Europe faces critical sustainability challenges, centered on climate and biodiversity. Beyond these factors, the United Nations 2030 Agenda, adopted by 193 states in 2015, highlights the need for collaboration. Both the public and private sectors, together with consumers, must contribute to positive development. In this context, the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), established in 2018, compares business performance towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With consultations with 10,000 stakeholders, the WBA identifies seven key transformations for a more sustainable future.
With the aim of turning these transformations into tangible actions, the WBA is developing benchmarks that include 2,000 assessments of the most influential companies globally, including UPM.
“UPM ranks first among its peers in the paper and forest segment and is among the top overall performers in the 2023 Nature Benchmark. It demonstrates leadership across multiple measurement areas, especially ecosystem and biodiversity, where it scored highest out of all companies assessed. The company also stands out for its performance in the core social indicators. UPM has an opportunity to improve on the governance and strategy, and social inclusion and community impact measurement areas,“ WBA describes in the written feedback of the assessment.
“This rating is one of the examples how companies’ responsibility actions and targets are assessed and recognised. Our ambition level in biodiversity and social responsibility seems to be highly valued by WBA which encourages us to continue on the same path,” Sauli Brander, VP Global Forest Affairs, UPM says.
In the rating process, the WBA consults with companies, enabling them to provide additional publicly available information, promoting transparency and critical evaluation of current procedures and actions. It is worth noting that this initiative, supported by Aviva, Index Initiative and the United Nations Foundation, is funded by Aviva and the governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark. The first Nature Benchmark, covering the paper and forest segment, was published in October 2023. Despite its name, this benchmark encompasses a substantial number of indicators and social questions, all assessed with publicly disclosed information and data.