The UN Global Compact initiative is a global forum where companies and stakeholders collaborate to create a sustainable world. UPM has been a member of the initiative since 2003. Currently, some 9,500 businesses participate in the UN Global Compact. In 2016, UPM was the first forest industry company invited to join the Global Compact LEAD network and the first Finnish company to do so.
“The UN Global Compact offers us an excellent forum to network, cooperate and share best practices with other companies and professionals working in this field, but also to introduce our recent achievements in working towards a more sustainable future,” says Sami Lundgren, Vice President, Environment and Responsibility.
Lundgren offers the example of UPM BioVerno renewable diesel and UPM GrowDex, a wood-based hydrogel, which were both among the first products included in The Global Opportunity Explorer, a digital platform supported by the Global Compact. The platform helps businesses and investors connect with new partners, markets and projects to advance the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and sustainable development.
“The versatile, innovative and efficient use of renewable and recyclable wood biomass, combined with responsibility are at the core of UPM’s Biofore strategy. Having two of our products in the platform is a mark of recognition for our innovations. What is more, both products also have remarkable growth potential,” he adds.
The principles and work of the Global Compact are advanced at country and regional levels by its Local Networks, which are self-governed entities closely linked to the UN Global Compact Office in New York.
UPM has been participating in the Nordic Network but also in the national network in Finland that operates under ICC Finland. The Nordic companies get together twice a year to spur each other on in the fields of corporate responsibility and sustainable development.
“The Global Compact is an example of self-regulation where companies voluntarily commit to responsible and sustainable operations. The network offers companies a platform to share and resolve issues with others but also to discuss with stakeholders,” explains Timo Vuori, Executive Director, International Chamber of Commerce in Finland (ICC Finland).
The task of legislators is to create a legal framework that will guarantee solid ground for short- and long-term private investment. Usually, the legislative process takes many years, whereas companies execute their operations and make investment decisions over a shorter time span.
“The Global Compact is a forum that promotes collaboration between the public and private sectors to cooperate and find a common approach to complex issues that ultimately creates added value for everyone,” concludes Vuori.