The rocketing demand for face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a shortage over spring and summer last year. UPM decided to help the communities where it operates by acquiring half a million masks to be given out to local operators. Each site had the opportunity to choose the recipient of the support.
“Purchasing these masks was an apt decision for the Biofore Share and Care programme, as its overall aim is to support local communities and their vitality. Usually, we give financial support, so this was an exceptional project due to its concrete nature and scale. It was also exceptional due to the fact that the whole company and all its businesses were involved,” says Kaisa Vainikka, Manager for Social Responsibility at UPM.
Biofore Care and Share programme gives support by sponsorships, donations and voluntary work carried out by employees. The focus areas of the programme are reading and learning, engaging with communities, and Beyond fossils initiatives. These areas are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Group’s 2030 responsibility targets.
“The 40,000 face masks given out in autumn to Finnish universities to be used in classes is closely related to the promotion of the programme’s reading and learning focus area. By doing this, we wanted to support students, who are an important stakeholder to us, and to enable them to continue with face-to-face learning in these exceptional circumstances,” Vainikka adds.