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Small can be big when it comes to responsibility

15.09.2015

Responsible business is a necessity for any company that wants to be a forerunner. Responsibility is worth reporting, and it is useful to partner with experts when compiling such reports.

“Responsibility reporting is for big corporations.”

“It’s enough if we comply with rules and even exceed requirements.”

“Everyone knows that things are in order in Finland.”

This is what I thought in the early years of the millennium.

At Fiblon, responsibility has always been a priority. As a small family business, we feel that we have a particular responsibility for our staff and our long-term finances. We manufacture products with a short lifecycle, so we take great responsibility for our raw materials and production methods. Already in the 1980’s, our slogan was “Green is more than a colour”.

Responsibility is deeply ingrained in Fiblon’s business. Our values “satisfied customers”, “joy of working”, “profitable growth” and “respecting the environment” guide our operations. Everything we do we scrutinise through a responsibility lens. But does it suffice to know that we operate responsibly? The short and concise answer is no.

Would I have guessed ten years ago that in 2015 we would have published three responsibility reports covering the past six years? Again, the answer is no. We did have a bit of chance and luck, though, being able to participate in Prizztech’s VALID programme for developing responsible business in 2009.

The VALID programme inspired us to start working on our first responsibility report. The work and its results surprised us positively. Through the programme, we found a good partner – Gaia Consulting – to help with the practical compilation work. The process confirmed that we were doing the right things – systematically, towards our goal.

Without an expert partner, we could not have finished the report. A small company doesn’t have the resources to carry out a project like this alone. A good partner is able to guide your attention to the right things and help you see things that your own eyes could not detect.

In early 2015, we compiled our third report, now with much more ease as we have by now developed good, functional processes to support the work. I particularly value the materiality analysis for future reporting. It was great to hear that our stakeholders find the issues in our report relevant in the future. We will certainly continue our reporting work and develop it to serve both our stakeholders and our own development better.

I encourage even very small companies to consider whether reporting could prove useful to them. Although stakeholders may not require it, it is an excellent tool for developing a company’s own operations. Responsible business is a necessity for any company that wants to be a forerunner!

Anne Ekberg, Vice President, Communication and Marketing, Fiblon Oy

Fiblon manufactures tabletop and wiping products, and travel comfort items for example for hotels, restaurants, catering companies, airlines, railway companies, and ferry lines.

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