Annual report 2022: Sustainability themes at Erillisverkot and globally
The war in Ukraine and energy crisis
In 2022, the most visible responsibility and sustainable development themes at Erillisverkot were the war in Ukraine and preparing for the potential energy crisis. A major share of the business of Erillisverkot responds to society’s need to prepare for and build capacity for disruptions under normal conditions and for emergency conditions. The availability of energy is one part of contingency planning. Erillisverkot tests its service ability and takes contingency measures regularly, and in 2022, these became a particular focus area.
The backup power systems of the Erillisverkot data centres are major. With regard to backup power, we analysed our opportunities in 2022, and in early 2023, we joined the voluntary electricity system support procedure by Fingrid. The procedure is aimed at utilising the potential flexibilities that exist outside the regulated market to avoid power outages that are caused by a shortage of electricity.
The energy crisis accelerates the green transition in Europe. In the operations of Erillisverkot, the energy crisis resulted in attempts to find and implement new energy solutions. The energy crisis was also reflected on rising costs and the need to increase customer prices in December 2022.
Climate change and biodiversity
At Erillisverkot, the focus of climate change mitigation is on the carbon handprint impact of the hardware and services. It enables optimising processes, for example, in logistics, the energy efficiency of buildings, ERP systems, robotics and the use of AI and technology in critical communications. Furthermore, the use of technology can replace travel, which reduces emissions. Although ITC can be used to optimise operations, resulting in a larger carbon handprint, this is not enough to stop the climate change. The handprint impact must be compared with the carbon footprint.
In addition to climate change mitigation and adaptation, we have turned our attention to the impact of our operations on biodiversity. Adaptation to climate change, our impact on nature and our dependence on ecosystem services require additional analyses, and we need to prepare action plans related to these areas in the near future. We analyse our customers’ need to know the carbon handprint and footprint of our services and the impact of our operations on biodiversity.
To mitigate climate change, we will start pilot projects in 2023, mapping our options to replace fossil fuels in backup power solutions. In 2022, we started monitoring the use of bio-based fuels, which we report on as part of our GHG emissions calculation. For several years, we have instructed our employees to use bio-based fuels in the group’s vehicles, when available.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are part of our wellbeing work community programme.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Erillisverkot wants to foster a diverse, equal and inclusive work culture where everyone can work as an equal member of the community. Equality and zero tolerance for discrimination are important principles and a part of our culture. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are part of the work community wellbeing programme, which is led by the HR management of Erillisverkot. We are at the early stages of this area of responsibility.
Equal pay survey revealed that remuneration at Erillisverkot is equal.
We are taking measures together and monitoring their implementation both as group-level scorecard targets and as part of our sustainability programme. In 2022, we implemented an equal pay survey to support equity. The survey revealed that remuneration at Erillisverkot is equal. Next year, we will strengthen our DEI expertise with a selected partner.
The responsible image of Erillisverkot is strong
Based on our customer experience survey, 88 per cent of the respondents consider Erillisverkot to be very responsible or responsible. In the survey, our stakeholders understood responsibility and sustainability as the overall security and reliability of our networks and operations. The respondents were convinced that because Erillisverkot is owned by the state, it acts responsibly, following acts, regulations, minimum requirements and instructions. The state is also seen as an owner who supervises its interests in the companies it owns and addresses deficiencies, if needed.
The respondents also noted that Erillisverkot takes responsibility for the environment and ensures human rights in its service production. According to the survey, Erillisverkot has made progress in these areas, but it could still enhance its communication related to these themes. The work community received positive feedback because staff turnover has been small and the contact persons have remained the same.
Towards sustainable business at Erillisverkot
Erillisverkot implemented its sustainable development strategy in 2020. The strategy is reviewed annually, in accordance with the sustainability management model of Erillisverkot. In 2022, we made some additions and specifications to the themes, targets and metrics until 2025. The further specifications are related to the implementation schedule for Virve 2 (the new target schedule is by the end of 2028) and to the monitoring of financial effects (profitability was introduced as a new metric).
Our net impact on the world +38
The Net Impact on the World survey by Service Sector Employers Palta examined the impacts of 62 Finnish companies in the service sector on the environment, health, society and provision of information. In the survey, Erillisverkot received a positive score of 38 per cent, when the resources it uses are compared against the benefits it produces. The average result among service companies is 30 per cent.
For example, Erillisverkot offers work and pays taxes actively, and the company’s services as a whole cause low emissions considering the added value they create. However, Erillisverkot still has room for improvement in, for example, energy efficiency and emissions reduction. Read more in the blog post (in Finnish).
Materiality guides progress
In 2020, Erillisverkot specified the materiality of its sustainable development targets, measures and reporting, based on business objectives and stakeholder expectations. The specification is updated, as necessary.
Our value chain is a value network
The value chain of Erillisverkot illustrates how a renewing and wellbeing work community can create added value for society in cooperation with customers and other stakeholders and strategic partners. Through production inputs and joint development, we create safe and reliable services for critical communications, situational awareness and the securing of critical infrastructure, providing the services responsibly with a view to the overall security. The services secure, for example, the operations by authorities, which affects and can be seen in the everyday life of citizens. Operators in the value chain benefit from the value we create together.
Read more about our year 2022
From the point of view of critical ICT services, the year 2022 will be remembered for the importance of security of supply, contingency and safety.
Read more about our key events and figures in 2022 and our CEO’s review
The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian attack on Ukraine materially impacted our operating environment.
Read more about our operating environment and the megatrends affecting our operations
Responding to future opportunities and threats is a key part of our strategy. The Erillisverkot strategy, which was renewed in 2021, proved to be functional in 2022.
Read more about our strategy and business review
In our sustainability programme, the implementation of our environmental responsibility is developing positively.
Read more about our sustainability programme until 2025