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News 12.05.2023

Sustainable development is the key to economic growth – Business Finland's Social Responsibility Report 2022

Image: Julia Kivelä

In 2022, Business Finland continued its efforts to promote sustainability, competitiveness, and economic growth, aiming to foster prosperity and well-being for Finland.

In 2022, we focused on sustainability in our activities. We have contributed to the implementation of Finland's sustainable growth program and the national recovery and resilience plan funded by EU´s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). During the year, we provided RRF funding totaling some €273 million. We also contributed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals through our program activities and RRF campaigns. Our focus areas included advancing the circular economy, supporting innovations in the bioeconomy and circular economy, mitigating climate change, and fostering developments in the health sector and digitalization. Furthermore, we introduced a sustainability playbook for digital commerce SMEs to enhance companies' competencies in sustainability.

Our thematic focus areas are based on Finland's future growth opportunities

In 2022, we refined our vision of the prerequisites for Finland's future success – Finland has an essential role to play in addressing global challenges. We identified the most significant growth opportunities for the future and selected five focus areas that best match Finland's capabilities:

  • Digitalization based boost for productivity
  • Comprehensive health & wellbeing
  • Carbon neutral & resilient energy system
  • Zero waste & circular economy
  • Engaging immersive experiences

These thematic focus areas will guide in particular our programs, campaigns and how funding is targeted.

Funding for leading companies extended to challenger companies

In 2020 and 2021, Business Finland launched a series of challenge competitions for leading companies with the aim of getting companies to significantly increase their research, development, and innovation activities in Finland as well as to create new jobs and multi-billion ecosystems for new business. The funding for the leading companies was a great success and therefore it was decided to extend the funding to also include challenger class companies. With their solutions, the challenger companies were able to accelerate the green transition and environmentally friendly operations in an exemplary way.

Our sustainability work continues

In 2022, we continued the pay equality work started in 2021, and extended the review to our global network. Our work on pay equality will continue in the coming years. We also supported the development and learning of our staff in different ways. Key achievements for the year 2022 included the launch of Campus, a digital learning environment, and coaching for all staff on workplace and interpersonal skills.

Our sustainability work continues in line with our promises for the strategic period – one of the main goals of our strategy is to make Finland a superpower of sustainable development. Business opportunities are created when economic growth and competitiveness are based on sustainability. Sustainable development contributes to the economy of the whole country. Towards the end of 2022, Business Finland began developing a Sustainability policy as well as a sustainability handbook for our staff. Both were published in spring 2023.

Read the Social Responsibility Report 2022