WESTAS AND SUSTAINABILITY
At Westas, we want to be a stable and secure employer, look after the environment and operate in a socially and financially sustainable manner. We comply with the laws governing forest use and with forest certification criteria. We also try to ensure the achievement of diversity when interacting with forest owners and subcontractors.
We want to lead responsibly, taking care of the environment and our people
We divide responsible business practices into four broad themes: leadership, environment, personnel and society.
Responsibility for finances, the environment and people lies with the company’s management team. The owners’ and employees’ insights are taken into account when deciding on the best possible governance. The members of governing bodies and the management team make decisions independently, respecting the company’s interests and avoiding conflicts of interest. The company’s Board of Directors actively monitors and updates the company’s operations, values and strategy. The operating policy and the sustainability targets are reviewed twice a year at Board meetings.
The management of the company sets the targets and indicator levels for the jointly agreed and regularly monitored sustainability themes. Management, together with employee representatives, has been involved in creating the sustainability reporting and determining the sustainability topics that are relevant for the company’s operations.
Taking care of the forest environment, committing to shared climate targets, and socially and financially sustainable operations are the most important cornerstones of sustainability at Westas Group. The company has committed to the Finnish Sawmills Association’s Forest Environment Programme.
Sawmilling products have good carbon sequestration capacity and a long lifecycle. Production by-products are utilised as raw materials for the company’s own energy generation. In addition, the company sells renewable biofuels for energy and heat production. As a construction material, wood often replaces materials with significant greenhouse gas emissions. At the end of its lifecycle, timber is utilised in energy generation.
Personnel’s work satisfaction is a major focus at Westas. Safety at work is also managed actively. The goal is zero accidents. Occupational safety instructions are followed in operations, and personnel’s occupational safety training is taken care of. There are also written documented instructions on what to do in unexpected situations. Alongside the safety of employees, special emphasis is also placed on occupational health, and the company has an early intervention model in place.
Westas is a regionally significant employer, with a total payroll of around 170 people. The company discloses its tax footprint to promote good governance and transparency. Westas strives to promote pay transparency and equity across all professional groups.
Both of Westas’s sawmills have a long history that extends more than a century. The sawmills have become an integral part of the local community. Wood is procured from the areas close to the sawmills, and forestry is a significant source of livelihood and income for people especially in rural areas. The employees mainly come from the nearby areas. The company annually supports local sports clubs and offers young people summer jobs. In 2022, the company used the funds allocated to charity to support the victims of the war in Ukraine. Westas pays 100% of its taxes to Finland.