“By definition, ethical dilemmas are not usually something we can solve as such,” says Yang Zhang, Legal Counsel in Stora Enso’s Ethics and Compliance team. “They are topics for us to reflect upon to reach the best possible outcome. But we must have good resources to help us understand how to do what’s right.”
The Stora Enso Code, our updated code of conduct, helps our employees work out ethics questions. Because following laws is always the starting point, making the “right choice” is often about making the “Stora Enso choice” – the option that our values support.
“We have also introduced Ethics Ambassadors at Stora Enso,” Zhang says. “They are more trained in ethics than their peers and can support their teams with related questions. They are better equipped to notice when something is off and can stand up and raise their voice. That’s all we need.”
“I think the Ethics Ambassadors are kind of a first line of defense. When my colleagues have questions about ethical business, they say it’s easier to ask someone they already know and who knows the everyday work of their team than to find someone who is far away – physically or professionally. My colleagues approach me to ask, for example, how market activities or meetings with customers and suppliers are aligned with our Business Practice Policy. I answer them as well as I can and sometimes direct people to our Ethics and Compliance team for more detailed advice.
I applied to be an Ethics Ambassador because behaving ethically in business is an important part of why I want to work for Stora Enso. I want to be a part of setting the example for other companies.”
“After my training, it’s easier for me to identify situations that are not ok. I’m braver to address things, and know where to go to find answers. My team now discusses ethics topics more: it’s important to increase our awareness of aspects such as conflict of interest, and to better understand what the Stora Enso Code is about. In the small town we work in, we often see our suppliers outside work, so it’s important that our sourcing team understands what they can talk about outside a business environment – to feel comfortable as a Stora Enso employee but still just be a citizen among others.
I have realised that the values Stora Enso lives by are the same ones we all try to live by – no one wants to live or work against their beliefs.”
“Ethical questions are almost philosophical sometimes: people have always had them. My team discusses them more after my training. We chat about the topic of the quarter, such as data privacy and security issues, around the coffee machine. When my colleagues have questions, I often direct them to their manager or the Ethics and Compliance team. I don’t have all the answers – sometimes I have more questions! – but it’s more about discussing what the right thing to do could be. And that’s important to remember outside work as well.”
”I applied to the Ethics Ambassadors programme to better understand Stora Enso’s values and to make sure that I can personally commit to them. At the Innovation Centre where we work, we are doing things no other company has been able to do, and my colleagues are extremely committed to their work. The ethics training has helped me promote an open and healthy office culture so that we can focus on the work we are so proud of.
Thanks to the training, I’m also more prepared to deal with any situations that may arise. It’s important to address them right away, before they grow into problems that need fixing.”