SUSTAINABILITY RUNNING THROUGH VEO’S VEINS
VEO has always prioritised renewable energy projects. This means that sustainability has been ingrained in the company’s DNA for more than 30 years. Over time, VEO’s commitment to sustainability has only grown, and is today the very foundation of the company’s operations. VEO’s strategic goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
In 2022, VEO set up a Sustainability Group, with the mission to define both long and short-term targets, as well as to identify and specify the actions needed to reach them. The result was a comprehensive Sustainability Plan.
“We want to be at the forefront in the energy transition. With the Sustainability Plan, we want to show all our stakeholders how committed we are and also make it easier for them to join the mission”, states Kim Råholm, Development and HSQE Director at VEO.
A roadmap prioritising both people and the planet
In addition to the increased focus on energy transition projects and carbon-neutral operations, wellbeing at work and improved ways of working are important parts of VEO’s sustainability roadmap.
“We want our people to enjoy their work in an environment where they feel respected. And by offering such conditions, we believe we simultaneously grow everyone’s dedication to our sustainability goals”, explains VEO’s HR Director Piia Tuliniemi.
The sustainability plan is aligned with VEO’s values, and meets the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. VEO’s own focus areas with targets and actions are all linked to the identified ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) objectives.
VEO strives to increase its positive impact on the environment by focusing even more on energy transition projects, that is, renewable energy projects or projects that increase energy efficiency or reduce energy usage. To reach carbon-neutrality in its own operations by 2030, VEO has introduced numerous measures, both large and small.
“We have managed to increase our recycling rate by sorting plastic and using only recyclable packing materials. With improved design and material selection in the planning of our operations and projects, we have reduced the amount of waste considerably. As a result we have, together with our business partners, managed to lessen the negative environmental impacts of our joint operations.”
Another significant measure was the 2021 switch to carbon-neutral electricity and heating at the HQ and factory in Vaasa.
“As the Vaasa premises account for over 90% of VEO Group’s electricity and heating needs, this has had quite an impact. We are also planning to install solar panels, which in the long-run can even make the factory carbon negative”, says Råholm
And the work continues. To further decrease its negative impact on the environment, VEO is changing the light fixtures to LED lamps, implementing heat optimisation in its facilities and planning to replace diesel cars with hybrid ones, to mention just a few of the ongoing actions.
VEO wants to be a great place to work and places strong emphasis on improving its working methods and employee wellbeing.
“As with most things in life, communication is the key. In a large organisation such as ours, we must ensure that everyone is kept up to date with group-level issues, and that people from all levels and teams get their voice heard,” Tuliniemi explains.
Tuliniemi organises a bi-weekly meeting for managers, which has proven to be an appreciated forum for sharing information. In these meetings, managers can discuss important topics, such as identifying in which areas skills must be developed to meet future needs. Safety, for example, has always been a top priority at VEO. It is an area where VEO continuously maintains and develops its employees’ skills.
“And just as we keep our employees and partners safe, we want to support the mental health of our people. Nowadays, multitasking and stress are common issues in many workplaces. At VEO, we’re dedicated to finding ways to alleviate the work-related burdens that contribute to psychosocial stress”, Tuliniemi explains.
VEO follows all applicable national and international laws and regulations in all of its business locations.
“We firmly believe in following good business ethics in all our operations. With almost 500 employees, offices in four countries, and projects running in almost every corner of the world with local partners, it is of the utmost importance that each and every one of us follows our Code of Conduct”, Råholm concludes.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
- To find out just how VEO’s expertise and solutions contribute to the energy transition, read “The power duo driving VEO’s energy-transition efforts”.
- To find out how the sustainability objections show in the daily work at VEO, read “VEO, a sustainable workplace” where VEO’s employees share their thoughts.