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News 30.11.2021

Sustainable is resilient – how to prepare for crisis and grow sustainably?

Global societal crises can push companies to the edge of survival. The COVID-19 crisis has awakened many to realize the importance of resilience in a company’s operations – and it for sure will not be the last crisis we face.

Resilience is something that should be built before the crisis – not during it. Finnish manufacturing companies must now adopt the changes to improve competitiveness and increase resilience in order to succeed in the coming years. The climate crisis is only one example of the challenges that can force all companies to think through their value chains and processes.

Change is increasingly characterizing the modern societies and companies must be prepared to face changing circumstances. Reconsidering and evaluating business models, partners and products play a crucial role in modern leadership, as does the ability to rapidly implement new or alternative operative modes.

A resilient company can turn challenges into opportunities

Sustainability – the buzzword of our time – can refer to economic, environmental and social sustainability and in a very broad way. Therefore, it can be added to almost any activity without a specific meaning. Sustainability literally means something that can be maintained or continued for a long time even under changing conditions. Actions that really are sustainable, do not allow the quality of life of the society to decrease in the future.

Resilience, on the other hand, can be defined as the capacity of a system, be it an organization, an individual or an economy, to deal with change and continue to develop. That said, sustainability and resilience are not the same thing but they do complement each other.

Resilience is not an inherent feature but must be planned and built systematically – and adopted into companies’ every day activities. Planning and preparing plays the crucial part: building different scenarios, build flexibility and trust. When resilience is built into a system, unexpected changes will not cause a tragedy but rather new opportunities.

Building resilience for sustainable manufacturing

Business Finland has published a resilience guide that gives an outlook on risks in the Finnish manufacturing industry. The guide is aimed particularly at SME’s. It provides best practices for resilience from the viewpoint of things such as good governance, procedures, managing supply and demand, and partnerships.

Learn from the guide how apply the best practices to prepare for a crisis and the actions to take to improve the preparedness capacity. The guide leads you to pay attention to diversifying value chains, developing remote operations, and distributing decision making, among other things.

"Resilience must be designed and built into business operations before the crisis. That is why it is important to act before the next crisis", says Toni Mattila, Head of Sustainable Manufacturing Finland program.

Resilience Guide


Further information

Toni Mattila
Head of Sustainable Manufacturing Finland
toni.mattila (at)
+358 40 500 9909