For executive management, sustainable business means creating added value for business through sustainability. In the current operating environment, it is even more important for management to read changes in the environment and ensure that their company’s product and service portfolio meets the future demands of climate change and will be competitive in, for example, the one-and-a-half degree scenario.
SRV’s strategy takes a firm stand on the role that business plays in combating climate change and adapting to a changing operating environment. Our objective is, together with our partners, to create a new lifecycle-wise reality, where solutions related to construction ensure well-being, financial value and the benefit of users, residents and environment – for years and generations to come.
The financial and investment sector is requiring companies to have increasingly more reliable and comprehensive ESG reporting, and EU-level taxonomy defines what sustainable business is. The price and availability of financing will also be impacted by the subject’s sustainability classification. These requirements – and ultimately also increased regulation – will force companies to expand their reporting to other sectors outside investment and finance.
Stricter requirements are also being seen in the complete reform of the Land Use and Construction Act, whose amendments include a requirement for buildings to be low-carbon. The goal is for a building’s carbon footprint to be calculated when applying for a building permit (as is the case with the e-factor), with legislation eventually including a carbon footprint ceiling.
In the construction sector, taking a circular economy approach means material- and energy-efficient buildings that are adaptable, repairable and built to last. Recyclability ensures that construction elements, equipment and materials are recyclable at the end of their lifecycles; that is, they can either be returned to the producer, reused as is, or used as raw materials to make new products.
Waste management and recycling building demolition waste both play a major role by allowing waste streams to end up as raw materials. The Ministry of the Environment and the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries have negotiated a green deal for the construction sector that seeks to promote the recycling of plastic film (packaging and protective plastics). For construction firms, this means sorting plastic waste more accurately.
In recent years, there has been increasing debate over the use of forced labour in global supply chains. Corporate business ethics are the subject of growing interest from consumers, the media, civil society, investors, and the authorities. However, local and national structures have been largely neglected in these discussions. Preventing labour exploitation has been designated as an important theme at SRV and forms part of our regular cooperation with partners.
Our sustainability programme lists SRV’s main sustainability themes and their associated long- and short-term objectives. It reflects the requirements placed on companies both in general and in the construction sector in particular. This programme makes it easier to see the big picture and communicate the issues to various target groups. The sustainability programme enables every SRV employee to identify their own role in sustainability development.
The themes of SRV’s sustainability programme have been built around value creation. The themes in this annual report are also presented in accordance with the programme’s structure. Our goal is to ensure that the sustainability programme’s themes support business development and the attainment of SRV’s strategic targets in the best possible way. The sustainability programme is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
Sustainability reporting is expected to meet stakeholders’ growing demands for information. Investors and financiers in particular have an increased need for sustainability data. These days, sustainability themes such as climate change are part of routine business and increasing volumes of sustainability data are also required to support decision-making. Sustainability is no longer a separate section in our reporting, but rather one of its main themes.
When reporting is tied to sustainable business solutions, it has the potential to generate greater added value for both SRV and our stakeholders. Appropriateness continues to be the watchword for SRV’s sustainability reporting. We comply with statutory and industry-wide reporting requirements, and provide both internal and external stakeholders with up-to-date and comprehensible information to support decision-making. Unless otherwise stated, our sustainability reporting adheres to the same boundaries as our financial reporting.
In accordance with the requirements of the Accounting Act, a report on HR issues, social responsibility, human rights, environmental and climate issues, and bribery and corruption is provided in the Report of the Board of Directors and thereby also in the financial statements.
A summary of the report is also presented in the adjacent table.
SRV’s values – sustainability, enthusiasm, profitability, bold in development and open in cooperation – will continue to create a firm foundation for further development. Our Code of Conduct creates a sustainable foundation for everything we do. All of SRV’s companies, Board members, management and employees are obligated to comply with the Code of Conduct regardless of their station. SRV also seeks to get third parties, such as subcontractors and other cooperation partners, to commit to the Code of Conduct.
SRV has an Ethics Channel through which anyone can anonymously report observed or suspected behaviour that contravenes the Code of Conduct. SRV’s Compliance Team is helping to enhance compliance.
Stakeholders – both together and individually – continually weigh up whether, in their eyes, the company has permission to operate. Reputation in itself is important, but even more important are the elements that this reputation consists of – and also, from the company’s perspective, whether this reputation leads to positive action from stakeholders.
SRV has established a Youth Panel consisting of young people with an interest in urban development. The panel has given opinions on the development of real construction projects on SRV’s drawing board. The Youth Panel meets four times a year.
During the year, SRV representatives meet with investors and analysts at quarterly events. Investors, analysts and media representatives who follow SRV are invited to attend our quarterly interim report briefings. We meet with subcontractors and suppliers at bilateral negotiations on topics such as the ethical issues surrounding agency-hired labour.
SRV is involved in industry development via close cooperation with other industry actors. We are particularly active in our environmental sustainability and occupational safety efforts. Collaboration is carried out under the umbrella of organisations such as the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT. SRV is also a member of Finnish Business and Society (FiBS). SRV’s representatives are involved in the Environment and Energy group of the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT and the Green Building Council Finland.