Stora Enso advancing child rights in business operations and in the communities around

Stora Enso advancing child rights in business operations and in the communities around

Stora Enso and Save the Children Finland work together to promote the well-being of both families and children. The long-term partnership has made a significant impact on children’s lives.

Stora Enso has been partnership with Save the Children Finland since 2014. The focus of the partnership has been the implementation of children’s rights in accordance with the Child Rights and Business Principles that help businesses to respect child rights in all operations.

When Stora Enso grows and harvests trees, makes renewable products, transports materials, or works with suppliers, they have an impact on people. As a global company, Stora Enso directly impacts thousands of forest owners, about 22 000 employees and over 20 000 suppliers and roughly 10 000 customers, having a large impact on a wide range of people every day and in everything they do.

With the help of Save the Children’s induction to Child Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) in 2014, Stora Enso understood how its operations may impact children’s rights just as they may impact any other human rights. For example, the impact that its operations may have on the environment, may impact the health and safety of children as they would those of adults. But as children are dependent on the conditions and decisions of adults, they are a vulnerable group that should be paid special attention to.

Many of the company’s own employees and the employees of Stora Enso’s suppliers, customers and forest owner are parents or caregivers to children. That is why the single largest impact on children’s rights is to work to make sure that these parents and caregivers have safe working conditions and are treated well at work.

As example, Stora Enso’s minimum human resources requirements for labour conditions outline the requirements for the working conditions of their employees, also including the committed to the terms and conditions of the Global Framework Agreement that has been signed with three global labour unions. This guarantees that parents can get home safely and take care of their children – every day.

In addition, Stora Enso’s Code of Conduct for its suppliers places similar requirements on contractors and suppliers. The Code ensures the protection, health, and safety of children in all operations and activities. It targets at complete elimination of child labour in all activities and business relationships. For example, the suppliers are encouraged to have a robust age verification procedures and records in place to ensure that no underage persons work in their operations.

Stora Enso is one of the biggest private forest owners in the world, and takes care of the growth, diversity and wellbeing of the forests. This is crucial in tackling the climate crisis – one the biggest child rights threats of our times. By replacing fossil-based materials with the renewable solutions, companies can enhance solutions to milden climate change and to contribute making planet earth a wonderful place for children and their children.

Stora Enso is carefully considering and preventing or minimizing potential impacts on children’s rights due to environmental impacts or the acquisition and management of rights to land and natural resources. It is also important to ensure that any marketing or communications respect children’s rights. For example, Stora Enso’s guidelines for using images of children outline company`s requirements for aspects to be considered when using images of children or organising photoshoots that involve children.

“Stora Enso has a longstanding relationship with Save the Children based on trust, good dialogue and discussion partner on respecting children’s rights in our operations. Stora Enso supports Save the Children’s commitment to help children achieve their full potential by ensuring they grow up in a healthy environment, receive a good education, and are being protected, “ says Ylva Stiller, Head of Social impact in Stora Enso.

“It is great that we have had a long-term collaboration with such a partner who understands the importance of child rights as part of their business operations and whose support has been spanning over many years, continents and countries, as well as themes,” says Anne Haaranen, Director of International Programmes at Save the Children Finland.

“Now, we also have the climate crisis to tackle jointly, which is foremost a crisis on the rights of children and their wellbeing, not the least considering that children bear the brunt of the disastrous consequences of it already today in many developing countries”, she adds.

More information on Child Rights and Business Principles here