Personnel and environmental well-being
At Finnvera, the points of departure for personnel management are mutual trust, commitment to joint goals, cooperation, and ensuring a high level of expertise.
The year 2014 was exceptional in Finnvera’s history: following internal reorganisation, as many as 70 people changed work tasks within the company. Alongside new job descriptions, the personnel have received career coaching, and units and managers have received induction training amidst the change.
The personnel’s key strategic competence areas were defined in the Personnel Plan 2020 project, which was launched in autumn. The project is continuing with the drafting of a quantitative and qualitative resource plan that extends up to 2020 and covers the whole organisation. The project aims to ensure the right and sufficient competence, as defined by the strategy, in the right activities, taking into account the rapid rate of retirement within the next few years and the annual productivity target of four per cent set for the company. When using estimates based on the current financing volumes, the target for the personnel number is to decrease to about three hundred through retirement by the year 2020. At the end of 2014, the personnel numbered 376.
Often changes also cause uncertainty. In consequence, the reorganisation was reflected in Finnvera’s personnel survey of 2014 as a slightly weaker index values than in previous year. However, all of Finnvera’s indices are above the norm for experts used by research institutes. In particular, well-being at work is Finnvera’s strength when compared against other expert organisations. Similarly, the engagement index describing the personnel’s dedication has traditionally been high for Finnvera.
The personnel survey conducted annually is utilised in developing the whole organisation. The number of respondents was record high in 2014: as many as 92.5 per cent of Finnvera employees answered the survey.
Personnel involved in the decision-making process
Every effort is made to strengthen the personnel’s motivation by applying delegating and open management and by encouraging personnel participation. Finnvera’s approach is characterised by consulting the personnel and involving the personnel in decision-making. Finnvera’s terms of employment are laid down in a company-specific labour agreement signed by the employers’ association and three employees’ associations. The agreement is based on what is known as a continuous negotiation process.
The personnel have one representative on Finnvera’s Supervisory Board and three representatives in the Corporate Management Team. The Corporate Management Team discusses all issues having a broad impact on the personnel, whose elected representatives also participate in the preparation of these issues. The Codetermination Committee discusses issues that have an effect on the personnel. In addition, personnel representatives can participate in planning groups pertaining to separate projects.
Personnel members can express their concerns confidentially by contacting their superiors, the HR staff and shop stewards.
Training and well-functioning health care increase motivation
The development of competence and training are aimed at strengthening Finnvera’s core competences as defined by the Corporate Management Team and the Personnel & Competence process team. Owing to the internal reorganisation, the number of in-house training days in 2014 was smaller than before, but there was much induction training. Centralised in-house training events totalled 30, as opposed to 55 in 2013. During the year, Finnvera organised training on topics such as supervisors’ work and financing skills.
In the development of competence, Finnvera will adhere to the 70-20-10 model: 70 per cent of learning takes place at work, 20 per cent in interaction with others, and 10 per cent through external training.
Finnvera also has first-rate and comprehensive occupational health care services, and effort is made to anticipate problems in advance in accordance with the early intervention model. The personnel’s state of health is evaluated by means of regular health examinations, by charting and monitoring the health, health behaviour, work ability and functional capacity of each individual, and by means of information obtained through medical care. Preventive measures include ergonomic checks of work stations.
A balanced division between work and leisure also supports well-being at work. Working hours are kept as flexible as possible, and flexitime encompasses the entire personnel.
Comprehensive care for the personnel’s coping also impacts on Finnvera’s low sickness absence rate, which was 3.38 in 2014.
At Finnvera, employees’ salaries are based on job requirements and on personal work performance. Job requirements are assessed together with shop stewards, supervisors and HR administration. Job requirements are updated yearly. Personal work performance is evaluated during performance discussions held annually between the employee and the supervisor.
The pay brackets for the job requirement categories and the ways in which earnings trends are monitored both internally and in relation to the external pay markets are agreed through the pay system. In accordance with the target set, salaries have remained close to the median for the financing sector.
About one per cent of the total amount of wages and salaries is budgeted for one-off bonuses. The maximum bonus that can be paid to an individual employee in a calendar year corresponds to the person’s four-week salary. A bonus is granted to roughly one out of five employees. In 2014, the bonuses granted totalled EUR 300,000.
Case: Responsible summer job
Personnel age distribution, %
Environmental impact of Finnvera’s own operations
In its own operations, Finnvera minimises its burden on the environment. Effective property management reduces energy consumption, and actions have been taken to sort and recycle waste. Paper consumption has been reduced by using electronic documents and by investing in document management.
All of Finnvera’s branch offices have video conferencing equipment, which is in frequent use as an alternative to travel. This reduces the carbon dioxide emissions of operations. Finnvera’s new headquarters in Kuopio have been let under a Green Lease whereby environmentally responsible operations can also reduce the rent.
In 2016, Finnvera’s headquarters in Helsinki, together with Finpro, Tekes and Finnish Industry Investment Ltd, will move to the business property owned by Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company in Ruoholahti, Helsinki. In the coming years, almost all of Finnvera’s offices will move to more efficient premises. Smaller premises together with modern technology reduce energy consumption to a significant extent.
Power consumption at Finnvera
Procurements are made under the Hansel framework agreements, where tendering takes energy efficiency requirements and environmental perspectives into consideration. Leasing contracts on machinery, equipment and cars ensure the utilisation of modern technology, as well as reliably working equipment and maintenance. Instead of old devices, the equipment in use is always up-to-date and increasingly energy efficient.
Promoting environmental projects as a strategic objective
Finnvera participates in the financing of energy projects that promote environmental protection and slow down climate change. In this way, Finnvera contributes to the development of the Finnish environmental sector and its growth and internationalisation. In fact, one of Finnvera’s key strategic and ownership policy goals is to apply means of financing to promote the use of clean, renewable sources of energy in order to mitigate climate change.
Projects slowing down climate change and other environmental protection offer growth potential for Finnish SMEs that have technological know-how for instance, in the sectors of renewable energy, energy conservation or waste processing. Aside from domestic demand, these sectors offer Finnish SMEs promising internationalisation and export opportunities.
Promoting business in these sectors is important from the perspective of the economy, since it is expected that the cleantech sector will keep expanding. Cleantech is also the spearhead theme for Team Finland’s export promotion. Trade missions were organised and visibility was sought around this theme in international forums in 2014. The purpose of these measures is to strengthen Finland’s image as a cleantech pioneer.
Enterprises in the cleantech sector are usually starting up, growing and internationalising, and Finnvera can assume greater risks in financing them. This can mean, for example, taking on a larger share of the financing than usually. Finnvera, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, ELY Centres, Tekes and Finpro have expanded their mutual dialogue so that more comprehensive service entities can be offered to environmental enterprises. The increased Team Finland cooperation for promoting projects is one example of this.
In addition to projects associated with renewable energy generation implemented in Finland, Finnvera has granted financing for projects where companies have exported environmental technology. Besides loans intended for SMEs, Finnvera can grant Environmental Guarantees to large enterprises.
Finnvera’s financing of renewable energy and environmental projects increased compared to the previous year. It is expected that demand for financing for renewable energy and environmental projects will rise further in the coming years, provided the world economy develops favourably.
Environmental and social aspects of projects in export financing
In export financing, the environmental and social impacts of projects are considered as part of the overall risk assessment. The assessment determines the location of the project, the project’s environmental and social impacts, and whether these involve any financial risks or risks to reputation.
The assessment tools are Finnvera’s project policy updated in 2013 and the system for assessing impacts. In developing these tools, both the principles of the Act on the State’s Export Credit Guarantees and the OECD recommendations on the consideration of environmental and social aspects in export credits have been taken into account. The principles applying to export credit agencies in OECD countries guarantee an equal position for exporters irrespective of their country.
The project policy specifies which guarantee applications fall within the scope of assessment. The extent of the assessment is based on the importance of potential adverse environmental and social impacts. The project categories A, B, C and “non-project” describe the intensity of impacts. Category A has the greatest impacts.
Apart from environmental aspects, project assessment takes into account social impacts, such as impacts on workers and local communities. Social aspects include such factors as working conditions and workplace rights, the health and safety of workers and people living in the area affected by the project, the acquisition of land and the forced relocation possibly resulting from this, the status of indigenous peoples, cultural heritage and whether the project involves forced labour or the use of child labour. When assessing projects, Finnvera pays increasing attention to human rights issues.
Moreover, the OECD countries exchange information on the greenhouse gas emissions of projects. The long-term goal is to develop a common and uniform method for calculating and reporting the carbon footprint of projects, a method that is suited to the export credit environment.
Openness of information and monitoring of impacts
The project assessments of export financing are based on environmental and social studies conducted on the projects elsewhere. Applicants for financing supply this information to Finnvera. During the assessment, it is determined whether the projects meet the requirements set by the host country and by international standards. Projects with significant impacts are monitored until the credit associated with the export credit guarantee has been repaid.
Finnvera publishes information on the environmental and social impacts of projects with the consent of the parties concerned. Some data on projects in project category A are already disclosed before a guarantee is granted. Information is also given on some guarantees that have come into effect.