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Stakeholder dialogue in 2013

Neste Oil actively engages in dialogue with its various stakeholders and listens to their expectations and possible concerns. Stakeholder feedback is seen as very valuable and is used to help develop Neste Oil’s operations.

Stakeholder dialogue takes place on many levels. Overall responsibility for stakeholder engagement lies with the company’s Senior Vice President, Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs; Senior Vice President, Sustainability and HSSE; Vice President, Investor Relations; Senior Vice President, Human Resources; the Executive Vice Presidents of Neste Oil’s business areas; and numerous experts across the company.

Neste Oil engages with its stakeholders on a daily basis through a variety of communication and interactive channels. Company personnel are encouraged to take part in discussion through things such as social media, and a set of guidelines has been drawn up to help them do this.

Read more about the channels used by Neste Oil to interact with its stakeholders.

Feedback from stakeholders is not always positive and is sometimes critical. Constructive criticism is seen as valuable input for developing Neste Oil’s operations.

The sustainability of the biofuel industry and land seizures caused concern

The sustainability of the palm oil industry generated some discussion among Neste Oil’s stakeholders in 2013. A report on the industry and deforestation published by Greenpeace in October 2013 accused one of Neste Oil’s suppliers (Wilmar) of irresponsible practices in this area. Neste Oil treats deforestation very seriously, and its No-Deforestation Guidelines, introduced in 2013, are designed to help the company’s palm oil suppliers identify and review aspects of their operations of the type highlighted in the Greenpeace report. Neste Oil works closely and constantly with its suppliers and has discussed the issues contained in the Greenpeace report with them. Neste Oil only buys certified palm oil that comes from known sources from its suppliers.

Neste Oil requires its suppliers to operate according to legislation and RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) principles.

Read about Wilmar’s response to the Greenpeace report.

Read the Greenpeace report on the palm oil industry and the trade in palm oil.

Some claims were made during 2013 asserting that Neste Oil was linked to land grabbing in Asia. No cases of this type have occurred in Neste Oil’s own supply chain. All the palm oil used by Neste Oil is traced back to the plantation where it is produced, and Neste Oil knows the exact location of these plantations and their history; none of the plantations supplying Neste Oil have plans to extend their operations. The certification procedures used by Neste Oil and the company’s own sustainability criteria require all of Neste Oil’s suppliers to respect human rights. All of Neste Oil’s suppliers are also committed to the RSPO's criteria covering land grabbing.

Learn more about the RSPO’s sustainability criteria.

Read more about how Neste Oil verifies the sustainability of its supply chain.

Collaboration with smallholders and forest fires high on the agenda in Asia

Neste Oil’s collaboration with palm oil smallholders was one of the subjects that attracted the interest of the company’s stakeholders in Asia in 2013. Neste Oil currently buys palm oil from around 54,000 smallholders and is negotiating a new arrangement that would enable it to buy palm oil from independent smallholders.

Forest fires in Indonesia also generated some discussion in 2013. These were suspected of being the result, at least in part, of illegal burning of land by farmers. The Indonesian authorities and the RSPO investigated a number of cases and found no sign of land having been cleared in this way on Neste Oil’s suppliers’ plantations. All of Neste Oil’s suppliers are covered by a clear policy banning the use of slash and burn to clear land.

Plans to exit the shipping business generated discussion among personnel and in the media

Neste Oil’s announcement that it was to start statutory employer-employee negotiations with its shipping personnel and plans to exit the shipping business generated discussion among the company’s personnel and in the media. The issues involved were discussed openly with the personnel concerned and in accordance with statutory requirements. Neste Oil also communicated the news and answered media questions on the subject openly.

Advocacy work supports public decision-making

Neste Oil supports legislators and other decision-makers in their work by making its specialist expertise and knowledge available on industry-related matters. Its advocacy-related work is aimed at supporting the implementation of the company’s strategy and ensuring that Neste Oil’s operating environment develops in a way favorable to the company’s interests and competitiveness. In line with its commitment to good advocacy practices, Neste Oil is registered with the EU’s Transparency Register.

Neste Oil aims to take an active part in public debate, both in Finland and internationally, and during 2013 participated in discussions at EU level on subjects such as the update of the directives covering the use of renewable traffic fuels, alternative traffic fuels, and EU climate and energy policy post-2020. Neste Oil also continued work aimed at helping eliminate market barriers within and outside the EU. In Finland, Neste Oil took part in debate on subjects such as the reform of the country’s environmental protection legislation, government strategy on energy and climate policy, and how to compensate the impact on Finnish competitiveness resulting from the EU’s Sulphur Directive. In the US and Canada, Neste Oil presented its views on the development of biofuel legislation through industry organizations there.

Neste Oil was also involved in supporting the Finnish Arkadia 2015 training program for young future decision-makers in 2013. This aims to give participants a comprehensive overview of the challenges facing the future of the retail trade, the energy sector, the media, property, and construction in Finland.

Read more about Neste Oil’s position on key issues.