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Stora Enso GFA committee plans sustainable future

5 June, 2019Following the signing in January 2018 of the Global Framework Agreement (GFA) between Finnish-headquartered renewable materials multinational Stora Enso, IndustriALL, BWI and UNI global unions, the social partners held the first biennial meeting of the agreement’s Implementation and Review Committee, in Helsinki on 3 June.

The parties to the GFA commit to an ongoing dialogue, and will meet once every two years to monitor the implementation of the agreement in the company. The committee brings together the three global unions, plus three national unions, Paperiliitto of Finland, and Pappers and GS Facket of Sweden. The steering committee of the Stora Enso European Works Council is another important part of the committee.

Stora Enso is committed to building a sustainable company, and the GFA is an important aspect of this strategy. Their policy sees sustainability as having three interlocking areas: environmental, economic and social. The company believes that a strong ethical approach gives them a competitive edge in the market. Consumers are becoming more aware and demanding when it comes to environmental and social behaviour.

The company is at the forefront of industrial change to environmentally sustainable production based on renewable technologies. Stora Enso aspires to develop solutions to make everything that is made with fossil fuels today out of trees in the future. That includes cars, planes, plastic bottles, solar panels and even skyscrapers.

The Stora Enso management presented the committee with their ongoing work in the specific areas of safety, working conditions, ethics, responsible sourcing and overall corporate development. The committee analysed ways in which union involvement could be increased in these different areas of work, and these discussions will be ongoing.

Malin Bendz, executive vice president of human resources in Stora Enso, stated:

“The GFA is part of everything we do. It fits with our beliefs, what we try to be as a company. We have a partnership and we explore how we can work together to make us stronger.”

Tom Grinter, pulp and paper sector director at IndustriALL said:

“Stora Enso are doing a lot of things well. One priority for our union reps at the company is to improve union consultation and involvement in the various ethical initiatives that Stora Enso is doing. This company’s importance will continue to grow, and our GFA dialogue will accompany that growth.”