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Sustainability and responsibility

At VTT we take account of the principles of sustainable development both in our research and service operations and in our internal operations. We are developing our reporting in line with the GRI G3 guidelines on corporate responsibility.

This review illustrates corporate responsibility by means of examples. The appropriate C-level GRI metric, which is complemented over the course of the year to correspond to the B-level, is published on the VTT Internet website: www.vtt.fi/files/gri_table_2011.pdf. The majority of reporting refers to this review, with some references focusing on the VTT Group’s principles of good governance and personnel review.

VTT’s Research and Innovation Vision 2020 responds to the grand challenges facing society, and contains the objectives of a clean world, a sustainable economy and a good life. VTT’s research investment in environmental technologies, bioeconomy, resource-efficient industries, low-carbon energy, peoples’ well-being, and digital world, produces entirely new kind of solutions for furthering sustainable development. VTT’s spearhead programme “Green Solutions for Water and Waste”, together with our three innovation programmes for tackling environmental challenges in the energy sector, are key instruments when it comes to implementing our chosen strategy. Furthermore, VTT’s research activities create an excellent knowledge base for public decision-making on the path to a society founded on sustainable development.

Environmental issues

VTT has been recognised as a Green Office since 2009. The standards apply to every one of VTT’s offices across Finland. VTT’s Green Office metrics are electricity consumption, domestic flights and paper consumption.

VTT operates at more than forty addresses. Total electricity consumption amounted to 39.7 GWh. Consumption compared to the previous year is down by more than 400 MWh. This figure includes electricity consumed by both premises and research activity.

Domestic flights have also decreased, in this case by 100,000 flight miles over the previous year. Flights amounted to a total of 23.2 million flight miles, generating almost 3,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. A factor in the reduced number of domestic flights was the continuing increase in use of electronic conferencing tools. A further aim was to reduce the number of work trips carried out by personnel using their own cars. The number of kilometres driven on journeys compensated as work trips nevertheless increased by 7% over the previous year. Use of VTT cars stalled at around 630,000 kilometres after six years of continued growth.

A reduction in the use of paper at VTT was achieved to the extent of around one ream per head, with the quantity of paper purchased down to just over 5 reams per head. The number of printouts also fell by close to a million (7.5%) compared to last year, although colour printouts were up both in absolute numbers and as a share of the total.

The 2011 award for the outstanding act in promoting the environment went to Micronova’s procurement of granular scrubbers for the capture of clean room etching and growth gases and their reaction products.

An oil leak was detected at one of VTT’s premises in connection with work on the Otaniemi metro site. The most probable source of the leak was traced to an overflow tank in an engine testing facility. An internal pool out of metal has now been constructed for the overflow tank to prevent any further spillage. Ramboll Finland Oy has surveyed the area and in accordance with recommendations has sent its report to the City of Espoo Environment Centre and the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY) for possible further action.

Responsibility for our own personnel

The results of the 2011 personnel survey are in line with those of the previous year. The share of personnel responding to the survey was 76.8%. The index indicating overall satisfaction matched that of the previous year at 3.3. A clear strength continues to be the functionality of the relationship with immediate superiors. A statistically significant improvement occurred in the balance between work and leisure, although at manager level the workload, personal energy levels and ability to cope with the work continued to be viewed as problematic.

The frequency of accidents, as calculated by the Zero Accidents forum method, remained at 3 per million work hours, while the gravity of accidents was less than ever before, with under 5 days of sick leave per single accident occurring in the workplace and resulting in sick leave. For the first time we were rated as a ”world-class company” in respect of both the low frequency of accidents in the workplace and the absence of accidents of a serious nature.

The occupational safety authorities issued VTT with operating instructions for a fixed period concerning the cutting of the credit balance on the working time account of personnel. VTT has agreed the corrective measures required. Two line managers were fined in 2011 for the forklift accident that occurred in 2008.

The Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman stated in his decision that VTT had violated the liberty of speech of two VTT researchers. VTT started renewal of its instructions following the alignments of the decision given by the Ombudsman.

 

Arja Merra
Manager, EHS
Tel. +358 20 722 5533



See also

  • GRI table 2011 (in Finnish only)

  • Copyright VTT 2011 • P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland • Tel. +358 20 722 111, info@vtt.fi