Corporate social responsibility highlights 2017

We updated our corporate social responsibility programme

The main themes of OP’s corporate social responsibility programme are fostering sustainable economy, supporting regional vitality, people-first and participative approach and the foster of health, safety and wellbeing. The programme defines goals and targets for a broad range of activities and for all areas. One of them is to make OP carbon positive by 2025. Read more from our corporate social responsibility programme.

Hiiop – 100 years of volunteering

OP Financial Group's gift to the 100-year-old Finland: 274 person-years of volunteering. In honour of the Finland 100 jubilee year, OP wanted to lower the threshold for participating in voluntary work. Inviting everyone in Finland to do voluntary work together to attain 100 person years of volunteering, OP created a volunteer work exchange site at Hiiop100.fi. The website enables both announcing and searching for volunteer opportunities.

During the jubilee year, OP Financial Group’s personnel and administration did over 274 person years of volunteering together with partners and other people. This involved, for example, helping families and schoolchildren living on limited means, contributing to prevention of loneliness among elderly people, improving young people’s financial literacy, promoting nature values and participating in various fundraising projects.

During 2017, more than 3,000 voluntary tasks around Finland were posted on Hiiop100.fi, an exchange service for volunteer work. Volunteer work during the jubilee year has deepened OP’s social role and substantially expanded our relations with the third sector.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, OP will continue to maintain and further develop the Hiiop100.fi service and enable its employees to do voluntary work during working hours also after the jubilee year.

Read more about opportunities for volunteer work at Hiiop100.fi.

 

OP joined the FIBS Diversity Network

OP joined the FIBS Diversity Network in autumn 2017. On joining, members sign a Diversity Charter by which they engage themselves in developing their management and service practices through diversity principles of the Charter. Read more about the FIBS Diversity Network.

 

Solar power from rooftops

The building of solar power stations is a concrete example of OP’s corporate social responsibility programme updated this year. OP will build on the roof of the Vallila campus a solar power station, which will probably also be the largest installed into an office property in Finland. Solar panels are already creating energy in Kuopio and Oulu on the roofs of Pohjola Hospitals. The hospital under construction in Turku will also have solar panels. Solar power has also been used in buildings developed by OP Property Management Ltd. OP is currently looking into the viability of having solar power stations installed in the roofs of member cooperative banks around Finland.

 

The biggest electronic voting in Finland

In November, OP Financial Group’s 81 cooperative banks held the election of the Representative Assembly where owner-customers elected from among them the Representative Assembly for their own bank for four years. A total of almost 2,400 members were elected to the Assemblies. The number of candidates totalled over 5,600.

 

OP launched the OP Crowdfunding service

OP Crowdfunding’s first investment project involved the small ice cream factory Suominen's Milk Ltd which sought capital for growth and to start exporting its organic ice cream, Jymy. OP’s second crowdfunding project with the Nokia-based clothing manufacturer Papu Design began in December 2017.

 

New mobility services

Mobility services increased as OP introduced DriveNow car sharing charged by the minute, in Helsinki, and OP Flexible Car providing rental cars for a month or a longer period, offered nationwide. In May 2017, OP also announced it will build with Fortum almost 100 charging stations for electric cars in Finland.

 

OP joined the Commitment 2050 programme

OP joined the national commitment on sustainable development, ”The Finland We Want by 2050”. The purpose of this commitment is to promote sustainable development everywhere in our society. OP is committed to promoting competence development in Finland as the country is undergoing a transformation of employment.

 

New ownership policy and engagement

OP Fund Management Company revised its ownership policy concerning Finnish and foreign companies in autumn 2017. The new policy will take better into account responsibility viewpoints, such as preparation for climate change and sustainability. As a result of the new policy, OP funds will also attend the AGMs of global companies. The first OP funds began to vote in AGMs outside Finland in autumn 2017. OP funds are committed to increasing their voting activity within three years with the aim of participating in thousands of AGMs abroad every year. OP Fund Management Company's ownership policy defines how OP funds exercise influence in AGMs.

 

Thematic engagement projects on carbon, water and tax risks

In the first half of 2017, OP launched thematic engagement projects on carbon, water and tax risks. Furthermore, in the second half of the year, we joined Climate Action 100+, a global five-year engagement initiative for investors. OP Wealth Management joined three thematic corporate engagement projects.

 

The first fund-specific ESG analyses were published

In July 2017, we began to publish fund-specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) analyses. In future, we will publish these analyses on a quarterly basis. The analyses include responsibility ratings for companies in the funds’ portfolios. The analyses comprise environmental (E), social (S) and governance-related (G) issues. The fund-specific analyses also include information on the companies’ carbon footprints and positive environmental impact.