For Stora Enso, business ethics means much more than merely complying with regulations. We strive to promote ethical behaviour, and we openly discuss any ethical dilemmas that arise in relation to our work. We believe this approach will help us succeed in business, foster accountability, and enhance our good reputation.
Opportunities and challenges
Stora Enso operates in locations including high-risk emerging markets which offer good business opportunities, but may also entail exposure to serious risks relating to corruption or fraud, for instance. Joint venture agreements may also expose a company to risks related to competition law. Various governments and authorities have shaped effective legislation to combat corruption. These laws place high demands on companies’ controlling mechanisms, but they also help to build accountability and trust among employees, partners, and other stakeholders.
New regulations such as the EU Data Protection Regulation set requirements relating to the processing of personal data. Cybercrime meanwhile represents a major challenge for companies.
How we work
We have an efficient management system for guiding and monitoring our ethics and compliance work, from the executive to divisional level.
Our Ethics and Compliance Strategy has five focus areas:
• Top level commitment
• Improved communication and training
• Intensified efforts in countries with heightened concerns
• Developing grievance channels
• Ethics and compliance as a competitive edge.
We have developed an index to follow and evaluate our employees' perceptions of topics related to Stora Enso's Code of Conduct. The index is based on employees' responses to related questions in our annual employee survey. In 2016 this index improved to 81 (80 in 2015). Our goal is to maintain this positive trend.
During 2016 we intensified communications efforts to make ethics and compliance topics more visible among our employees, while also enhancing internal and external grievance mechanisms. In 2016 a total of 58 reports received through Stora Enso's various grievance channels were identified as potential noncompliance cases. Proven misconduct leading to disciplinary and/or legal actions was identified in 18 of the completed investigations, while five further complaints were found to be valid without involving misconduct. None of the proven misconduct cases were related to child labour, forced labour, or discrimination.