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Business ethics

Opportunities and challenges

For Stora Enso, business ethics means much more than merely complying with regulations. Stora Enso operates in locations including high-risk emerging markets which offer good business opportunities, but may also entail exposure to serious risks relating to corruption or fraud, for instance. Various governments and authorities have shaped effective legislation to combat corruption, such as the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

New legislation such as the EU Data Protection Regulation additionally sets requirements concerning the processing of personal data, with heavy fines imposed for infringements. In this context Stora Enso also increasingly needs to acknowledge and address the emerging threat of cybercrime.

Our policies

The Stora Enso Code of Conduct is a single set of values defined for all employees in all locations. Other policies relevant to ethics and compliance include:

  • Business Practice Policy
  • Stora Enso Data Privacy Policy
  • Supplier Code of Conduct.
How we work

Stora Enso’s Ethics and Compliance function is a sub-function operating under the Legal team, headed by the General Counsel, who reports directly to the CEO. Stora Enso’s Ethics and Compliance Board, a governance body appointed by the CEO, monitors Stora Enso’s legal compliance and ethical business conduct by following up on the Ethics and Compliance Action List.

Stora Enso’s Ethics and Compliance Strategy forms the basis for annual action plans. The strategy has five focus areas:

  • Top level commitment
  • Improved communication and training
  • Intensified efforts in countries with heightened concerns
  • Developing grievance channels
  • Ethics and compliance as a competitive edge.

Stora Enso has developed an index that enables the group to monitor and evaluate employees’ perceptions on topics covered by Stora Enso’s Code of Conduct. The index is based on employees’ responses to related questions in the annual employee survey. In 2016 this index improved to 81 (801 in 2015). The goal is to maintain this positive trend.

Restated (+1)

During 2016 Stora Enso has continued to intensify communications efforts to make ethics and compliance topics more visible among employees, while also enhancing internal and external grievance mechanisms. In order to restructure, clarify, and simplify various internal policies and guidelines on ethics and compliance, eight related policies were merged into a single Business Practice Policy (BPP). To protect personal data throughout the group’s operations and ensure compliance with all applicable laws, the new Stora Enso Data Privacy Policy was launched in April 2016.

In 2016 a total of 58 reports received through Stora Enso’s various grievance channels were identified as potential non-compliance cases (67 in 2015). Proven misconduct leading to disciplinary and/or legal actions was identified in 18 of the completed investigations (10), while five further complaints were found to be valid without involving misconduct. None of the proven misconduct cases were related to child labour, forced labour, or discrimination.

Breakdown of potential non-compliance cases
2016 2015
Fraud 5 8
Corruption 20 26
Anti-trust 2 2
Conflict of interest 7 6
General human resources 13 17
Health and safety 0 0
Miscellaneous 11 8
Total 58 67

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