Amy Skogberg reveals some promising results from a recent survey and demonstrates how Finland is promoting organizations that promote a social good.
Finnish entrepreneurs and companies can apply for the “Finnish Social Enterprise Mark”. The mark is granted to organizations that promote a social goal and invest most of their profits in advancing social good.
This was the key learning point at RSA Finland’s monthly meetup in May with the theme Social Enterprise. Research Manager Jokke Eljala and Marketing Manager Niina Ollikka from “The Association for Finnish Work” gave a keynote on the topic “A Social Enterprise is a Sustainable Enterprise”.
They unveiled the results from a recent survey made in Finland by the Association:
- When choosing products and services, 87% consider it important that the vendor can demonstrate sustainability in its operations – a 11% growth in two years.
- Almost four out of five are willing to pay more for a product or service if they know that the vendor uses at least half of their profits to advance social good.
- The majority, or nearly 75%, consider important that companies communicate their social actions and subsequent impacts.
- However, there is room for improvement in companies' ways of communicating their sustainability, as below half of the respondents feel that Finnish companies have succeeded in communicating their social actions and impacts. Only 6% feel that companies are very good at communicating this.
Jokke and Niina offered their respective views on the Mark:
‘The Finnish Social Enterprise Mark’ answers the above mentioned needs of the changing market. The mark can be granted to companies and organizations that are aiming to solve social or environmental problems and that dedicate most of their profits to this purpose. The operations of social enterprises are transparent and sustainable, which the Finnish people increasingly demands”
“When buying products or services from companies that have this mark, you can feel confident that they are sustainable. A social enterprise is distinguished from other companies by its value-based mission and primary goal, which can be, for example, promoting well-being, employing long-term unemployed or disabled, preventing young or senior people from being excluded from the society, or rehabilitating special groups. There are already more than 200 companies in Finland that have been granted the mark with a total turnover of over EUR 5 billion and over 19,000 employees”
Even though the mark has been around since 2011, it is still not widely known by the general public, and so the attendees of the meetup were very grateful to get briefed about it and what The Association of Finnish Work is doing to promote sustainability in Finland.
The Association is a politically independent non-profit organization owned by its members. The network consists of over 4,100 members – companies and societies – that engage in efforts to increase the appreciation for Finnish labour and to ensure that Finnish work succeeds in Finland as well as abroad.
The next RSA Finland meetup will take place in August after the summer holidays – RSA Finland wishes all RSA Fellows a sustainable, lovely and happy summertime!