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Managing our human rights impacts

​​​Respect and support for human rights is a top priority for Stora Enso across our global operations. We strive continuously to align our human rights work and commitment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In 2014, we performed comprehensive human rights assessments to identify and assess our potential or actual human rights impacts. We have now finalised our action plans to address those impacts.
 
​​Key elements of Stora Enso’s approach to human rights issues
  • Policy commitment on human rights as expressed in our public human rights statement and Code of Conduct
  • Global, regional, and pre-investment human rights assessments
  • Integration of preventive and remedial actions into internal management systems, based on assessment findings
  • Tracking the implementation of actions through specific performance indicators
  • Accountability through transparent communications
  • Effective access to grievance and remediation mechanisms
 
Human rights impacts are taken into account across all stages of Stora Enso’s operations from investment decisions onwards. In addition to our own employees, our human rights approach extends to on-site contractors, external suppliers of materials and services, business partners, communities surrounding our operations, and other relevant stakeholders.

Human rights assessments in cooperation with the Danish Institute for Human Rights
In 2014 we conducted a series of comprehensive human rights assessments – covering all of our production, wood supply, and forestry operations, including their management of supply chains and their impacts on neighbouring communities. The results were published in a report consolidated by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).

In countries with heightened risk for human rights violations, Stora Enso carried out human rights assessments with external third party support and site visits. In 13 units in China, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Poland, external visits were performed by Fair Working Conditions, an independent non-profit organisation. In Guangxi, China, Stora Enso worked with the Danish Institute for Human Rights. In Pakistan, Right2Respect, an external human rights consultancy, supported the assessment. For the trial plantation operations in Laos, Stora Enso collaborated with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). BSR is currently supporting us  with the closure of our packaging unit in Chennai, India, and with our operations in Guangxi.

The key Group level findings from the assessments were related to:
​​​​​​​​​Monitoring the employment conditions of contractors' employees working on-siteDiversity management
Overtime practices and entry-level wages at some units
Protecting the privacy of employees
Support for collective bargaining
Occupational health and safety improvements needed at some units
Grievance mechanisms
Environmental and social impact assessment procedures
Security management
The ongoing implementation of our Supplier Code of Conduct
The need to ensure that all human rights impacts are duly integrated into responsible supply chain management
 
Action plans launched
Of the actions that were designed to address the findings, approximately 70% of are considered of high priority, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and criteria created in collaboration with the DIHR. The action plans involve approximately 300 individual preventive or remediation actions at units across the Group.  Progress on implementing the action items will be reported on a quarterly basis.

 
Progress on the implementation and remediation actions
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At Bulleh Shah Packaging​, Pakistan, child labor is being addressed through supplier training and auditing. Additional actions include human rights training for security service providers; improving grievance mechanisms; training regarding workplace harassment and discrimination; implementation of Supplier Code of Conduct; and reviewing of contractor wages and working conditions.

In Guangxi, China, Stora Enso will continue to implement its land contract correction programme. Related actions include improving the process for securing community consent, in particular by ensuring that women’s rights to land are respected. Additional actions include human rights training for security service providers; advancing childrens’ rights among migrant families working for Stora Enso’s forestry contractors; development of a Transportation Impact Management Plan; and implementation of the Supplier Code of Conduct and Responsible Sourcing Programme launched in 2014.​