Walking the talk about the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Jul 5, 2018

The UN Sustainable Development Goals have been created to define global sustainable development priorities and to mobilize global efforts around a common set of goals. Valmet shows its commitment to the goals through concrete actions.

The United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs provide a coherent, holistic and integrated framework for addressing the world's most urgent sustainability challenges and creating a better future for all.

The SDGs concern all players in society. Whereas governments are expected to integrate them into national action plans, policies and initiatives, businesses are expected to transform the goals into sustainable business practices and have a positive impact.

"As a global company, Valmet has an opportunity to impact the development of these goals. Our Sustainability360˚ agenda and the connected action plans are aligned with the SDGs. Also, all the targets in our sustainability action plan contribute to these goals," says Laura Puustjärvi, Head of Sustainability at Valmet.

From the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Valmet has defined four goals that are the most material for Valmet’s operations.

No water to be wasted

SDG goal 6 is about clean water and sanitation. Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities across the world.

Water is one of the key elements in papermaking, and with Valmet’s technology solutions, papermakers are able to reduce their water consumption. For example, Valmet’s modular OptiConcept M paper machine enables customers to lower fresh water consumption by up to 30%. With ultrafiltration technology, a paper machine’s clear filtrate can be purified and white water can be returned back to the process, reducing both the consumption of fresh water used and the amount of water wasted.

Ensuring affordable and clean energy

Goal 7 focuses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

"For over thirty years, we have supplied the energy industry with solutions for high-efficiency power production based on various kinds of biofuels. We also have sustainable solutions for optimum energy production from waste-derived fuels. Instead of being a problem that needs to be discarded, waste is turned into valuable energy," Puustjärvi points out.

The use of biofuels and waste-derived fuels reduces the consumption of fossil fuels significantly and curbs climate change.

Economic growth and decent work

SDG goal 8 emphasizes economic growth and decent work for everyone. One way of contributing to this goal is through Valmet’s R&D development by developing more safe and sustainable solutions. Additionally, with global operations in 33 countries, Valmet provides employment and business opportunities to a wide range of stakeholders and indirectly builds wealth in local societies.

Valmet strives to ensure that all its operations across the value chain are carried out in a socially responsible and globally aligned manner. With the requirements set in our HSE and Sustainable Supply Chain policies we aim to reach the long-term goal of zero harm to people or the environment.

We have a comprehensive approach to supplier sustainability and conduct annually minimum of 50 supplier sustainability audits. All audit findings related to business ethics and compliance, human and labor rights, health and safety or environmental management are recorded and followed up in a systematic manner.

We also take care of HSE management in our own operations by continuously training our personnel on safety issues. Our managers conduct annually over 800 safety walks to promote safety mindset at locations.

Making efficient use of resources

SDG goal 12 deals with responsible consumption and production. Valmet’s material efficiency solutions help pulp and paper mills minimize the use of expensive raw materials. For example, innovative lightweight technologies make it possible to reduce the amount of fiber used in board production. Our flotation solutions help lower the use of chemicals. In energy production, Valmet’s power boilers can use agricultural residues to boost the efficient use of resources.

Our own programs and actions, such as waste management, work towards environmental targets. Supply chain management contributes to this goal, too.


Interested to find out more about Valmet’s 360° approach to sustainability? Read our Annual Report where we discuss our sustainability agenda, action plans and how the SDGs are linked to them.