70% of business decision-makers in Finland say that social responsibility is often overlooked

According to a survey* carried out by Neste, the vast majority (87%) of Finnish business decision-makers consider sustainability as an essential part of their company strategy. Only 6% of respondents claim that sustainability is not a competitive advantage.

“Many companies appear to consider sustainability a central part of their business. Despite this, less than half (38%) of the respondents say that their company is currently engaged in sustainability-related cooperation. But concrete actions which improve sustainable business often require cooperation. We at Neste want to encourage companies to embrace a more sustainable future, in Finland as well as globally,” says Salla Ahonen, Vice President of Sustainability at Neste.

Social responsibility often overlooked

The survey also looked into how business decision-makers see social responsibility: what issues businesses are addressing, which areas they need help with, and what sustainability-related phenomena are seen as the biggest threats to Finland’s future. Based on the responses, business strategies emphasize environmental responsibility the most (84%), followed by financial aspects (61%) and social responsibility (58%). Nearly 68% of respondents find that businesses often overlook social responsibility.

“What is great about the concept of sustainability is that it is continuously developing. Today, it is not just about the environment or climate, but people as well. In reality, achieving change comes down to the actions people take. These issues are not separate from each other. Climate change has major impacts on people and societies, and vice versa. It is somewhat troubling that almost 70% of business decision-makers in Finland feel that social issues are overlooked. Also companies should participate in different societal discussions,” Ahonen continues.

According to the survey, the social exclusion of young people (51%) is seen as the biggest threat to Finland’s future. Negative economic development (35%) and global warming (34%) came in as second and third.

The importance of social responsibility was reflected in the open answers, as indicated by this response by a business decision-maker: “Companies do not exist in a vacuum; or at least they should not. Companies should take initiative and be much more proactive in terms of being responsible for their business operations and the impacts of their actions on the environment, people and the society, both domestically and globally.”

Neste invites partners, customers and suppliers to do concrete good together at Journey to Zero.

*) The survey was sent out to 3,649 Finnish business decision-makers between 15–21 November 2019. The sample size was 2.7%, or 94 decision-makers representing companies of different sizes. The survey was conducted via email.

Neste Corporation

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