Metso has worked with sustainability-related development and reporting since the beginning of the 21st century. We have set up good practices and have achieved some great results with our sustainability-related projects. As a continuation to my sustainability agenda blog post, I’d like to share some of the most common questions we get on our target-setting, measurement and follow-up practices related to sustainability topics.
Does Metso have concrete sustainability-related targets?
We have a clear set of sustainability targets for our own operations and our suppliers. In addition, all our R&D projects set sustainability targets where applicable.
In our own operations, the safety of our employees is a key priority. We follow the progress very closely with selected indicators, such as Lost Time Incident Frequency (LTIF), number of organized trainings, and reported safety hazards. Safety is also part of the individual targets of every employee.
We also have targets for minimizing the environmental footprint of our own operations. For example, by 2020, we target to reduce energy consumption and C02 emissions by 20%. We are currently working on developing longer term targets.
With our own employees, we focus on topics like employee engagement, diversity and leadership development. These not only impact employee wellbeing, but also the company’s profitable growth. In 2018, we conducted the PeoplePulse employee engagement survey, which returned excellent results and had an 87 percent response rate. Based on the results, 88 percent of our employees feel strongly engaged in their own work and committed to Metso as an organization.
For our products and solutions, defining one common sustainability target at the Metso level is not so easy. Most of our R&D projects include environmental or safety-related targets, and this is a metric we follow at the Metso level. Measuring the actual energy savings and CO2 emissions of each unique customer process is often not something we can do. However, measuring can be developed further by continuing to work closely with our customers and getting data, for example, through our digitalized solutions. An estimation of savings is possible with the help of known factors and average process indicators. For example, about 90% of energy is consumed when a crusher is in use in the comminution circuit. A savings of a few percentages can correspond to huge savings in the amount of energy and emissions.
How does Metso ensure the sustainability of its suppliers?
We run about 65 supplier sustainability audits per year, and tracking the corrective actions is an integral part of the post-audit operation. The audits are conducted with an external partner and by Metso’s own procurement and quality assurance people. In every audit, we always have a Metso representative present who will continue with the corrective actions with the supplier after the audit. Joint audits are good learning opportunities everybody, they strengthen the relationship between Metso and the supplier, and lead to lots of positive, long-term effects.
How does Metso align its plans with globally acknowledged sustainability goals?
Many of our actions are aligned with the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), and we closely follow the development of universally acknowledged goals. We also align our goals with the goals of our customers.
We are part of several recognized sustainability indices, like the CDP management level, FTSE4GOOD Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index, to name a few. We have also been listed on the World’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies. Our listing in many indices indicates that we are on the right track. However, improvement in sustainability is a never-ending task – there will always be room for new innovations and improvement.
How do sustainability and people issues link together?
Sustainability and people issues go hand in hand. After all, it’s people who make the decisions, produce the solutions and services, and buy and consume the end products. As mentioned earlier in this blog post, 88 percent of our employees feel strongly engaged in their own work and to Metso as an organization. This strong foundation supports our customers in achieving their business and sustainability targets.
I’d also like to emphasize the role of our Code of Conduct, which provides us and our stakeholders with commonly accepted guidelines and perspectives for future decisions. The Code of Conduct describes our company culture, commonly accepted practices, and our commitment to compliance with laws and regulations. It is our key corporate standard, and we hold Code of Conduct training sessions for all our employees every second year. In 2017, we trained 99.8% of our employees; in 2019, we will repeat the training with a special focus on human rights.
Diversity is an inherent and invaluable element in our knowledge pool and a key competitive factor for us. We value diversity and provide equal opportunities for everyone. Our employees represent 84 nationalities, and we operate in over 50 countries from about 180 locations. This unique combination of different backgrounds, wide range in years of service and age of our people ensures cognitive diversity, which, in turn, helps us to understand our customers’ needs around the world and to find new solutions to even the most difficult challenges. Together we learn and share knowledge efficiently within the company and with our customers and stakeholders, making us strong and agile in terms of renewal and innovation.
So, sustainability is without a doubt an integral part of the game for Metso now and in the future. We want to contribute to enabling a good, modern life around the world without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition, we feel that sustainable business is good and profitable business. In the long run, the companies that stay in the forefront of development in this field are the ones that will also stay in business.
Director, Sustainable Business Development