On 1 January 2016, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) entered into force. The SDGs are intended to address a range of issues, from gender inequality to climate change, with the overall goal of ending global poverty.
The 17 goals and 169 targets, which are part of a wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in 2000. Compared to the MDGS, the SDGs are broader in scope and are applied to all countries and actors. The role of businesses is seen as being vital to the delivery of innovative changes that can have significant influence.
Sustainability forms the core of Wärtsilä’s business operations, products and solutions. Several of the SDGs deal with issues to which Wärtsilä already contributes in a positive way. Wärtsilä continues to develop such means that make a difference to its customers and partners - and to the communities in which it operates.
Wärtsilä’s efforts to promote people’s health, safety and well-being covers employees, suppliers, customers and local communities. Its high standards in environmental, health and safety (EHS) matters are aimed at zero injuries among employees and contractors, and products and solutions that are safe and reliable to use. The company is also committed to continuous improvement in its environmental and social performance to avoid causing harm to the communities close to its operations.
Wärtsilä supports the work-related rights defined by the International Labour Organization, and upholds the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Wärtsilä promotes gender equality and is committed to include women in all aspects of its business, and to fight against gender discrimination. The company’s Diversity Initiative has been in place since 2012, fostering an inclusive corporate culture at all levels.
Wärtsilä contributes to sustainable economic growth by promoting global corporate citizenship, an inclusive corporate culture, and local employment. Continuous learning and self-development are encouraged by offering a wide range of competence development options at all levels of the organisation.
Wärtsilä plays an important role in helping to meet the world’s increasing demand for sustainable energy. The company’s Smart Power Generation power plants provide energy efficiency as well as fuel and operational flexibility, thus enabling the effective integration of wind and solar power into the grid. In addition, Wärtsilä's strong capabilities in offering energy storage, utility-scale solar PV power plants and hybrid solutions, including the most advanced software for energy management, enables the share of renewables into the energy mix to be maximised. This provides sustainable, reliable, and affordable power, particularly in countries and regions with isolated or weak electricity grids. Wärtsilä’s offering also includes Dry Flexicycle power plants, which can reduce water consumption almost entirely, making it possible to place power plants in water-stressed areas. Wärtsilä engages actively in an open dialogue with various stakeholders to provide expertise and support for enhancing clean energy technology and research on a global scale.
Wärtsilä aims to deliver greater efficiency, a minimised environmental impact, and greater safety to the shipping industry, thereby enabling more sustainable, safe, and reliable operations for ship owners and operators around the world. By eliminating or reducing polluting discharges and emissions from its customers’ processes, Wärtsilä ensures that they can continue to operate in environmentally sensitive areas around the world.
The company’s range of environmentally sound products and solutions includes systems for ballast water management, wastewater treatment, oily water systems, exhaust gas cleaning, and dual-fuel marine engines. In 2017, Wartsila launched the Wartsila HY, a fully integrated hybrid power module combining different power sources, an energy storage system, and power electronics optimised to work together through a newly developed energy management system. It is the marine sector’s first hybrid power module of this type produced, thereby establishing a new industry benchmark in marine hybrid propulsion and providing a lower environmental impact than conventional machinery solutions. Wärtsilä is also involved in numerous global and local partnerships, such as the IMO’s Global Industry Alliance, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, and the Sustainable Marine Biofuel Initiative.
The company’s commitment to sustainability and responsible business is central to its purpose and strategy. Wärtsilä's values and Code of Conduct define common rules for all employees, and provide guidance on Wärtsilä's approach to responsible business practices.
Wärtsilä's Code of Conduct and supporting policies expressly prohibit the company, its employees and suppliers from offering or accepting any kind of benefit considered a bribe, and from taking actions that could give rise to a conflict of interest or breach of loyalty. Wärtsilä complies with international good practices and anti-corruption laws of the countries in which Wärtsilä operates, and urges the reporting of any cases of corruption and bribery. The implementation of these policies is supported by an extensive training programme for all Wärtsilä employees. In 2017, Wärtsilä launched an externally hosted whistle blower channel for all employees to report concerns related to potential misconducts of the Code of Conduct or the company’s policies.
Wärtsilä aims to contribute towards the well-being of local communities in which the company is present. Means for this include, for example, creating employment, paying taxes and social dues, providing training and education to employees, co-operating with local stakeholders, and supporting local development.