In 2015, the UN challenged companies to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and, as a forerunner in corporate responsibility matters, Fingrid joined the movement immediately. In this way, the Finnish transmission system operator highlights its societal impact and strives to identify new development opportunities.In 2015, the UN challenged companies to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and, as a forerunner in corporate responsibility matters, Fingrid joined the movement immediately. In this way, the Finnish transmission system operator highlights its societal impact and strives to identify new development opportunities.
“We want to earn the trust of our stakeholders and set an example. The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact provided the foundation that Fingrid originally developed its own corporate responsibility guidelines. We were already familiar with the principles related to human rights, labour, environmental issues and anti-corruption. We have a significant societal responsibility for ensuring that Finns have access to electricity, and respect for people, the environment and good business practices has been integrated into the way we do business. Responsibility is a strategic choice for Fingrid and has been very well-adopted as a business method,” says Satu Vuorikoski, Development Manager, Corporate Responsibility.
Three main targets have been identified
Fingrid’s operations and strategic targets were visibly linked to the SDG goals for the first time in the 2016 annual report. There are a total of 17 global, long-term goals for sustainable development, and as a company, Fingrid promotes the following in particular:
• Affordable and clean energy
• Industry, innovation and infrastructure
• Climate action
Vuorikoski emphasises that while the other goals have also been taken into account, Fingrid and its business can have the clearest impact on these three. “The SDG goals are a relevant way to describe Fingrid’s strategic targets. The UN challenges companies to think about the practical ways in which they will work to promote these goals, which extend all the way to 2030. Each company decides which of the goals their operations can best promote.”
The staff has been coached in strategy implementation and taking responsibility into consideration is a natural part of Fingrid’s activities. The corporate culture is being developed continuously.“The entire energy system is changing at this time and, as a result, so is the mission of a transmission system operator. This makes it important to safeguard infrastructure activities.
We’re moving towards a cleaner electricity system and Fingrid will ensure the security of electricity supply in the future as well,” says Vuorikoski in assurance. Digitalisation is also making societies increasingly dependent on electricity.“We take dealing with the direct and indirect impacts of climate change into account in many ways in our operational planning and risk management. The entire main grid is being developed in order to achieve climate and energy goals,” states Vuorikoski.
Responsible rules throughout the procurement chain
As an employer, Fingrid has committed to the fair treatment of its employees and good governance. In addition to environmental impacts, the SDG goals include issues like gender equality, decent work and sustainable economic growth. In practice, Fingrid contributes to promoting these targets in its own work community and by making responsible procurements.
“A number of different surveys have recognised Fingrid as one of Finland’s best workplace. We also ensure the responsibility of our business with regard to international contract partners. As a major contractor, we can use our leverage to improve working conditions and terms of employment around the world,” explains Vuorikoski. •