Our policies

Metsähallitus Board of Directors has confirmed policies that apply to the entire group as strategic management areas to steer the activities. 

The policies define the areas of joint activities between Metsähallitus’ Group units and business units, the link to the strategy and its implementation, the main goals, key principles, main roles and responsibilities, and reporting procedures.  

Responsibility Policy 

The responsibility policy was compiled as part of the responsibility programme, and it was approved by the Metsähallitus Board of Directors in 2019.

Main objectives 

Responsibility is integral to every aspect of our operations. It is integrated with our strategy as well as our management, operation and development.  

To us, responsibility means ambitiously working and developing together to achieve a more sustainable, responsible, 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.  

Key principles 

Management, people, society and the environment are the focal points of our responsibility programme.  
Metsähallitus’ responsibility work is guided by the responsibility policy, responsibility programme and Code of Conduct, which specify the key responsibility principles, guidelines, objectives and actions. We encourage our stakeholders to take our Code of Conduct into consideration and honour it. We require our supplier to pledge their commitment to our Code of Conduct, including human rights, the right to work and environmental obligations (Supplier Code of Conduct). 

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. The materiality analysis produced based on the viewpoints given by our stakeholders forms the core of our responsibility programme. 

We manage and act in an ethical manner. We respect human rights. We ensure fair and equal operations and treatment. We do not tolerate discrimination, bullying or harassment.  

We take climate impacts, climate change adjustments, biodiversity and sustainable economy and employment into consideration in every aspect of our operations. 

We generate economic and social value for the State of Finland. Economic value is comprised of revenue recognition for the State and the development of long-term yields on business assets. Social value is generated by the combined effect of public administration tasks, business and general social obligations to be observed in conducting business. Metsähallitus operations have a major impact on regional economies through partner enterprises and local clientele. 

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.  

Main roles and responsibilities 

The Metsähallitus Board of Directors is responsible for the organisation of environmental management and its integration with the strategy. The Board of Directors approves the Metsähallitus responsibility policy. 

The Director General oversees the management and implementation of responsibility.  

The Metsähallitus Management Group sets common strategic responsibility targets and ensures their implementation in the respective units. 

The Metsähallitus Director of Communications oversees the responsibility process. 

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 units.  

Each and every Metsähallitus employee is responsible for ensuring that responsibility is implemented in their own work. 

Units ensure that Metsähallitus’ responsibility principles 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 

Each year, we gather information on the implementation of responsibility targets and their related measures.  Units regularly report their results to their respective management groups as well as to the Metsähallitus Management Group and Board of Directors.  

We publish these results in our annual and responsibility reports and our General social obligations report. We actively provide communications on these reports. 

Environmental Policy 

The environmental policy was updated by decision of Metsähallitus Board of Directors in January 2021.  

Main objectives 

We use, manage and protect the state-owned land and water areas under our management responsibly. We work sustainably, conduct business within the framework of our social obligations and manage the public administration tasks assigned to Metsähallitus under the law.

The purpose of our work is fostering natural values and taking care of our shared wealth responsibly across generations. Responsibility and cooperation, climate change, biodiversity, wellbeing and bioeconomy are the main themes of our strategy. Management, people, society and the environment are the focal points of our responsibility programme. We are committed to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We comply with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Metsähallitus has an environmental management system certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard, whose requirements provide the foundation for this environmental policy.

The environmental policy covers all areas of Metsähallitus activities.

Key principles 

Managing environmental matters is part of our daily work. We work systematically to protect the environment and to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources following the principle of continuous improvement. Our environmental considerations and impacts refer to our impact on nature, biodiversity, climate and people as well as the interactions between them.

We are strongly developing our social responsibility in order to respond to and resolve challenges arising from the global operating environment. Our development efforts are underpinned by Metsähallitus’ shared values, strategy and responsibility programme. Every Metsähallitus employee must take environmental matters into account in their daily work and work for our shared environment. Ensuring that there is no conflict between ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainability is the principle that guides all our work. We keep an eye on the development of environmental issues, best practices and trends, and our goal is to be a pioneer in responsibility and sustainable development.

Compliance with legislation and our commitments is the starting point and sets the minimum standard for all Metsähallitus activities. In Metsähallitus, responsibility means doing what is right and ensuring good governance over and beyond the stipulations of legislation and binding rules. Our work is 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. Metsähallitus’ compliance activities ensure that we observe all relevant rules and principles.

We promote the implementation of the international environmental agreements that Finland has acceded to. Responsibility is key to our activities and development efforts. Our Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Conduct express the personnel’s and suppliers’ responsible activities and role in relation to the environment in concrete terms. 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 guided by statutory social obligations imposed on Metsähallitus, forest certification and our Environmental guidelines for practical forest management.

Each year, we set strategic environmental goals based on the ISO standard which underpin the development of environmental matters in Metsähallitus as a whole and in each individual business unit. The environmental objectives are set as annual goals identified in Metsähallitus’ strategy.

The key environmental aspects of Metsähallitus activities are associated with the use of natural resources, property development, protecting biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, water protection and landscape management. We evaluate the environmental aspects and risks in connection with our activities each year. To manage environmental impacts and to constantly improve our environmental management practices, we draw up environmental objectives, guidelines and monitoring methods. We work to reconcile the expectations placed on state-owned land and water areas while addressing the different main themes of responsibility and develop our work in interaction with our stakeholders, customers, other partners and local residents. The environmental knowledge and skills of our personnel and contractual entrepreneurs are developed and monitored on a regular basis.

Roles and responsibilities  

Metsähallitus Board of Directors sees to the appropriate organisation of environmental management and to its integration into the strategy and activities. The Board of Directors approves the environmental policy of Metsähallitus and decides on the principles of environmental system certification.

The Director General is responsible for environmental management in Metsähallitus and for ensuring that the decisions on environmental matters are properly implemented.

Metsähallitus Management Group reviews the effectiveness of the environmental management system, prepares the environmental policy, drafts the environmental objectives for the following year and submits the draft to the Board of Directors.

Each unit is responsible for environmental matters relevant to its activities.

The environmental groups of Metsähallitus and each business unit prepare matters concerning the environmental management system for the Board of Directors, the Management Group and the management groups of individual business units, also ensuring the proper coordination, monitoring and development of system implementation. The Director of the Communications, Strategy and Responsibility unit chairs the meetings of Metsähallitus’ environment group and presents matters to the Management Group and the Board of Directors.

Each Metsähallitus employee is expected to implement this environmental policy and the environmental management guidelines in their work.

Reporting procedure and developing the environmental management system 

Metsähallitus continuously develops the relevance, appropriateness and effectiveness of its environmental management system to improve the standard of environmental protection. Metsähallitus monitors, measures, analyses and assesses the level of its environmental protection practices and evaluates the effectiveness of its environmental management system through internal and external audits and reviews. 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. This review is based on individual business units’ reviews. We communicate openly about the economic, ecological and societal results of our activities, their environmental impacts and the changes in the level of environmental protection. We report on the achievement of Metsähallitus’ responsibility objectives as part of our annual and responsibility reporting.

Strategic environmental goals of Metsähallitus 2021 

  • Preserving and developing biodiversity 
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation