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.

As a global company, Valmet recognizes its responsibility to respect human rights and requires its business partners to do the same. Valmet’s commitment to respect human rights is laid out in its Human Rights Statement, UK Modern Slavery Statement and embedded into its global policies and guidelines.

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 enforces the Human Rights Statement by actively assessing the fulfilment of human rights in its own operations and in its supply chain through supplier sustainability audits.

Valmet’s human right due diligence framework

To ensure compliance with international laws and guiding principles, Valmet has created a comprehensive framework for due diligence in human rights to be used globally in its operations. Human rights management is part of Valmet’s Sustainability360º agenda and action plans. We do a systematic periodic review of potential human rights issues every 3 years as a part of the sustainability agenda action plan update.

We have embedded human rights due diligence into our management systems by integrating it into several different Valmet processes, including human rights impact assessments, country sustainability risk assessment, supplier sustainability audits, annual sustainability assurance process, mergers and acquisitions due diligence process, sustainability agenda action plan review process incl. specific function action plan for human rights management.

In addition, we have a global sustainability assessment process to identify risks and ensure that we are able to operate according to our Code of Conduct and Human rights statement whenever we expand our current operations or establish a new legal entity in a new country.

Salient human rights issues

Valmet has assessed potential negative human rights impacts and performed an assessment of salient human rights issues. Valmet has integrated salient human rights into company policies and related processes to ensure human rights are respected and promoted in all our operations. Valmet has identified the following 8 salient potential human rights impacts in our own operations and supply chain:

  1. Occupational health and safety
  2. Working conditions
  3. Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  4. Discrimination
  5. Forced labour and child labour in supply chain
  6. Migrant workers
  7. Corruption and bribery
  8. Access to grievance mechanisms and remedy

Identified vulnerable groups and potential human rights risks

Valmet has identified potentially vulnerable groups related to the salient human rights impacts both in our own operations and in our supply chain.

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 and promote equal renumeration between men and women, for monitoring the work-life balance, and local monitoring of working hours.

Valmet has a wide supply chain of approximately 30,000 active direct suppliers from more than 60 countries with different sustainability risk levels. Suppliers provide Valmet with various metals-based products and components, electronics as well as different services.  Valmet makes most of its purchases in industries, where the potential human rights risks relate to freedom of association, possible use of forced and child labor, and occupational health and safety.

Valmet has also acknowledged that countries such as China, Indonesia, 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. Local communities, migrant workers, and third-party contracted labor have been identified as vulnerable groups in addition to own employees.

Number of sites with mitigation plans 

Valmet has defined a location specific human rights impact assessment process for high-risk locations. Valmet has conducted four local human rights impact assessments in our own operations in Thailand, Indonesia, China and India. 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. We also defined and implemented the corrective action plans and all of the corrective actions have been completed and verified.

In addition to human rights impact assessments, Valmet has also Health, Safety and Environmental management 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 systematic approach to all Valmet sites globally to standardize human rights assessments and our way of operating.  

Remediation actions

As a part of Valmet’s human right due diligence framework, Valmet has a remediation process in place. In case of a serious human rights violation occurs, an Incident Management Team (IMT) is established to coordinate the remediation actions and to ensure their implementation. No significant human rights violations have been identified from three four scale human rights impact assessments done in India, Thailand, Indonesia and in China, and therefore no remediation actions have been taken. The corrective actions for India are still on going and we'll be completed by the end of 2023.

Valmet continues to implement its comprehensive process of human rights due diligence framework globally. Valmet communicates the progress of this work as part of its Annual Report and GRI Supplement.