17/10/2019

Nature, profitability and battery value chain at the top of stakeholder priorities

The stakeholder survey of Finnish Minerals Group has been completed. A long-term approach and bold initiatives are expected from the company, but they must be conducted responsibly and with consideration.

Respondents to Finnish Minerals Group’s stakeholder survey expect the company to operate as a long-term owner in the mining and battery industry and participate in the building of a European battery value chain. There are also wishes for the company to promote social debate, which can contribute to the acceptability of operations.

In addition to strategic considerations, the survey covered the most significant environmental, economic and social factors in the operations of Finnish Minerals Group and its portfolio companies. The top expectation was for the companies to minimise the impact on air, waterbodies, soil and biodiversity. Secondly, the companies are expected to build strategies that enable profitable business. Promoting the circular economy came in third.

Stakeholder priorities were also asked from the perspective of corporate governance. The factors considered the most important by respondents were for risk management to cover responsibility aspects and that the profitability of the companies is ensured.

“Overall, the results call for both us and our portfolio companies to pay particular attention to minimising the impact on nature and to opportunities for financial success. In the efforts to strengthen the battery value chain, Finnish Minerals Group is expected to build international relations to attract investments to Finland. As part of this work, we need to take an extensive look at the competence of potential partners,” says CEO Matti Hietanen.

The traceability of minerals is a rising topic in the mining and battery industry debate. The survey looked at respondents’ views on whether traceability could be developed into a competitive advantage for Finland.

The results show that traceability has been recognised as a topic, although it has not yet emerged as one of the most important issues. Those operating in or close to the industry had a mainly cautiously positive attitude towards traceability as a competitive advantage. For Finland as a mining country, the traceability of minerals could be an opportunity if the EU were to push for a traceability requirement at some point. Even then, the traceability of recycled material should be taken into account in the development of standardisation in addition to primary material flows.

The stakeholder survey of Finnish Minerals Group was conducted in August–September 2019 and consisted of an e-survey and supplementary interviews. The e-survey received almost 170 responses. The survey consisted of multiple-choice options and an opportunity for the respondent to also raise other options. The predefined options were presented in a different order to different respondents. 11 persons from different stakeholder groups were picked for the supplementary interviews, which followed the same themes as the e-survey.