Sustainability highlights in 2021

Responsible operations and sustainable development are a key part of Componenta’s business. The company’s values – openness, honesty and appreciation – and its strategy and operating methods lay the foundation for its responsible operations. Sustainability is considered in the company’s short-term and long-term planning and development.

Componenta recognises the impact of its business operations on the surrounding society and its stakeholders. Responsibility for the environment and caring for personnel are particularly important in the company’s field of operation. In terms of the product portfolio, the production of cast components is particularly energy-intensive, and the production process generates significant amounts of surplus sand and dust as a by-product. Due to the personnel-intensive nature of the industry, personnel costs and investments in employees’ wellbeing and competence development have a significant impact on the company’s success. The company respects its employees’ rights, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, and conducts its business under safe working conditions. The company has zero tolerance for forced labour, child labour and discrimination.

Environmental responsibility

Componenta’s policies for quality, the environment, health and safety guide the Group’s actions related to quality and environmental aspects. All production units have third-party certified quality and environmental management systems.

Componenta’s most important objectives related to environmental responsibility are emission prevention, energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption and waste as well as the reuse of waste. Using recycled material as raw material in production has been an obvious choice for the company for a long time. The final products manufactured by Componenta can also be recycled. At Componenta, every investment is also assessed with regard to its environmental impacts.

Componenta’s most significant environmental impacts are mainly related to energy consumption in cast component production, the surplus sand and dust generated as a by-product in production, and any emissions caused by production units’ operations. Componenta also assesses each significant investment in terms of its environmental impact. The introduction of new technologies and changes in production methods can have a positive impact on energy consumption, the use of raw materials and emissions.

In Componenta’s foundries, the melting of raw materials and the hot melt consume a lot of energy, making Componenta a major energy consumer. Any local increase in energy prices or increased taxation of energy use may have a significant impact on Componenta’s operating conditions. The company’s operating conditions would also be adversely affected by increased waste processing fees and taxes. In addition, any stricter environmental permit regulations or emission limits pose a significant risk for Componenta’s operations.

The prevention of environmental pollution is crucial for Componenta, as any potentially polluting activities pose a significant economic risk due to the strictness and scope of current legislation. Any violations of environmental protection regulations would also have a negative impact on Componenta’s operations in the form of damage to the company’s reputation. Componenta is committed to compliance with all applicable local laws and regulations. The company aims to ensure that its operations continue without disruption, that the quality of operations remains at a good level and that the impact of the operations on the environment or nearby residences is kept to a minimum.

In addition to preventing emissions, Componenta’s main goals for environmental responsibility include energy efficiency, reduced energy consumption, reduced waste generation and improved waste recovery. Componenta actively monitors its energy consumption levels and works continuously to save energy in all its production units. Efforts are made to improve energy efficiency by developing and improving quality and committing to responsible energy use, as well as through methodological planning and by conducting energy audits as necessary. For example, in the plate-cutting services unit in Leppävesi, two old air compressors were replaced with one more energy-efficient air compressor in 2021. In Jyväskylä, energy efficiency was improved by replacing the water hydraulic system, and lighting was replaced using LED technology in several units to promote occupational safety and energy efficiency. We also increased the use of air source heat pumps in heating the office facilities at our production plant in Härmä, and we recovered waste heat from production equipment for heating. In iron foundries, production volumes and load stability have a major impact on relative energy consumption and energy efficiency, as the amount of energy needed to maintain production readiness, such as keeping hot metal melted, is not directly reduced by a possible reduction in production. Product and production design, material choices and quality optimisation are important factors for the environmental impact of a product’s life cycle. The higher the quality produced by Componenta’s production process, the fewer waste pieces are produced, and less energy and fewer raw materials and resources are consumed. Componenta’s foundry operations are strongly based on the circular economy, and the main raw material for cast components is recycled metal. 

Social responsibility and employees

Componenta’s social responsibility management is based on its personnel policy, management principles and company values. In accordance with its personnel policy, Componenta emphasises competence, experience and motivation in recruitment and the different stages of career development. Its remuneration systems are fair, clear and competitive. In accordance with Componenta’s personnel policy, everyone is treated equally and in accordance with the principles of gender equality. Its equality plans are updated annually and are based on Componenta’s personnel policy.

Employees also have an internal channel for reporting misconduct and suspected cases of discrimination, for example.

Componenta provides equal job opportunities for Finns and immigrants, in addition to offering a safe working environment and equal opportunities for development at work. Componenta is a diverse workplace, with around 15 nationalities. Of Componenta’s employees, 13% are women. Componenta provides all new employees with induction and other training in their work and the related safety requirements. The company encourages the continuous development of competence and professional skills and ensures and maintains wellbeing at work.

In terms of social responsibility and aspects related to employees, risks in an industrial operating environment are mainly associated with health and accidents. Physically strenuous work in the production environment requires an investment in occupational safety and healthy working practices, so Componenta promotes the wellbeing of its employees by improving occupational safety and supporting activities that maintain their working capacity. In particular, long sickness absences and the accidents causing them are risk factors for our operations, as it can take a long time to replace human knowledge and skills. In addition, significant direct and indirect costs arising from sickness absences and accidents may have an adverse impact on Componenta’s financial performance.

To manage occupational health risks, Componenta is investing in preventing sickness absences and reducing their duration. The aim is to identify the risk factors for occupational accidents more effectively and thereby reduce the number of accidents. These monitoring and development needs are closely linked.

To minimise and prevent the risk of accidents, Componenta’s production units regularly organize occupational safety training and safety walks and ensure that their employees have access to up-to-date, suitable and adequate tools. All units have a common OHS action plan, and the heads of units monitor the achievement of goals in their units.

Respect for human rights

Componenta’s raw material and supply chains are global, and the company recognises its responsibility in observing and contributing to human rights in the value chain. Componenta’s customers also expect globally recognised ethical principles to be observed in the value chain. However, Componenta’s choice of business partners is affected by a number of factors. For example, certain raw materials required for production can only be sourced from a limited number of suppliers.

The primary risks related to the violation of human rights concern suppliers and subcontractors in Componenta’s product supply chain whose country of location cannot guarantee the fulfilment of internationally recognised human rights or the fundamental rights of workers. Possible violations of human and fundamental labour rights in the value chain pose risks to the company’s reputation in particular.

In accordance with its Code of Conduct, Componenta aims to ensure that human rights are respected in the supply chain of its products and that its supply chain does not promote conflicts. Suppliers and subcontractors must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Componenta has a Supplier and Subcontractor Code of Conduct in place. Suppliers and subcontractors must also support and respect internationally recognised human rights, as defined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the fundamental rights of workers, as defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO). In addition, suppliers and subcontractors must comply with Componenta’s requirements concerning quality and environmental standards in their operations.

Componenta respects human rights within its sphere of influence and conducts its business in a transparent and reliable manner. Understanding the principles of respect for human rights is the responsibility of every employee at Componenta. A key part of Componenta’s risk management strategy is a whistleblowing channel through which employees and other stakeholders can report violations of the company’s Code of Conduct and any suspected non-compliance with human rights.

Anti-corruption and bribery

In terms of corruption and bribery, Componenta’s main risks are related to possible actions or omissions in the production chain that are in violation of Componenta’s Code of Conduct. Fair competition is an important policy for Componenta. This applies to the company’s behaviour towards its competitors and customers, and to its business activities. Componenta or its employees and other parties acting on behalf of Componenta may not offer, give or accept bribes or other illegal benefits. Business partners and representatives of the authorities should not be offered undue financial advantages to promote Componenta’s transactions or other interests of the company.

In addition to sanctions and reputation harm, failure to comply with the anti-corruption and anti-bribery rules may result in financial losses for Componenta if its partners in the production chain are not chosen on sound economic grounds. The company’s Code of Conduct contains rules on giving and receiving gifts and hospitality, as well as on avoiding conflicts of interest. Componenta is also a politically neutral company.

To identify and prevent risks related to corruption and bribery, Componenta’s Code of Conduct is reviewed between the management, white-collar employees and blue-collar employees generally once a year by means of training or discussion. It is considered important that personnel have a practical understanding of what corruption is and how it can be prevented. Componenta’s purchasing and sales organisations, as well as its unit and company management, play a significant role in combatting corruption and bribery. Training on Componenta’s Code of Conduct includes anti-corruption and anti-bribery practices. Componenta has a Supplier and Subcontractor Code of Conduct in place. Componenta is committed to responsible business operations and integrity. Componenta’s Code of Conduct helps employees choose the correct course of action when they encounter an ethical problem. Componenta’s employees are encouraged to raise any issues related to the company’s Code of Conduct and to report any detected or suspected violations of the Code of Conduct. The company’s business partners and representatives of other stakeholders may also report such violations or suspicions. Componenta’s whistleblowing channel plays a key role in reporting any suspected cases of corruption or bribery.

Please read more about sustainability at Componenta in our latest Annual Review.