Five Finnish companies – Kotipizza, Finnair, Neste, Fortum, and Metsä Group – showcased their cutting-edge innovations and the progressiveness of their home market of Finland today in New York City. The companies discussed the business advantages they have gained through progressive practices and proceeding all regulations with their proactive approaches.

Kati Ihamäki, Director of sustainable development for the national carrier Finnair summarized: “the best results in the promotion of sustainable development are achieved with the cooperation between companies, public sector and third sector. Finnish companies have carried well their environmental responsibilities, but as the new Agenda 2030 shows us, the issues of social responsibility are becoming more and more important.”

The presenting companies also highlighted the implementation of the sustainable development agenda and pointed out some goals. “In Fortum, we see a clear transition towards a solar economy where CO2-free renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar supported with balancing power such as hydro, will be the mainstream of growth. Another dominant trend is the increasing share of decentralized energy production,” said Ulla Rehell, Vice President, Sustainability for Fortum Corporation. Nina Happonen, Vice President Sales Americas at Metsä Board, raised the significance of forests and wood as renewable raw materials and as an answer for environmental challenges that the world is currently facing. Metsä Group, Metsä Board’s parent company, offers unique knowhow in the usage of wood, for example in the manufacturing of sustainable packaging materials.

“We clearly see that corporate sustainability is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good business”, says Tommi Tervanen CEO of Kotipizza, a Finnish pizzeria chain with almost 270 restaurants throughout the Nordic country. Henrik Erämetsä, Head of US Federal Affairs, from Neste Corporation, presented Neste’s renewable fuel production. Neste is the leading producer of renewable diesel in the world and is the world’s largest producer of renewable fuels from waste and residues.

Organized by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, the event celebrated the launch of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Finland’s Minister for foreign trade and development, Ms. Lenita Toivakka, opened the session; with Amcham Finland, the leading international B2B network in Northern Europe, facilitating the event’s program.

Executive Director Lise Kingo presented the United Nations Global Compact initiative – one of the world’s largest voluntary, corporate sustainability initiatives with over 8,000 participants from over 150 countries. Annika Lindblom, Director for International Sustainable Development and the Secretary General of the National Commission for Sustainable Development, presented the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable development.

Kati Ihamäki, Finnair’s Director of Sustainable Development, and Tommi Tervanen, CEO of Kotipizza.