Review by the director in charge of corporate social responsibility

 

A sustainable society requires companies to take action

OP’s aim to operate in a sustainable manner is based on our cooperative values and our mission that obliges us to promote sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing for our owner-customers and operating regions. This mission has remained almost unchanged throughout our history that goes back over 100 years. Alongside our business role, our social role guides us to operate for the benefit of our owner-customers and operating regions and set an example for others. Sustainability is not limited to our social role – it encompasses all our operations. Our aim is to be a pioneer in corporate social responsibility in the financial sector. Responsibility is not measured by words, but by actions.

In 2017, we revised our CSR Programme – Positive driver of change through responsibility – which is based on four main themes: We foster a sustainable economy, We support local vitality, We act with a people-first approach and through engagement and We foster health, security and wellbeing. In this Programme, we set ambitious targets for the future. With regard to our own operations, we want to be carbon positive by 2025. We have already taken the first steps towards this goal in the Vallila campus by transferring to electricity that has been generated entirely by wind power, and by building a solar power station on the roof of the Vallila campus. We have also built solar power stations on the roofs of Pohjola Hospitals and in connection with several property investments. In support of these actions, we also prepared OP’s climate principles – the first in our history – that are binding on the whole OP Financial Group.

We also want to encourage sustainable choices among our customers. OP’s mobility services provide and alternative for owning a car. The OP Crowdfunding platform enables participation in financing the growth of Finnish companies. Fund-specific responsibility analyses (ESG analyses) support our customers’ decision-making by providing information on the funds’ carbon footprint and positive environmental impact.

In honour of the centenary of Finland's independence, we launched Hiiop.fi, a new volunteer work exchange site, and challenged people in Finland to engage in 100 person years of voluntary activities. 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. We believe that voluntary activities will increase teamwork in general. This will in turn build trust among people in Finland and increase their wellbeing.

Responsibility ultimately comes down to daily actions in our business. You can learn more about other aspects of CSR in our business operations in the annual report. Take part in discussion on social media with hashtag #OPVuosi2017.

Tuuli Kousa