Human rights management

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights sets the global standard for companies on how to respect human rights. In compliance with the principles, companies shall respect human rights in all their operations. Companies are expected to review the human rights and the potential risks in their operations, and establish systems to avoid these risks, as well as to create processes for corrective actions. 

Valmet is committed to the UN Global Compact and supports and promotes the principles set in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. 

Salient human rights issues 

As a global technology and services supplier, Valmet operates in a highly multicultural environment with 14,000 employees representing over 50 nationalities, and has operations in 35 countries. Our suppliers are an integral part of our manufacturing and delivery processes. Valmet has some 17,000 active direct suppliers from more than 50 countries. 

As a global company, Valmet recognizes its responsibility to respect human rights and requires its business partners to do the same.  

To ensure compliance with international laws and guiding principles, Valmet has continued its work to create a comprehensive framework for due diligence in human rights to be used globally in its operations. The work started in 2014 and is part of Valmet’s Sustainability360º agenda action plans for 2019-2021 focusing on creating a comprehensive framework and monitoring system for human rights due diligence in our own operations.   

Valmet has assessed potential negative human rights impacts and performed an assessment of salient human rights issues. As a result of this work, Valmet has identified the following 14 salient potential human rights impacts in Valmet's operations: 

- Right to life 
- Right to privacy 
- Right to freedom of movement 
- Right to freedom of opinion, information and expression 
- Right to freedom of association 
- Right to participate to public life 
- Right to social security, including social insurance  
- Right to work 
- Right to enjoy just and favorable conditions of work 
- Right to form and join trade unions and the right to strike 
- Right to an adequate standard of living 
- Right to health 
- Right to education 
- Rights of minorities 

Valmet’s human rights statement   

In compliance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Valmet has published a statement to promote its commitment and respect to human rights. Valmet’s Human Rights Statement is approved by Valmet’s President and CEO, Pasi Laine, and it applies to all employees and entities within Valmet. 

Valmet’s Human Rights Statement is publicly available on the website for all personnel, business partners and other relevant parties. 

Valmet's work to create a human rights framework 

Identified vulnerable groups 

Valmet has started to identify potentially vulnerable groups related to the salient human rights impacts in Valmet's operations. Valmet will report the progress of this work as part of its Annual Report and GRI Supplement.  

Valmet makes most of its purchases in industries, where the potential human rights risks relate to freedom of association, possible use of forced labor, and occupational health and safety. Valmet has also acknowledged that countries such as China, India and Thailand, where it has both its own operations and makes purchases, are commonly identified as risk countries in terms of human rights impacts. 

Valmet has policies and processes in place in several areas for promoting human rights among its employees. Valmet has a non-discrimination policy and an Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy. Among others, there are processes in place for an equal opportunity plan to prevent discrimination between men and women, for monitoring the work-life balance, and local monitoring of working hours. 

Number of sites with mitigation plans  

Valmet has defined a location specific human rights impact assessment process for high-risk locations. The process was piloted in 2018 in one location. In late 2019, we conducted two local human rights impact assessments in our own operations in Indonesia and in China. The assessments were carried out by an independent third party. The findings of these assessments were mainly related to employee engagement, health, safety and environmental management and sustainable supply chain management. During 2020, we defined and started to implement the corrective action plans. At year-end, 100 percent of the corrective actions had been completed and verified in both Indonesia and China. 

We have a global sustainability assessment process to ensure that we are able to operate according to our Code of Conduct whenever we expand our current operations or establish a new legal entity in a new country. 

Valmet has HSE mitigation plans for each local site. Valmet’s location-level annual action plans include concrete actions to mitigate risks of serious harm or injury both to our employees, partners, the community and the environment. 

We are continuing our work on a systematic approach to all Valmet sites globally to standardize human rights assessments and our way of operating.   

Remediation actions 

Based on the human rights impact assessments, location-level remediation action plans are being carried out. Valmet continues to develop a comprehensive process to build an approach to its human rights framework globally. Valmet will communicate the progress of this work as part of its Annual Report and GRI Supplement.