Responsibility Policy steers joint activities

Metsähallitus’ responsibility work is guided by the responsibility policy. This policy has been confirmed by Metsähallitus Board of Directors and it applies to strategic management throughout the group.

The responsibility policy defines the areas of joint activities between Metsähallitus’ Group units and business units, the link to the strategy and its implementation, the main objectives, key principles and focus areas, main roles and responsibilities, and reporting procedures. 

Responsibility Policy 

The responsibility policy was updated as part of the responsibility programme, and it was approved by the Metsähallitus Board of Directors in 2023.

Main objectives 

Responsibility is integral to every aspect of our operations. It is integrated into Metsähallitus’ strategy as well as our management and development. 

To us, responsibility means ambitiously working and developing together to achieve a more responsible, sustainable, fair and equal future. State lands and waters are subjected to a wide variety of use needs, which have ecological, cultural, social and economic impacts. We make every effort to sustainably and responsibly harmonise these needs so that they will benefit people, society and nature as much as possible.

We act as a responsible organisation and take the impacts of our operations into consideration wherever they reach. We actively influence society and develop responsible operations with customers, partners and stakeholders throughout our value chain.

The objective of our responsibility work is to create added value for nature, people and society across generations.

Key principles 

Our operations are based on internationally recognised responsibility guidelines and principles, such as the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We work both to promote the realisation of these principles and to reduce negative impacts on them.

Metsähallitus’ responsibility work is guided by the responsibility policy, responsibility programme and Code of Conduct, which specify the key responsibility principles, duties, guidelines, objectives and actions. Our responsibility policy also outlines our principles related to environmental and human rights.

We identify areas in our operations that are essential in terms of responsibility as well as their attendant risks, which we manage as part of our risk management system. We oversee the observance and implementation of responsibility and, if necessary, take corrective measures.

We encourage our stakeholders to take responsibility into account and promote it with us. We require our suppliers to pledge their commitment to our Code of Conduct.

Focus areas of responsibility work

Metsähallitus’ responsibility targets are recorded in the responsibility programme. The materiality analysis produced based on the viewpoints given by our stakeholders forms the core of our responsibility programme.

The responsibility programme includes four focus areas, which are leadership, environment, people and society. The focus areas define responsibility work and include objectives that are integrated into the work of every Metsähallitus employee via the strategy and the responsibility programme.

Good governance, compliance and our practices provide an ethical and responsible foundation for our work.


We manage and develop responsibility in accordance with best practices and ensure that our operations are compliant and ethical. We build trust through open interaction and develop more customer-oriented and digital forms of cooperation. We improve the stakeholder and customer experience and pledge to expand our responsible and ethical practices throughout our value chain.


The management of environmental issues at Metsähallitus is underpinned by an ISO 14001 certified environmental system. According to the principle of continuous improvement, we work systematically to protect the environment and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources. We take climate impacts, climate change adaptation, biodiversity and sustainable economy as well as positive regional economic and employment impacts into consideration in every aspect of our operations.

Every Metsähallitus employee must take environmental matters into account in their daily work and work for our shared environment. We observe the precautionary principle when taking measures with environmental impacts. We promote the development and deployment of environmentally friendly practices and technologies. The use of multiple-use forests is also guided by statutory social obligations imposed on Metsähallitus, forest certification, and our Environmental guidelines for practical forest management. Laws and regulations govern the management and use of protected areas.

We evaluate the environmental aspects and risks of our activities each year. To manage environmental impacts and constantly improve our environmental management practices, we draw up environmental objectives, guidelines and monitoring methods that apply to the entire Metsähallitus organisation.


We respect all human and fundamental rights, including language rights. We recognise the existing or potential impacts that Metsähallitus’ operations have on human rights. We manage risks and we prevent and mitigate the impacts as part of risk management and environmental matters.

We ensure that our activities and the way we treat our staff, customers, partners and stakeholders are fair and equitable. We do not tolerate discrimination, bullying or harassment. As set out in our Code of Conduct, we also require all our suppliers and contracting partners to respect fundamental and human rights.


Our work is based on successfully reconciling a wide range of needs and wishes in collaboration with our stakeholders. We generate value for society by boosting regional vitality, creating possibilities for sustainable business, producing revenue for the state, promoting wellbeing services obtained from nature as well as fostering living cultural heritage and maintaining buildings and cultural environments related to it. We also take future generations into consideration.

Main roles and responsibilities

The Metsähallitus Board of Directors is responsible for the organisation of responsibility and environmental management and their integration with the strategy and activities. The Board of Directors approves the responsibility policy of Metsähallitus and decides on the principles of environmental system certification.

The Director General oversees the management and implementation of responsibility and environmental matters at Metsähallitus.

The Metsähallitus Management Group sets common strategic responsibility targets, including environmental objectives, and ensures their implementation in the respective units. Metsähallitus Management Group reviews the environmental management system each year in order to ensure that it is appropriate and effective as well as meets Metsähallitus’ needs. The management group processes and approves Metsähallitus’ environmental review. 

The Director of Communications oversees responsibility and environmental processes and the Legal Counsel has responsibility for compliance processes.

The responsibility group provides the Director of Communications with expert support in carrying out responsibility work. The group is responsible for the co-ordination, development and communication of responsibility at Metsähallitus. The group consists of experts appointed by the business units.

The Metsähallitus environmental group coordinates the maintenance and development of the ISO 14001 environmental system. In cooperation with the environmental groups from each business unit, it prepares matters concerning the environmental system and ensures the management, monitoring and development of system implementation. The Director of the Communications and Responsibility Unit chairs the meetings of Metsähallitus’ environmental group and presents matters to the Management Group and the Board of Directors.

Each Metsähallitus employee is responsible for implementing responsibility and environmental matters in their work.

The business units ensure that the principles of Metsähallitus’ responsibility policy can be seen in our operations with customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Our responsibility policy is re-evaluated at least once every strategy period and updated whenever necessary. Responsibility is developed together with customers, partners and stakeholders.

Reporting procedure

Metsähallitus’ responsibility targets are recorded in the responsibility programme, which supports the strategy and steers strategic choices. The main indicators measuring the impact of our strategy and responsibility work have been compiled in the value creation model.

We gather information on the implementation of Metsähallitus’ responsibility targets and their related measures. The business units report their quarterly results to their respective management groups as well as to environmental group and the Metsähallitus Management Group and Board of Directors.  The level of environmental protection and effectiveness of the environmental management system are assessed annually by means of internal and external audits.

We report on the progress of the strategic and responsibility programme targets in the Metsähallitus Annual and Responsibility Report and in our General social obligations report. We actively communicate about these results with consideration to different stakeholders.