We welcome the focus on people
UPM is a multinational company with around 17,000 employees in 46 countries and 20,000 B2B suppliers in 80 countries. As a global operator ensuring respect for human rights and promoting decent work play a key role in all company operations. “Stakeholders are increasingly looking for strong social commitments from global companies like us. Also, the corporate responsibility regulation is evolving fast, especially in Europe,” says Kaisa Vainikka, Director, Social Responsibility at UPM. “The regulation mandates companies to be more transparent and to demonstrate progress in promoting respect for human rights and decent work. We welcome the focus on people and acknowledge the need to be able to demonstrate that we understand our business context and impact on people.”
Focusing strongly on diversity, inclusion and fair rewarding
In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8 to ‘Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all’, UPM has renewed and published new 2030 social responsibility targets in 2022 (Annual Report, page 32) with a strong focus on diversity, inclusion and fair rewarding.
The new targets for fair rewarding are related to living wage and gender pay equity. Concerning living wage, UPM is committed to ensure that employees’ pay meets at least a local living wage and that the situation is reviewed annually. The company is also committed to ensure the gender pay equity to all employees by implementing a yearly review process to identify and close unexplained pay gaps.
An annual review of both targets is needed, as no society or company is static. The company hires new people, some people leave, inside the company existing employees get promoted, or move to different jobs or to different countries. And all this needs to be considered every year when the data is analysed.
Understanding living wage
“Living wage is a complicated concept that currently does not have a single, globally uniform definition that we can all conform to and use,” says Riikka Ahola, Vice President, HR Rewards, UPM.
UPM has summarised the essence of what a living wage means: it is the remuneration received for standard work by a worker in a particular time and place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living. Elements required for a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transport, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events for the worker. These are the elements also included by the Global Living Wage Coalition.