On the road to sustainable development

Sustainability management


In Ahola Group, responsibility permeates all aspects of our operations. It is an intrinsic part of our daily choices, guiding our development work and how we take care of both the environment and our people. We want to ensure that sustainability is a focus in everything we do by regularly including these issues in the executive management team’s and Board of Directors’ agendas. In 2022, the group’s executive management team established a separate sustainability forum which includes employees from all business segments. The objective is to ensure that work related to sustainability remains a focus in all group companies. The forum discusses material sustainability topics and how the impacts of these issues are managed in the business segments. Each company’s sustainability performance is also reported to the group management at the forum’s meetings.


Business management’s understanding of the importance of sustainable development for business is ensured through training provided by an independent party to increase the Board of Directors’ collective knowledge. Ahola’s owners and Board of Directors set the direction for sustainability work and decide on policies, strategies and goals together with the group management. Strategic decisions are executed in the organisation’s different segments, which have their own more detailed strategies derived from the group strategy. Progress is monitored, and internal and external collection of data is planned and executed together with other relevant group functions.


Sustainability strategy


In its sustainability strategy, Ahola Group is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the policies guiding the group’s operations follow the ten principles of the UN Global Compact initiative. We have a strong and natural desire to act responsibly towards employees, customers, owners, and society at large. Respect for the individual is also one of our family business’s values. It is our way of showing that we believe all people are equal. We all have our On the road to sustainable development own duties, but the overall effort is the result of each and everyone’s contribution. We have to create the right conditions for everyone to succeed in their work.


We operate openly and commit to co-operation – as required by Ahola’s values. Long-term customer relationships are important to us, and we want our customers to know who handles their logistics flows. Sustainability work at Ahola focuses on specific goals divided into three areas: environment, society and governance. Ahola’s management is committed to actively participate in developing and executing our sustainability strategy to ensure that our targets and goals are met.


Our sustainability strategy is based on the analysis of the operating environment, including the assessment of risks, and on a dialogue with our key stakeholders in order to better understand the risks and opportunities inherent in our business operations.



Policies governing our daily work


Our policies create a common framework for the work of all our partners and set ethical requirements for all employees. They also provide us with concrete support in assessing the performance of our stakeholders. The Ahola Way is a key document guiding our management and work. The Ahola Way includes our Code of Conduct, which is binding on our entire personnel from management to employees, and which also commits our contract carriers to follow appropriate procedures. The Ahola Way also includes ethical principles, covering policies against bribery, corruption and anti-competitive behaviour, requirements for every employee and co-operation partner to comply with laws and regulations, and guidance concerning gifts, sponsorship and information management.


The Code of Conduct is based on the prohibitions of child labour, forced labour, harassment and discrimination laid down in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) declaration and the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights.


There are also separate policies concerning employees’ legal right to equal treatment, right to bargain collectively and to organise, as well as working hours and salaries. These policies protect employees’ rights and ensure a safe work environment for all.


The work environment policy also includes guidance on remote work and traffic safety. Information security and data protection are particularly important topics for us, and we have policies for both protecting personal data and information management. All our policies and our Code of Conduct are reviewed and approved regularly by our group management and Board of Directors. Ahola Green is our environmental programme that aims to promote environmental sustainability based on research and development.


Our stakeholders


We value our stakeholders’ opinions on our operations and our sustainable development goals. We engage in continuous dialogue with our key internal and external stakeholders to ensure that our service is not only profitable but also responsible, taking into consideration the environment and people.


Our employees, management and owners as internal stakeholders have a clear overall picture of how sustainability is implemented within our company, as our external stakeholders, such as subcontractors, society, government, creditors and customers, each have their own expectations for sustainability. As a company, we work to promote the sustainability topics raised by both internal and external stakeholders.


Materiality assessment


Ahola Group operates in the transport industry and in digital logistics solutions, and we use that as a basis for assessing the material impacts of our operations on the environment, people, and governance. Analysing the operating environment is part of the group’s strategy work and continuous improvement of operations. We assess the materiality of sustainability topics based on how large the risks and their impacts are and how negative impacts can be mitigated and positive impacts strengthened.


The impacts of our operations on the environment, society and governance are reviewed in connection with the group’s overall strategy review every year. Sustainability-related risks and opportunities are assessed regularly as part of every business segment’s risk and opportunity assessment. These assessments are an integral part of the group’s risk management and strategy process. The risk assessments are related to our strategic goal to reduce the negative impacts of our operations and find positive solutions to grow our business in a sustainable and profitable manner.


Emissions are among the key indicators of sustainability in the transport industry. Our focal areas in sustainability include reducing emissions with the help of digital solutions, driver training, modern equipment and adopting and piloting alternative energy sources.


Our employees’ health and safety has been one of the priorities of our sustainability programme and will continue to be so in the upcoming years. We actively develop our work environments to offer everyone the best possible workplace. Ahola Group has involved employees and carriers in sustainability work, offering them communications and training related to our environmental and human rights policies, both within the group and in the entire supply chain.


In 2021, a separate Compliance team was established for the Group to ensure that our business segments comply with both legislation and other requirements. Work related to regulatory and legislative compliance is being developed further. One concrete example is the whistleblowing channel introduced in 2021, through which our stakeholders can anonymously report any suspected unethical behaviour, misconduct or illegal activity.


In line with its values, it is a natural choice for Ahola Group to participate in the development of local communities, while at the same time continuously developing new ways to support the communities. We are also committed to comply with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and we recognise that reaching the Agenda 2030 goals requires the participation of not only governments but also local governments, companies and citizens. In our operations, we focus on making determined efforts to promote the goals which the group has the best opportunity to impact.