‘How we take responsibility’ – by Päivi Rissanen, director, sustainability, UPM Communication Papers
UPM Communication Papers detailed Sustainability Agenda reflects our company’s long tradition and rich history of taking responsibility for the environment, specifically reducing emissions and improving resource efficiency. However, environmental responsibility in our production processes is just one pillar of this agenda.
As we’ve developed the goals underpinning our Sustainability Agenda, it became clear that matters such as the sustainability performance of our suppliers and how our company influences and impacts society at large are equally important. If you think of sustainability holistically in this broader sense, there are three dimensions to consider: environmental responsibility, social responsibility and financial responsibility.
Päivi Rissanen, director, sustainability, UPM Communication Papers
While being proud that we already have good environment performance because historically it’s been high on the agenda for both ourselves and our customers, we understand the need to continually seek opportunities to further improve our performance and address global challenges like climate change and resource scarcity.
We understand that the sustainability of a business is underpinned by the need to take care of employees; finding the best practices to look after their safety, growth and diversity. At its most basic level this kind of social responsibility is simply respecting people’s fundamental human rights. And in that regard, we recognised that the greatest potential risk to our social performance comes from our supply chain.
While managing social and environmental issues within our own operations can be straightforward, it becomes more complicated and often challenging when dealing with complex supply chains in areas of the world where standards and practices are less well developed, or where poor practice is inherent.
We needed to establish internal and external monitoring for our sourcing practices, continuous learning and development opportunities for all our employees, also ensuring our company leadership is value-driven and collaborative.
Responsible companies need to look beyond their own profit margins. We believe responsibility is good business, creates value for customers and can have a positive societal impact. Hence, we are wholly committed to our role within the paper industry despite the declining market in some traditional uses. At UMP Communication Papers, we see a strong future for paper as we continue to reimagine the role of paper as sustainable solution to tomorrow challenges.
Taking responsibility beyond borders
Last year we renewed our Third Party and Supplier Code – a set of requirements for suppliers and partners to ensure they align with our overall sustainability goals and comply with a code of good business practice. The code is our way of expanding our sphere of influence and multiply the positive influence we have on society and the environment.
With 25,000 suppliers and partners across the globe, we now monitor and audit compliance to our Third Party and Supplier Code based on a set of risk assessments. Where we identify risks and potential non-compliance we offer support and cooperation to address challenges. Effecting change through partnership delivers real benefits for both UPM and suppliers.
Ultimately this not only strengthens the drive towards our overall sustainability goals but ensures that we can continue to offer our customers a risk-free supply chain. My colleagues and I remain committed to this process and see it as a privilege to be part of a business that wants to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
Hear more about UPM’s new sustainability commitment Net Positive Impact on Biodiversity when you join us at FIPP Insider London on 12 December. Learn more here.
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