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) as well as the legal reporting requirements of the UK Modern Slavery Act. 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.

Ethically sound operations

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 and the Sustainability Principles, which all our employees are obliged to follow, as well as our Equal Opportunities Policy and our Human Resource Policy.

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 also have a notification channel through which our employees can anonymously, when necessary, report any shortcomings they become aware of. All significant non-compliance notifications are processed by a specific Compliance Committee.

As part of continuous improvement, Metsä Group conducted a company-wide evaluation of cultural ethicalness in 2017. The aim of the evaluation was to identify possible development areas in our ethical culture. Examining cultural ethicalness is also an integral part of the agenda of internal auditing.

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. At Metsä Board safety at work is managed and monitored right up to a Group-wide level and supported by our OHSAS 18001 management system for occupational health and safety.

Our goal is to reduce the number of accidents (LTA1) by 10% every year, and to keep our sickness absenteeism rate at the best European level, and below 3% at all times.

Aiming for zero accidents

Every accident at work is one too many. Metsä Board pays special attention to safety at work. Safety at work is improved by means of regular safety walks, 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 by half at Metsä Board over the past five years.

Good examples of proactive safety work are our Kyro and Äänekoski mills, where no LTA1 level accidents happened in 2017. As of 2018, we systematically monitor and report also the severity of accidents at all our sites.

Metsä Board employees:

​Sickness absenteeism, %1 3.9​4,1​4,2
​Work injury absenteeism, %1 0,14​0,2​0,2
​Lost-time accident frequency rate (per million worked hours)2 ​6.4​9,0​11,1

(1) Per cent of potential working hours, (2) Including mills and the harbour operator

Beside the safety of our own employees, the safety of our contractors is of outmost importance. The OHSAS 18001 management system for occupational health and safety also applies to contractors, and as of the beginning of 2018, Metsä Board has started to monitor the number and severity of accidents of external service providers on our sites.

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 2017, Metsä Board’s mills began deploying the 5S quality system that highlights the advantages of clean and well-organised facilities and consequently increases productivity, safety and well-being at work. The first mill to take the system into use was the Simpele mill and the objective is for the other mills to move onto the 5S system during 2018.

Assuring responsible management

Metsä Board employs 2,350 people in Finland and abroad (2017). Altogether, we have operations in some 30 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 – around 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 annual 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. In 2017, our voluntary employee turnover rate in 2017 was 2.1%. 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 data​2017​2016​2015
​Number of employees (FTE1)22351​2466​2601
​Share of permanent employees, %93,7​95,6​96,0
Ratio between men / women, %​79/21​79/21​79/21
​Ratio between men / women in management positions, %78/22​​81/19​85/15
​Ratio between men / women in Corporate Management Team, %​67/3367/33​67/33​
​Average training hours / employee2​16,915,4​​12,5

(1) FTE= Full-time equivalent on 31 December, (2) Including also the harbour operator

Contributing to local livelihoods and society


Our production units play an active part in local communities. We are a major regional player in Finland and Sweden, and through our sales offices we operate in some 30 countries. We particularly aim to be a reliable employer and a good neighbour engaged in open and transparent communications with our stakeholders. We take full responsibility on the socio-economic impacts of our operations, and their effects on our different stakeholder groups. Our aim is to be an appreciated employer, whilst also indirectly generating significant local employment opportunities, for example through our subcontractors and partners.

Metsä Board’s operations affect many stakeholders globally. Even though our production plants are based in Finland and Sweden, our operations also have more far-reaching impacts, for example through our supply chains.

We particularly want to build trusting and open relations with our main stakeholder groups. We have defined our customers and our personnel as our most important stakeholder groups, whilst other important stakeholders include our suppliers, our investors and financiers, representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the media, and society at large.

We aim to engage in a transparent and open dialogue with each of our stakeholder groups to gain a better understanding of their specific expectations. Transparent and constructive stakeholder dialogue is an essential part of Metsä Board’s activities and management – especially for the management of sustainability issues.

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

In 2017, Metsä Group defined young people and children as the primary target group of our social engagement.

Every year, Metsä Board offers summer jobs and thesis work opportunities to numerous students. In 2017–2018, we also cooperated with the “Yrityskylä” Me & MyCity project in Finland targeting ninth graders. The project offered an excellent way to increase ninth graders’ knowledge of business and its various links to society. It also demonstrated what kind of skills are needed in working life, and what career opportunities the forest industry can offer.

Metsӓ Board Americas has during the last three years 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.

In Finland, Metsä Group has since early 2018 collaborated with the Family Federation of Finland’s ´Help Phone for Boys´ service to prevent the social exclusion of children and young people. The largest user group of the service consists of boys who live in the provincial regions where most of our production sites are located. The ´Help Phone for Boys´ service gives adolescents hope for the future and encourages them to make better choices. Helping this group is an important social issue, because at the moment over one fifth of young Finnish men aged 20–24 are unemployed or not in education or training.


Contributing to a sustainable society

Metsä Board promotes resource-wise bioeconomy. 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 packaging analysis and design function constantly develops innovative, ecological and user-friendly packaging solutions. Sustainably designed packaging consumes less raw materials and energy, reduces emissions and costs in the logistic chain, and are 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. For example, through membership of ‘Pack2Go Europe’ Metsä Board is committed to the environmental, health, and safety aspects within the on-the-go food and beverage packaging industry.

As a member of Metsä Group, we promote:

  • Sustainable forest management
  • Climate change mitigation
  • The role of bioeconomy in a sustainable circular economy
  • Resource-wise use of raw materials
  • Efficient use of industrial side streams
  • The importance of fresh fibre for the recycling loop

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.

Metsä Board's main memberships in organisations include:

  • Finnish Forest Industry Federation (FFIF)
  • Swedish Forest Industries Federation
  • American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)
  • Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI)
  • European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers (Pro Carton)
  • European Carton Makers Associations (ECMA)
  • European Corrugated Packaging Association (FEFCO)
  • Europe's Convenience Food Packaging Association (Pack2Go Europe)