Recognizing the importance of social sustainability for creating a positive impact on society and ensuring the company's long-term success, Veho is deeply committed in advancing social sustainability in its operations and practices.
“To promote social sustainability, we undertake various initiatives and programs that focus on fostering diversity, equality, and inclusion, involving employees, and forming partnerships or collaborations that align with our social sustainability principles,” Veho People and Culture Director Susanna Kohisevankoski reports. She is responsible for planning and leading the company's social sustainability activities.
Currently, Veho´s main area of collaboration is with educational institutes. In 2022, Veho and Stadin AO (vocational institute) launched the new trainee program, Veho Academy, for vocational mechanics students. Through the program, trainees will attend Mercedes-Benz certification trainings and conduct all their internship periods at Veho workshops during a two-year timeframe.
“The trainee program offers both the trainees and Veho a meaningful opportunity to train future mechanics for workplace needs. Stadin AO also trained Veho's mechanics and service managers to act as mentors and trainers to give more standard induction to students while having on-the-job learning.”
Veho also supports various charities and organizations through financial donations and employee volunteering. In 2022, Veho contributed €150,000 via the Red Cross Organization to relieve the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. The company also provides financial support to Mieli ry, a Finnish charity organization focused on improving the mental health of children and teenagers, and Naisten Pankki (Women's Bank) in Finland, which supports women's equal opportunities to work in developing countries.
In Sweden, Veho supports cancer research through Breast Cancer Association and the Movember moustache campaign for men´s health. During Christmas time, Veho donated meals to homeless and elderly individuals affected by poverty, and the company's employees volunteered to help deliver these meal packages. In Estonia, Veho has established partnerships with nationally important cultural institutions, such as an official partner of Estonian Concert and other brand partnerships.
Kohisevankoski points out that group companies currently have different levels of maturity in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“Of the Veho Group countries, Sweden is the most developed, with clear instructions related to behavior and even menus for company events, for example.”
According to Kohisevankoski, the future will see Veho assuming more unified position in social sustainability initiatives. From 2023 onwards, Veho is setting up a program focusing first on building awareness of diversity, followed by trainings and activities for both managers and employees.
“In accordance with our global strategy, Veho has started the review and development of Group policies to be implemented in all countries, laying out common principles for social sustainability actions and plans, setting up an annual clock with systematic activities, and driving the activities by defined responsible persons.”
Furthermore, Kohisevankoski sees the role of conduct policies and mentorship increasing in the fight against discrimination and promoting inclusion within the company.
“Veho Group Code of Conduct establishes the company's overarching principles against discrimination. Moreover, adherence to social sustainability policies is ensured by mandatory trainings and regular communication.”
As social initiatives progress, Veho measures and reports on its social sustainability performance and impact as part of its annual sustainability report.
“Our main key performance indicator for social sustainability is the Great Place to Word index which covers a wide area of social sustainability elements, such as justice, equity, collaboration and immediate manager leadership. By keeping an eye these elements we can transparently monitor our progress, and develop continuously” Kohisevankoski concludes.