Success in environmental goals determines our future

In recent years, news has focused on political power struggles, wars, and the coronavirus pandemic, which has presented a serious threat to public health. Even though our basic sense of security has been shaken to its core, we must not allow this shock to overshadow the current environmental emergency. Eeva Solja views the matter from the perspective of a family business, and explains how a firm focus on environmental responsibility helps Kiilto’s customers in their own efforts to operate sustainably.

Eeva Solja works as a Brand and Communications Director at Kiilto. However, she also looks at the development of the company and business from an owner’s perspective. Kiilto is a family business, and the Solja family has been at the company’s helm for almost its entire existence. 

In simple terms, Eeva Solja’s thoughts on responsibility can be summed up in one sentence: “If the world does not invest in environmental sustainability now, soon there will be no need to invest in social or economic responsibility either.”
“The news shows images of wars, which are of course enormous and shocking human tragedies. Everyone’s help is needed so that the suffering can be alleviated at least in some way. Conflicts need to be resolved as quickly as possible. At the same time, we must remember an even bigger challenge that affects us all in a very real way. Environmental problems threaten the conditions for life all over the planet.”

Solja points out that current actions to curb climate change, for one thing, are not sufficient.

“The goal set in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to limit global warming to 1.5 ºC is at risk of slipping out of our reach. We need more action, and fast. Biodiversity is also diminishing, since more and more animal and plant species are becoming extinct all the time due to human action. The phenomenon also threatens such things as food production, human health and the economy,” she notes.

“Additionally, virgin natural resources will run out if they continue to be used at the current rate. We can no longer afford to waste resources. It’s vital that we transition to a circular economy. Circularity contributes to achieving climate goals, but also offers other benefits.”

Kiilto determined to be an environmental leader

Solja emphasizes that the idea of taking care of the environment has been integral to Kiilto and its owners since the company’s beginnings.

“Taking responsibility for the environment guides our entire business approach and is part of everything we do. We think that we can genuinely make a difference. In our industries, even individual solutions can have a major environmental impact.”

Kiilto wants to help its customers – and entire industries – in the same direction.

“We are not satisfied with just complying with current environmental requirements; that is self-evident for us. We want to go further and find new ways to do things better. For this reason, we are constantly collaborating with our customers to find new opportunities for development.”

Solja believes that companies should consider the continuously tightening environmental legislation in their operations. 

“The direction the world is taking is clear. Success belongs to those who can anticipate and innovate, not just react to the current situation at hand.”

Environmental action needs us all

Solja stresses that even though environmental problems are extensive and complex, the current status quo can still be changed.

“The work requires everyone – and certainly not least of all companies that are agile and inventive. Of course, environmental problems cannot be solved with just a few individual solutions. We need a vast number of innovations and new ways of doing things.” 

She points out that companies, being the best experts in their own operations, are well positioned to assess where investing resources and making changes will have the greatest impact.

“Environmental goals must be ambitious enough. And when they are achieved, new, even more ambitious milestones must be set. Even small steps forward and everyday actions matter.”

According to Solja, a new mindset is needed throughout society – and fortunately, signs of this can already be seen. 

“The crucial thing is that whatever it is we are doing, we must always consider the environmental impact of our actions.”

Long-term work based on research

Solja believes that family entrepreneurship provides a solid foundation for work for the good of the environment.

“In a family business, the focus is not only on the next quarter. A longer-term perspective allows us to really make progress on our chosen path.”

Kiilto has recently been considering how it could get involved in preventing the loss of biodiversity, among other things.

“Biodiversity has emerged as a new and complex issue, which undoubtedly requires entirely new solutions. More research is needed on it as well. For example, we have recognised that solutions that are more sustainable for biodiversity may require actions that create unnecessary emissions. 

Identifying such conflicts is the first step in resolving them. At Kiilto, we always base our environmental and sustainability efforts on researched knowledge, and we share our expertise for the benefit of others,” Solja emphasises.