Back Suominen Oy 14.06.2024

At Suominen, sustainability and business go hand in hand through the entire value chain

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Nonwovens manufacturer Suominen strives to promote sustainability throughout its value chain.

Nonwovens manufacturer Suominen has set ambitious sustainability targets that set the direction for the entire industry. The objectives of the company’s corporate sustainability agenda include increasing sales of responsible products and minimising environmental impacts. One example of these measures is the company’s switch to fossil-free electricity in more than half of its factories.

“Sustainability is at the core of our strategy, and that is why we invest in responsible products and operations,” says Noora Rantanen, Sustainability and Marketing Manager at Suominen.

According to her, sustainability and business go hand in hand at Suominen. Sustainability provides a clear competitive advantage. Suominen is already recognised in the industry as a partner with whom it is good to promote sustainability objectives. Sales of responsible products have also increased.

“For example, the shift to plastic-free products is a clear trend in our industry.”

Scope 3 emissions calculation takes into account the whole value chain

Suominen has a wealth of in-house expertise in emissions accounting, and emission reduction targets have already been set for Scope 1 and 2 emissions. In summer 2023, Scope 3 emissions for the entire value chain were included, which will support Suominen’s sustainability reporting and sustainability management.

“Scope 3 emissions are a significant part of all industrial companies’ emissions, so we wanted to better understand the overall impact of our operations,” says Rantanen.

Transparency is particularly important in a large emissions accounting project, he says, which is why an external partner was brought in. “We chose Gaia as our partner. With their help, we increased the reliability of the calculation and gained insight into the development of emission calculation regulations.”

Laura Ylimäki, Business Manager at Gaia, considers Suominen’s position in the middle of a broad value chain challenging. The Scope 3 calculation had to consider upstream and downstream emissions from both the manufacture of purchased raw materials and materials and the further processing of products for sale.

“What was groundbreaking was how boldly Suominen took the initiative to manage sustainability throughout its value chain to understand the true emissions impact of its operations. After all, most companies still focus mainly on the emissions of their own operations and the upstream stages of the value chain, not on downstream processing.”

Emissions data collected from suppliers and customers

In the Scope 3 calculation, there are several categories of emissions that link upstream and downstream in the value chain. For this calculation, emission data was collected from several suppliers and customers. Collecting the data was a big job, although easier than Suominen expected.

“Data was readily available from suppliers and customers who had already done their own sustainability work and were able to provide us with ready-made figures.”

Now the Scope 3 emissions calculation has been validated by a third party and the results have been published in Suominen’s latest sustainability report. The information has also been shared with customers.

“The next step is to analyse the results in more detail, identify the main sources of emissions and consider ways to improve the quality of the data,” says Rantanen. After that, we will set Scope 3 emission reduction targets.

Suominen manufactures nonwovens as roll goods for wipes and other applications. Their vision is to be the frontrunner for nonwovens innovation and sustainability.


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