We operate ethically and communicate in an open manner

At Berner, maintaining a high level of business ethics is the starting point for all our operations. We want to do the right thing and act responsibly to earn people’s confidence. We communicate in an open manner and listen to our stakeholders.

Good governance and ethical operating principles

At Berner, maintaining a high level of business ethics is the starting point for our operations. We want to act responsibly and do the right thing so that we maintain the trust of our employees and other stakeholders.

All of our operations are based on our Code of Conduct for employees and suppliers. Our Code of Conduct represents Berner’s values – work, integrity and humanity – as well as the generally accepted guidelines of conduct as documented in the UN Global Compact’s ten principles. In late 2019, we launched a course on our Code of Conduct for our personnel. New employees must complete the course at the start of the employment relationship.

All Berner employees are obligated to comply with the Code of Conduct and immediately report all suspicions or observations of inconsistencies with or violations of the Code of Conduct. We encourage our employees to primarily report their suspicions. Employees who wish to report suspected violations anonymously can do it via the WhistleB reporting channel we launched in August 2019. The channel also allows our external stakeholders to report potential suspicions concerning conduct that violates the law and our Code of Conduct.


Target 2020 – 2022  Achievements 2019 
100% of our employees in all of our countries of operation complete online training on our
Code of Conduct each year.
In late 2019, we launched the  course for the personnel of
our head office and our sales staff elsewhere in Finland. The response rate was 100%.
We will add sustainability section to the websites of our
own brands in 2020.
An extensive section on sustainability was added to the
Ainu website.

Open communications and stakeholder relationships

Our goal is to communicate on our operations in an open, timely and stakeholder-driven manner. Our communication principles are trustworthiness, openness, understandability and interaction.

As a company with six business units, we have a significant number of stakeholders. Naturally, there are substantial differences in the wishes, expectations and priorities of our various stakeholders. One broad theme that is strongly highlighted among many stakeholders in all of our business units is sustainability.

As part of the development of our sustainability program, we conducted a sustainability survey and interviews of our external and internal stakeholders in the summer of 2019. We asked our stakeholders what they think are the key themes of Berner’s sustainability and, in the interviews, we also asked them what areas they think we have been successful in and what areas require further development. A total of 341 people completed our online survey and 28 stakeholder representatives shared their opinions in the interviews.

The ways in which we listen to the wishes and expectations of our stakeholders include day-to-day interaction, meetings and events as well as separate surveys and questionnaires. Our business units have conducted general customer satisfaction surveys as well as a survey on digital services and e-commerce.

In the fall of 2019, we conducted a satisfaction survey on internal communication, which was primarily focused on assessing satisfaction with our internal communication channels ranging from electronic channels to communication by our management and supervisors. The average satisfaction score given by the respondents for the various channels was 3.5 on a scale of 1–5. We will carry out the survey again in the fall of 2020 to determine whether our development measures have had an impact on satisfaction.