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Doing business in Finland: Sustainability

26 March 2012
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 30 March 2012

Legislation in Finland requires businesses to take into consideration their effect on the environment and on society.


Legal requirements

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility refers to a voluntary act where companies take into consideration social and ecological matters when conducting business.

Social and corporate responsibility

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy and Finnish Business & Society collect and share information and links on the subject.

Finnish Business & Society

Responsible entrepreneurship encourages businesses to go beyond statutory requirements, investing more in human resources and the environment. The area is regulated by, for example, the Act on Social Enterprises and the Act Amending the Act on Social Enterprises.

Social enterprise


A standard is a uniform solution to a recurring event. Further information on standards is available from the Finnish Standards Association, where you can also buy them.

Finnish Standards Association

ISO 14 000 series standards relate to environmental matters.

Environmental systems and management

It is possible to certify systems under standard ISO 14 001. Certification may be awarded by a certification company.

Environmental management systems

The law requires businesses to comply with minimum social and environmental rules.

Administrative procedures

Certification of standards


Quality management standards

Quality management is handled by the ISO 9000 series of international standards and guidelines.

ISO 9000 standard series

Environmental management standards

The ISO 14000 series of international standards, which deals with environmental management, is used worldwide as the basis for environmental management.

ISO 14000 standard series

Occupational safety management standards

With a health and safety management system, an organisation can manage health and safety risks and improve the level of its health and safety activities. For the time being, there is no international ISO or European EN standard for health and safety systems.


The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has set up a website on responsible entrepreneurship which contains information on social responsibility and best practices.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Employment and Economic Development Office can provide information about corporate social responsibility.

Companies' social responsibility

The website of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health provides information relating to occupational healthcare services. It gives access to various tools, useful documents, research results and related links.

Promoting a healthy workplace

There is information on environmental standards on the website of the Ministry of the Environment.

Environmental systems and management

FINAS maintains a list of companies eligible for certification. The FINAS accreditation service acts as the Finnish national accreditation body, and its task is to offer accreditation services according to international criteria.


The Finnish Standards Association has further information on standards, which may also be purchased there.

Finnish Standards Association

The environment section on EnterpriseFinland contains information on environmental standards.

Environmental management systems

Doing business in Finland: Environmental rules

Doing business in Finland: Staff welfare

Source: European Commission

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