The corona pandemic – a stress test for Stora Enso and the society

The current highly uncertain and rapidly evolving landscape is impacting businesses worldwide, including Stora Enso. Not a single one of us can predict what will come next, and that’s exactly why we need strong ethical voices now more than ever. We are faced with a lot of the same decisions from our pre-corona lives – except now, some of the most day-to-day activities have turned into moral dilemmas. What risks and opportunities does this uncertainty bring to Stora Enso and all of us working here? Below you can find three different ethical aspects to keep in mind during the pandemic.

  • Fear can make us ethically blind.
    For many businesses, the future is extremely uncertain and might create anxiety among employees, such as fear of poor performance or redundancy. Fear and stress can make us ethically blind, which means that we tend to push our values aside and forget about the Stora Enso Code and the ethical business practices that we have learned. You might think: “Maybe it is ok to pay a small kickback to get this important deal done – just once, in these exceptional circumstances.“

    In situations like this, ethical and strong leadership is more important than ever. We all need to step up, lead by example, and continue conducting our business according to the Stora Enso Code. We now have the opportunity to show that, even in difficult times, we live up to our values “Lead” and “Do What’s Right”.

  • Stress may lead to unsafe behaviour.
    If you have ever been put in a stressful situation, for example got lost in the forest, or were getting close to a deadline, you know how stress can affect your possibility to make rational decisions. The pandemic will put stress on our company on different levels and this might impact how we act in situations where safety is the highest priority.

    “Everybody home safe, every day” summarises our company policy on safety. All of us must take the responsibility for our own and our colleagues’ safety, also – and especially – during the pandemic. Paying attention to everyday safety has never been as important as it is now. We all need to respect and follow the hygiene and safety rules as strictly as ever and should not compromise on them. Keep yourself informed and always intervene when you experience or see unsafe behaviour.

  • Remote working may pose a risk to confidentiality.
    Now when many of us are working remotely, it is even more important to pay attention to protecting our company secrets and other confidential information. This might be challenging now when we may be isolated with family members in the same space. However, the same rules and policies on protecting our company assets apply in these special circumstances. Please familiarise yourself with our guidelines on protecting sensitive information here, and remember that confidential information ending up in wrong hands may result in severe consequences for Stora Enso. For example, you should always remember to take your calls in a place where unauthorised people are not present and protect your computer screen while working.

We are all faced with making difficult decisions to survive this storm. Let’s share best practices, learn from each other, and live by our values “Lead” and “Do What’s Right” with pride. We can’t control what the future will bring, but we can control ourselves and how we react to these turbulent times. The positive thing with a stress test like the corona pandemic is that it can enable us to work smarter, foster innovation, learn from ethical dilemmas, and make us stronger together.

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