The chemical industry was a model student in acorporate responsibility study by FIBS. Corporate responsibility was deemed a material issue for the business in 90% of all chemical industry companies.
Kiilto believes that responsibility includes three sectors: environment and product safety, personnel and working conditions, and sustainable business operations. Kiilto prepares responsibility reports in compliance with the GRI principles, but responsibility is first and foremost part of Kiilto’s everyday operations and is managed and based on the company’s working method.
Simplification is part of the management’s responsibility
The things that people consider important are things that are easy to understand. That’s why making matters that are most important to the business simple enough is part of corporate responsibility. The important thing isn’t simplifying everything to make sure everyone understands it; instead, it’s important to make sure that everyone understands things in the same way.
If the employees feel that responsibility is just a fancy brochure complete with polished photos created by the communications unit, too much has been lost. Making responsible actions visible will make them part of daily operations. It is easy to commit to something that you are able to influence yourself.
Responsibility is an attitude
Responsible actions are practical examples of people following the set principles. Before something can be done, however, you must be willing to act — willing to act in a manner that benefits the environment, personnel, society, customers and business. Responsibility begins with your attitude.
Kiilto working method has been developing for almost a hundred years. People’s idea of responsibility was vastly different in the early 20th century than to how it is now. Nowadays, we have much more information about everything. The thing that connects the past and the present is attitude — the willingness to do the right thing.
Natural way of working
Each company has its own working method that determines what can and cannot be done in the company. A new employee will adopt the working method through orientation, their own observations and the actions of their colleagues. When people feel from the moment they begin their career that responsibility is one of the company’s operating principles, it will become a natural way of working.
Each employee must be aware of what responsibility means. In addition to being a question of attitude, responsibility should also be an experience. Furthermore, if the personnel feel that the company acts responsibly in relation to the employees, they are more likely to adopt responsibility as part of their way of working, regardless of their position. Even though everyone acts as an individual in compliance with their own personal ethics, the responsibility of a company does not come about on its own. It starts with the example set by the management.
Sustainable future through responsibility
The chemical industry’s success in the corporate responsibility study is easy to understand when you consider the products, for example. Products that placed a strain on the environment or were of a poor quality would quickly destroy the business. This effect is pretty much instantaneous, which is not the case in the industries that did not do as well in the study.
Responsibility towards the personnel and working conditions is also more pronounced in an industrial company, as negligence can lead to situations that are genuinely dangerous.
The fact that the chemical industry values responsibility may be partly due to the impact that disregard towards responsibility can have on the business. Actual responsibility, however, lies in looking farther into the future. Genuine success, benefits, comfort and future sustainability are built upon the middle ground between that which is absolutely necessary and continuous improvement based on the correct attitude.