Stora Enso

Stora Enso is a leading forest, paper and packaging company with over 27,000 employees. Following a public scandal of child labour in their supply chain, Stora Enso worked with Save the Children to review their sustainability processes and train employees on children’s rights and business principles.

Stora Enso is a large company that provides renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wood and paper, traditionally based in the Nordic region but now also expanding into new markets. Moving into less developed markets and working with suppliers means new challenges for the company in terms of children’s rights. A tight collaboration with Save the Children on production sites and at head office level means a greater chance of success. 

Child labour found in Stora Enso’s Pakistani supply chain created a media backlash for the company in 2014. As one response to the issues that surfaced, Stora Enso started working with Save the Children. The first step was a thorough assessment of Stora Enso’s policies from a children’s rights perspective, during which Save the Children made recommendations on how to improve various company policies.

“It is not only about child labour, it’s also about safety and working conditions; making sure that employees who are parents can take of their children,” says Karl-Henrik Sundström, former CEO of Stora Enso.

“For me learning the ten Children’s Rights and Business Principles was eye-opening: you realise how comprehensive they are and how many ways business and children’s rights are interrelated.”

Following the policy assessments, Save the Children supported by CCR CSR organised a range of Child Rights workshops with members of executive and division management as well as employees from key functions. Nearly 600 employees have now been trained in workshops and online. 

The workshops and tailor-made e-learning courses highlight what children’s rights could mean for Stora Enso and for an individual employee’s work. The goal is to give participants a new pair of glasses to look at the world with. 

As a result, Stora Enso has started to develop the child rights work in their operations in Guangxi, China. This work includes improved child protection procedures and training local operational staff to support contracted forestry workers and their children.