We ensure the responsibility of our products

Ensuring the quality and safety of our products is of paramount importance to us. We take a systematic and long-term approach to ensuring and developing the responsibility of our supply chain, raw materials and packaging. Promoting the circular economy is one of our major objectives.

Product quality and safety

The quality and safety of our products is of paramount importance to us. Our operations are certified pursuant to the ISO 9001 quality management certificate, the ISO 14001 environmental management certificate, the ISO 22716 certificate regarding the manufacture and storage of cosmetics and hygiene products (GMP, Good Manufacturing Practices), and a third-party assured ISO 13485 quality system required for the manufacture of healthcare equipment.

Our laboratories in Herttoniemi and Heinävesi are GLP certified by the Finnish Medicines Agency. Defined by the OECD, GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) is intended to produce reliable and sufficiently high-quality laboratory testing for purposes such as use by the public authorities.

Our products are developed at our product development laboratory in Helsinki and manufactured in Heinävesi in close cooperation with our quality assurance team. We develop our products in accordance with customer needs. In product design, we focus particularly on the functionality and effectiveness of our products as well as environmental and safety aspects. This ensures the safety of our products during their use by the customer and during our production processes.

Target 2020 – 2022 Achievements 2019 
Zero recalls of products manufactured by Berner. One: recall of ethanol delivered in a transport container due to detergent residue.

 

Responsible supply chain

Developing the assurance of responsible supply chain at the Berner level will be one of the most important focus areas of our responsibility efforts in the coming years. As a conglomerate that operates in several sectors, we import products and raw materials from abroad and engage in international contract manufacturing in addition to our own strong domestic production activities.

Our responsible purchasing is based on our Supplier Code of Conduct. The Supplier Code of Conduct covers topics including human rights, non-discrimination, working hours and wages, freedom of association and the prohibition of the use of child labor and forced labor. We require our suppliers to commit to compliance with our Code of Conduct.

We began the development of our principles for ensuring responsible supply chain in 2019. We also took the decision to join Amfori BSCI in 2020. Next year, we will systematically survey the current situation pertaining to social responsibility for all of our suppliers in high-risk countries and initiate audits in accordance with an audit plan. We will also develop our reporting with regard to responsible purchasing.

Target 2020 – 2022  Achievements 2019 
The social responsibility of products manufactured in
high-risk countries is ensured by third-party audits.
Decision taken to join Amfori BSCI in 2020. Some of our
suppliers in Amfori BSCI highrisk countries are in possession of a currently valid auditing document or certificate concerning responsible purchasing.
We take social and environmental responsibility
into account in the selection of new suppliers.
We will report on this for the first time in our reporting on
2020.
100% of our suppliers have signed the Supplier Code of
Conduct.
We will report on the number of signed agreements for the first time in our reporting on 2020, enabled by our new ERP system.
We continuously develop our risk management related to
responsible supply chain.
We began the development of our principles for responsible supply chain 2019.

 

Sustainable packaging

We aim to develop the responsibility of our packaging by using recyclable materials, increasing the use of recycled and renewable materials and reducing the amount of packaging materials used. We strive to minimize the use of packaging materials and we aim to use mono-material plastic packaging.

 

Target 2020 – 2025  Achievements 2019 
All of the plastic packaging in our own production will be
recyclable by 2025.
95% mono-material (PE, PP or PET) at the end of 2019.
50% of our products manufactured in-house will be
packaged in recycled materials by 2025.
2% produced from recycled plastic at the end of 2019.
We will reduce the amount of plastic used in the packaging of our products manufactured in-house by 10% by 2025, compared to 2019. We will report on this for the first time in our reporting on
2020.
10% of the products we manufacture in-house will use
packaging that is bio-based or otherwise reduces the use of fossil virgin plastic by 2025.
We will report on this for the first time in our reporting on
2020.

 

Responsible raw materials

In our own production, we always try to choose raw material alternatives that are better for the environment, such as raw materials with fewer environmental classifications. We also take the biodegradability of raw materials into consideration. We aim to take into use new biodegradable raw materials and replace current raw materials with biodegradable raw materials. None of the products we manufacture in-house contain microplastics.

Our environmental certification requirements guide the raw material choices of our environmentally certified products. We aim to prioritize raw materials manufactured in Finland, the Nordic region and Europe.

While we do not purchase palm oil as a raw material in its unprocessed form, palm oil is used in the manufacturing of certain raw materials used in cosmetics. We purchase all of our palm oil-based raw materials from a raw material supplier that is a member of RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). RSPO develops principles for sustainable palm oil production. Our target is that, by 2022, all of the palm oil-based raw materials used in our in-house production activities will be 100% certified mass balance RSPO palm oil products or corresponding products. Mass Balance means that part of the palm oil is non-certified. We use raw materials that have palm oil compounds as their primary materials and, unfortunately, the majority of these raw materials are not yet available in Identity Preserved form, which refers to 100% traceable and certified palm oil.

Our Nokian Footwear contract-manufactured products are primarily made using natural rubber mixtures from rubber harvested from cultivated rubber trees. The natural rubber used by our contract manufacturers is sourced from Vietnam.

The circular economy is of growing importance in Berner’s operations. In 2019, recycled by-products totaled 8,500 metric tons. By-products are generated in the animal feed, food and forest industries, for example, and their uses include fertilizers and biogas production.

Target 2020 – 2022  Achievements 2019 
We will transition to using 100% certified mass balance RSPO palm oil products, or corresponding products, in our own production activities. The interim target is 90% in 2020. We will report on this for the first time in our reporting on
2020.
We will increase the proportion of renewable raw materials to 30% in our Nordic Swan Ecolabel certified products manufactured in-house. The interim target is 27% in 2020. The proportion of renewable raw materials in our Nordic Swan Ecolabel certified products was 25% at the end of 2019.
We emphasize biodegradability in new raw materials used in our in-house manufacturing and we will increase the number of biodegradable raw materials each year We will report on this for the first time in our reporting on
2020.
We aim to increase the number of in-house manufactured environmentally certified products by six. No new environmentally certified in-house manufactured
products in 2019.
Recycled by-products will amount to 120,000 metric tons in 2023. Recycled by-products amounted to 8,500 metric tons.
GreenCare will use 100% plant-based raw materials. Approximately 98% of the raw materials used in GreenCare products do not contain animal-based materials.

 

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