The UN Sustainable Development Goals and Wärtsilä
Sustainability forms the core of Wärtsilä’s business operations, products and solutions. Several of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which entered into force in 2016, deal with issues to which Wärtsilä contributes in a positive way. We, together with our stakeholders, are committed to developing solutions to solve the societal challenges laid out in the SDGs, while also generating new business opportunities. In particular, we play a vital role in delivering innovative clean energy and smart marine technologies.
We have reviewed all the SDGs and their targets, and have identified priority targets for our company. These are most notably SDG7 Affordable and clean energy, SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, and SDG9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
Respecting our people and the environment
Wärtsilä’s efforts to promote health, safety, and well-being covers employees, suppliers, customers and local communities. We support and respect the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are also a signatory of the UN Global Compact, and are thereby committed to its principles with respect to human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
Our high standards in environmental, health and safety (EHS) matters are aimed at zero injuries among employees and contractors, and our products and solutions are designed to be reliable and safe to use. Wärtsilä offers solutions with zero or very low levels of emissions, and which comply to even the strictest local emission regulations, thus contributing positively to air quality while minimising the impact on people's health. We are also committed to continuous improvement in our environmental and social performance to avoid causing harm to the communities close to our operations.
Wärtsilä supports the work-related rights defined by the International Labour Organization, and upholds the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. We promote gender equality and are committed to including women in all aspects of our business. Wärtsilä’s Diversity Initiative has been in place since 2012, fostering an inclusive corporate culture at all levels.
We contribute to sustainable economic growth by promoting global corporate citizenship, an inclusive corporate culture, and local employment. Continuous learning and self-development are encouraged by offering a wide range of competence development options at all levels of the organisation.
Towards a 100% renewable energy future
Wärtsilä plays an important role in helping to meet the world’s increasing demand for sustainable energy. Our flexible energy solutions enable the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future by providing technologies, services, and solutions for sustainable, reliable, and affordable power systems.
Wärtsilä’s offering comprises flexible power plants, energy storage and management systems, as well as lifecycle services. These enable increased energy efficiency, guaranteed performance, as well as fuel and operational flexibility. Our solutions provide the needed backup for existing high renewable content power systems, or for those systems to be later shifted from baseload or intermittent operations to backup mode, as the energy transition proceeds. Our offering of energy storage, together with our advanced software for energy management, enable the transition to a sustainable, reliable, and affordable low carbon power system. In markets where this power transition is still to come, Wärtsilä’s solutions provide efficient, reliable, and flexible baseload solutions, which can be shifted to back up renewable power in the future.
We engage actively in an open dialogue with various stakeholders to provide expertise and support for enhancing clean energy technology and research on a global scale. In 2019, we signed new partnership agreements with Aalto University and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in Finland, aiming at new research schemes on energy systems and strategic power system modelling for 100% renewable energy systems. Additionally, among others, we provided seed funding to Soletair Power Oy, a Finland based start-up company operating in the field of Power-to-X, and signed a cooperation agreement with Q Power Oy, a Finnish pioneer in biomethanisation, to accelerate the development and commercialisation of renewable fuels.
Enhancing a Smart and Low-Carbon Marine Ecosystem
Wärtsilä aims to connect smart vessels with smart ports to lead the shipping industry towards a Smart Marine Ecosystem with greater efficiency, negligible climate impact, and the highest levels of safety. We are committed to supporting our customers in their decarbonisation efforts, and to collaborating with industry stakeholders, such as regulators, energy companies, and classification societies, to bring decarbonisation to reality.
Our offering includes solutions for optimising and improving the efficiency of individual vessels, fleets, or entire value chains, reducing emissions to air, and for protecting the marine environment. Digitalisation sets new standards for the industry and provides opportunities for lifecycle efficiency improvements.
In 2019, we launched several new innovations and announced partnerships to support decarbonisation. These partnerships included the Zero Emission Energy Distribution at Sea (ZEEDS) initiative and the Getting to Zero 2030 Coalition to advance zero emissions shipping. Moreover, Wärtsilä and Singapore-based PSA Marine agreed to collaborate in the co-creation of smart technologies for the marine sector, and to integrate the deep capabilities developed in the IntelliTug project with new configurations and concepts of hybrid, electric, and other clean energy sources.
Conducting our business responsibly
Wärtsilä is committed to sustainability and responsible business in its purpose statement and strategy. Our values and Code of Conduct define common rules for all employees and provide guidance on our approach to responsible business practices.
The implementation of our Code of Conduct and main policies on responsible business conduct include Wärtsilä Values and Code of Conduct discussion modules, the signing of an individual Code of Conduct Undertaking, e-learning training, and the inclusion of the Code of Conduct topics into the annual development discussions covering all employees. In addition, Wärtsilä has an externally hosted whistle blower channel for all employees to report concerns related to potential misconducts that contravene the Code of Conduct or the company’s policies. In 2019, we launched a new Wärtsilä Values and Code of Conduct Discussion Session module for all employees. The discussions were arranged as team discussions and led by line managers, with more than 13,000 employees (approximately 70% of all employees) completing the session in 2019.
Wärtsilä's Code of Conduct and supporting policies expressly prohibit the company, its employees, and suppliers from offering or accepting any kind of benefit considered a bribe, and from taking actions that could give rise to a conflict of interest or breach of loyalty. We are aware that the risk of corruption and fraud is heightened in many markets where we operate. Therefore, full compliance with a stringent anti-corruption regime is required of all employees. An extensive training programme is in place for personnel on anti-corruption principles and applicable legislation, as well as the relevant company policies and procedures.
We aim to contribute towards the well-being of the local communities in which we are present. The means for this include, for example, creating employment, paying taxes and social dues, providing training and education to employees, co-operating with local stakeholders, and supporting local development.