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Browsing by discipline "Skogsekonomi och marknadsföring (skogsindustrins marknadsföring och ledning)"

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  • Partanen, Tommi (2012)
    Environmental issues have become an important part of today’s business. Some companies have made the decision to strive towards environmental friendliness of operation; others have decided to take a more reactive approach. Even though environmental issues have gotten much attention lately, the portion of green products out of total production is still very small. The purpose of this study is to find out using a single company case study if environmentalism adds value in the print business. From managerial perspective, the aim of the study is also to find out if the possible added value of environmentalism could be further enhanced. The main questions are: What are customers’ main selection criteria for making purchasing decisions? In what respect are customers’ purchasing decisions based on environmental values? Do customers feel that there is added value in environmentally friendly processes and materials? Data for the study is collected from thematic customer interviews, a newsletter survey and a literature review of previous research. Companies in the study include multinational, national and local ones. The study will use a mixed method approach with qualitative data from the interviews and quantitative data from the survey. By gathering data from two different sources with mainly qualitative and theory driven method of analysis, the reliability of the results is greater. Based on the results, environmental and sustainability issues are important issues for some customer companies in printing business, but not everyone wants to pay extra for environmental friendliness. Interestingly, there is clear evidence that also smaller companies are acknowledging the importance of environmental friendliness, so it is not only for large export-orineted companies. Some companies can be identified as proactively pursuing competitive advantages from sustainability and environmental friendliness. The results of the study are used to further develop the case company’s environmental marketing, for example by developing environmental management.
  • Joas, Markus (2014)
    The Finnish forest industries are going through heavy adjustments as especially the western world is moving towards a more digitalized model where the amount of paper and pulp consumed is diminishing. It is obvious that the whole industry is in need for new solutions. These new solutions and innovations can be found from the field of bioenergy. Finland is rich with forest-based raw material which can provide a long-term and local source of energy. In the future this will be of primary importance as the prices of the non-renewable energy sources will climb higher as the deposits of the fossil fuels dry up. The usage of the renewable energy sources are also very important in order to prevent the global climate change and to achieve the goals regulated for Finland in the Kyoto Protocol and the European RES-E directive. This Master’s Thesis takes a look at the current state and the future trends of the Finnish wood pellet industries. The domestic wood-based pellet industries are studied with a concise literature review and a SWOT analysis based on the earlier literature. The analysis is linked to the future expectations and current retailer perspectives with a survey conducted between June and October 2013. The sample consists of 39 low, medium and high sales volume wood pellet manufacturers and retailers whom mostly do only domestic pellet trading business. Most of the strengths of the domestic wood-based pellet industries are related to different kinds of ecological aspects or different kinds of raw material related issues. In the future especially the prices of the raw materials, prices of other energy sources and prices of the end-product will be in a crucial role. Most of the survey participants underlined the significance of the governmental acts concerning the future of the whole business in Finland: a favorable taxing policy and different subsidies can make Finland truly a greener economy but this have not happened yet, much due to the unfavorable domestic politics. According to the survey respondents, in the future the demand of wood-based pellet services, especially tailored and ready-to-use services from maintenance to deliveries are going to increase.
  • Nippala, Jaakko (2014)
    Corporate social responsibility and sustainability have become increasingly important in modern business practices. The purpose of this study was to examine the corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability practices and perceptions of small and medium-sized forest products companies in North Carolina (NC). These companies have less than 500 employees and most of the forest products companies operating in NC fall into this category. Research was carried out in two parts: first by conducting a content analysis of 22 websites of NC companies and second by conducting twelve semi-structured in-depth interviews with different company representatives to gain a deeper understanding of the practices and perceptions. The most frequently mentioned aspect in the websites was sustainability (48.6%), followed by CSR (19.8%). Most often mentioned CSR practices from the websites were safety and promotion of responsible forestry. Interviews identified social aspects of CSR as the most important for respondents. This is interesting since, according to earlier research, the forest industry tends to emphasize environmental aspects. The main drivers for CSR and sustainability were the owners and, to some extent, customers. Other stakeholders were not identified as important drivers. Interviews revealed that the company size is not really a defining aspect on implementation of CSR and sustainability, but it is instead a company specific initiative. Identifying and describing these effective patterns and practices of CSR and sustainability could help other small businesses create competitive advantages in forest products marketing. These practices can then be used as building blocks for sustainable and responsible business strategy.
  • Heiskanen, Aleksi (2013)
    The pulp and paper industry has gone through severe structural changes during the past decade. The shift from traditional production areas towards new operational environments has caused some challenges in adapting to these environments. Every organisation in the pulp and paper industry has its own strategy to meet the requirements from the market and regulators, but there are options, such as different certification schemes introduced along the past decades. Sustainable financing has become one of these options, and its utilisation has been increasing. Financing taking into account non-financial characteristics is also called sustainable financing. According to the previous research, sustainable financing may encourage the implementation of corporate commitments to enhance risk management, and improve stakeholder management. Also, these functions that go beyond purely financial objectives may generate implicitly positive results in the form of competitive advantage, brand value, stakeholder support for operations, enhanced access to capital and ultimately lower cost of capital. Sustainable financing may also answer the need for enhanced sustainability and transparency in the financial sector. However, the concept of sustainable financing and its vagueness have also been criticised. Therefore, the objective of this study is to analyse the main actors and functions inside the system, obstacles hindering the further adoption and drivers to promote the adoption, and ultimately, examine the possible impacts of sustainable financing. The methods used to conduct this study were qualitative and based on multiple data sources. First, the basic concept of sustainable financing was explored based on the literature, and secondly empirical data was collected through selected thematic interviews. The representative data is divided roughly into two categories, supply and demand. The supply represents organisations providing sustainable financing, including private and non-private actors. The demand includes private companies in the pulp and paper industry. The interviewees were asked questions about the current and expected future situation and the situation inside organisation and the concept as perceived in general. The understanding of sustainable financing still remains relatively vague. Unexpectedly, only few obstacles hindering the further adoption were identified. The actors were in general more generous in identifying drivers for further adoption. Motives were considered mostly originating from changes in the operational environment. This suggests that sustainable financing is still seen to be part of a broader context such as corporate responsibility, but it has emerging significance in the interaction with other issues such as risk mitigation, stakeholder management and strategic corporate responsibility. The study was to reveal whether sustainable financing influences investment decisions in the case of the pulp and paper industry. The impact of sustainable financing remains relatively low. However its emerging significance was not denied. This may be partly explained by the fact that it is still perceived to be a part of a larger context of CSR. On the other hand, no significant trade-offs were identified. Indisputably sustainable financing possesses a great potential and it is a good starting point for how different organisations can collaborate to achieve common goals; enhanced long-term economic viability and better practices.
  • Perttula, Sini (2012)
    The green markets are growing all the time and many different environmental performance measures (EPMs) such as forest certificates, eco-labels, footprint calculations and environmental management systems have emerged in the past few decades. These measures help companies to prove the origin of wood and the environmental friendliness of their products and production processes. This qualitative study examined how Finnish wood products companies use different environmental performance measures in both supply and demand side of the wood products market and the practices and problems related to environmental communication. Seventeen personal interviews among Finnish wood products value chain professionals were conducted in order to find the industry perspectives on the development needs in environmental performance of the wood products. The results of this study indicate that the most commonly used environmental performance measures in Finnish wood product companies are forest certificate PEFC and the standard of ISO14001. In contrast, the use of other ecolabels as well as Life Cycle Assessment methods (LCA) and related tools were relatively uncommon. The main drivers for use of EPMs were customer requirements (especially in certain environmentally sensitive export markets) and strategic decisions to act responsibly. The most important issue in environmental performance measures was perceived to be the ability to document trustworthiness of company operations. Also the origin of wood was recognized as an important issue. It also seems that forest certificates and ISO14001 standard are more important in the export markets than in the domestic markets. The supply chains for wood products are often long and complex and therefore the environmental information of the products does not always reach the end-consumers. The communication between wood product companies in the B2B markets is mainly based on personal relationships. Environmental issues are mentioned, but in most of the companies, they are still in passive use. Companies that want to stand out in the future need to start focusing on new green strategies and providing more detailed environmental information on their products and processes.
  • Pirttilahti, Maria (2013)
    This Master’s Thesis studies the main barriers in exporting forest products from Finland to Russia. The barriers are studied on three levels: the home market in Finland, the host market in Russia, and the internal resources and organization of the firms. In addition, the perceptions of industry producers on Russia’s WTO membership are examined. The focus of the study is on the mechanical forest industry circumstances and on the perceptions of small and medium-size producers that are currently not exporting to Russia. The home and host markets are examined through analyses of previous findings with emphasis on the most influential aspects. In addition, a survey is conducted to study the perceptions of producers. The sample consists of 28 small and medium-size producers within the mechanical forest industry in Finland. The survey was conducted between January and February 2013. The main barriers on the home market were in connection to economic circumstances. The production costs and the challenging competitive circumstances in particular were highlighted. In the host market, challenges were more complex and emerged from a web of factors. Nevertheless, emphasis was given to bureaucracy, corruption, and legal aspects. The surveyed industry producers stressed barriers emerging from the host market. Smaller firms were particularly concerned with cultural and language aspects. The WTO membership was perceived to have only a neutral effect in terms of instigating export activities. The results of this study thus indicate that potential exporters in Finland face a number of export barriers, and Russia’s WTO membership alone does not result in greater inclination towards exporting.
  • Forssell, Lotta (2014)
    The purpose of this thesis was to study high school student counsellors’ perceptions of university-level forest science studies and perceptions of forest sector in general. Student counsellors act as an information source when choosing a career and further studies after high school. Furthermore, this study explored the communication and student marketing implemented by the department of Forest Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki. The theoretical background of this study was based on the theories of organizational communication and image forming. The aim was to clarify how the image of forest studies and forest sector is formed. The data were collected with personal theme-interviews. In addition to counsellors, personnel from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry were also interviewed. The data were analyzed by using thematizing. The forest sector was seen as a field of business that has been important to Finnish economy and society in the past. However, counsellors understanding of forest science studies were quite defective. Still, the employment possibilities were seen extensive, although some images of traditional positions related to the paper industry and wood trading emerged. The Internet is the main source of information to the counsellors and to the prospective students. Because of this, web-pages that are clear and up-to-date are important in student marketing. The experiences about the communication and student marketing implemented by the Faculty were few and more actions were wished. The image is that the whole Faculty offers several study possibilities. However, both counsellors, and most likely, the prospective students have very unsound conceptions of the possibilities. Both counsellors and the personnel from the Faculty described the name of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry challenging. The name does not define clearly what fields of study are included. Forest sector aims to improve the conspicuousness and the attractiveness of the sector among the young people. Based on this thesis, it is possible to say that the challenges with the communication and student marketing are related to the structured components of the communication, such as actions and messages. The impressiveness is low and there is a lack of resources. Even though the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, the Department of Forest Sciences and other members of the forest sector are investing in the communication, student counsellors are unfamiliar with the possibilities that forest sector offers as an education and as a profession. The collaboration between the university and other members of the forest sector can give the possibility to improve the communication and to accelerate student marketing.
  • Pihamaa, Juuso (2014)
    During the last decades the wooden multi-story building construction in Europe has been taking steps forward. In 1990s Finland was still even with Sweden in wooden multi-story building construction but in 2010s Sweden’s wooden multi-story buildings have overtaken much bigger market share out of the whole market of multi-story building construction, where Finland have not succeeded. The wooden multi-story building construction has had some political pressure lately in Finland and even some of binding laws have been modified in its favor. In earlier studies have been found that municipal planners have a role in a process of constructing a wooden multi-story building. It has also been found that municipal planners have personal power to affect building in general. The purpose of this study was to find out the factors that create boundaries to wooden multi-story building construction markets and study municipal planners’ networks between these factors. It was also an aim of this study to survey the municipal planners’ attitudes towards wooden multi-story building construction and study the consistencies between the attitudes and networks. All the above mentioned were supposed to be viewed from a geographical angle as well. This paper is supposed to be an explorative and descriptive study because of the lack of earlier studies in the specific field of multi-story building construction. The theoretical framework used in this study was based on an egocentric network analysis to be used in exploring the connections of municipal planners to the other factors that create market boundaries. The attitudes and the background factors were surveyed with a questionnaire sent by email. The interpretation of the sample in this qualitative study was done by using a statistical approach. According to the results the municipal planners have connections to the other factors that create boundaries to the market of wooden multi-story building construction and both sides of a connection do keep the connection up. The amount of connections that the municipal planners have vary so, that the planners that work outside of the metropolitan area in Finland have more connections than the planners working inside the metropolitan area. The attitudes towards wooden multi-story building construction vary geographically so that planners working in the metropolitan area have more positive attitudes than the planners who work in other parts of Finland. Over all the attitudes were very positive. The results also state that between the attitudes and the amount of connections to the other factors that create boundaries to the market of wooden multi-story building construction does not have any consistent connecting causes. The amount of connections seem to rise hand in hand by age and years of work experience among the municipal planners.
  • Virtanen, Aino (2013)
    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) addresses the responsibility of companies for their impacts on society. The concept of strategic CSR is becoming increasingly mainstreamed in the forest industry, but there is, however, little consensus on the definition and implementation of CSR. The objective of this research was to build knowledge on the characteristics of CSR and to provide insights on the emerging trend to increase the credibility and legitimacy of CSR through standardization. The study explored how the sustainability managers of European and North American forest companies perceive CSR and the recently released international ISO 26000 guidance standard on social responsibility. The conclusions were drawn from an analysis of two data sets; multivariate survey data based on one subset of 30 European and 13 North American responses, and data obtained through in-depth interviewing of 10 sustainability managers that volunteered for a phone interview about social responsibility practices at their company. The analysis concluded that there are no major differences in the characteristics of cross-Atlantic CSR. Regarding the components of CSR, environmental issues and organizational governance were key priorities in both regions, whereas consumer issues, human rights, and financial issues were among the least addressed categories. Regarding ISO 26000 guidance standard, the study revealed that there were varying perceptions, both positive and negative. Moreover, sustainability managers of European and North American forest companies were still uncertain regarding the applicability of the ISO 26000 guidance standard to the forest industry. The findings are in line with the earlier research that suggests that as an extractive industry, the forest-based industry tends to address environmental issues as a priority area of CSR. The results are also consistent with previous research that suggests that CSR is a case- and company-specific concept. This study is among the first to provide a preliminary review of the practical implications of the ISO 26000 standard in the forest sector. The results may be utilized by sustainability managers interested in the best practices on CSR, and also by a variety of forest industrial stakeholders interested in the practical outcomes of the long-lasting CSR debate.
  • Haarasilta, Teemu (2013)
    The concept of social media includes a wide range of online, word-of-mouth forums including blogs, company sponsored discussion boards, chat rooms, consumer product or service ratings websites, and social networking sites. Social media is top of the agenda for many business executives today. Decision makers and consultants try to identify ways in which firms can make profitable use of applications such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. One of the main goals of an industrial company is to execute its new product development process in a way where new technological opportunities can be identified and commercialized before its competitors. In this study it was investigated how wood processing companies, log house builders and hardware stores currently exploit social media in their commercial efforts such as marketing and sales. Further it was also examined do wood processing companies, log house builders and hardware stores use social media in their new product development (NPD) process. The empirical part of the study was carried out by interviewing a small number of companies and conducting a desk research of the social media activity of a larger number of companies. Most of the companies studied were present in social media. The type and the intensity of social media presence varied depending on the type of the company. E.g. hardware stores used social media merely for marketing and sales related purposes whereas in wood processing companies the focus was on communication and PR. Besides the normal customer feedback systems there was no evidence that the companies of this study would actively use social media in collecting end user driven ideas for R&D purposes. Based on the theoretical background, framework of the study, desk research and company interviews a model for collecting feedback and product development ideas from end users is created. Furthermore some ideas for more effective usage of social media regarding the topic of the study are offered as well.
  • Lehtola, Matti (2014)
    Finland’s sawmill industry is under a transformation, that can be viewed as a kind of a process of creative destruction, where the industry is deformed by the changing surrounding circumstances. Behind these changing surroundings are especially the trends that shape global business environment and which are affecting the demand and supply of Finnish sawn timber products. The export of Finnish softwood sawn timber has grown the last few years due to the rise in global demand for sawn timber, but the growth of the export has come from outside of traditional export market, Europe. Due to the low demand in the traditional Finland’s export countries of sawn timber, eyes have moved towards new market areas. As an example of this is this study, which started from the desire of the finnish sawmill industry to gain information of a new market, Turkey. In this study a broad picture of Turkey’s softwood sawn timber markets is given with a close look at the potential customer segments, their geographical location and preferencies for sawn timber. Also the demand trends and factors affecting the demand of sawn timber products are covered. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the Information Environment model by Juslin and Hasen and also on the study of Leonidou about different trade obstacles (1995). Both have also affected to the collection of both secondary data and interview material. For this study several Finnish and Turkish sawmill industry professionals from different stakeholder groups have been interviewed. This study is based primarily on qvalitative research that has utilized statistical data. Finland has exported a very narrow product pallette to Turkey, consisting mostly of high quality redwood sawn timber, especially of knotless sideboards. Behind this narrow palette are multiple factors e.g. keen competition and lack of wooden construction. Already at present, Turkey is an important market for the Finnish sawmills as the export quantities have rosen rapidly. Based on the findings of this study one can speculate that the growth rate of the export of sawn timber from Finland to Turkey is decreasing, especially due to the narrow product palette. However, Finnish sawn timber is relatively new in the market and it has reached only some areas of Turkey.