Corporate Social Responsibility and GRI

Disclosure on management approach for material aspects

Corporate social responsibility programme codes:

 Local presence and society
 Stakeholder responsibility
 Responsible products and services
 Ethical business
 Environment
Economic Impacts
 

Perspective on the topic of:

  • Economic performance
  • Indirect economic impacts

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

OP as a whole has major direct and indirect economic impacts on both Finnish society as a whole and on local households. OP Financial Group's operations are based on cooperative values, a strong capital base, capable risk management and customer respect. Based on its mission, OP Financial Group creates sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing for its owner-customers and in its operating region by means of its strong capital base and efficiency. In its business role, the Group provides its customers with competitive products and services while ensuring its profitability.

Such indirect financial impacts are created through contributions to local and regional economic vitality, as well as social contributions. Examples of indirect financial impacts include hiring of new employees, purchases, investments, financing and tax payments. The role as a financier and insurer and responsibility for customers are emphasised during difficult economic times in particular.

OP Financial Group is one the largest tax payers in Finland measured by tax on profits. All of the 178 independent OP cooperative banks pay their corporate tax locally in their operating region. By paying taxes in Finland, the Group is contributing to prosperity in the whole of Finland.
 

Goals and targets

OP Financial Group, with a cooperative foundation, aims not to maximise profits for its owners but to provide, as efficiently as possible, the services which the cooperative's owner-customers need. A considerable part of business earnings are returned to the owner-customers. What remains of the earnings is used to strengthen the Group’s balance sheet and to ensure our ability to provide credit. We must operate efficiently and competitively while being profitable and having a strong capital base. We must produce the services our customers need at a competitive price.  

Financial targets

Policies and commitments

External reporting is based, for example, on the International Financial Reporting Standards, the Finnish Limited Liability Companies Act, the Act on Credit Institutions, the Insurance Companies Act, the Accounting Act, and the standards and regulations issued by the Financial Supervisory Authority. OP Financial Group’s shared principles are applied in the accounting, financial statements and consolidated financial statements of OP Financial Group companies.

Management

Economic impacts are managed as part of our strategy and business.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

OP Financial Group

Reporting indicators

G4-EC1, G4-EC2, G4-EC3,
G4-EC4, G4-EC7, G4-EC8

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect

 
 

 

Environmental Impacts
 

Perspective on the topic of

  • Energy
  • Emissions
  • Effluents and waste

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

Of the environmental impact of OP's own operations, heating and electrical energy consumption have the most impact. We aim to reduce our energy consumption and to work in a energy-efficient manner, thereby also saving in costs. OP’s primary objectives are to prevent waste creation, recycle waste, convert waste into energy by burning it, and only if no other alternative is available, take waste to a landfill site. OP's own operations result in greenhouse gas emissions. OP also has indirect impacts through its operating environment, causing greenhouse gas emissions.
 

Goals and targets

OP takes into account environmental effects in all its operations, from product development to services. We will assess environmental risks as part of general risk assessment. We strive to minimise our environmental impact and to reduce our carbon footprint, increase the number of personnel working in Green Office-certified offices, prevent the generation of waste, increase the recovery rate and material recycling. We develop opportunities for our customers to use our services digitally.

Policies and commitments

OP reports on its emission levels in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), and greenhouse gases are indicated as CO2 equivalents. Operations are controlled through legislative means by the Energy Efficiency Act and the Waste Act, among others. OP's operations are not involved in emissions trading.

Management

OP has in place the WWF's Green Office system. Green Office is applied at the Vallila campus and three banks. Our target is to expand Green Office into more banks. Green Office is one way of increasing our employees’ environmental consciousness. As practical tools, our operating premises are also equipped with energy monitoring system, waste reporting, and environmental certification for buildings (LEED). OP has carried out an energy audit, recommended for large enterprises, in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Directive.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

OP Financial Group

Reporting indicators

G4-EN3, G4-EN5, G4-EN6, G4-EN15, G4-EN16, G4-EN17, G4-EN18, G4-EN23

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect

 
 

 

Social Impacts: Labour practices and decent work
 

Perspective on the topic of

  • Employment
  • Labour/Management relations
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Training and education
  • Diversity and equal opportunity

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

Impacts on labour practices and decent work are considerable because OP Financial Group is a large employer: the Group employs 12,227 people, 440 of whom work outside Finland.
 

Goals and targets

OP aims to be the most attractive employer in the financial sector and among the most highly regarded large employers in Finland. In HR matters, we focus on the renewal and development of our competencies, management and corporate culture. Highly skilled and motivated employees are a success factor, enabling OP to meet the challenges of the changing operating environment and digitalisation. OP considers diversity as an asset and guarantees equal opportunities, rights and treatment to all. Employees are treated equally in areas such as remuneration, recruitment and career advancement. We monitor on an annual basis the distribution of personnel in various task groups by factors such as gender, pay and age. We take safety and security into account in all of our operations related to personnel and working conditions.

Policies and commitments

Impacts related to labour practices and decent work are led through strategic HR alignments and OP Financial Group’s HR Policy. Cooperation between personnel and the employer is based on local legislation. Responsibility for occupational safety lies specifically with the employer. Occupational safety is based on prevention and planned ways of working.

Management

The Group's practical management tools include OP Financial Group’s Principles of Good Leadership, the remuneration system and policy, a common equal opportunities framework plan, and competence development models. Group-level procedures have been agreed for threatening situations, to be applied locally. Procedures and reporting procedures have been agreed for bank robberies. Procedures have been agreed for serious threats in terms of aftercare arrangements and protecting personnel. Customer service personnel must go through the procedures as part of the induction, with annual refresher training. Realised threat situations are entered in the operational risk management system and reported to the Executive Board at regular intervals. The staff's experiences of threatening customer service situations are also monitored by means of personnel surveys. Serious threats are reported to the police. Bank robberies are reported to the Executive Board in real time and entered in the operational risk management system.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

OP Financial Group

Reporting indicators

G4-LA1, G4-LA3, G4-LA4, G4-LA5, G4-LA6, G4-LA11, G4-LA12

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect

 
 

 

Social Impacts: Human rights
 

Perspective on the topic of

  • Non-discrimination
  • Human rights grievance mechanisms

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

These principles, which apply to the whole Group and its administration, are firmly based on our basic mission and values and form an important part of the responsibility of our operations. OP’s own operations do not involve any direct human rights risks or impacts of significance. Indirectly, such impacts may arise from the supply chain or from the operations of investees and financed parties.
 

Goals and targets

OP aims to prevent discrimination in all its activities. OP seeks to prevent human rights violations and support the elimination of child labour and forced labour throughout its business operations and supply chain.

Policies and commitments

OP's operations are controlled by good banking and insurance practices and financial sector regulations. Prevention of discrimination and protection of human rights are referred to in, for example, the UN Global Compact, UN PRI, ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, to which OP is committed, and OP’s Code of Business Ethics.

Management

Personnel may report any suspected cases of discrimination to the Audit function. Any deviations from the Code of Business Ethics should be raised with HR, your immediate supervisor or Compliance. You can also make an anonymous report on a suspected breach of rules and regulations to OP Financial Group’s Chief Audit Executive through the so-called whistle blowing channel. You can also report actions that are against OP Financial Group’s core values. Any cases of discrimination reported by customers reach us primarily through requests for clarification sent to us by the authorities. OP expects product suppliers and service providers to conform with OP's Corporate Social Responsibility supplier requirements, Code of Business Ethics and any applicable legislation and international agreements.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

OP Financial Group

Reporting indicators

G4-HR3, G4-HR12

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect

 
 

 

Social Impacts: Society
 

Perspective on the topic of

  • Local communities
  • Anti-corruption
  • Public policy
  • Anti-competitive behaviour
  • Compliance

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

With regard to OP Financial Group, the major social impacts are related to active fighting of financial crime and abuses, including corruption, and removal of anti-competitive behaviour. OP's effect on society is also witnessed by the fact that OP has Finland's most comprehensive banking and non-life insurance service network. We are strictly against any anti-competitive behaviour, corruption and bribery. OP is very serious about conformance to laws and the Code of Business Ethics. OP Financial Group does not support political parties or contribute to the electoral campaigns of individual candidates.
 

Goals and targets

OP aims to prevent financial crime and abuse and to enable free competition. OP’s view is that the financial sector plays a central role in the wellbeing of the economy and in the provision of necessary basic services and opportunities for citizens, companies and institutions. OP Financial Group takes an active part in developing local and regional vitality.

Policies and commitments

OP Financial Group does not support political parties or contribute to the electoral campaigns of individual candidates.Our approaches are guided by the UN Global Compact initiative and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, among others. The Code of Business Ethics document ratified by the Supervisory Board of OP Cooperative specifies that employees shall avoid any situation that may put them or OP Financial Group under suspicion of bribery. Our fight against money laundering and terrorism is guided by national legislation, official regulations, national practices and the anti-money laundering and prevention of financing of terrorism operating model approved by the senior management.

Management

A compulsory online course for all employees of the Group was implemented to ensure familiarisation with the Code of Business Ethics at all levels. The guideline for Handling Conflicts of Interest in OP Financial Group is intended to prevent cases of corruption. All of the Group’s member organisations are responsible for applying the guidelines internally. Each and every executive and employee within the institutions must know the guidelines. Every manager is in charge of supervising compliance with the guidelines, with the CEO and board of each organisation having ultimate responsibility. The guidelines concerning conflicts of interests must be handled by each organisation and its employees on a regular basis, and whenever a new person receives job orientation. OP has a security staff designated for the prevention of abuses, dealing with abuses originating from both within the Group and from outside it. Incidents that fulfil the criteria for crime are always reported to the authorities, to be investigated, and any abuses are reported to the relevant authority, such as the Financial Supervisory Authority, and internally to OP’s Executive Board. As prescribed in the Act on Preventing and Clearing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, we have put in place customer due diligence systems, ongoing customer due diligence methods and staff training, guidelines and protection. Any suspicious incidents will be reported to the Money Laundering Clearing House as required by law.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

OP Financial Group

Reporting indicators

FS13, FS14, G4-SO3, G4-SO4, G4-SO5, G4-SO6, G4-SO7, G4-SO8, G4-SO11

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect

 
 

 

Social Impacts: Product responsibility
 

Perspective on the topic of

  • Product and service labelling
  • Marketing communications
  • Customer privacy
  • Compliance

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

OP's salaried employees and members of governance bodies are bound to confidentiality by law in terms of all customer data. OP is committed to responsible marketing and advertising. By law, customers have to be told certain conditions, properties or risks related to a product or service.
 

Goals and targets

Customer-related information is processed with due care. OP aims to provide all information on products and services that may be of importance to customers when making decisions. OP encourages its customers to improve their financial literacy. Marketing directed at children and young people is highly restricted. OP takes account of this group’s general inexperience and limited capacity to act.

Policies and commitments

The Group complies with marketing legislation and the self-regulation guidelines of international organisations, including those of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). OP also abides by the marketing guidelines of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the Financial Supervisory Authority. Instructions have been provided for conflicts of interest in the Code of Business Ethics and in the Group-level guidelines “Managing Conflicts of Interest at OP Financial Group”. The Act on Credit Institutions defines obligations regarding bank secrecy, encompassing the secrecy obligation concerning a Group customer or personal data in connection with other activities. OP's salaried employees and members of governance bodies are bound to confidentiality by law; bank and insurance secrecy guarantees the confidential processing of all customer data. Employees may process customer information only to the extent required by their duties.

Management

OP complies with industry regulations, good banking and insurance practices, and good stock market practices. In addition, OP adheres to several acts, as well as regulations and guidelines issued by supervisory authorities. The Code of Business Ethics provides an ethical foundation for all those employed by OP, whatever their role, position or location.

OP is taking part in a nationwide project to improve young people's financial literacy. The purpose of this is to prevent serious financial problems among young people and to support their financial management. In 2016, the number of payment default entries reached a record-high level. The right kind of support helps to prevent financial problems and payment defaults. Local banks give lessons at schools to teach financial skills. Principles are followed as part of normal processes. The principles are updated whenever necessary. OP Financial Group's risk and capital adequacy principles are confirmed by the Supervisory Board.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

OP Financial Group

Reporting indicators

G4-PR3, G4-PR4, G4-PR5, G4-PR7, G4-PR8, G4-PR9

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect

 
 
 

 

Social Impacts: Product responsibility – Active ownership
 

Perspective on the topic of

  • Active ownesrship

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

OP manages customers’ assets worth in excess of EUR 74.5 (68) billion. Active ownership is an integral part of responsible investment.
 

Goals and targets

We take the role of active owners, encourage our target companies and cooperation partners to do business responsibly, and we promote responsible investment in the sector.

Policies and commitments

OP Fund Management Company exercises the voting rights of the mutual funds managed by it, in accordance with the ownership policy approved by the company's Board of Directors. The Group does its best to discuss grievances directly with the companies prior to AGMs, so that it will be possible to support the Board’s proposal if it comes to voting. OP Wealth Management has signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). We expect our active investment targets to conform with generally accepted international standards such as the Global Compact and OECD's guidelines for multinational companies.

Management

Ownership policy is implemented by actively participating in the general meetings of companies listed in Finland, in particular. One of the most important ways for OP to obtain information on and assess the responsibility of companies to invest in is through meetings with the companies’ executives. Systematic monitoring and supervision of ESG criteria of potential and existing investments is carried out through an international partner. If their investments include companies with violations of international standards or other operations which are not responsible or in line with the investor’s long-term interests, we will address the situation to correct it. If this does not produce the desired effect, the Committee for Responsible Investment may decide to sell the investment.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

OP Fund Management Company

Reporting indicators

FS10, FS11

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect

 
 

 

Social Impacts: Product responsibility – Auditing
 

Perspective on the topic of

  • Auditing

Impacts of material aspects and approach to management

CSR is integrated into daily operations, and the fulfilment of environmental and social responsibility policies and related risks are assessed within ordinary business processes. Compliance with CSR procedures is evaluated for instance when approving new products, business models and systems, and monitoring business ethics. Auditing related to ownership has been described under the subject of active ownership.
 

Goals and targets

The goal of OP's procurement function is to ensure that any products, services or rights that are acquired are on the whole cost-effective, of high quality and reliable and ethical and that suppliers are managed professionally to the benefit of OP Financial Group and its customers.

Policies and commitments

OP’s purchases and orders are based on Group-level framework agreements negotiated by OP Procurement or on OP Financial Group’s General Procurement Terms and Conditions. These agreements require that suppliers comply not only with OP’s CSR requirements for suppliers but also with OP’s Code of Business Ethics and with the Global Compact initiative, as well as with all the applicable laws and regulations.

Management

Suppliers evaluate themselves in terms of corporate social responsibility for the first time when they take part in competitive tendering, and thereafter during cooperation with OP on a regular basis in accordance with the operating model agreed with OP Procurement. OP audits suppliers in accordance the annual CSR auditing plan. OP’s CSR requirements for suppliers have been incorporated in purchase agreements since 2015. OP’s suppliers are mainly based in Finland, and they produce services mainly in Finland. Therefore, OP can manage the CSR risk level related to procurement through transparent and well-managed supplier cooperation.

 

Extent of reporting and restrictions

 

Reporting indicators

 

Topics in OP’s CRS Programme related to the material aspect