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Browsing by Subject "corporate responsibility"

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  • Virtanen, Tia-Maria (2020)
    Earth’s overshoot day marks the date when humanity’s ecological footprint exceeds Earth’s biocapacity for the year. As the day fell on earlier every year it shows that our current consumption pattern is unsustainable. One of the main human sources of greenhouse gas emissions is related to household consumption and thus companies play an important role in developing consumption practices more sustainable for consumers as they are the main providers of products and services. This research examines the ways three Finnish companies guide consumers towards environmentally sustainable choices as well as drivers and barriers related to consumer guidance. The objective is to enlighten companies’ consumer guiding methods as part of corporate responsibility and understand which factors encourage and hinder companies to guide consumers. The research was conducted as a qualitative multiple-case study. The case companies were Valio, S Group’s grocery stores and Fazer. The research data was collected via companies’ sustainability reports and focused semi-structured interviews by interviewing the case companies’ employees working with corporate responsibility, environmental management and communication. The data was analyzed by data-driven content analysis. The findings show that the case companies use guiding methods to steer consumers to environmentally sustainable choices: information provision, choice editing, nudging and financial incentives. The current trends related to sustainability and responsibility as well as a potential competitive advantage, the protection of brand image, the benefits of a forerunner, and a corporate strategy in which sustainability is an integral part encourage companies to guide consumers. Whereas, the principle of consumers’ freedom of choice, the responsibility of a big operator as well as risks related to the development of innovations and being a forerunner cause tensions in consumer guidance. The results confirm that various tensions are related to guiding consumers towards sustainability. Especially, the concept of consumers’ freedom of choice is firmly embedded in the mindset of business. Therefore, future research could examine the ways to bring these tensions and underlying contradictions more strongly into the public discussion to find solutions to promote sustainable consumption for consumers among companies.
  • Tiihonen, Katariina (2021)
    Forests have become one of the key themes when it comes to sustainability and have been subject to many demands and pressures from various stakeholders in recent years. In particular, the responsible use of forests has surfaced in discussions during the past 20 years. As the world and overall atmosphere is becoming more favorable to sustainability, companies are required to adapt to a changed society. The forest industry has a significant impact on Finland’s sustainable development and economy. In the forest industry corporate responsibility work has developed as demands from society have grown and the work has become more holistic over time as knowledge on the matter has increased. Pressures on companies' environmental work have come from outside companies from society, as well as from internal actors within companies. One well established forest industry company in Finland is Metsä Group, which has long been profiled as an environmentally responsible company. Therefore, corporate responsibility work and its development in Metsä Group has been selected as my research topic. In this thesis, I examine how environmental responsibility work has changed from the point of view of sustainability professionals in Metsä Group during the years 2000-2020. As research material, I use interviews with Metsä Group's sustainability professionals, as well as responsibility and annual reports from 2000-2020. For the interviews, I selected former and current Metsä Group employees who have worked in the company, either the whole duration or partly, during the years 2000-2020. I have analyzed the materials using content analysis as a method. The interviews revealed that, in general, employees felt that, compared to the early 2000s, in 2020 Metsä Group took more and more holistic action for its environmental responsibility. In general, it was seen that the most significant factors influencing corporate responsibility were megatrends such as climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as a general change in societal perceptions related to corporate responsibility. Leaders’ commitment and attitude towards environmental responsibility, as well as customer requirements, were also perceived as significant factors in promoting responsibility work. It was generally felt that if customers or management saw the matter as important it was invested in. All in all, the environmental corporate responsibility of Metsä Group had steadily improved during 2000-2020. Overall, the interviewees felt that environmental responsibility has been incorporated into Metsä Group's strategy, and that corporate responsibility work has become more holistic and professionalized.