For Stora Enso, complying with regulations is only the beginning. A culture of honesty, transparency, and ethical behaviour is key to our long-term success.
Stora Enso has developed an index that enables the monitoring and evaluation of employee perceptions of the work on topics covered by the Stora Enso Code, our Code of Conduct. The index is based on employee responses to related questions in our annual employee survey. After five years of continuous improvement, the index decreased by one unit to 84 in 2019 (85 in 2018). Our objective is to continue the previous positive trend by increasing our efforts in communications and training during 2020.
In 2019, a total of 57 reports received through Stora Enso’s various grievance channels were identified as potential non-compliance cases. Based on the investigations finalised by the end of 2019, proven cases leading to disciplinary action, legal action, and/or process improvements were identified in 26 of the completed investigations. Based on our assessments, nine of the proven cases can be considered related to corruption and/or fraud. Seven of these cases resulted in employee dismissal or disciplinary process.
Stora Enso's Ethics and Compliance Strategy forms the basis for annual action plans. The strategy has five focus areas:
Our employees receive Stora Enso Code training, either through an e-learning tool, or through face-to-face training provided for those who do not have direct computer access. We aim to ensure that our new employees receive such 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 and external stakeholders can anonymously report potential noncompliance cases. In 2019, the grievance channel was opened to all stakeholders globally. 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. 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 stakeholders.
Digitalisation brings great opportunities for organisations but it also presents challenges regarding cybersecurity and the treatment of stakeholders’ personal data.
Our commitment to respect human rights covers all our operations, including our employees, contractors, suppliers, and surrounding communities.