Environment
Environment

Responsia – Improving companies’ responsibility

Responsia helps large and small companies to operate more responsibly in their business.

Companies
45
Total impact 45 See all »
Companies
45
Total impact 45 See all »
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Project Director, Sustainable Everyday Life at Sitra
Markus Terho
Review

Supporting companies to build sustainability programs to develop a structured approach to the management of their corporate responsibility enables companies to start their sustainability journey from those aspects that are the most relevant. This approach is supported by the use of relevant certifications, standards and their audits. This Planet act is partly scalable as it requires relatively deep competences on sustainability, environmental standards and auditing.

About Markus
A corporate responsibility veteran, with over two decades in the industry. He has held several notable positions, among them, he has served as the global sustainability chief at Nokia. There he has managed global corporate responsibility activities, environmental and social responsibility, social investment portfolios as well as disaster relief and charity donations.
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Purpose

Promoting responsible business is the core of Responsia’s business. The desire to do meaningful actions was a significant reason for founding the company in 2017. Responsia’s founder and entrepreneur Niina Suuronen believes that all companies have a responsibility to maintain and develop a viable and prosperous planet and society. Responsia helps to find the most suitable and effective ways for each company to act responsibly, taking into account environmental responsibility, social responsibility and financial responsibility.

Results

During its four years of operation, Responsia has helped a total of 45 companies to operate more responsibly in their business. This includes those companies and organizations that have received a company-specific service from a Responsia expert. In addition, there are many companies that have participated in trainings carried out by a Responsia expert and in various projects in which Responsia has been involved.

Implementation

Responsia helps companies that want to develop the responsibility of their operations while improving the company’s competitiveness. The need may have come from the company’s customers or stakeholders, or the company’s owners or management have a strong desire to develop the company in a more responsible direction. For example, a company wants to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations or offer its customers experiences that put as little strain on nature as possible. Often the situation is also that customers demand an environmental certificate or a responsibility program from the company.

However, the company may not have enough information and expertise on how to start developing the responsibility of its own operations. There is a risk that separate and random actions will be taken that do not address the company’s main environmental or social impacts. From the very beginning, Responsia directs responsibility work on the right track, to the company’s essential environmental and social impacts.

First, the main environmental impacts of the company are identified. If the aim is to develop responsibility in other areas of responsibility as well, aspects of social and economic responsibility will also be included in the assessment. The evaluation assesses both the company’s positive and negative effects, their scope, significance and the company’s opportunities to influence the matter. If necessary, a more detailed materiality analysis is performed, which also maps the views of the company’s key stakeholders. Once the material aspects have been identified, the company’s environmental or responsibility program is built around the material aspects. This will ensure that measures are targeted at issues that are truly relevant to the environment and the well-being of society.

The requirements of a certified environmental system can be met, for example, with the help of the ISO 14001 standard or the Ekokompassi-standard. Responsia’s expert guides the company in meeting the system’s requirements until it is ready for certification.

Responsia helps a company build an environmental or responsibility program with goals, measures and metrics. Expert assistance ensures that corporate responsibility work becomes systematic and reliable, addresses the significant environmental and social impacts of companies, and is easy to communicate externally. The expert also helps in carrying out concrete responsibility actions, such as mapping the company’s supply chain, training staff, developing waste sorting or procuring environmentally friendly detergents.

As a result of the work, the company has a written environmental / responsibility program with objectives and concrete measures. The responsibility program is the company’s roadmap, which enables the company to take effective responsible actions and reduce adverse environmental impacts. The company has indicators in place to monitor its goals, which encourage continuous improvement in the level of responsibility. If the goal was a certified environmental system, an external auditor will verify the compliance of the company’s environmental system and issue a certificate to the company. In this way, the company also receives a concrete certificate as proof of the consideration of environmental issues in its operations.

However, the most important results are the actions that companies do for the environment and society in accordance with their responsibility program. For example, all the waste in a restaurant located in a hard-to-reach place, except for cardboard, used to go to mixed waste, but after the advice, the restaurant was also able to procure biowaste, glass and metal collection. Another restaurant joined the Portaat Luomuun -program and increased the number of organic products. One wholesaler, on the other hand, was able to procure a separate plastic collection for packaging plastic, which significantly reduced the amount of mixed waste. One accommodation company switched its electricity contract to wind power, thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint of its energy consumption. One factory set an ambitious goal that all production surplus will be utilized in the manufacture of products. The goal has already spawned new cooperation with other companies in support of the circular economy.

Responsia’s guidance ensures that actions do not remain individual actions, but that responsibility becomes part of the company’s operations, part of management and corporate culture.

Responsia also provides Ekokompassi-standard’s audit service and Responsia’s expert conducts Green Office inspections for WWF. The role of the expert in audits is slightly different, as the company’s environmental system is basically ready in the audit situation and the environmental impact has already been reduced. The main task of the auditor is to verify that the requirements of the environmental management system are met and the company can be issued a certificate. However, each audit also includes advice to the company to develop the environmental system. In each audit, the auditor provides a number of tips to help the company further reduce the adverse environmental impacts of its operations and take effective environmental action.

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