Holmen has been affiliated to the UN Global Compact for several years. As such, the Group has taken a clear stance on issues related to human rights, social conditions, responsibility for the environment and the right to establish trade unions.

Holmen has been affiliated to the UN Global Compact since 2007, and also to its corresponding Nordic network. The Group therefore supports the 10 principles listed below. There is little risk of anything in Holmen's operations conflicting with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because the production takes place in Swede and the UK, where such matters are closely regulated. 

The UN Global Compact, the eight fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the OECD’s guidelines for multinational companies form the basis for Holmen’s Code of Conduct. The code, which has been signed by the Group’s CEO, provides guidance on day-to-day operations and clarifies what expectations are made of Holmen’s employees. All employees will be given training in the code. 

A study was conducted some years ago to discover whether any customers or suppliers are failing to comply with the requirements of the Global Compact in countries that are classified internationally as 'high-risk countries'. Holmen made no substantial purchases from such countries at that time. Holmen has also analysed its sales to major customers in 'high-risk countries'. The analysis of Holmen sales indicates that these customers account for only 2–3 per cent of Holmen's revenue. Because none of these customers represent a dominant share, the view is taken that an in-depth analysis is not necessary at this stage. 

Since the 2011 survey, the proportion of purchases from high-risk companies has increased both directly and indirectly with suppliers shifting their production to other countries. This prompted the development of a code of conduct for suppliers. Under the code, the suppliers undertake to respect human rights. The code also covers the environment and corruption. To ensure compliance with the code, regular checks will be made on the suppliers. Amongst other things, the code of conduct governs forced labour, child labour, discrimination, freedom of association, health and safety in the workplace, working conditions, environmental protection, corruption and bribery. The 10 principles of the Global Compact are incorporated into the requirement level in the code of conduct. 


Holmen reports annually on sustainability work performed with regard to the Global Compact.

The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact 

Human rights

1. Support and respect protection of internationally proclaimed human rights in the sphere that the company is able to influence.
2. Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
3. Uphold the freedom of association and recognise the right to collective bargaining.
4. Eliminate all forms of forced labour.
5. Eliminate child labour.
6. Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


7. Support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
8. Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
9. Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.


10. Combat all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery. 


1–5. Holmen only has production in Sweden and the UK, where these matters are regulated by EU legislation. 2014 saw the continued implementation of Holmen’s Code of Conduct for suppliers. Responsibility for the code lies with the Group’s head of strategic purchasing and the director of environmental and sustainable affairs. The Group’s purchasing organisation has received training and the Supplier Code of Conduct is now included in all new supply contracts. The code increases the focus on human rights and working conditions among suppliers, with a view to ensuring good conditions for everyone who works in Holmen’s value chain. A risk assessment is performed, with suppliers in high-risk countries subject to stricter requirements on proving their compliance with the principles in the Code of Conduct. The risk assessment is conducted using the Maplecroft tool. In 2015, Holmen launched a Code of Conduct aimed primarily at its own employees. In conjunction with this, Holmen’s Supplier Code of Conduct was updated to include self-assessment. Holmen will be focusing resources in areas where the risks are deemed to be greatest.
3. EU legislation regulates the issue of freedom of association in union co-operation agreements.
6. Holmen applies the EU's anti-discrimination laws, and regularly surveys whether any form of discrimination occurs. A policy of zero tolerance is followed.
7. Holmen's operations require environmental permits from authorities, and the requirement for a precautionary approach is therefore met.
8. EU legislation is the cornerstone for the environmental conditions set by authorities and these are regularly reviewed. Certified environmental management systems are applied at the mills and in the forestry operations. The forestry operations are also managed in accordance with the standards issued by PEFCTM and FSC®. Energy management systems are in use at all the sites. Certified management systems (OHSAS 18001) for health and safety issues will be obtained at all mill operations in the first half of 2016.
9. Environmental activities and technical development in the environmental area are mainly carried out internally but also together with other companies in the industry. The results are usually published. Holmen is open to exchanging experience about environmental issues.
10. Holmen's Business ethics policy draws attention to the stringency of legislation on these issues. The policy makes it clear that employees must carefully consider the meaning and purpose of any favours/benefits offered in their contacts with customers and suppliers.  

For detailed descriptions of Holmen’s work on the 10 principles, see primarily the sections The sustainable work, Holmen in society, Employees and Environment.






Human rights

Global compact

The global Compact is based on:

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) draws up principles and standards that governments apply to multinational enterprises so that they engage in business on a responsible basis. 

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. 

The Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development. 

Source: www.unglobalcompact.org 

Holmen AB, P.O. Box 5407, SE-114 84 Stockholm, Sweden.

Visiting address: Strandvägen 1, Stockholm.

Tel: +46 8 666 21 00   E-mail: info@holmen.com

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