The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Fiskars Group respects and promotes human rights

With a family of lifestyle brands including Fiskars, Gerber, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Waterford and Wedgwood, Fiskars Group’s vision is to create, with a presence in 30 countries and products available in more than 100 countries, a positive, lasting impact on its customers’ quality of life. As a participant in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), Fiskars Group is committed to mitigating adverse human rights impacts  Tweet This! and to working against corruption and bribery.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by Fiskars Group published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Fiskars Group’s approach to human rights is defined in its policies, which also serve as the foundation for the implementation of targets related to the protection of human rights. In order to respect and promote human rights Fiskars Group took action to:

  • carry out a human rights assessment
  • create an action plan
  • launch an Ethics and Compliance Helpline

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Fiskars Group identified a range of material issues, such as creating a positive societal impact, improving energy efficiency, championing safety, diversity and inclusion, creating zero waste. Among these, respecting and promoting human rights stands out as a key material issue for Fiskars Group.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards           

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Fiskars Group engages with:  

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Consumers ·      Surveys

·      Written communications

·      Social media

·      Discussions



·      Dedicated account teams

·      Joint initiatives

·      Customer care

Employees and potential employees


·      Annual employee survey

·      Town halls

·      Employee communications

·      Individual development plans

·      Fiskars Group training sessions

·      Internal and external social media

Suppliers and subcontractors


·      Site visits

·      Annual supplier days

·      Audit programme

Shareholders and investors


·      Annual General Meeting for shareholders

·      Quarterly reporting and webcasts

·      Capital Markets Day

·      Investor meetings and presentations

·      Ongoing dialogue with investors and analysts

Non-governmental organisations


·      Partnerships

·      Memberships

·      Ongoing dialogue



·      Specific media events

·      Press releases

·      Connecting with media influencers, including bloggers

Research institutes, universities and vocational schools ·      Actively collaborating with universities and institutes through product development and with new business models

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Fiskars Group engaged with its stakeholders through a web-based stakeholder survey, receiving nearly 2000 responses from 42 countries.

What actions were taken by Fiskars Group to respect and promote human rights?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report Fiskars Group reports that it took the following actions for respecting and promoting human rights:

  • Carrying out a human rights assessment
  • In 2019, Fiskars Group finalised a human rights assessment and created an action plan for 2020 to close the gaps and develop a human rights due diligence. Fiskars Group has been evaluating its performance against the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and has a cross-functional project team in place to lead the work and along the way engages with key internal stakeholders and leadership teams. The assessment included a review of Fiskars Group’s current policies and practices, several risk assessment workshops, as well as gathering feedback from stakeholders utilising the employee survey and sustainability stakeholder survey conducted in 2018. Key findings from the assessment were that although Fiskars Group has many good practices in place such as a whistleblower channel and a comprehensive Supplier Code of Conduct, it still has work to do in developing its policies and processes overall. Fiskars Group gained valuable information on how it could integrate human rights deeper into its risk management processes, covering both its operations and its value chain.
  • Creating an action plan
  • Based on the human rights assessment, Fiskars Group created an action plan to develop human rights due diligence. Rather than creating a new separate process, Fiskars Group’s aim is to integrate human rights management deeper into its existing processes. One of the first steps to implement its action plan was to update its policies to include a variety of human rights aspects more comprehensively. The Community Engagement Policy and Recruitment Policy were updated during 2019 and Fiskars Group also created a new Employment Policy covering all of its employees. In 2019, Fiskars Group conducted human rights training to the human resources function and had a more deep-dive human rights discussion with the human resources leadership team. Fiskars Group also identified that it had opportunities to develop risk management to better cover salient human rights aspects.
  • Launching an Ethics and Compliance Helpline
  • Fiskars Group’s Ethics and Compliance Helpline was introduced in 2018. The third party provided platform is a confidential and anonymous whistleblowing channel for all employees to report any workplace-related issues and complaints or suspected violations of the Code of Conduct. The Fiskars Group Code of Conduct and related training provide a detailed description of its approach to doing business in an ethical way and respecting human rights, including working conditions, labour rights, anti-corruption and bribery, and safety at work. All suspected violations and occurrences of misconduct are handled confidentially by Fiskars Group’s Internal Audit and Legal and Compliance functions. Relevant other functions are engaged depending on the case, such as HR, to solve the issues. Report on the misconduct cases is provided to the Board’s Audit Committee. During 2019, Fiskars Group received in total five complaints or suspected violations through the Ethics and Compliance Helpline. The cases were related to termination of employment, information security, managerial challenge and dismissal.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 412-1 Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments

2) Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures


Disclosure 412-1 Operations that have been subject to human rights reviews or impact assessments does not correspond to any SDG.

Disclosure 412-2 Employee training on human rights policies or procedures does not correspond to any SDG.


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Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by Fiskars Group, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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