Making environmental work more measurable

In 2018, Kiilto placed the environment more expressly at the core of its operations and strategies. This resulted in our Promise to the Environment: over the last two years, we have worked hard to achieve our ambitious goals in all four sub-areas of the Promise. At the end of 2020, we felt the need to update our Promise to the Environment.

Eeva Solja, Brand and Communications Director, points out that, in recent years in particular, Kiilto has learned a great deal while systematically and methodically exploring various opportunities for having an environmental impact. Eeva identifies three factors underlying the need to change the Promise to the Environment.

“We felt that our communications on our Promise needed to be more tangible, and amended the sub-areas to state our aims more clearly. On the other hand, having achieved many of our original goals over the last two years, we needed new ones to replace them. The third need for adjustment was due to having difficulty in short-term measurement of goals internationally, i.e. across the group. We need clarity and measurability in order to continuously — and truthfully — monitor our progress,” she says.

Solja reminds that a good goal is both ambitious and achievable. It must be measurable, based on reliable data, and appropriate for other operations. However, goal-setting is ultimately a lottery — the best guess as to how far we might get.

“We are pleased to say that we have achieved several of our goals,” she sums up.

Achieved goals

  • We have been participating since 2019 in environmental projects aimed at increasing carbon sequestration.
  • We began collecting our packaging material for recycling in 2019.
  • In time for 2020, we included a component focusing on sustainable development and environmental issues in our training.
  • In 2020, we added discussion of environmental issues to all customer meetings.
  • All Kiilto personnel received environmental training in 2020.

Challenges inspire new competencies and innovative solutions

Since Kiilto is guided by its aim of environmental leadership, the bar must be set high enough.

“However, we found that we sometimes needed to step up our efforts a second time to achieve a goal. We also learned that we had not set our original goals so that they could be followed up consistently in all of our operating countries,” says Solja.

Due to the coronavirus, 2020 was challenging for Kiilto in terms of training — the target of training 20,000 customers in Finland was not achieved.

“However, we agilely developed new business models and quickly switched to using webinars. We nevertheless fell short of our goal, but gained new tools for achieving even tougher goals in the future,” says Solja.

In addition, the goal of doubling the amount of renewable or bio-based raw materials proved challenging in general, as the share of green materials used at Kiilto’s Danish plant, for example, is already 70%.

“For this reason, we adjusted the goal and distinguished between our drymix plants from the production of the liquid products. We did not compromise on our goal, but changed the measurement method so that we can genuinely monitor the impact of our actions.”
Goals already achieved were replaced by new ones. Solja explains that they take better account of Kiilto’s entire international organisation and respond to challenges identified over time.

Towards new goals — tangible and clearer

Kiilto’s Promise to the Environment will continue to be based on the four familiar sub-areas: green energy, green packaging and logistics, green material choices, and green services.

“Regarding green energy, we have decided to continue projects aimed at increasing carbon sinks. In addition, we had previously included a separate logistics goal in our promise to be carbon neutral across all operations by 2028,” Solja lists.

In terms of green material choices, the previous goal was to be the leading circular economy company in the sector. This was formulated as a promise to reduce the amount of fossil and virgin raw materials we use, and of waste we create, each year.

With regard to green packaging and logistics, Kiilto previously promised that its packaging choices would be based on their positive environmental impact.

“In order to measure our environmental impact more effectively, we promise to reduce the use of packaging based on fossil and virgin raw materials every year in the future,” Solja explains.

The main goal of green services was crystallised by our promise to help customers reduce their environmental footprint. We also tightened our schedule for reducing material use by customers. In addition, we raised the number of customers receiving environmental training by 10,000, to match Kiilto’s overall international organisation.

Our Promise to the Environment in now:

Green energy: All our company operations will be carbon neutral by 2028

  • We participate in environmental projects, that add carbon sinks.
  • By 2025, we will reduce our energy consumption per tonne produced by 20% from the level in 2010.​
  • In 2028, we will only use energy that is fully renewable.

Green materials: We use less fossil and  virgin raw material and reduce waste every year

  • We will double the use of recycled and renewable raw materials in our chemical factories by 2025.​
  • We will use five times the amount of recycled and renewable raw materials in our dry-mix factories by 2025.
  • We will halve our waste by 2025.

Green packaging and logistics: We reduce the use of fossil and virgin packaging material every year

  • 70% of our packaging material is reused, renewable or recycled by 2025
  • We help our customers recycle by including environmental information on  every product packaging by 2022
  • Weare piloting a closed loop packaging material concept in 2020-2022. We want to increase the share of recycled material  in our packages and increase environmental awareness across our customers’ businesses.

Green services: We enable our customers to minimise their environmental footprint

  • We will reduce our customers’ use of materials: By 2023 50 000 kg per year and from onwards 200,000 kg per year.​
  • All our trainings include a module on sustainable development. We train around 30,000 people per year.


 Read more about Kiilto’s Promise to the Environment