Responsibility is at the core of Gasum’s strategyShare:
The energy company Gasum is taking determined steps to promote sustainable development in accordance with the principles of circular economy and by providing cleaner energy solutions in the Nordic countries. Over a relatively short period of time, Gasum has evolved from a Finnish to a Nordic company and at the same time expanded its business from being a traditional supplier of natural gas to also supplying biogas and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Responsibility plays an important role in the Gasum strategy and its key role throughout Gasum's operations is emphasized more and more all the time.
Gasum conducted an extensive corporate responsibility survey in 2018 to find out how stakeholders rate Gasum as regards responsible operations and what they regard as the most important responsibility themes. According to the survey, the most important responsibility themes for the stakeholders include safety and security, curbing climate change, promoting the circular economy, supply security of and access to gas, and economic sustainability. The survey comprised two rounds: after the stakeholder round, the company's key persons assessed the significance of the themes as regards long-term business success.
"I can see a growing need for enterprises to disclose the climate impacts and opportunities relating to their operations in greater detail. People are looking for ways of reducing emissions and increasing resource efficiency, so it's important to communicate actively about low-emission fuel solutions," says Elina Saarivuori, Environmental Specialist responsible for corporate responsibility development at Gasum.
Gasum currently offers consumers and businesses the opportunity to cut their emissions by using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas, for example. The production of low-emission and renewable biogas is circular economy at its best, and the feedstocks used in the production process include biodegradable waste from homes, retail outlets and industry. Biogas can be used for purposes such as heat and electricity production and as a transport fuel.
Responsibility divided into three aspects
Many people perceive 'responsibility' as something only involving environmental friendliness. Responsibility is in fact a broader concept, with environmental issues only being one of its dimensions. A common way to define 'responsibility' is to divide it into three aspects: environmental, social and economic responsibility.
"Although at Gasum we regard responsibility as an all-encompassing approach, each aspect of responsibility is special and calls for a specific perspective. In recent years, economic and social responsibility have commonly emerged more visibly alongside environmental responsibility. In addition to environmental issues, responsibility equally entails social responsibility, which means ensuring safety, security and employee wellbeing, competence, management and leadership development, and commitment to societal projects. Operations must be ethical, comply with the principles of good governance and financially sound. The societal dimensions and impacts of business are now being considered and reported on in greater detail," says Saarivuori.
In addition to its own operations, Gasum has an impact on the surrounding society through supply chains, which is why responsibility throughout the chain is important for the company. Gasum therefore requires responsibility also from its cooperation partners and takes the entire supply chain into account when assessing its own impacts.
"I find it important to increase life-cycle thinking where the overall impacts of a product from cradle to grave are assessed. This helps to increase our understanding of the actual impacts of operations. In addition to the traditional carbon footprint, it's also important to develop handprint thinking as it helps highlight the positive impacts of products and draw attention to aspects such as the climate benefits of lower-emission fuels," Saarivuori points out.
Responsibility developed at local as well as Nordic level
In autumn 2018, Gasum raised its holding in Skangas to 100% as part of the Gasum strategy of developing the Nordic gas market and LNG infrastructure. The development of the Nordic gas market also entails developing responsibility. Good corporate responsibility has become a competitive advantage, and responsibility reporting is part of creating the enterprise's public image. According to Saarivuori, it is also important to develop responsibility at the local level:
"In our operations, safety and security play a major role. Our aim is zero accidents and incidents as regards people and the environment alike. Our safety and security culture is undergoing strong development and we have taken steps forward. Our senior management have also participated in safety walks at our facilities. Our LNG Business has already exceeded 3,000 days without accidents, which has set a great example for the entire company. A high level of health and safety at work does not happen by accident."
Through its operations, Gasum promotes development towards a carbon-neutral future on land and at sea, which is why every Gasum employee does their best every day to create a cleaner tomorrow for the next generations. Gasum communicates actively about responsibility themes on its website, in social media and in its Corporate Responsibility Reports. This way all those interested can continuously monitor how responsibility is achieved at Gasum.
"I believe we've succeeded well in implementing and communicating responsibility. In the responsibility survey conducted in the autumn, Gasum received a responsibility grade of four on a scale of one to five. The score is higher than the average received by energy industry companies. We promote sustainable development continuously by offering cleaner energy solutions and promoting the circular economy. This is important for employees as it's motivating to work for a company that implements these values so clearly in its operations," Saarivuori summarizes.