Sustainability and responsibility
We take account of the principles of sustainable development, both in research and development and in our internal operations. VTT reports corporate responsibility according to the GRI G3 guidelines. We describe examples of corporate responsibility in the VTT Review and publish selected GRI metrics on the VTT website. Reporting includes the VTT Review, VTT Group Corporate Governance (CG) and the HR Report (www.vtt.fi).
The focus areas of VTT's research – bioeconomy, low-carbon energy, digitalisation, cleantech, resource-efficient production, and health and well-being solutions – target a better living environment and a sustainable economy. Our spearhead and innovation programmes realise the goals of our research focus areas. Our research activity produces a stream of totally new sustainable solutions for the grand societal challenges. According to studies, the utilisation rate of our research results is extremely high, attaching great significance to VTT's impact in promoting sustainable development. Our research results and experts are also widely called upon as a basis for public decision-making on the journey to a society founded on sustainable development.
Responsibility for our own personnel
VTT is ranked among top employers in employer surveys and our employer brand has remained on relatively high level. VTT was ranked fourth in the Universum employer survey of engineering students and second in the T-Media survey of Top employers. The focus in our well-being activities is in active caring, management work and effectiveness of selected well-being programmes. Managers received guidance in handling of challenging situations, support for starting professional guidance and training in active caring approach which was promoted also in rehabilitation events, work community and management training events.
In 2014, VTT carried out the most extensive co-operation procedures of its history. The lay-offs related to this naturally had impact on employee motivation and working atmosphere. The occupational health care report states that this shows on absences due to sickness in the final quarter of the year.
Calculated using the method of the Zero Accidents forum, the frequency of accidents was lower than ever, at 0.71 per million working hours. There were only three accidents leading to an absence from work. However, of these, one led to an extended sickness absence (170 days), with the consequence that the absences are viewed as serious (63 days of sick leave per single accident). The 8 serious accidents that occurred during work-related journeys in 2013 caused over 430 days of absence in 2014.
We continued with our chemical audits and also began planning and drafting an operational plan for the storage management and maintenance of information on chemicals, and the marking of chemical containers. This project progressed well and the related user training began in early 2015. We completed the eSafety online course material intended for induction activities in 2015. In its management review of 2014, the VTT executive management team decided that this course would be compulsory for all VTT employees.
We drew up three-year plans – for 2015 to 2017 – aimed at the development of environmental and occupational health and safety issues. We decided to continue with the theme of developing our occupational health and safety culture after the 2012 to 2014 three-year period. The new theme areas are 'a common workplace', 'tidiness and order' and 'reinforcing the management chain as a communicator of QEHS issues'.
The new perspectives 'a common workplace', 'tidiness and order' and 'reinforcing the management chain as a communicator of QEHS issues' will be our focus areas.
The compliance of VTT's operational system with the ISO14001 standard was confirmed and VTT was granted the related certificate on 16 January 2014.
We reduced the amount of travel in line with the related objective. This reduction could be seen across all travel, confirming that we are moving in the right direction. Our success in reducing domestic travel was highly significant from the perspective of CO2 emissions. Foreign travel also fell markedly compared to the previous year. A total of 32.1 million flight kilometres accumulated. There was also a major drop in personal car use. In addition, we analysed the use of rental cars for the first time. A total of 0.53 million kilometres were driven in rental cars and 0.57 million in VTT cars.
The amount of paper purchased fell by almost a quarter (24.4%), totalling just over 10,000 reams. Printouts fell by almost two million copies (22.0%), with colour printouts accounting for nearly half of this reduction.
VTT consumed 38.1 GWh of electricity, which exceeded the figure for 2013 (36.7 GWh) but came under that of 2012 (39.0 GWh).
No Environmental Deed of the Year award was presented for 2014. Mechanical components and an oil separator were installed for the purpose of soil decontamination following the Otaniemi oil spill. This soil decontamination can begin when electrical connections have been installed for the pumping well.