The State Treasury has prepared a summary of central government sustainability reports, offering a comprehensive view of how ministries, agencies and institutions promote sustainable development. Central government promotes the achievement of all the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A total of 46 ministries, agencies and institutions published a sustainability report for 2021 by the end of July 2022.
In their sustainability reports, central government organisations have identified the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose achievement they can contribute to. The purpose of sustainability reporting is to make sustainability visible and to communicate openly how sustainable development is taken into account in the use of common funds.
The most commonly promoted SDGs identified in the reports were responsible consumption, climate action, and peace, justice and strong institutions. The reports also describe how each organisation manages the direct ecological, social and economic impacts on the environment caused by their operations.
Sustainability reporting also important in central government
Sustainability reporting encourages organisations to take notice of the opportunities in their operations to promote sustainable development. At the same time, reporting reveals organisations’ potential challenges in minding the sustainability perspectives of their operations and in information acquisition. It also indicates if an organisation is unable to share information at their desired level of accuracy.
In terms of sustainable development, it is essential to define monitoring indicators that match the implementation of statutory tasks with SDGs.
– Sustainability work is a clear reflection of the times; as the objectives change, so must our operations. Continuous and consistent reporting allows us to assess the progress of our work. It has been great to see how many organisations are making their sustainability visible, says Timo Laitinen, Director General of the State Treasury.
Sustainable development in the use of common funds
Sustainability is under a much more comprehensive lens today than ever before. Finland as a nation and as an international co-operator has committed to achieving the UN SDGs. For this reason, the SDGs also provide a framework for sustainability measures in central government.
Central government is a significant societal operator that is expected to act openly, transparently, responsibly and sustainably. Responding to the challenges of sustainable development requires active operations and monitoring. Although Finland has fared well in the UN’s SDG ranking, Finland is still a long way from achieving several of the goals set for ecological sustainability. The annual country ranking examines how states promote the global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the related SDGs.
First uniform sustainability reports
The first uniform central government sustainability reports were published in 2022 in accordance with the State Treasury’s guidelines. The summary includes a total of 49 reports, 46 of which were prepared by ministries, agencies and institutions. Kela, the Senate Group and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health also submitted their reports in accordance with the State Treasury’s guidelines. The reviewed reports were published in July 2022 at the latest. At the time being, 54 of central government organisations have published their sustainability report for 2021.
Sustainability Specialist Katri Kanerva, tel. +358 (0)295 50 3364, katri.kanerva(at)valtiokonttori.fi