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Corporate responsibility policy

West Railway Ltd and its owners are committed to pursue responsible activities that are in line with the objectives of sustainable development. The company shall act in a manner that is ecologically, socially, and financially sustainable. We also expect a similar commitment from our partners and subcontractors.

In addition to the legislation that guides the operation of the company, it is also committed to compliance with the Finnish Government Resolution on State Ownership Policy. Within our activities, we respect the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Global Compact principles, and the standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the GRI standards for sustainability reporting.

Starting position

The purpose of the activities of West Railway Ltd (“Company”) is to develop and produce rail transport infrastructure plans to correspond to the needs of the society, the authorities, and its shareholders, as well as the related benefit, damage, and impact assessments.

The corporate responsibility of the company means that we consider the social, regional, and environmental impact of our decision-making, in addition to the financial factors. We provide information on the implementation of our corporate responsibility policy annually in our year-end financial statements and report on our work on responsibility using corporate responsibility indicators. The need to update our corporate responsibility policy is assessed once per year and addressed by the board in accordance with our annual operating plan.

Financial responsibility

The activities of the company are financed through capital investment by the owners and the EU funding instrument Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Profit-making is not the company’s objective.

The company provides economic value to the society particularly through its procurement activities but also through the payment of wages. The company does not accept shadow economy in any form, and the company’s financial responsibility comprises the following key principles:

  • We act openly, honestly, and transparently. We require that our partners carry out their business activities ethically and honestly, in unconditional compliance with legislation.
  • Our procurement activities are carried out in the most economically advantageous manner as regards the company’s interests, while taking into account the competition legislation and any other regulations that apply to procurement. 
  • We look after the property of the company. We protect the company’s property against damage as well as unauthorized and unlawful use.
  • Our employees act in accordance with the interests of the company and refrain from engaging in business relationships or other activities that could give rise to conflicts of interest with the company.
  • We do not engage in aggressive tax planning, and we pay our taxes in Finland.
  • Remuneration of the company’s management is compliant with the guidelines and principles of ownership steering by the State. The decision regarding the remuneration of the board of the company is taken in a general meeting.

Social responsibility

Social responsibility refers to assuming responsibility of the impact of the company’s activities on various groups and communities. The company’s social responsibility is expressed through the following principles:

  • We maintain an atmosphere of transparency, equality, equity, tolerance, respect, politeness, fairness, and trust with our employees and subcontractors, as well as toward any interest groups and citizens within the project’s sphere of influence.
  • We have implemented a transparent and sound personnel policy. We ensure the occupational safety of our personnel and promote the health of our personnel through the means at our disposal. We require unconditional compliance with occupational safety regulations from our subcontractors.
  • We also maintain a whistleblowing channel that can be used to anonymously report any activities that are in breach of our responsibility policy.

Environmental responsibility

Climate change is a global challenge that affects all citizens and corporations. The company will contribute for its part to the achievement of the carbon neutrality goal by promoting a CO2 positive railway planning project toward an investment decision and by considering the environmental and climate objectives in the planning solutions as well.

The company is aware of the environmental impact of its activities. Needs for change are identified and taken into account in the development of the company’s activities. 

The planning project is guided by an approach based on life-cycle cost that takes the environmental and climate impact into account. The key principles of environmental responsibility are as follows:

  • We actively and innovatively seek environmentally friendly and climate-compatible solutions for the construction and the actual operational activities of the project in addition to the planning. Solutions that promote carbon neutrality are sought in cooperation with the key interest groups.
  • In our planning of the railway project, we aim to minimize the environmental and climate impact of the project during its entire life cycle. We also require that our subcontractors and partners make a commitment to reducing their negative environmental and climate impact.
  • We innovatively seek solutions that are sustainable in terms of the environment and the life cycle approach in close interaction with the key interest groups.
  • The direct environmental impact of the company’s own activities is limited. In reducing this negative impact, our key principles include the conservation of energy, minimization of waste, and recycling. In order to reduce carbon emission resulting from travel, we encourage the use of videoconferencing and public transport.

Risk management

Risk management is part of the responsible operation and management of the company. Risk management refers to the identification, assessment, and management of, as well as reporting on and monitoring the strategic, operative, and financial risks related to the company’s activities, the planning project, and the preparations for the construction phase.

The company maintains a risk register that includes descriptions of the key risks associated with the Company and the project, their impact assessments, and the planned control measures. Regular reports on the risks are made to the committees and the board.

Online reporting platform

West Railway Ltd uses online reporting platformn First Whistle. Using this channel you can voice concerns or report non-compliance in confidence.