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Finland’s best responsibility reports point strongly towards a low-carbon economy

Stora Enso wins overall competition, Tokmanni awarded as the year’s strongest climber.
Stora Enson Lotta Forssell, Hanne Karrinaho ja Eeva Taimisto vastaanottivat palkinnon.
Lotta Forssell, Hanne Karrinaho and Eeva Taimisto accepted the award. Photo: Akifoto Oy / Aki Rask

The best responsibility reports in Finland were chosen on 14 November. The top-ranking reports in the competition also featured submissions from new entrants. Every top report highlighted the idea that the business world is moving towards a low-carbon economy. Although the entries’ level of reporting was high, the jury called for further ambition, providing a more general idea of the situation today, and a more future-oriented view. The Aalto University School of Business is one of the organisers of the competition.

'In addition to responsibility reporting professionals, the results of the competition are significant to society at large. When a multidisciplinary evaluation group carries out a broad overview of the status of Finnish responsibility reporting and spurs the actors in the field to develop themselves, the process can result in significant changes that, at its best, could lead to a more sustainable world,’ emphasises Member of the European Parliament Sirpa Pietikäinen, who served as the chair of this year’s jury.

The reports that received the best marks from the competition jury were considered readable and informative. Finnish responsibility reporting is of a high standard, and the field has developed a great deal over the years. However, the jury still wished that organisations would provide a clearer idea of the type of business that is needed to achieve global sustainability goals. There also remained room for improvement in the assessment of sustainability risks. In the absence of uniform standards, it is particularly important that the methodology used to calculate indicators is clearly presented and that the report is verified by a third party.

‘There is a clear need for uniform standards and a reporting framework. Some companies link responsibility targets to management remuneration. We would be happy to see more of this, as it would help increase the importance of responsibility in business,’ explains Jani Alenius, chair of the organising group.

Stora Enso wins 2019 Responsibility Reporting Contest – Tokmanni recognised as climber of the year

A jury consisting of nine representatives from different organisations evaluated the responsibility reports for the quality of their reporting. This means that the process focused on the reporting itself rather than the responsibility measures that were presented.

The top entries in the competition were of a high quality, and the competition was close overall. In addition to the overall competition, additional prizes were awarded in three categories, as well as an honorary mention to the Climber of the Year.

This year, the overall competition winner was Stora Enso Oyj with its report Sustainability 2018. The judges praised the report’s strong external verification level, forward-looking perspective, and its description of a strategy that is based on a low-carbon world. Although the jury felt that the forestry sector still has to develop the ways that it takes biodiversity issues into account, as a whole, the reports from the forest industry were forward-looking and strongly verified.

The winner of the climate change category was Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company, whose report effectively highlighted the share of sectors exposed to climate risk in its investment portfolio. The international climate risk reporting framework (TCFD) is Varma’s public guideline for its reporting activities. The winner of the human rights category was the Kesko Corporation, who, like other actors in the retail sector, emphasised the role of human rights in its supply chains. The value creation category was won by Martela Oyj, whose business idea of making sustainable products is clearly highlighted and well-emphasised in its report.

The jury also wished to recognise Tokmanni Oy as the competition’s Climber of the Year. Although Tokmanni is smaller when compared to many of the other companies that have succeeded in the competition, it has developed rapidly as a reporter. Its ambitious report and responsibility work surprised the jury in a very positive way. Even though its reporting still needs verification and more developed methods, the company is headed in the right direction, as Tokmanni was among the top entrants in several categories.

The organisers of the competition also asked its stakeholders, the Nessling Foundation and the Forum for Environmental Information, to select their favourites in the climate change series. They chose Fortum Oyj’s report, as it successfully takes into account the links between climate change and biodiversity.

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Further information:
Jani Alenius, chair of the organising group, [email protected], tel. +358505982750, Leader of Climate Change and Sustainability Services EY Finland

The Responsibility Reporting Competition
The purpose of the responsibility reporting competition is to develop responsibility work and reporting in organisations, highlight good practices, and recognise particularly successful corporate responsibility reporters. The competition is open to everyone and is free of charge, and it has been organised since 1996.

The responsibility reporting competition is organised by the Aalto University School of Business, the Climate Leadership Coalition, FIBS Corporate Responsibility Network, Finland’s Sustainable Investment Forum (Finsif), Hanken School of Economics, Nasdaq Helsinki, the Finnish Association of Auditors, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, YJY – Association for Environmental Management, and the Ministry of the Environment.

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