Survey: Society’s Commitment to Sustainability also benefits participants' own organisations

Press release 2015-06-03 at 14:00

According to a new survey, operators that have made a commitment to sustainable development are very satisfied with the results of the commitment. Four out of five operators that have made commitments reported that their implementation has benefited their organisation and that sustainable development is now understood to mean concrete measures. These operators consider the commitment to be a clear and functional tool for promoting sustainable development and nearly all (94%) of them would recommend that other operators make their own commitments.

Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development, ‘The Finland we want by 2050’ is Finland's practical approach to promoting sustainable development in everyday life. Anyone can take part by making a commitment to sustainable development, be they a company, a community or even an individual citizen. So far a total of 150 commitments have already been made, many of them by notable operators in Finnish society. Just over half of the operators that have made commitments participated in the survey.

The expert panel on sustainable development that monitors the realisation of the commitments is impressed by the survey results. ”The commitment process has been well received and its progress has exceeded expectations. On the other hand, our work has just begun and many more commitments need to be made. What we need now is a popular movement to promote the commitments and strengthen the effectiveness of this proven model," say the Director of the Finnish Environment Institute's Environmental Policy Centre Eeva Furman and Professor of Environmental Policy Janne Hukkinen from the expert panel.

Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development raises international interest

Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development is an internationally unique and exceptionally concrete tool for promoting sustainable development. The commitment was recently showcased during the United Nation's Post2015 intergovernmental negotiations, where it was enthusiastically received. The United Nations is currently negotiating the establishment of new global targets for sustainable development, which are set to be agreed in September.

"We acted at exactly the right time – the commitment now serves as inspiration to other countries that are currently debating how the new global targets could be realised in a concrete and participatory manner," says Counsellor Annika Lindblom from the Ministry of the Environment.

New commitments revealed to commemorate the European Sustainable Development Week

Europe is currently commemorating the first ever European Sustainable Development Week, in honour of which a number of Finnish operators have revealed their own commitments to sustainable development, including Paulig, the Finnish Commerce Federation, the University of Helsinki, the City of Espoo, the Apu magazine, Patria and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Some of these commitments also double as cooperation projects between different operators: the Ministry of Defence, the Finnish Defence Forces and the Construction Establishment of Defence Administration have given a shared commitment, as have the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi and the Finnish Motor Insurers' Centre.

The new commitments focus on a wide variety of issues, such as improving the employment of young people, facilitating the choice of renewable energy sources and defining the sustainable development objectives of city groups. The operators also commit to improving the energy efficiency of their properties, making sustainable material acquisitions and supporting their cooperation partners in adapting to climate change, among other measures.

More information:

Commitment2050:

Secretary General Sauli Rouhinen, Sustainable Development Secretariat firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi tel. +358 (0)2 9525 0253

Deputy Secretary General Marja Innanen, Sustainable Development Secretariat firstname.h.lastname@ymparisto.fi tel. +358 (0)40 777 5582

Expert panel on sustainable development:

Senior Adviser Jukka Noponen, Sitra, firstname.lastname@sitra.fi, tel. +358 (0)40 587 4323