Code of Conduct: Documenting What We Already Do

Interview: Juha Huttunen, Deputy Managing Director and CFO

“With the code, we’re not building a new way of working but rather confirming and documenting what we already do.”  Juha Huttunen, Deputy Managing Director and CFO

In response to changing regulations, our international expansion, and increased stakeholder expectations, Saga Furs has resolved to increase focus on transparency. In this context, the Saga Furs CSR team, together with executive management, has created a new written Code of Conduct to which every employee will be asked to sign up. During the first quarter 2017, the Code was approved by the company’s Board of Directors and has just been launched internally.

“Saga Furs has always been committed to operating in compliance with the rule of law as well as the highest ethical standards in all markets, cultures, and geographical regions where we do business,” says Huttunen. “In developing the Code, we’re not building a new way of working but rather confirming and documenting what we already do – and in a way that’s clear and accessible to all Saga Furs’ people.”

Not only is Saga Furs highly committed to following all laws and rules of behaviour related to the company’s business, but wherever possible we want to go beyond them. “This is in keeping with our goal to lead the industry in ethical and sustainable behavior,” Huttunen affirms.

The 7 basic principles of the Saga Furs Code are:

  1. Ethics and law
  2. Fair Employment
  3. Fair trade
  4. Supply chain and Animal Welfare
  5. Environment and Climate Change
  6. Transparency and reporting
  7. Good Corporate Citizenship



Fair Employment

Interview: Marjatta Paunonen, HR Director

“We’re all partners in promoting a safe, open and inclusive workplace that inspires personal growth and professional results.” Marjatta Paunonen, HR Director

Saga Furs encourages a safe and healthy workplace, driven by a culture of respect for everyone regardless of their background. It’s a place where personal achievement and professional growth are nurtured and our business can thrive as a result.

“Saga Furs’ greatest asset is its people,” affirms HR Director Marjatta Paunonen, “and we earn the respect of each other and our stakeholders by providing ourselves with a safe, healthy and fair working environment.”

New multipurpose office builds team work

In December 2016, all of the company’s office workers based at the Head Office in Vantaa were offered the opportunity to move into a newly developed joint multipurpose office space. According to Paunonen, the project attracted a lot of interest, with 18 employees electing to move. The project is running now as an experimental pilot, with a view to expanding this type of office environment to other areas of the company.

Prior to implementing new common work space, employees involved were able to influence the selection of materials, as well as the desk layout and many other details related to office ambience. One major change in work has been the introduction of electric desks, which have now also been offered to other Vantaa employees.

Workers who have moved to the multipurpose office have themselves been creating common rules for open office working. Examples include making phone calls in meeting rooms instead of at one’s own workstation and best practices with meeting room reservations. In addition to the transition to open plan work, Saga Furs management is looking into the possibility of taking distance working for employees into wider use.

“Feedback from the experiences, taken in regular joint discussions, has been solely positive, with staff noting that interaction among the team has been enhanced and strengthened following the move.”

Code of Conduct

The capstone for this year has been Saga Fur’s new Code of Conduct, launched in the second half of 2017. The Code forms the framework for all company operations and sets out standards of behavior for all our employees, including our Board of Directors and Management Team members who were the first to sign up to the Code.

Code of Conduct Rollout

According to Paunonen, the Code of Conduct rollout is ongoing. It began with an internal communications briefing for managers followed by a companywide internal launch and open forum, led by CEO Pertti Fallenius. Employees are now having a chance to review the new Code individually and with their managers and teams.

Online training

“However, the Code has no value unless our people understand it and act accordingly,” Paunonen explains.  To promote understanding and compliance for every employee, the company has also developed a Code of Conduct online training package, which gives numerous examples and scenarios of the Code’s seven principles. “This has helped our employees make better sense of the code language as well as to learn what to look out for in terms of possible code violations.”

Prospectus for all employees

In addition to training, Saga Furs employees have a written prospectus available to help them understand and comply with the Code. The prospectus links the main ethical risks in their respective jobs as well as sets out clearly why the Code is important for them and the success of the company. It also provides a quick reference to help employees know what to look for and who to turn to if they have concerns or are uncertain of the best course of behavior in a situation. All seven principles of the code have a designated owner and ‘go to’ person identified by photo and designation in the Prospectus.


Sickness absences

% of theoretical regular working hours

Whole Company Seasonal employees Permanent employees
Season 15 4.49 6.13 2.50
Season 16 4.05 5.44 2.33
Accidents   2016/2017
(12 months)
(12 months)
Accidents 12
; excl. commuting accidents ***)
; excl. 1-day absences 7 7
Commuting accidents 8 11



Accident frequency 2016/2017
(12 months)
(12 months)
Frequency of accidents **) 15 19
Average amount of accidents: 194€ 829€
  • workplace accident
173€ 785€
  • commuting accidents
230€ 983€
Sickness absence rate *) 139 209
Sick days per accident 4 4


***)                 Accidents include all recorded workplace accidents


**)                    Formula for calculating sickness absence rate (workplace accidents resulting in at least one sick day per one million work hours): workplace accidents x 1.000 000/actual work hours. The calculation for 2016–2017 is based on all recorded workplace accidents.

*)                      Sick days caused by accidents x 1.000 000/actual work hours


Work capacity coaching
In the last two years, Saga Furs has invested in employees with coaching related to personal wellbeing. During the 2016–2017 period the coaching was offered for salaried and senior salaried employees. The program begins with an assessment of each participant’s work load and current state of health. This includes an employee’s daily rhythms such as whether they are getting sufficient exercise, nutritious and regular meals, and above all, recovery and sleep. Participants select areas they would like to develop and decide on personal goals often linked to special features influencing their respective work. Within small coaching groups employees can find new ways to develop their jobs while setting their own personal goals for coaching. Small groups met with their coaches six times a year. Workers have also had a break-away program that guides and reminds about the importance of breaks and increases the variety of mobility for a business trip.

“Kilometrikisa” Kilometer Competition

The company supports initiatives coming from employees. As one successful example can be mentioned the company’s participation for the Kilometer Competition fourth time in a row. From May to September 2017, the company took part in a regional competition to promote the practice of cycling to work as well as encouraging healthy low-carbon lifestyles for employees. At the Saga Furs head office, bicycle stands and shower and changing rooms are in place to optimize the possibility of staff taking part. For those who brave the elements, there are even drying rooms dedicated for dealing with damp outdoor wear.

18 participants

Average 404.6 km/person

6877.6 km total

31.82 days/person

541 days total

481 liters gas saved

1202 kg of avoided CO2 emissions

Saga Furs is strongly committed to ethical business, including full compliance with all applicable national and international laws wherever the company operates. This includes, for example, laws relating to corporate governance, bribery and other types of corruption, illicit payments, aggressive tax planning, and promoting fair competition. The goal of Saga Furs is not just to be legally compliant, but through the company’s corporate responsibility programmes, to position Saga Furs as the industry leader in ethical and sustainable business.