Respecting human rights

As a global company Outokumpu has direct and indirect impacts on local, national and global communities. We are committed to respecting, protecting and promoting the human rights of everyone who may be affected by our activities or through our business relationships.
Page last updated: 24.05.2024

Outokumpu is the global leader in sustainable stainless steel. We employ over 8,000 professionals in more than 20 countries, with headquarters in Helsinki, Finland. We have our own chrome mine and ferrochrome production in Finland and stainless steel production takes place in Finland, Sweden, Germany, the US, and Mexico. Besides our own operations, we acquire materials through supply chain and have impact to the entire value chain of stainless steel. As a corporate citizen, we contribute to the economic and social well-being of local communities where we operate and societies around the world. More information can be found here on our webpage and our latest Sustainability Review.

Commitments

Outokumpu is committed to conduct its business with high integrity. We respect and promote internationally recognized human rights as set forth in the International Bill of Human Rights and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, among others. Human rights are addressed in several publicly available company documents: Outokumpu's Human Rights Policy, Code of Conduct, our Corporate Responsibility Policy, Supplier Code of Conduct, our Supplier Requirements for Raw Materials and our Supplier Requirements for General Procurement

Governance structure

The CEO has the most senior level of oversight and accountability for human rights in Outokumpu. Responsibilities cascade down via the Executive Vice President for Sustainability, People and Communications, who represents sustainability in Outokumpu’s Leadership Team, to the Vice President for Sustainability, who is responsible for the overall sustainability agenda at Outokumpu, and further to the Head of Human Rights at the Group sustainability team. As many of the identified salient human rights risks and impacts are connected to Outokumpu’s sourcing activities, the related responsibilities are appointed to the Chief Procurement Officer and further to the Head of Supplier Sustainability at Group Procurement. The Group sustainability and procurement teams work actively together to develop Outokumpu’s human rights work in a balanced manner. 

 

Our salient human rights issues

In 2021 we worked with different internal stakeholder groups from across the organization in order to identify the most salient human rights risks. The workshops involved Human Resources, Operations, Safety, Ethics & Compliance, Internal Audit, Sustainability, General Procurement and Raw Material Procurement. The participants included both senior management as well as operative personnel. The workshops were facilitated and documented by external experts from Deloitte. In addition, the report of Finnwatch on Outokumpu's human rights due diligence and the views of the supplier and the indigenous community affected were considered when identifying our most salient human rights issues.

The identified human rights risks were rated based on their scale, reach and remediability. The final risk assessment included both process gaps as well as human rights risks. As a result of the human rights risk assessment, we have identified the most salient human rights issues presented at the table below. A new assessment will be conducted in 2024.

Human Rights Risk Matrix 2023

 

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement is a prerequisite for the successful management of human rights issues. We maintain a dialogue with our stakeholders to understand better their expectations and conduct a regular materiality analyses to stay up-to-date on the expectations of our stakeholders.

Outokumpu’s production sites are often located in relatively small towns where we are a significant member of those communities and, in many cases, one of the few big private-sector employers in the area. We recognize that our decisions might have a major impact on communities, our personnel and local suppliers and service providers. Our sites engage regularly with local community representatives especially on the topics of employment, environment, energy, or sponsoring. We also maintain continuous cooperation with local schools and universities, NGOs, our neighbours, and other companies.

Non-governmental organizations are an important stakeholder group for Outokumpu: they provide us external views on expectations towards big companies like Outokumpu and our impact on the nature and society. When it comes to our supply chain are we keen on engaging external stakeholders around our suppliers’ sites to hear their voices as well. Those include communities, NGO’s, institutes, journalists, and anyone else who might be impacted by the supplier’s activities.

Access to remedy

In Outokumpu we encourage everyone inside and outside the company to report potential and actual human rights infringements to us, even if we are not causing or contributing to them, but are linked to them through our operations, products, or services.

All stakeholders, both internal and external, can raise their concerns to Outokumpu in various ways, including through our SpeakUp Channel. SpeakUp is an externally operated channel enabling Outokumpu employees and external stakeholders to report breaches of the Outokumpu Code of Conduct or other misconduct. This can be done confidentially and anonymously, if allowed by the local laws and regulations. The Channel is available through our website and can be used in several different languages. The VP Sustainability and the Head of Human Rights and the Head of Supplier Sustainability can also be contacted directly via e-mail, their e-mail addresses are available on Outokumpu's webpage.

 

Human rights policies, reports, and statements

Human Rights Policy
Code of Conduct
Corporate Responsibility Policy
Supplier Code of Conduct
Outokumpu Human Rights Due Diligence Report 2023
Outokumpu Human Rights Due Diligence Report 2022a
Outokumpu Human Rights Due Diligence Report 2022
Modern Slavery Statement 2022
Modern Slavery Statement 2021