Sustainability in state-owned companies

Sustainability is becoming more and more important for the competitiveness and shareholder value of companies. As an owner, the State expects companies to lead the way in sustainable business.

The State’s expectations with regard to sustainability are described in the Government Resolution on State Ownership Policy.

Integrating sustainability into the business of state-owned companies

As an owner, the State ensures that sustainability is integrated into the business of state-owned companies through board appointments and in general and company meetings. 

The company’s main decision-making body with regard to ownership steering is the board of directors. As such, its composition is of great importance to the State as an owner. In selecting board members, due consideration is given to corporate sustainability competence. The State regularly analyses the composition of the board of directors in relation to the company’s strategy and future prospects. At the same time, the State assesses whether the board has the level of sustainability competence needed for the company to respond to challenges and seize opportunities. 

At the general meeting, state-owned companies report to shareholders on their ESG objectives and their attainment. 

Topics related to sustainability are also discussed regularly in meetings between companies and representatives of the State. 

Monitoring and analysing sustainability

Sustainability is an integral part of ownership steering. The State monitors and analyses sustainable operations of companies as part of its ownership strategy work. The Ownership Steering Department has a sustainability team that focuses on developing and coordinating sustainability in state-owned companies.

Based on companies’ sustainability data and reporting, the State draws conclusions about which sustainability issues affect the company’s success and whether it is sufficiently integrated into the company’s strategy and objectives. The Ownership Steering Department also assesses whether the company is fulfilling its duties and achieving its sustainability expectations required by the owner. The State takes these issues into account in each company’s ownership strategy and discusses them regularly with corporate management.

Sustainability in remuneration

As an owner, the State expects companies to integrate sustainability into remuneration. For wholly state-owned companies providing essential basic services for citizens, the remuneration criteria should also include indicators measuring customer satisfaction and the quality and availability of services.