Wärtsilä takes active care of its relations with stakeholders by engaging with them in an open and constructive dialogue. Wärtsilä believes that such an approach is essential when developing operations, products and services. At the corporate level, Wärtsilä has defined its most important stakeholders to be its customers, owners, suppliers, employees and society in general. Wärtsilä's subsidiaries define their own primary stakeholders which, in addition to the ones mentioned above, include local residents close to production plants, educational institutes and public authorities. Wärtsilä’s Code of Conduct provides the foundation for the management of stakeholder relations. The priorities in managing stakeholder relations vary within Wärtsilä from one subsidiary to another. Wärtsilä continuously works to enhance its reporting performance, both on its own initiative and in response to feedback from its stakeholders.
In order to facilitate this active dialogue with customers, Wärtsilä arranges Customer Days for existing and potential customers at locations in various parts of the world. During these customer days, subjects of topical interest from both local and global perspectives are reviewed, and existing and future needs and challenges are discussed.
In addition to customer days, the Ship Power and Power Plants businesses arranged or participated in some 195 industry-related events globally during 2014, including international and national seminars, exhibitions, and conferences. These events were attended by customers, potential customers and other stakeholders, such as investors, consultants, suppliers, students, and other interested parties.
Long-term research programmes are an important means of enhancing open dialogue and cooperation with key industry players and important research institutions. Wärtsilä has actively initiated and participated in the development and work of common research programmes, both locally and internationally.
The long-term HERCULES R&D programme was conceived in 2002, and has been set up within the context of the EU's sixth and seventh Framework programmes. In sharing a joint vision, the two major low- and medium-speed engine manufacturers, Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo, have been collaborating with universities, research institutions, and other industrial partners to develop new technologies for marine engines. In the third phase that started in 2012, the HERCULES-C project took marine engine technology a step further towards improved sustainability in energy production and total energy economy. This has been achieved through extensive integration of the new technologies developed in the first two phases, HERCULES-A and HERCULES-B. This challenge was addressed by adopting a combined approach for engine thermal process optimisation, systems integration, engine reliability, and extended lifetime. The particular objectives were:
- Further substantial reductions in fuel consumption, while optimising power production and usage
- Near-zero emissions
- Maintaining the technical performance of engines throughout their operational lifetime
HERCULES-C comprised 47 sub-projects under 10 work packages, involving the complete spectrum of marine diesel engine technology. It was running for three years, from 2012 to 2014, with a total budget of EUR 17 million. The project was made possible by a EUR 9.4 million funding through the European Commission Framework Programme 7. Wärtsilä has, together with the main Hercules consortium partners, been preparing for a continuation of the research programme within the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework. The aim of the work is to ensure joint pan-European long-term research using marine technology solutions to maintain and enhance the competitive advantage of the key European industrial players in the field.
CLEEN Ltd. maintains and develops a world-class open innovation platform for market-driven joint research between industry and academia, and is part of SHOK (Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation). Wärtsilä participated in the Future Combustion Engine Power Plant (FCEP) research programme under CLEEN, which was started on 1 January 2010 and ended in February 2014. The programme, which had an overall budget of EUR 37.8 million and 17 partners, focused on research topics and development efforts in the areas of reciprocating engine technologies and related power plant technologies. During 2014, CLEEN renewed its strategic research agenda (SRA), and Wärtsilä actively participated in that work. The SRA work led to the identification of strategically important future research aspects in the areas of energy and cleantech under 4 designated themes. New, large research programmes with a high level of technical and scientific expertise are under preparation based on this work.
Dialogue with employees takes place in many formats. More information about the procedures and processes to support active and engaging dialogue with Wärtsilä employees is described in the section covering Consultation and information procedures in Group companies.
The open dialogue and discussions with local and international public authorities and officials is aimed at sharing information and supporting authorities so as to improve the quality of regulation. Wärtsilä participates in public consultations in areas that are of importance to the company.