encourages our employees to initiate open dialogues with all interested stakeholders.
Our Stakeholders define Global Responsibility
Stora Enso’s Global Responsibility agenda- our annual list of planned actions- is based on stakeholder feedback. Most feedback reaches us directly through our everyday contacts with our stakeholders at meetings, fairs, training events, open house events, community visits, public hearings and other events organised for or by our stakeholders. We also regularly receive indirect stakeholder feedback, for instance via grievance channels, surveys, trade unions, associations and customer satisfaction measurement.
Stakeholder discussions in the social media are an increasingly important source of feedback. In 2011, our annual materiality review was partially based on the results of social media screening. We actively seek feedback and dialogue through our Facebook, Twitter and Youtube sites, and we regularly follow discussions related to us and our industry in other social media channels, such as blogs. Listening to our stakeholders through social media is also a useful tool for mapping weak signals that may become major stakeholder issues in the future.
The social media do not provide a comprehensive tool for stakeholder engagement, however, as some stakeholders have little or no presence in social media channels. In countries where many of our stakeholders do not have access to social media, we have organised our work so that we are in continuous direct contacts. This can involve organising regular visits to local villages, monthly meetings with local farmers, or public hearings.
Memberships in Associations
In 2011, Stora Enso continued its membership in the following associations:
– World Council for Sustainable Development (WBCDS)
– Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI)
– The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE)
– National Industry Federations
– Forest Certification Bodies
– UN Global Compact
– United Global Compact Nordic Network
– The Forest Dialogue (TFI)
– Water Footprint Network
– ISO 26000 Working Group
– ISO Environmental Management Committee
A Member of the Global Society
In addition to minimising any adverse impacts that our activities may have, we also aim to enrich economic and social conditions in the communities where we operate by building understanding and promoting collaboration. We strive to enhance social inclusion and devise business models that create a far better future for the people and communities around us.
Direct Economic Impacts
Our operations contribute to local, regional and national economies by creating economic benefits for different stakeholder groups. Our sales and purchases boost our customers’ and suppliers’ businesses. Our employees, our shareholders and local and national governments gain income through the salaries, dividends and taxes we pay. Stora Enso also engages in many community projects and events in the localities where we operate.
Impacts on Local Communities
Our operations often play a major role and have wide-ranging impacts in the communities where we operate. Our mills are often located in peripheral regions where they are major employers, tax-payers and business partners for local entrepreneurs. All our operations have potential negative impacts on local communities, if they are not well managed. Our mills, which are mainly located in Europe, consume large amounts of energy and raw materials and generate emissions and wastes of various kinds. Our tree plantations in China, Brazil and Uruguay affect local communities due to their impacts on local land use, livelihoods and biodiversity.
In response to such issues, all our operations have implemented actions to minimise any adverse impacts our operations may have on the local environment and community. For instance, to continuously minimise environmental impacts, all our pulp, paper and board mills adopt Best Available Technologies and have certified environmental management systems in place. Our tree plantation operations in China, Brazil and Uruguay have all implemented sustainability programmes to manage their social and environmental impacts.
Global Responsibility in our New Growth Markets
Sustainably managed tree plantations have an increasing importance for Stora Enso. At the moment tree plantations still account for less than 10% of our total fibre use, but their significance will grow. Stora Enso has commercial-scale plantations in Brazil, Uruguay and China, as well as trial plantations in Laos and Thailand. We strive to work together with local stakeholders in all of these locations to learn from them and understand their needs.
Respecting the Neighbouring Communities
Stora Enso aims to be an active and accepted member of local society wherever we operate. We work according to the same standards everywhere in the world, guided by our Code of Conduct. Our mills are constructed according to the Best Available Techniques and their impacts on the surrounding environment meet the strictest standards. Proper planning and management and detailed studies of social, economic and environmental impacts are standard procedures in our plantation operations.
We are well aware that different stakeholders may have varied land use interests due to local history and traditional practices. We want to engage more with local stakeholders, and create cooperation models based on our learning and development together with these stakeholders. Such cooperation may involve running community development projects to meet local needs, purchasing wood from local farmers, and implementing agroforestry models that combine, for example, cattle grazing and honey production with tree growing.
Addressing Stakeholders’ Concerns
To understand and communicate the social and economic impacts that our operations will have on local communities, Stora Enso commissions independent third parties to conduct Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) for all significant new projects.
We consider all of the concerns stakeholders may have about the changes our operations may bring to an area, and address these concerns through open and transparent communications and dialogues. Effective grievance mechanisms are set up to enable local people to raise issues publicly, and also anonymously.
Concerns related to Water
The impacts of tree plantations on local water balances and soils concern many stakeholders. We take these impacts into account already during the planning stage. Stora Enso does not establish tree plantations in hydrologically sensitive areas. Soil conditions and the availability of water must be carefully monitored. The overall hydrological impacts of plantations depend on many factors including previous land use, rainfall patterns and plantation design.
Concerns about Land Use Conflicts
Land use conflicts typically arise from unclear land tenure and land use rights, which often have their background in historical and socio-political factors e.g. the Brazilian government has been running a land reform programme for several years.
Concerns about the Relocation of Local Residents
Open and Transparent Communications
Maintaining open dialogues and engaging with stakeholders are important ways for Stora Enso to understand local realities better. It is important to find communication channels that effectively reach local stakeholders.