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Management of environmental responsibility and improvements

3 - Good health and well-being8 - Decent work and economic growth11 - Sustainable cities and communities12 - Responsible consumption and production13 - Climate action

The outset of our operations includes uncompromising respect for the environmental and safety aspects as well as ensuring high quality and a good customer experience. They are an integral part of the Scandinavian way of doing business and our company culture, and they apply globally throughout our group.

We want to be an international industry leader also in terms of environmental matters. The awards and excellent reviews that our company and products have received demonstrate that environmental aspects, quality and safety are important for our customers and stakeholders. Our successful development projects, therefore, guide improvements across the industry.

When developing the functions that affect our environmental responsibility, we want to go beyond the minimum requirements of the legislation and applicable standards. Our activities aim for continuous improvement and are based on the corporate social responsibility that we recognise as well as our strategic business goals. We also consider the entire product life cycle and all of our functions in terms of environmental responsibility.

Environmental management covers the following material topics:

  1. Reducing the use of water in tyre production
  2. Preserving and promoting biodiversity at the production sites
  3. Energy-efficient production and the use of renewable energy
  4. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transport and production
  5. Reducing waste volumes in tyre production

For more information about the effects of material topics on our value chain and their scope, click here.

Environmental management is guided by the following policies:

The Environmental, Safety and Quality Policy guides environmental aspects in our group. The policy has been approved by the President & CEO, and it was revised the last time in spring 2017. Environmental aspects are also discussed in our ethical guidelines that we updated in 2017.

Our activity management system is based on the ISO 9001, IATF 16949, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 17025 standards and meets the applicable regulations and customer demands. We are also committed to following the UN Global Compact principles.

Management systems

Our goal is to manage the environmental impacts of our products over their entire life cycle and address the safety and quality aspects of our operations in a comprehensive and systematic manner. The activity management system that covers the environmental aspects, safety and quality serves as a key tool for this purpose. Our operations manual is ISO 14001 compliant in terms of the environmental aspects and ISO 9001 compliant as regards quality. The key document that guides our environmental protection efforts is the Environmental Protection procedure. Our production facilities and Swedish sales company Nokian Däck are also covered by the joint environmental and quality system and included in our ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certifications.

Our environmental and quality targets are specified in the company’s quality and sustainability strategy, which is drawn up for a period of five years and updated annually. Vice President, Quality & Sustainability is involved in drawing up the strategy along with the Environmental and Responsibility Manager, who reports to the vice president. Working together with environmental experts, the Environmental and Responsibility Manager prepares an annual environmental programme for the factories. The programme specifies the detailed targets, actions, schedules and responsible persons for the goals presented in the strategy. This leadership covers all the aspects of the environmental management system. In addition, individual units have their own projects for developing the operations and processes. 

The development of environmental aspects and quality is reviewed each quarter at the management meetings. The senior management provides direct feedback to the responsible persons, as needed. 

Authorities and permits

Our production facilities have valid environmental permits as well as chemical handling and storage permits. These permits and other environmental and safety activities are supervised by several authorities according to the local laws. We maintain a continuous dialogue with various authorities in order to take any official requirements and requests into account in a timely manner. We immediately notify the authorities of any disruptions, accidents and deviations from permit requirements.

We see official permits as minimum requirements and consider eco-friendliness to be much more than simply complying with the permit limits. We are committed to being a part of genuinely sustainable development. We actively monitor the trends in environmental and safety regulations in Finland and the EU, and anticipate the effects of pending regulations on our operations. 

Control of chemicals

Control of chemicals aims at ensuring the safest possible use of chemicals for our employees, the environment and end users. Our company meets all the requirements of European (the REACH and CLP regulations) and local chemicals legislation.

In our production, we never use carcinogenic chemicals or SVHC chemicals (Substances of Very High Concern) as per the EU’s REACH regulation. Our products do not contain any so-called “conflict minerals”.

Moreover, all of our products meet the EU REACH requirements concerning PAHs. We also intend to ensure that no products sold in Vianor stores now or in the future contain any such chemicals.

New raw materials for rubber compounds are tested in Nokia for quality assurance and suitability for production both in laboratory and production conditions. We maintain a list of raw materials that are approved for the manufacture of rubber compounds, and our procurement personnel are only allowed to purchase these raw materials for our production plants.

No auxiliary chemical is taken into use at the Nokia factory before our chemical control team has issued a department-specific usage permit for the substance in question. The team includes the Environmental and Responsibility Manager, an environmental engineer, a chemist from the R&D laboratory and an occupational physician. The purpose of this practice is to harmonise the use of chemicals throughout the company and, whenever possible, to replace harmful chemicals with safer ones.

We require all of our chemicals suppliers to provide us with chemical safety data sheets (SDS) in compliance with valid legislation prior to the purchasing of chemicals. The SDSs of the chemicals that we use are registered in a database that all personnel can access. We also organise regular trainings on chemicals for our employees.

Audits

Regular audits are an important part of our environmental, safety and quality efforts. Their purpose is to ensure eco-friendliness in production and a safe working environment that meets high standards of quality. The audits aim to verify if our operation complies with the legislation, Environment, Safety and Quality policy and the instructions in the activity management system.

We carry out internal environmental and quality audits according to an annual plan such that each area of the activity management system is audited at least once every three years. We draw up the annual plan on the basis of a five-year plan, taking into account the findings of the previous audits. In production, we audit the environmental aspects and chemical safety through regular Safety Walks at individual departments and every six months through inspection rounds by chemicals experts.

Internal audits also include the audits carried out by our customers and partners, such as automotive industry representatives. The audit conducted in connection with the weekly management review is also considered an internal audit.

An external auditor performs an audit once a year in order to assess our activities’ compliance with the relevant standards. Legal and regulatory compliance is supervised by the authorities and insurance companies annually or as required. 

Organisation for environmental management

Our group’s sustainability efforts are coordinated by the Environmental and Responsibility Manager. Environmental and chemical safety and sustainability aspects belong to the Quality and Sustainability unit, and the overall efforts are coordinated globally by Vice President, Quality & Sustainability. The goals of quality and sustainability management are accident prevention, uninterrupted production, ensuring high quality and good corporate citizenship in all areas of operation.

Environmental engineers take care of practical environmental coordination and training, for instance regarding chemicals, emissions and waste. Furthermore, in Nokia, the environmental representatives and supervisors of individual departments address environmental responsibility alongside their other duties. The environmental representatives act as their departments’ environmental experts and points of contact in the interaction between departments. They also coordinate the appropriate handling of chemicals and waste in their departments. 

Key measures in 2017 and goals for 2018

A summary of the essential goals of Nokian Tyres’ 2017 environmental programme, their completion and our goals for 2018 is presented in the following tables.

Item Target in 2017 Progress in 2017
Statutory requirements Implementation according to the Nokian Tyres’ environmental permits and legislation Implemented.
VOC emissions Reaching the emission limit of the VOC Directive, improving the collection of solvent emissions from the production of heavy tyres Incineration plant has worked as intended. Improvements in the collection implemented in the production of heavy tyres; last improvements carried out during the summer outage. The total emission limit of the VOC Directive (25%) has not yet been reached, with the current emissions at 38%.
Energy Implementation of measures to save energy The implementation of department-specific measures has progressed according to plan.
Wastewater Reducing the pollutant load in wastewater (Vsevolozhsk) Measures implemented; the set limit values have been met since June.
Chemical safety Preparing a safety report in accordance with the Seveso-III Directive for the Nokia factory Implemented.
Safety audits and monitoring the use of chemicals 2 times/factory Implemented.
Materials development Verifying that the products do not contain any SVHC chemicals as specified by REACH Implemented.
No SVHC chemicals are being used.
Increasing environmental awareness among the personnel In accordance with each factory’s environmental programme Implemented.
Item Target in 2018
Statutory requirements Implementation according to Nokian Tyres’ environmental permits and legislation at the production facilities.
VOC emissions Reaching the emission limit of the VOC Directive at the Nokia factory. New solutions are being sought in order to reach the target.
Energy Implementation of measures to save energy. Annual reduction of energy consumption by 1% at the production facilities.
Odour Looking into possibilities to reduce odour emissions from the factories, including a study on the composition of the rubber compounds that generate odour and the possibility to replace constituents.
Chemical safety Two chemical safety audits at the production facilities.
Material efficiency Initiating material audit activities at the Nokia factory.
Materials development Verifying that the products do not contain any SVHC chemicals as specified by REACH.
Increasing environmental awareness among the personnel Regular trainings and communication about environmental matters.
Building projects Permit procedures and ensuring chemical and environmental safety concerning the factory in Dayton, TN and the test track in Spain.

Environmental costs

In addition to personnel and technology, we allocate financial resources to environmental responsibility. In the fiscal period, our environmental management costs amounted to approximately EUR 300,000. This figure includes the expenses and investments that are related to air, soil and water protection, waste management, environmental management and noise reduction. In the previous fiscal period, the investments focused on the Vsevolozhsk factory, where we invested approximately EUR 550,000 in waste management and treatment of stormwater and wastewater. In early 2017, the Vsevolozhsk factory was issued a fine of approximately EUR 56,000 for exceeding the emission limit in wastewater. By the end of the year, the revised treatment of wastewater brought the emissions below the set limits.

Complaint mechanics in environmental responsibility

We document the annual environmental impacts of our tyre factories and report them to the local authorities as required in each country. We record feedback to a register and take the necessary corrective actions. We quickly assess and respond to all complaints and address them as appropriate. Our factories’ environmental experts are responsible for these records. The purpose of this practice is to collect the feedback on the status of our environmental aspects and consider our stakeholders’ related requests and opinions.

We have taken a two-tiered approach to the management of environmental complaint procedures. If the complaint is minor in the scope of Nokian Tyres’ production, an environmental expert can handle it independently and/or the manager decides on the necessary course of action. In case of a larger event, the decision to escalate the matter is taken in Nokia by Vice President, Quality & Sustainability and in Vsevolozhsk by the production manager and then, if necessary, by the line management.

Tracking environmental responsibility

We track our environmental responsibility with the following indicators:

301-1 Materials used by weight or volume
301-2 Recycled input materials used
302-1 Energy consumption within the organisation
302-3 Energy intensity
303-1 Water withdrawal
304-2 Significant impacts of activities, products and services on biodiversity
305-1 Direct GHG emissions
305-2 Energy indirect GHG emissions
305-4 GHG emissions intensity
305-7 Nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and other significant air emissions
306-1 Water discharge by quality and destination
306-2 Waste by type and disposal method
307-1 Non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations

This page is included in KPMG’s assurance scope. Assurance report can be found here.