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.
Stora Enso has developed an index that enables the monitoring and evaluation of employee perceptions of the work on topics covered by our Code of Conduct. The index is based on employee responses to related questions in our annual employee survey. In 2017, this index improved to 83 (81 in 2016). Our goal is to maintain this positive trend.
In 2017, a total of 61 reports received through Stora Enso's various grievance channels were identified as potential non-compliance cases (58 in 2016). Proven misconduct leading to disciplinary actions, legal actions, and/or process improvements was identified in 14 (18) of the completed investigations, while 22 (5) 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.
Stora Enso's Ethics and Compliance Strategy forms the basis for annual action plans. The strategy has five focus areas:
Our employees receive Code of Conduct training, and we aim to ensure that new employees receive training within their first month of employment.
Our employees are encouraged to report any suspected cases of misconduct or unethical behaviour. Stora Enso uses an external service through which our employees globally, and external stakeholders in certain locations, can anonymously report potential non-compliance cases. Our joint operations Veracel and Montes del Plata each have their own local grievance channels.
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.
Our commitment to respect human rights covers all our operations, including our employees, contractors, suppliers, and surrounding communities.