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Responsible mining in Finland targets next stage

After Sitra's help in establishing a Network for Sustainable Mining, its members prepare for the next important stage in its evolution...


Tuula Sjöstedt

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs


The first corporate social responsibility (CSR) report from the Finnish mining industry will be published this September. The report has been drawn up by the Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining, which is continuing its activities hosted by the Finnish Mining Association (FinnMin). Starting on 1 September the network’s secretary general will be Eero Yrjö-Koskinen, who was previously with the Finnish Association of Nature Protection and who has been a key person in building the network from the very start.

Currently, the network consists of the board of eight members including the vice chair. The board has two members from each group of interested parties: industry, nature conservation NGOs, other livelihoods and local communities. The vice chair elected for a two-year period is Tommi Siivonen from the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners. The network is chaired by Hannele Pokka from the Ministry of the Environment.

Sitra’s project assisting with the creation of the network finished at the end of July, something Hannele Pokka paid tribute to: “The network has had a great start. I want to thank the Sitra team: without your support and the huge amount of work you’ve done, the network would not have had such a good start.”

The network published its first annual report (May 2014–May 2015) in June, as well as their web page (at the moment, both are only available in Finnish). In addition to a constant update on the network’s progress, there is a lot of interesting content coming up on the website, as the working groups finish their job. The next one will be the publishing of the industry’s first joint CSR report on 23 September, together with the toolkit for stakeholder co-operation at the local level.

The network’s working groups have continued the development of systems and tools for improving the sustainability of mining in Finland. A large part of the work will be ready this year, including the following.

  • The industry’s joint corporate social responsibility report, designed to inform ordinary people about how mining and exploration companies function in Finland, as well as offer information about local sustainability issues on each site.
  • The toolkit for stakeholder co-operation at local level will be collecting data for companies planning to start mining and exploration operations, which local communities (other livelihoods, residents, associations, etc.) can use for future dialogue, detailing the things that need to be considered and at what stage.
  • The Canadian standard Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM), tailored to Finland is being finalised for piloting and further development by the turn of the year.

“It has been such a joy for us at Sitra to work on this important area with the network. What a pleasure it has been to watch the people within the network discussing and building mutual trust through their various backgrounds and goals. I am confident that this work will be forming a crucial part in promoting sustainable mining in Finland,” says Sitra’s director Mari Pantsar.

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