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A deep commitment to human rights

Human rights

Respect for human rights is our top priority and we strive to align our work with the  UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights​.
Opportunities and challenges
When it comes to human rights, Stora Enso is involved in some challenging markets, including China, Laos and Brazil. Many of the human rights challenges we face are deeply rooted in local society, and can only be effectively addressed through long-term commitment and close cooperation with local and global stakeholders. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights emphasise that companies have an ongoing responsibility to respect human rights, even where government actions and regulatory frameworks are deficient. They encourage companies to implement human rights due diligence procedures that identify, assess, and address the human rights risks and impacts of their operations, products, and services.

​​Our policies
Stora Enso’s human rights commitment covers our employees, on-site contractors, external suppliers of materials and services and our other business partners, as well as communities living near our operations. Relevant Stora Enso policies and statements on human rights include:
How we work
Human rights risks are considered throughout Stora Enso's operations – for example in investment decisions, mergers, acquisitions, and divestments.
Stora Enso's human rights due diligence procedures include:


  • - Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) 
  • - A Human rights assessment and Human Rights Action Plan
  • - Appropriate grievance and remediation mechanisms
  • - Accountability through transparent reporting


We are currently developing a human rights strategy using a best practice methodology that will define a set of prioritised human rights for Stora Enso.

In 2017, our focus was on implementing the Human Rights Action Plan that resulted from a group-wide Human Rights Assessment conducted in 2014 and a related report published in 2015. At the end of the year, 88% of the preventive and remediation actions were completed and 100% of the actions were brought to an appropriate conclusion. Reporting on the Human Rights Action Plan progress will be stopped after Q4/2017. In 2018, the focus will be on completing the identification of Stora Enso’s highest priority human rights and defining a due diligence and compliance monitoring programme. 

Progress on the implementation of preventive and remediation actions at the end of Q4/2017



On track

Not on track



Reg​ular review***

Implementation progress, % of all actions






* Process for completion is in place for three group-level actions, but the completion is carried forward into 2018. 
** Issues that were identified in the Human Rights assessments but closed following reassessment of their validity in specific local contexts. 
*** Longer-term actions without a targeted end-date that require continuous review. 

Our progress in areas of special interest to our stakeholders:

Guangxi, China

Stora Enso's operations in Guangxi, Southern China, consist of tree plantations and a consumer board mill in the municipality of Beihai. At year-end 2016, we employed more than 1 000 people at the mill and in forestry operations.

Key human rights actions taken in 2016:
  • - Human rights training for security service providers, with additional training to be provided to new contractors during 2017.
  • - Developing a Transportation Impact Management Plan, including safety guidelines reviewed together with contractors.
  • - Implementation and compliance monitoring of our Supplier Code of Conduct and Responsible Sourcing Programme.
  • - Auditing and enforcing decent living standards in contractor camps.
  • - Advancing children's rights among migrant families working for Stora Enso's forestry contractors, in cooperation with the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR).
  • - Ensuring compliance with Stora Enso's anti-corruption and bribery policies and procedures in mill construction and land contracting
We also continue to review and correct land contracts in Guangxi. For more information see our Sustainability Report 2016.


Stora Enso has completed the earlier announced divestment of its 35% minority holding in the equity accounted investment Bulleh Shah Packaging (Private) Ltd. (BSP) in Pakistan to the main owner Packages Ltd. The group will continue to support its share of the two community investment programmes it has been funding in Pakistan after the divestment of BSP. The contract for the school programme is in place until 2023. Support for the mobile medical clinic continues until it is handed over to a medical facility in Lahore, which is expected before year-end. 

Stora Enso will also carry on with the Public Private Partnership with the ILO to promote decent work and to combat child labour in the Punjab Province of Pakistan until the end of 2018. Quarterly reporting of the ILO Partnership in Pakistan will be stopped after Q3/2017. 

Veracel, Brazil

Veracel, our 50/50 joint operation in Brazil, runs a pulp mill and eucalyptus plantations in southern Bahia, Brazil. Veracel's community engagement work focuses on land ownership and land use, and local social development.
Key human rights actions taken in 2016:
  • - Further compliance monitoring of Veracel's Supplier Code of Conduct.
  • - Human rights training for security personnel.
  • - Improved monitoring of on-site contractors.
  • - Increased awareness of Veracel's grievance mechanism, and launch of a toll-free grievance hotline.
  • - Continued implementation of a Sustainable Settlements Initiative for land disputes.

For more information about Veracel's work with the landless movement, see our Sustainability Report 2016.


In Laos, Stora Enso continues to develop a 3 900 hectare trial plantation, including 2 995 hectares of planted eucalyptus.
Key human rights actions taken in 2016:
  • - Improved environmental monitoring.
  • - Formalisation of local hire contracts, including preventing the employment of underage workers through an age verification process.
  • - Enhanced safety practices.
  • - Implementation of Stora Enso's Supplier Code of Conduct.
  • - Creation of new internal and external grievance mechanisms, with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
  • - Enhanced stakeholder engagement and communications to ensure Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) procedures are followed in Stora Enso's land use and land leasing when applicable.