We create well-being

At Metsä Board, we create economic and social value at a local, national and international level. Safety and well-being at work is o​ur priority in everything we do.

Ensuring ethical business practices


Respecting human rights

Responsible business is vital for Metsä Board. As a part of Metsä Group we are committed to the principles of the UN Global Compact initiative: respect for human and labour rights, environmental responsibility and anti-corruption. Metsä Group develops its operations in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and follows the principles of the core conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Metsä Group has, for example, a zero-tolerance on forced and child labour. Furthermore, our PEFC and FSC certificates ensure that we respect the rights of indigenous people in our wood procurement.

Human rights are gaining more and more importance in global business. In our operations we always respect human rights and often exceed the legislative requirements. As part of the development process, Metsä Group has initiated a human rights impact assessment to deepen our understanding of the actual and potential human rights impacts resulting from our operations.

Responsible and diverse corporate culture

The ethical principles of Metsä Group lead our way of working and support responsible leadership. Our daily work is guided by the group's Code of Conduct, which all our employees are obliged to follow, as well as our Equal Opportunities Policy and our Human Resource Policy. The share of employees who have completed the e-learning training related to the Code of Conduct was 99 per cent in 2020.

We also require our suppliers to comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct, which emphasises respect for human rights and the need for safe working environments, whilst also prohibiting the use of forced or child labour. Our Supplier Code of Conduct serves to ensure ethically sound operations in our supply chain, whilst our auditing procedures help us to further improve our ways of working.

On top of the public policies and statements, Metsä Group has a set of internal guidelines that in line with the public statements define our working practices in more detail. For example, our internal information security policy and personal data protection policy as well as the related training of our personnel ensure that we protect data, services, systems and data traffic appropriately and in a manner that complies with all relevant regulations.

We are committed to the development of a culture of diversity and equality in which everyone has the opportunity to succeed in their career and be an equal member of the work community. Equality and prohibition of discrimination are important principles for us and an integral part of our ethical company culture.Diversity, equality and inclusion is promoted and measured through targets. Learn more about our Metsä For All vision.

Compliance and Ethics Channel

Metsä Group has a public Compliance and Ethics Channel through which the employees and any other persons can report any shortcomings they observe in Metsä Group's operations. It is possible to submit reports also anonymously. All reports concerning possible breaches are processed by a compliance committee.

Improving safety at work

At Metsä Board, safety at work is an integral part of our day-to-day operations. Everyone is responsible for following instructions, identifying and reporting defects and shortcomings, and eliminating hazards. We focus on preventive work in order to identify and prevent dangerous situations before they happen.

Our goals and indicators for safety at work help us to continuously enhance our operations. Safety at work is managed and monitored right up to a Group-wide level and supported by our ISO 45001 management system for occupational health and safety.

Aiming for zero accidents

Every accident at work is one too many. Metsä Board pays special attention to safety at work, and our long-term goal is to have zero accidents at work.  Safety at work is improved by means of regular safety info sessions and by systematically identifying and eliminating any safety risks. Accidents at work and near miss situations are reviewed right away, and the mills share best practices. These have helped cut the number of lost-time accidents at Metsä Board over the past years. 

Beside the safety of our own employees, the safety of our contractors is of outmost importance. The ISO 45001 management system for occupational health and safety also applies to contractors, and we monitor the number and severity of accidents of external service providers on our sites.

key safety figures
​Sickness absenteeism, % of potential working hours
Total Recordable Injury Frequency (TRIF) per million hours worked
​Lost-time accident frequency rate (LTA1) per million hours worked
​Number of lost time accidents, external service providers
​Accident severity rate
Accident severity rate, external service providers
​Number of work-related fatalities

All figures include also the harbour operator Hangö Stevedoring which is Metsä Board's affiliated company.                         

The right attitude is the key

All of our employees have the opportunity to discuss how they can address ways of working that could compromise safety in their workplace communities. In other words, everyone is responsible not only for their own safety, but also the safety of their colleagues.

In 2020, Metsä Board’s mills continued to roll out the 5S method, aiming to improve productivity, safety at work and well-being at work. The method is in use at all our mills and at our headquarters. Among other things, 5S has reduced trips and slips and the resulting accidents. The continuous use of the method is ensured through 5S audits, which also draws attention to any deviations detected during the audit rounds.

Assuring responsible management

Metsä Board employs  some 2,400 people in 18 countries, which means that the working environments of our employees are highly diverse and international. 

Metsä Board’s human resources (HR) management practices are guided by several policies that are mandatory for all employees to follow. These policies include equal opportunities for all regardless of race, gender or age. Since our main operations are located in countries with very high HR standards – almost 90% of our employees are based in Finland and Sweden – the local laws and regulations provide additional guidance e.g. employees’ right to occupational healthcare, reasonable working hours and annual leave, as well as a possibility to belong to a trade union.

Investing in our people

We constantly invest in developing the competence of our personnel as well as in fair leadership and management culture. Because our personnel are our first and foremost resource, we strive to be an attractive employer. Our HR processes aim to ensure that the right people with the right skills are in the right position at the right time. Combined with good management practices, this creates a basis for well-being at work and for organisational efficiency, whilst also providing opportunities for personal and organisational development.

Metsä Board’s organisation functionality survey is an important tool for finding out how the workplace and management support day-to-day work. The survey also provides ideas for the continuous improvement of working conditions. In addition, the performance and future development plans of our employees are biannually discussed in Personal Development Appraisal (PDA) discussions between employees and their managers.

Metsä Board’s employees are very committed to their work.  We regularly offer our employees opportunities to obtain new skills through training, internal job rotation and other learning opportunities. This helps us to retain highly skilled, talented employees, and to improve the overall satisfaction of our personnel. Metsä Board also operates a bonus system that supports the implementation of our strategy and motivates our personnel to reach our targets.

Common practices and proactive actions applied throughout Metsä Board support safety management work. Our goal is to identify threats to working capacity at an early stage, and then promptly take systematic measures. To improve our employees’ well-being throughout their entire careers and to enable longer careers, we also offer solutions such as part-time working and job rotation.

To support the well-being of our employees in their everyday lives, we encourage them to use the recreational opportunities offered by Metsä Board. We give our personnel many options to enjoy cultural or sports activities and offer preventive actions to improve their capability at work.

Future resource needs at Metsä Board are anticipated through assessing the skills required for the future, preparing successor plans and developing personnel through vocational training.


Metsä Board employees:

key personnel figures
​Number of employees, FTE1, 2​2,370
​Share of permanent employees, %​94.0
Share of full-time employees, %
​Average age, years
​Average years served, years
​Employee turnover rate, %3
Average training hours / employee, hours2
​Share of employees having received training over the year under review, %
Share of women within all employees, %
Share of women within all managers, %
Share of women in the Corporate Management Team, %

(1) FTE= Full-time equivalent on 31 December, (2) Including also the harbour operator Hangö Stevedoring which is Metsä Board's affiliated company, (3) The figure includes also redundancies caused by restructuring of business.

Contributing to local livelihoods and society


We take full responsibility on the socio-economic impacts of our operations, and their effects on our different stakeholder groups. Our contribution to the local society and region close to our production sites is strong, through employment as well as paid taxes. We are a major regional player in Finland and Sweden, and through our sales offices we have a global reach. Our operations also have more far-reaching impacts, for example through our supply chains. Each Finnish forest industry job creates three more jobs indirectly, according to the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

We want to build trusting relations and open dialogue with our main stakeholder groups. Important stakeholders include our customers and our personnel as well as our suppliers, our investors and financiers, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the media, and society at large. Annually, we arrange different types of stakeholder events, including meetings and visits to our sites.

We aim to be a reliable employer and a good neighbour engaged in open and transparent communications with our local stakeholders. Local stakeholders, such as schools and potential employees, media, decision-makers and the general public are interested in our activities. To offer stakeholders possibilities to get to know us better, we arrange open house days at our production sites. We also have a long tradition of visiting junior high schools to share our expertise about the opportunities the forest industry has to offer.

Young people and children as the primary target group of social engagement

Metsä Group has defined young people and children as the primary target group of the company’s social engagement. Every year, the whole Metsä Group offers summer jobs and thesis work opportunities to hundreds of students and participates in projects promoting the various career opportunities the forest industry can offer.

As part of Metsä Group, we introduce children and young people to the forest industry by cooperating with Finland’s 4H network and its more than 200 local organisations. Metsä Group also supports the youth campaign Nuorille siivet launched by the Finnish Olympic Committee’s Sports Academies, by
sponsoring sport coaching to junior high school students.

Metsä Board Americas has since 2016 joined forces with the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), as part of the TICCIT Program ‘Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees’. TICCIT is an outreach and educational program for school children held annually in April to honour ‘Earth Day’ and highlights the renewability and sustainability of paper and paperboard packaging.


Contributing to a sustainable society

Metsä Board promotes resource-wise bioeconomy and circular economy. Ecological values are increasingly important to our customers and consumers, and we see that fresh fibre paperboards successfully meet the current market trends and needs and help us to create sustainable solutions in the urbanised world. It is a responsible choice to replace fossil-based packaging materials with paperboards made from a renewable and recyclable raw material.

Our experts develop innovative, user-friendly packaging solutions with low environmental footprint. Sustainably designed packaging consumes less raw materials and energy, reduces emissions and costs in the logistic chain, and is easy to recycle.

As a producer of packaging materials and food service board we want to do our share and take care of our impacts.

Memberships in organisations

Metsä Board, as a part of Metsä Group, is committed to the UN Global Compact and supports the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Key international organisations, in which Metsä Board has representatives:

  • Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI)
  • European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers (Pro Carton)
  • CEPI Cartonboard
  • CEPI Containerboard
  • European Carton Makers Associations (ECMA)
  • The European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA)
  • 4evergreen alliance for fibre-based packaging

Key national organisations, in which Metsä Board has representatives:

  • Finnish Forest Industry Federation (FFIF)
  • Swedish Forest Industries Federation 
  • Metsä Board is also an active member of several other national industry associations globally.