Corporate responsibility

Social responsibility

In developing social responsibility, our goal is to continuously improve the well-being of our staff, the working conditions of the people who work in our supply chain and the safety of our products.

Employee responsibility

We had 359 employees on average at Berner Ltd. in Finland in 2018 (2017: 383). Our goal is to be a responsible and interesting employer and an attractive workplace. The development of job satisfaction is also an important focus area for us. We enhance job satisfaction through leadership development and by improving the operations of our work communities.

Responsibility for employees is based on our values

Our HR practices and principles are based on our values — work, integrity and humanity — and they form the foundation of our responsibility for employees. Our common practices guide our operations with regard to recruitment, orientation, leadership, personnel development and remuneration, among other things. We also have practices and principles that enhance the work community’s operations and well-being.

Berner Group’s Code of Conduct reflects our values. The Code of Conduct guides all of our day-to-day operations in every country we do business in. The Code covers our key responsibilities and the principles we are committed to observing as an organization and as individual employees. Each employee has the right — and the obligation — to comply with our Code of Conduct.

Occupational health and safety

Healthy employees are a precondition for successful operations. We offer a broad range of employee benefits for our personnel. We promote employee well-being by providing high-quality occupational health services, supporting the sporting and cultural activities of our employees as well as subsidizing their commute.

In 2018, we also introduced Better Shape, a well-being service that allows everyone at Berner to comprehensively monitor and develop their well-being through a convenient mobile application. We also participated in the Stair Days campaign to encourage our employees to make small healthy choices in daily life and boost their incidental exercise.

We invest in functionality, comfort and ergonomics at our business premises. Our head office is a mobile multi-space office where employees can choose their workstation based on their agenda for the day. The possibilities range from an open workspace to a quiet room or café. At our production plant in Heinävesi, we focused on improving ergonomics during the year by investing in hydraulic lifting platforms. We also organized training on working methods in cooperation with an occupational physiotherapist with the aim of improving workplace ergonomics. We also conducted a Healthy at Work survey in cooperation with our occupational healthcare partner. Carried out once every three years, the survey helps develop the operations of our work community and supports the work ability of our personnel through individual feedback.

Employee and leadership development

We want to ensure the development of employee competence and good leadership. Good leadership at Berner refers to operating in accordance with our values and allocating human resources appropriately to support the achievement of business objectives.

We emphasize diversity and take the age, gender, family situation and work experience of our employees into consideration in management. Diversity management enhances well-being at work and enables the wide-ranging utilization of different experiences, views, skills and ways of working in our work community.

We support the success and development of our managerial work through supervisor training and by conducting regular 360-degree leadership appraisals. The purpose of the appraisals is to ensure that our leadership experience corresponds to our values. We conducted a 360-degree appraisal for all of our supervisors in 2018. Following the appraisals, we held feedback sessions for supervisors and work communities in line with our HR practices. Based on the feedback sessions, the supervisors prepared personal leadership development plans to support their continued development.

Every Berner employee has the right and the obligation to participate in an annual development discussion. In the development discussion, the employee and the supervisor together prepare a personal career and development plan. Our remuneration practices are based on the targets set for work. We measure the targets and their achievements regularly during the year.

We also maintain and develop the ICT skills and industry-specific subject-matter expertise of our personnel through various training courses. In 2018, we also organized occupational health and safety training as well as training on negotiation skills for our employees.

Equality and diversity

We expect everyone at Berner to be supervisors, colleagues and subordinates who act in accordance with our values. They are the starting point of our orientation training and work community training initiatives.

We have a zero tolerance policy with regard to inappropriate conduct and harassment. No such cases were reported last year. We ensure the equality and diversity of our personnel by producing an annual personnel report. We also revised our Code of Conduct in 2018 and began designing a related online training course for our personnel. The training will be implemented in 2019.


Berner Ltd as an employer in 2018

Average number of personnel 2018


Employment relationships valid until further notice


New employment relationships total


Arrival turnover rate of personnel


Departure turnover rate of personnel

New employment relationships

Number of new employment relationships valid until further notice


New fixed-term employment relationships


Part-time work

Part-time pension


Part-time child care leave


Other part-time work


Age of retirement

64 y

Age distribution

7,8 %
26 %
27,8 %
27,8 %
10,6 %

Gender distribution


Years of service

< 112,5

Occupational diseases and injuries

Occupational disease-----
Injuries at work trip84572
Injuries at work1611161414

Responsible supply chain

Our responsible purchasing is based on our Supplier Code of Conduct, which covers topics including human rights, non-discrimination, working hours and wages, freedom of association and the prohibition of the use of child labor and forced labor. We require our suppliers to commit to compliance with our Code of Conduct.

We engage in active dialogue with our suppliers regarding the responsibility of the supply chain.

We have commissioned an assessment by an external consultant to determine development areas related to the assurance of responsibility in our supply chain. We will start to work on the further development of our responsible purchasing in 2019.

Partnerships and sponsorships

Berner Ltd engages in long-term cooperation with selected partners and strives to be an active and responsible member of society.

Global Compact

We joined the UN Global Compact sustainability initiative to mark our commitment to promoting responsible ways of working in all of our operations and in every country we operate in. By joining the initiative, we committed to observing its ten principles in our strategy, culture and day-to-day operations. The ten principles concern human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

Big Deal

We have joined the S Group’s Big Deal campaign by making a joint commitment with other partner companies to reduce emissions by a million metric tons between 2015 and 2030.

Work Does Not Discriminate

Berner is a member of Work Does Not Discriminate, a campaign by the Confederation of Finnish Industries aimed at changing attitudes and reducing discrimination in Finnish working life. By joining the Work Does Not Discriminate campaign, Berner has made a commitment to promoting a non-discriminatory workplace culture and wants to do its share to highlight the important theme of equality in working life.

Our Baltic Sea commitment to the BSAG

We are continuing our efforts to improve the well-being of the Baltic Sea through our Baltic Sea commitment to the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG). We are committed to developing ecological product innovations through circular economy solutions and we are investigating new opportunities for recycling nutrients to support sustainable development in both home gardening and professional agriculture. We also donate a proportion of the price of each GreenCare Ympäristön Ystävä fertilizer product we sell to support the protection of the Baltic Sea.

Does it Have the Key Flag

As a Finnish family company, we take pride in supporting Finnish work. XZ, LV and Herbina are examples of our well-known Finnish brands that participated in the Does it Have the Key Flag campaign by the Association for Finnish Work. There are a total of 405 Key Flag products among Berner’s Finnish brands.

Supporting health and sports

We have supported Finland’s Veterans’ Federation and Mannerheim Cross of Liberty bearers for several years. We work with the Finnish Heart Association to increase awareness of the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. We are a supporting member of the Finnish Pain Association. We also support the Cancer Society of Finland’s fundraising every year by donating products.

We have also provided extensive support to sports through partnerships with the Finnish Tennis Federation, Finnish Bandy Federation, Finnish Gymnastics Federation and the Finnish Floorball League. We also support the events organized by the Finnish Handicapped Sports and Exercise Association VAU.

Our brands are also active in providing support in areas including children’s health and youth employment. We participate in numerous events by donating products.