A 365 year long heritage, lasting design and durable products form the foundation of Fiskars sustainability thinking. Our unique approach to sustainability builds on our values and our Code of Conduct. In 2013 we continued to focus on ensuring the transparency and sustainability of our supply chain and developing leadership skills to match our global ambitions.We believe that counter to the prevailing throwaway mentality, an increasing number of people value well-designed things that are made to endure time and changing trends. Fiskars functional and innovative products are meant to be used 365 days a year, and are designed for optimal material usage and recyclability, a journey which starts from the first product sketches all the way to the shelf. Our products are designed to be easy to use, clean and store – and to last from one generation to the next.
Quality dictates everything Fiskars does. It is our promise that when properly used and maintained, our products shall remain free of defects in material and workmanship. Our product development process is based upon continuous testing and learning, and we have invested in product development and quality assurance resources. Our test garden has an important role in Garden product development and our own laboratories are used to test all garden tool prototypes and new products in terms of functionality and durability. This ensures, among other things, that under normal use Fiskars axes are virtually unbreakable and the only time they need maintenance is when the blade requires sharpening.
Since many of our homeware products are used in connection with food, we ensure by a careful quality control process and through rigorous testing that the product is right for its purpose and that all the material and quality requirements are fulfilled. For example, all Iittala ceramic products are dishwasher friendly, can be placed on the table directly from the oven or stored in a freezer without compromising structural integrity.
For us the sustainability of our supply chain is essential and we strive to ensure that our own manufacturing and the operations of our suppliers live up to our values and our customers’ expectations. Our manufacturing sites are continuously developed to meet and exceed the latest standards, and we have chosen to invest in building our own competence in sourcing and sustainability in order to be able to actively work together with our suppliers and support them in developing their sustainability.Fiskars requires its partners to commit to principles covering labor and human rights, health and safety, environmental impact and business ethics. These principles are outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct document. Our strategy is to consolidate our supplier base and form even stronger longterm partnerships with selected key suppliers. Our own manufacturing expertise enables us to share knowledge with our suppliers not only in technical aspects but also for example, in health and safety issues. We will continue to educate our suppliers, and to facilitate dialogue and the sharing of best practices between suppliers, our sourcing organization and our production experts. This is longterm work which we are committed to.
Occupational safety is one of the key development areas in the operations of our suppliers, requiring continuous attention. In 2013 a Finnish non-governmental organization investigated manufacturing of design products in Thailand. In accordance with our goal of transparency, Fiskars co-operated with them by providing information and access to our suppliers. The resulting report reaffirms our determination to ensure that occupational safety regulations are complied with in order to protect employees from possible risk. We will continue to actively monitor compliance with our requirements and work in close co-operation with our suppliers to help them understand and implement the changes required.
Fiskars’ mission is to enrich lives with lasting products that increase enjoyment and solve everyday problems through their functionality, innovation and design. We want to run and grow our business in a sustainable manner, taking care of the people and the environment around us.
We aspire to enable a sustainable everyday life through our products and the way we operate. Our products shall support our customers’ sustainable choices at home, in the garden, and outdoors. In product development, we consider the environmental aspects throughout the product lifecycle. Environmental aspects are considered in all business decisions, and we strive to minimize our impact on environment in our business operations.
Fiskars suppliers are required to follow a Supplier Code of Conduct document and in 2013 we continued our vendor audit program with audits performed by our own dedicated personnel and our external partner to verify compliance. The most common challenges are related to working hours and occupational health and safety issues such as use of correct personal protective equipment and chemicals handling.