Responsibility report 2018
4 Responsibility – everyday acts
10 Description of the organisation
14 Management at SOL
22 Financial responsibility
24 Responsibilities to stakeholders
28 Environmental responsibility
38 Social responsibility
2 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 3
– everyday acts
This SOL Responsibility Guide is the eighth in this
format. The guide is published in Finnish and in
English every spring on the company’s website.
We want to constantly develop our operations
and make our services more sustainable
and responsible, taking into consideration the
needs of our customers and stakeholders. The guide contains
an introduction to the subject, key figures regarding
the actions implemented, and future goals.
At SOL, responsible business operations mean
spontaneous responsibility that supports the company’s
business and that are determined by the company’s values
and objectives, while also taking into account key stakeholders.
Many practical issues related to responsibility are
addressed in our everyday work. These issues include
occupational safety, good managerial work, improvements
in working methods, environmental issues, work ethics, a
pleasant work community, caring about others and about
customers, correct salary payments, the development of
competence and many other minor aspects.
Our goal is to be an excellent corporate citizen,
focusing in particular on the continuity of operations,
supply chain responsibility, our customers’ superior service
experience, responsible environmental management,
well-being at work, and continuous improvement and
development. Responsible operations are essential and
global. Ethical and responsible choices dictate more and
more our procurement decisions and consumption.
The figures reported below are those of the SOL
Group, unless otherwise stated in the text. The segments
are Finland and the foreign subsidiaries, and the services
are the business lines of SOL Palvelut Oy: property services,
cleaning and facility services and security services, the
laundry services of SOL Pesulapalvelut Oy and the personnel
services of SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut Oy.
Number of personnel
4 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 5
1.1 Description of
The Finnish economy considerably recovered last year
with simultaneous increase in export, investments and
consumption. However, the estimates for the development
of the Facilities Services Sector in early 2018 are
more conservative than before in the Business Tendency
Survey of the Confederation of Finnish Industries. The
sector has boasted an excellent growth trend for years, but
the workforce availability issues may put an end to such
According to the survey, the growth of property service
sales and personnel number slowed down in September
2017. The curve of the sector’s business outlook went
back and forth in 2017. The current situation is average.
In terms of turnover, the other services have surpassed
the property services, but the growth of the sector has
continued. It is still faster than the average economic level.
The use of external services is also increasing in the
municipal sector, albeit at a rate that is substantially slower
than in the private sector. The outsourcing of operations
remains relatively insignificant in Finnish municipalities.
Work is usually performed by the municipalities’ own
employees. Municipalities have outsourced 20–25% of
their cleaning services, while the corresponding figure for
property maintenance and technical services is approximately
40%. The sector has a large potential market and
the use of property services may well increase further in
the coming years.
In laundry services, increase in net sales has been slow
during the past few years. The personnel services industry
is in a period of growth, and SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut has
achieved a result that substantially exceeds the industry
1.2 SOL Future
SOL Future has endeavoured to forecast SOL’s prospects
in the property services and temporary staffing markets
up until the year 2025. SOL will be a strong contender in
these future markets.
Our Group-level growth target for net sales is MEUR
1,001 by 2025. Of this total, operations in Finland will represent
MEUR 755 and the foreign subsidiaries’ MEUR 246,
the latter accounting for 25% of net sales. Correspondingly,
the number of personnel in Finland is expected to grow
to some 20,000 people and to increase significantly also in
the foreign subsidiaries.
We anticipate that as many as 60% of our employees
will be of non-Finnish origin by 2030 compared to approximately
30% at present. Employees are increasingly expected
to have multi-expertise where different work tasks are
combined. In addition to property maintenance, key jobs
will be in the sectors of logistics, industry and commerce.
The skills and development of the personnel are ensured
by investing in training. Our age programme, in turn,
takes into account the employment needs of different
age groups. The programme connects the life situations
of different groups with work tasks suited to those life
situations. The rapid digital transformation of operating
methods and procedures will continue.
Situation in property services
Net sales target (MEUR)
Figure 4. Group net sales target for 2025
At the sources of SOLar
• Sunny and satisfied customers
• The joy of working
• Everyday creativity
• Enterprising spirit
• Skilled and participating personnel
• Sunny customers
• Profitable growth
• Profitability and competitive strength
• Efficiency and safety
• We allow our customers to focus on their own
on vahva toimija.
• We want to be the superior service partner
• for our customers and provide positive
6 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 7
1.3 Risk management
We have evaluated our key risks in cooperation with our
insurance provider OP:
Profitability risks: effect of industry price competition on
• Work ability risks
• Customer risks
• Personnel availability risks
• IT project risks
Risks are prioritised according to the importance of the
risk by evaluating the influence and likelihood of risks
and the level of risk management. When evaluating the
influence of risks, the effects on the well-being of people,
the environment, and the reputation of SOL are taken
into account in addition to the financial effects. Tools in
Interest rate risk
Share price risk
Key personnel risk Occupational
Settlement risk Counterparty risk
Collapse of market
Cash management risk
1.4 Responsibility for service
provision and services
SOL’s responsibility is to ensure that the services it provides
are safe, reliable and sustainable and that they meet
quality standards, such as hygiene requirements. SOL
prefers long-term relationships with selected suppliers,
and expects from all its service providers commitment to
the requirements set for security, the environment and
SOL operates in the corporate and consumer markets,
and the end-user is always an individual who requires
reliability and safety. We require a picture ID from the
personnel of our supplier partners as well as an attached
tax number in order to prevent grey economy.
accordance with the Operating System are used in SOL
There are appointed persons in charge of risk management
at SOL, who are responsible for the planning,
execution and monitoring of procedures. The defined
procedures are attached to the action plans and monitoring
Risk management procedures are directed at the most
significant risks in terms of influence with cost-efficient and
The management at SOL regularly monitors the success
of risk management and reports on the risks and the
development of risk management procedures. The sufficiency
and influence of procedures is evaluated as a part
of business monitoring. Corrective action will be taken as
Change in strategy
Key customer risk
Risk of tighter regulation
Information security risks
Control risks Inadequate IT support
Process management risks
SOL’s provision of services is well defined and mostly
designed and developed by SOL. Development work is
carried out in collaboration with all the suppliers to ensure
accurate provision of the services. Development relies on
safety, usability, functionality, durability and quality – all of
which are factors needed for excellent customer satisfaction.
In SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut Oy, the customer, as
the user company, is responsible for the safety of SOL’s
service experts. SOL’s role is to recruit, train and provide
orientation for service experts so that they are able to act
according to customers’ needs, instructions and safety
SOL Group is now
leadership in Peppi
Kaira and Juha-Pekka
1.5 Managing Director’s review
Our strategy is based on sunny and satisfied customers, professionally
competent and engaged personnel with a high level of
well-being as well as productivity and profitable growth. Continuous
development plays a central role in our strategy. Last year
was the 25th anniversary of our family business. The lessons in
leadership and our image of humankind, implemented in our year
of establishment, still act as the cornerstones of our success. We
celebrated the anniversary with our customers and personnel at the
end of October in SOL City.
In terms of business, SOL achieved its growth targets quite
well for the most part in 2017.
We measure customer satisfaction on a monthly basis by
conducting customer satisfaction visits. Last year, we conducted
a total of 37,944 face-to-face customer satisfaction surveys and
the feedback was excellent with the laughter and smiles combined.
The scores were 98.8% for SOL Palvelut, 98.9% for SOL
Henkilöstöpalvelut and 99.9% for Sol Pesulapalvelut (on a scale of
We invest in the development of our personnel and our
newly initiated training reforms have progressed according to
our expectations. The training strategy was renewed in 2017 with
related operational changes, the most significant of which were
the renewal of the online induction training for service providers
and the separate online induction training for the service experts
of personnel services. In addition, business sector-specific learning
packages have been developed for various services. This work
will continue in 2018. The training index of service providers was
also renewed in 2016 and the completion requirements of training
were specified with the primary emphasis for the future placed
on customer-specific requirements. Last year, an extensive digital
shift planning project was also started. Its pilot was launched in the
security services towards the end of the year. The system will be
adopted for the comprehensive use of SOL Palvelut in the spring
The Solar System Orientation Handbook, designed for all SOL
service providers and experts, was updated in the autumn of 2017.
The SOL IN training programme for new employee was renewed
at the end of the year. We organised a total of 24,000 training days
Induction training and its promotion remain a key focal point
in developing the skills of SOL personnel. We will continue to
invest in tutor activities, a key induction function. We have also
added more training on ergonomics and drawn up a new Ergonomy
In addition, we expanded the well-being mentor activity, piloted
in 2016, to cover all the districts of SOL Palvelut.
Our investments in the SOL Life wellbeing at work programme
have produced good results: sickness and accident-related absences
have begun to decline, disability pension expenses have been
reduced and the Joy Barometer employee satisfaction indicator is
at a good level.
We have also developed our own SOL Life well-being game.
The purpose of the game is to raise awareness of the significance
of well-being and share good practices. We have also
been involved in the development of the Productive Leadership
Simulation, which utilises artificial intelligence and aims to improve
well-being at work and the productivity of the personnel.
We were successful in the “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages”
contest, organised by the European Agency for Safety & Health
at Work, with our project “Everyone has the right to well-being at
work” for which we were given an honourable mention. Inspired by
this, we organised a SOL Life well-being theme day in September
2017 at every SOL Studio.
With regard to business performance, we were particularly
delighted in 2017 by the rapid growth of SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut,
which saw it become one of the largest companies in its industry
operating nationwide in Finland. Net sales exceeded MEUR 52.1
and the year-on-year growth was more than 26 per cent. The turnover
of personnel services has doubled over the course of two years.
The industry is in a period of growth, but SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut
achieved a result that substantially exceeds the industry averages.
We are also growing at an annual rate of approximately 10 per
cent in our international operations. Our Swedish unit is making
good progress and our Estonian operations have been successful
right from the start. We have also achieved rapid growth in Russia,
especially in Moscow. The Russian economy is not yet showing
signs of recovery. Our growth is the result of our strong efforts in
that market. We have successfully acquired good large customers.
The in-house logistics company Flexo Oy, which we established
as a joint venture with Posti, started its operations on 3 May
2017. Flexo is a national, rapidly developing in-house logistics
service company that employed 1,000 people by the end of 2017.
SOL Group’s net sales amounted to MEUR 311.8 in 2017. In
2017, the operating profit totalled MEUR 13.6, representing 4.4%
of net sales. SOL’s investments amounted to EUR 7 million in 2017.
SOL’s liquidity has remained good.
SOL’s business continuity is also safeguarded by appropriate
insurance cover. There are no significant risks related to business or
financing on the horizon, but the Russian subsidiaries’ euro-denominated
revenues and profitability may contain some risks caused by
currency fluctuations. We are confident that SOL, a strong player
and trend-setter as well as a pioneering service provider and developer,
will continue to prosper. Our assets are our flexible and agile
operations, special care for our customers, personnel and partners,
and our way of working in line with set plans.
The year 2018 has got off to a good start in all sectors.
8 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi
www.sol.fi | Vastuullisuus 2017
of the organisation
SOL is a business owned by a Finnish family.
SOL’s management is guided by values emphasising
economic, social and environmental
responsibility. The SOL Group comprises the
parent company SOLEMO Oy and its three
wholly owned subsidiaries in Finland and five
We offer cleaning and facility services in St. Petersburg
and Moscow in Russia and in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and
Sweden. Retail laundry services are offered in Moscow, St.
Petersburg and Estonia as part of a cleaning and facility
The dry cleaning shop concept of laundries began in
Finland in 2001. Last year, Finland had 61 serving laundry
shops. New laundry shops were established in Easton
shopping centre and Järvenpää. International laundry
operations were launched in Estonia in 2008, St. Petersburg
in 2010 and Moscow in 2011. In 2009, we began to
offer temporary staffing and recruitment services to our
customers in Finland. In Russia, we were in the temporary
staffing business from 2013 to 2015.
2.1 The SOL companies
Solemo’s Finnish subsidiaries include SOL Palvelut Oy, a
provider of cleaning and facility services, property services
and security services. SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut focuses on
temporary staffing and direct recruitment services. SOL
Pesulapalvelut Oy provides laundry services to private
individuals, businesses and public sector entities.
The Group’s foreign subsidiaries are:
• OOO SOL
• OOO SOL SP
• OOO SOL DC
• SOL Baltics OÜ
• Solreneriet AB
• Reneriet Estonia OÜ
2.2 SOL is a Solar
System – outstanding
partnership and quality
SOL is a Solar System consisting of the Solar Centre,
personnel services, property services, laundry services,
cleaning services, facility services and security services. We
want each of the services to represent the absolute top in
its field and provide our customers with positive experiences.
We act responsibly, respecting the environment
and providing the best customer service. We are quick
and cost-efficient. We want to be a superior partner in all
of our services and service solution packages..
In addition to SOL’s Management Team and task-specific
development groups, the entire personnel works for
and towards SOL responsibility. The work of a responsible
corporation involves us all. The operational organisation is
structured so that all the services, marketing and sales as
well as development and administrative operations support
the operative activities throughout the Group. The
backbone of the operations is the line organisation, which
serves locally and with uniform quality in accordance with
the SOL Operating System. The Group’s development
activities focus on establishing and developing service
concepts and processes.
Procurement and logistics are also under development.
Net sales (MEUR)
Figure 1. Net sales 2013–2017, Finland and other countries
217,5 221,5 222,6
44,6 48,1 51,4 54,2
Operating profit (MEUR)
Figure 2. Operating profit 2013–2017
Net sales of SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut, 2012–2017 (MEUR)
10 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 11
Gross investments (MEUR)
Figure 3. Gross investments 2013–2017
7,0 6,9 7,0
2015 2016 2017
Number of personnel 2013–2017
3101 3282 3339
Yellow and red work clothes
symbolise the SOL values
2.4 Mission, vision
Our mission is to strengthen our customers’ corporate image
with the services we provide. We act in a responsible
manner and we are a valued employer.
All our activities and decision-making are based on
shared values: sunny and satisfied customers, reliability,
enterprising spirit, everyday creativity and the joy of
We are here to serve our customers.
Happy working clothes of red and yellow symbolise the
SOL values and brand. The striking colours also improve
We at SOL believe in a positive image of humankind,
where everyone wants to work and succeed in their work
and each of us is a different, creative, thinking, acting and
feeling human being.
We want to encourage and give feedback in order to
develop in our work. Success and praise, in particular, are
important to us and essential for work motivation.
Our vision is to be a superior partner for our customers
across all services. In line with our mission, we allow
our customers to focus on their core business.
We want to grow by utilising our service concepts and
employing qualified personnel while developing cooperation
with our customers. The end result is a profitable,
financially-sound and excellently-managed SOL with sunny
and satisfied customers and personnel.
The SOL corporate image is projected to the market
and to all our stakeholders. The cornerstones of our brand
are cheerfulness, yellow sunniness,
– enthusiastic service, skilled professional personnel,
flexibility and ease.
SOL’s image of humankind
• People are responsible individuals and they want
to do good work.
• People have a need to succeed
• People are different
• People take initiative and are creative
• People are thinking, acting and feeling human
• Freedom of workplace: it is not important where
work is carried out; what is achieved is what
• Freedom from status symbols: respect has to be
• Freedom from working hours: the result counts
12 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 13
SOL’s management culture is established to allow
trustworthy interaction and an atmosphere that
encourages everyday creativity and to promote people’s
respect and responsibility towards each other.
At SOL, we aim towards servant leadership.
Giving responsibility, trust, and supporting a
functional work community are some of the
The parent company’s Board of Directors
comprises Juhapekka Joronen, Chairman, and
members Peppi Kaira and Anja Eronen for the duration
of the accounting period and Oona Kaira as of 10 February
2017. Juhapekka Joronen is the Managing Director
of SOL Palvelut Oy. Peppi Kaira is the Managing Director
of SOL Pesulapalvelut Oy. Niilo Kemppe is the Managing
Director of SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut Oy, and Peppi Kaira is
the Managing Director of SOLEMO Oy. Anja Eronen was
the Managing Director of SOLEMO Oy and SOL Palvelut
Oy until 31 August 2011 and has been Chairman of the
Board of SOL Palvelut Oy as of 1 September 2011.
SOL’s Management Team comprises Anja Eronen,
Chairman, the Managing Directors of the Finnish companies,
Timo Sairanen, Director, HR and Legal Issues and
Riitta Sirviö, Director, Development Group. The Management
Team also includes representatives of senior salaried
employees, salaried employees and other employees.
The company’s auditor is KPMG Oy Ab, Authorised
Public Accountants, with Toni Aaltonen as the lead auditor.
The management organisation is as lean as possible
in order to be close to the customer and personnel. The
Development Group of each service sector is responsible
for monitoring operational management and for development
and improvement projects. All meeting practices are
presented in the SOL Operating System. They are defined
in the annual Action Plan and also scheduled according to
The SOL Operating System is based on the ISO
9000:2015 quality standard, the ISO 14001 environmental
management standard, the OHSAS 18001 safety specification
and the ISO 31000 risk management standard. Each
company has its own operating system compliant with the
Group’s core system.
Our customers audit our operating system, which
serves as a foundation for developing operations. SOL’s
Estonian and Latvian companies have quality certificates.
The well-being programme is integrated into the SOL
Life programme. Documentation is saved centrally in the
M-Files programme, which also includes the customer
management system. The system utilises SOL’s in-house
customer information system (Sirkkeli).
Safety instructions are an integral part of the SOL
Process Management System. They are easily available on
the intranet or in separate folders at our full-service laundry
shops. The Group and its companies have nominated
people to be responsible for data security, environmental
safety, occupational safety and other safety. Updating
safety instructions, as well as early intervention and preventive
measures, are important to SOL. We emphasise
the personnel’s responsibility, and acting according to that
responsibility, in all our communications. We never permit
any form of corruption or bribery whatsoever. The guidelines
for receiving gifts and for travel are documented in
the SOL Operating System.
organisation is as
lean as possible in
order to be close to
the customer and
Management principles, illustrating lean organisation and internal services.
Lean central management.
results in cooperation
with each other
accountability as lean
14 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 15
3.1 SOL’s ethical rules –
good business principles
SOL’s operations are guided by values that emphasise
economic, social and environmental responsibility. Each
SOL employee must comply with our values in their work:
Sunny and satisfied customers, the joy of working,
everyday creativity, enterprising spirit and reliability.
At SOL, we believe that everyone wants to do their
job well and succeed in their work. We encourage independence
and the acceptance of responsibility. Everyone
at SOL must act responsibly with regard to our stakeholders.
SOL’s responsibility covers all stakeholders: customers,
personnel, shareholders, subcontractors, partners,
authorities, the company’s own business sectors and their
organisations, the media, and cooperation with non-profit
These rules are part of the SOL Responsibility Report.
The rules apply to all SOL’s subsidiaries in Finland and
abroad. Each SOL employee is responsible for playing by
3.1.2 Ethical rules and legislation
SOL and its employees act legally and in accordance with
current, generally accepted business practices. As a member
of the Real Estate Employers, SOL and its employees
develop the industry by complying with the ethical rules.
Each SOL employee is responsible for acquiring the necessary
information on the legislative regulations concerning
their work. Supervisors must ensure the employees
receive adequate orientation to these rules. If in doubt,
SOL employees should always turn to their supervisor
for help. SOL supervisors must ensure full compliance
with laws, regulations and good business practices. If an
employee notices any breaches of regulations, they must
immediately notify their supervisor, who will take the necessary
actions at once and report the matter to the Group
3.1.3 Conflicts of interest, gifts and bribes
SOL employees are expected to promote SOL’s interests
and act in a responsible manner. SOL employees must
avoid all situations that might result in a conflict of interest.
The corruption and bribery ban permeates all SOL
operations. SOL and its employees may not make or offer
bribes or unlawful payments to customers, managers, national
of local authorities or other parties to gain or retain
business, or for any other equivalent reason.
SOL does not grant direct or indirect support to political
parties, organisations or individual politicians.
SOL employees may not accept personal benefits
or gifts from stakeholders or suppliers which run contrary
to applicable laws or local business practices. Gifts or
benefits must only be accepted if they are offered in the
context of regular business activities and they are ordinary,
reasonable and low in monetary value.
Gifts and hospitality may be acceptable if they are:
• not offered on a regular basis, are given or received
openly and without an obligation and/or expectation of
a favour in return
• approved by stakeholders and able to stand public
• legal, ordinary and of moderate monetary value.
• Before offering a gift or benefit to a partner, employees
must ensure that they are aware of the rules and ethical
guidelines observed by the recipient to prevent bribery.
We will operate
responsibly by providing
fair temporary work.
3.1.4. Responsible personnel services
The SOL Group’s personnel services arm, SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut,
is an authorised member of the Private
Employment Agencies’ Association (HPL) and a member
of Service Sector Employers Palta. As an authorised company,
we commit to adhering to the authorisation rules
and to responsible operations by offering fair temporary
We apply the ethical guidelines published by
the Real Estate Employers and work to raise
the profile of the property service sector.
• We will act reliably and with high quality, in accordance
with the promises and commitments given to
• We will act responsibly and also expect responsible
operations from our partners.
• We are bound by the duty of professional secrecy
with regard to confidential information and we will not
misuse any information obtained.
• We will fulfil our social obligations and responsibilities,
and we are familiar with the standards of the industry.
• We undertake to maintain the skills and development
of our personnel and we will promote employee wellbeing
and the occupational safety of our personnel and
• We will respect other enterprises in the sector, compete
fairly and work to abolish the grey labour market.
• We will provide every employee with a photographic
ID, displaying their personal details and tax ID and
submit all company and subcontractor information
required under the provision of the Act on the
Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is
Contracted Out, using the tilaajavastuu.fi online service.
• We are committed to promoting environmental values
• We will encourage equality at work and acceptance of
individuality and diversity within the work community.
In Finland, hospitality in the public sector is subject to
guidance (1592/2010) issued by the Ministry of Finance,
available (in Finnish) at: (www. vm.fi/vm/fi/04_julkaisut_ja_asiakirjat/02_henkilostohallinnon_asiakirjat/03_
Examples of acceptable hospitality include attendance
at occasions such as birthday and retirement
receptions organised by a partner. In these circumstances,
gifts in keeping with convention are acceptable. Also
acceptable are parties and cultural events in the context of
meetings and training courses.
Gifts or benefits exceeding a value of EUR 100 offered
to a SOL employee must be authorised by a Service Director,
Business Director or Managing Director.
Benefits must not be accepted if:
• The value of the benefit exceeds conventional business
• The benefit is in conflict with SOL’s interests and values
• The benefit may impair or be seen to impair the other
party’s independence or impartiality
• The benefit is likely to arouse suspicions regarding the
giver’s motives or its impact on decision-making or
outcomes of business
• The benefit could generate negative publicity for SOL
As a general rule, SOL will cover the costs of any travel
related to events and travels organised by external parties.
In the event of confusion regarding the appropriateness/legality
of giving or receiving a gift, it must be
3.1.5 Fair temporary work
The authorisation of personnel services companies ensures
the fairness of temporary staffing for both employees
and user companies. Authorised companies wish to
highlight their commitment to legal, ethical procedures.
As for customer companies and temporary staff, they wish
to be able to identify the honest and reliable operators
in the field. The authorisation rules are provided to both
parties for information. Compliance with the authorisation
rules is monitored.
The Private Employment Agencies’ Association has
prepared general terms and conditions for temporary
staffing and recruitment to clarify the distribution of
responsibilities and rules between the contractual parties.
The terms and conditions also take into account the right
of employees and job applicants. The general terms and
conditions are intended to serve as an appendix to the
contract between a personnel services company and its
customer. The contractual terms and conditions specify
the course of the process, the obligations of the contractual
parties, the validity and termination of the contract,
the making of reclamations, and indemnities. The parties
may deviate from the terms and conditions by a separate,
written customer agreement.
16 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 17
SOL’s social responsibility covers all stakeholders: customers,
personnel, subcontractors, partners, shareholders,
authorities, the company’s own business sectors and their
organisations, the media, and cooperation with non-profit
We comply with the laws, regulations and guidelines
of local authorities in all our operating countries. We
diligently take care of our taxes and payments, which are
further used for maintaining social services and public
We currently employ nearly 14,000 people, to whom we
are committed to paying wages and salaries according
to agreements and for whom we pay employers’ contributions.
We serve our customers with and through our
personnel. Our key value is the joy of working.
SOL aims for a fair personnel policy, which enables
the company to safeguard employment and guarantee
high job satisfaction. Investment in the continuous development
of employees’ skills provides maximum benefits
for customers, employees and SOL.
The well-being of personnel is fully addressed. Employees
are encouraged and trained to participate in the
planning and development of their own tasks in everyday
work, as well as in long-term planning and development.
For instance, the annual action plan and budget are built
from the bottom upwards, thus involving as many employees
as possible. In Finland, the personnel working at least
15 hours per week are provided with general practitioner-level
healthcare after six months of employment, and
SOL has adopted SOL Life as an “Ongoing Care Model”.
High priority is systematically given to occupational
safety, risk management and pro-activeness throughout
our operations. Rapid communications and interaction
commensurate with the situation have been further
Personnel competence is improved by short-term and
long-term in-house coaching and training sessions, and
by apprenticeship training. SOL offers active tutoring and
mentoring for all personnel groups and conducts a continuous
Ilopuntari job satisfaction survey. “From goals to
results” discussions help in setting goals, achieving results,
developing operations and they also facilitate the personnel’s
self-development. A scorecard is used for monitoring
and controlling the achievement of the goals. The Quality
Passport has been in use at SOL for a long time now as a
tool to reward employees for good performance.
SOL has a good and effective relationship with labour
3.2.2 Responsible owners with a face
In a family business, the owners of SOL have a key role
and long traditions of developing the company and its operations.
The owners expect from the employees responsible
operations in accordance with the company’s values.
SOL is an active member of the Finnish Family Firms
Association, which promotes an operational framework for
and responsible ownership of family enterprises.
3.2.3 Our priority is a sunny, satisfied and
SOL’s operations are divided into local service districts,
which are responsible for their own customers and are as
close to the customer as possible. SOL has nearly 10,000
registered customers and fulfilling contractual obligations
with them is a matter of honour to SOL. SOL likewise
expects the same from its contracting parties.
Figure 5. Customer satisfaction 2013–2017
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
SOL Palvelut Oy
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
18 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 19
In line with our operating system, we aim to prevent
problematic situations and to rectify and continuously
improve our services.
Customer satisfaction and customer retention are
monitored in all our activities every month. A continuous
customer feedback and questionnaire procedure is in use
and it is conducted monthly with some of the customers.
This procedure is based on the SOLE guidelines and on an
SOL’s customer satisfaction has been at an excellent
level for many years.
The end-user of SOL’s services is a private customer
whom we serve to the best of our ability. Our goal is to
have customers who want to do business with companies
and communities using our services or with our own
full-service laundries also in the future.
3.2.4 Partners are selected carefully
SOL’s partners include a number of suppliers of services
and goods. Our partners are expected to be reliable, professional
and responsible, and SOL invests in cooperation
with them. For further information, please see the section
on Social Responsibility. Our aim of cost effectiveness will
also challenge SOL’s partners.
3.2.5 Developer of the business sector
SOL’s roots in Finland’s business community run deep.
The first operations are considered to have started in 1848
when dye master C.A. Lindström founded a textile dye
house and laundry on the hill where Finland’s Parliament
House currently stands.
SOL has significantly improved the sector’s image
with its reputation as a good employer and provider of
quality services. SOL is well-known for transforming the
property business into a service sector.
SOL is an active opinion leader in the Confederation
of Finnish Industries, Real Estate Employers and Private
Employment Agencies Association. Juhapekka Joronen,
the Managing Director of SOL Palvelut, is a member of the
Board of the Confederation of Finnish Industries and the
Chairman of the Board of the Real Estate Employers. We
also participate in the work of other bodies and accept
positions of trust and expert tasks offered.
3.2.6 Communications and media
Our business sectors interest everybody. SOL aims for
transparent interaction with the media and regularly
reports the Group’s news directly to the media via targeted
press releases, which are also available on our
website. Our communication channels in Finland include
the Group’s intranet and the SOLISTI customer magazine,
in addition to the website and social media. Our entire
website has been translated into English. Our communications
department coaches and trains the personnel and it
is responsible for internal and external communications in
accordance with the company’s communications plan.
We are pleased to share information about our
actions and results. Our experts are encouraged to make
public presentations and to share their knowledge outside
3.2.7 Increasing our global role
Individual rights and shared responsibility are evolving. We
will have an increasing role in employing labour coming
from less developed countries and also in improving the
conditions of their countries of origin.
In 2017, we have supported the operations of Lastenklinikoiden
Kummit ry. SOL is a participant in the Diversity
Charter, organised by FiBS and TEM.
In 2012, we signed the Diversity Charter Finland, according
We will offer equal opportunities. We will recognise
and utilise individual skills and needs.
We will manage the personnel and customers fairly.
We will provide information on our goals and accomplishments.
SOL has a multicultural development group, which
reports directly to the Management Team. We employed
2,063 foreign nationals in Finland in 2017.
Since 2007, SOL has had a Young Staff Development
Group with participants representing employees from
different sectors. The purpose of the group is to promote
the position of young employees and highlight their views
SOL is a partner of the Responsible Summer Job
3.2.8 Working life committee and degree
SOL is engaged in large-scale cooperation with educational
institutions, starting from sponsoring classes in upper
secondary schools. Vocational schools in our field as well
as polytechnics and universities are important partners
for us in training, internships and teaching and they also
provide us with skilled employees.
The Manager of Training at SOL acts as the Chair of
the new working life committee of Cleaning and Property
Services appointed by the Board of Education and as the
Chair of the degree committee.
In 2017, SOL was involved in a work group to renew
some of the qualifications in our sector. Now, the Facilities
Services Sector has a new degree entity for the Vocational
Qualification and Further and Specialist Vocational Qualifications
in Cleaning and Property Services that combine
the previous seven qualifications of our sector.
In the spring, SOL joined the new Business Lead programme, established by Hanken & SSE Executive Education
and funded by businesses. Its purpose is to efficiently bring educated asylum seekers to working life. Hashim from
Afghanistan participated in the employment programme for asylum seekers
We comply with the UN
Global Compact principles
in our operations:
1. Businesses should support and respect the protection
of internationally proclaimed human rights within
their sphere of operation.
2. Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit
in human rights abuses.
3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association
and the effective recognition of the right to collective
4. the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory
5. the effective abolition of child labour; and
6. Businesses should support the elimination of discrimination
in respect of employment and occupation.
7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach
to environmental challenges.
8. Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote
greater environmental responsibility.
9. Businesses should encourage the development and
diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its
forms, including extortion and bribery.
we employ more than
2,000 foreign nationals
20 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 21
Group net sales, MEUR Change in net sales, %
SOL’s financial goals are based on profitable growth
and profitability. In addition to organic growth, SOL
aims to acquire business operations and enterprises
that will support the Group’s operations. A long-term
goal is for return on investment (ROI) to exceed 20%.
2014 2015 2016
Equity ratio, %
2013 2014 2015 2016
Return on investment, MEUR
will be financed from income. Our
equity ratio of 47.7% enables cost-effective
liquidity fluctuations. Good liquidity safeguards
SOL’s payment obligations to stakeholders
and also builds in flexibility for any
quick acquisitions needed. SOL’s liquidity has
remained at a good level. In addition to paying employees’
contributions and public payments, the Group has
been able to finance investments and other acquisitions
from income in accordance with set plans. SOL wants to
ensure that it meets all payment obligations according to
the agreed payment terms without delay, and also expects
the same punctuality from customers with regard to their
payments. Our liquidity is measured with the Quick ratio
which in 2017 was 1.4, meeting our objective.
All of SOL’s services are produced locally, and the operations
have been organised accordingly. SOL’s business
management, as well as the financial and HR administration
of SOL City, SOL headquarters in Finland, support
our local operations. Some of the financial administration
operates in Seinäjoki and Kouvola.
The turnover of SOL Group has risen by 18.96% since
2013, the growth of foreign subsidiaries has reached 50%,
and that of Finnish subsidiaries 12.60%.
In 2017, the net sales in Finland were distributed as
follows: property, cleaning, and facility services and security
services 73.5%, Personnel services 16.8% and laundry
services 3.9%. In 2017, Finnish operations accounted for
78.6% and foreign operations 21.5%.
SOL’s gross investments amounted to MEUR 7, while
procurement of materials and services amounted to a
steady MEUR 21.9 in 2017.
2015 2016 2017
-66,5 -69,0 -68,5
2014 2015 2016
We operate nationally,
we serve locally.
12,6 12,5 12,8
22 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 23
SOL wants to offer everyday experiences that delight,
inspire and excite customers. At their best, these
experiences elevate the mind, enhance everyday life and
the workday, and provide a sense of cleanliness and security.
55.1 Responsibilities to
SOL offers high-quality services in a timely manner as
agreed in the contract. The services are developed in
accordance with the customer’s expectations and preferences.
Our service solution model enables SOL to provide
multiple services from one source, making our solutions
the most advantageous economically.
Productivity and efficiency are important goals in developing
SOL’s processes. All our service sectors in Finland
have a personnel recruitment and substitute system in
electronic format. The personnel’s orientation training and
some of the other training sessions are on the Internet,
giving learners more freedom with regard to time and
place. Nearly all of the invoices in Finland are transmitted
to customers in a paperless format. Also nearly 100% of
the purchase invoices are e-invoices. Continuous attention
is paid to proper management of receivables, ensuring
equal treatment for all customers
In Finland, we have enhanced the reporting system under
the provisions of the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations
and Liability when Work is Contracted Out. We use
the www.tilaajavastuu.fi online service. These links enable
customers to check that we fulfil our social responsibilities..
At SOL, employees have a key role in everything we do.
In 2017, personnel costs represented 79.4% of net sales,
while the figure in 2013 was 77.2%. Wages and salaries,
excluding side expenses, amounted to MEUR 197.3 in
2017. SOL bears responsibility for safeguarding employment
also in the future. The company’s workforce consists
mainly of people in permanent employment relationships,
some of which may be part-time due to the nature of the
work. The proportion of temporary staff will increase with
the expansion of SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut Oy’s operations.
Personnel are rewarded for good work performance,
which is followed up by customer satisfaction and other
weighted indicators, such as the scorecard. Rewards
for successful work performance have been given, for
instance, to the service district of the year, the vendor
of the year, the service instructor of the year, the Service
Supervisor of the year, and the Service Director of the year.
Successful persons have also received wooden flowers,
movie tickets and other minor merit awards.
SOL organises an annual Quality Award competition
with separate categories for service supervisors, service
districts and sales personnel. Awards are also given for the
environmental and well-being at work categories. Competition
entries are submitted in the form of applications
showing budgets, results and the previous year’s figures.
The Quality Award is based on a competition by the
Finnish Quality Association, which has been adapted to
suit SOL’s needs. The key considerations in the competition
are customer orientation, employee well-being and
financial results. The practice has been established since
Winning service supervisor defends her
environment like a lion Even though it was
not her first victory, the quality award 2017
came as a surprise for Tina Andersson. This was
the third time Tina was awarded for enhanced
performance. As the environmental coordinator
of her district, Tina is also a passionate advocate
for environment in her work.
5.3 Responsibilities to
SOL and its personnel must comply with local laws and
regulations in all countries and under all circumstances.
SOL pays its statutory obligations in accordance with
existing regulations. As an employer, SOL takes care of its
employees’ statutory contributions. The company also reports
and compiles statistics for the authorities as agreed.
In 2017, SOL’s Finnish companies paid value-added tax,
income tax, operational taxes and PAYE income tax totalling
MEUR 72.1 (MEUR 63.9 in 2013). Compulsory social
security and pension contributions amounted to a total of
MEUR 37.4 in 2017 and MEUR 35.9 in 2014.
24 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 25
5.4 Responsibilities to
suppliers and partners
SOL purchases products, services and energy for its property,
cleaning, facility maintenance and laundry services, as
well as for production subcontracting services that include
delivery and laundry services, outdoor area property management
service and a variety of made-to-order cleaning
services. Products and services necessary for running the
administration and operations are also purchased.
SOL’s General Terms and Conditions apply to all suppliers,
and invoices are paid according to the terms of
payment. All payments made to suppliers are based on
contracts and invoices. All forms of corruption and the
use of illegal (“grey”) labour are strictly prohibited within
SOL. Good contractual practice is monitored by internal
controls and audits in accordance with the SOL Operating
In 2017, all purchases by SOL’s Finnish companies were
from within the EU area.
SOL’s operations have significant indirect impacts, especially
in smaller towns. SOL is a primary client for many
entrepreneurs and thus affects the economic well-being of
5.5 Responsibilities to
SOL’s goal is to finance its operations from income. The
Finnish companies do not have short-term or long-term
loans from banks. The Group’s foreign subsidiaries have
bank loans. SOL Palvelut Oy has a limit of EUR 3 million.
All procurement is governed
by written supplier
contracts and pre-planned
SOL does not use random
procurement or randomly
Our procurement procedures
include at least the following:
• legality – compliance with each country’s applicable
• corruption and bribery ban
• respect for employees’ human rights
• child labour ban
• employee safety and health
• environmental protection
• effective service chain with low overall cost
• CO2 emissions of the auto equipment max. 130 g/km
26 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 27
Impacting the Goals
Reducing the amount
of waste sacks,
plastic bags and
We all have a dream of a better and cleaner environment,
of a place where our children and grandchildren can
grow and live safely. Environmental deterioration
must be stopped. We can affect our future by
actively seeking new ways and means to secure a
cleaner and healthier environment in the future.
66.1 Environmental policy
SOL wants to provide services in a manner that aims to conserve
natural resources and reduce environmental impacts.
We are aware of the environmental impact of our services
and of our responsibility as the user of products and the
producer of waste, all of which are addressed throughout
our decision-making processes. We comply with all valid
laws and regulations in all our activities.
We are committed to continuously improving our operations
and reducing environmental impacts. We purchase
the most eco-friendly technology available at reasonable
costs. We aim to use natural resources and energy in a way
that minimises their consumption and emissions. We promote
the right type of waste sorting and we aim to reduce
the amount of waste generated.
We disseminate information about our operations
transparently, both to our external stakeholders and to
SOL’s own personnel. We aim at being able to guide our
customers towards an environmentally friendly model of
operations and support them in achieving their environmental
goals through our expertise. We aim to be ranked
by our customers and personnel as the best operator in the
We train, advise and encourage SOL employees to
work in a responsible manner and to address environmental
issues more efficiently both at work and in their leisure time.
We develop indicators that can verify the environmental impact
of our operations. The management regularly monitors
the status of the environmental issues.
The business line management reviews include an evaluation
of the environmental management, and necessary
measures are taken based on the results of the evaluation.
6.2 Environmental goals
SOL’s environmental goals and actions are defined by
sector on the basis of the environmental objectives below.
According to emission intensity, property maintenance
operations are a low-emission business sector.
• Addressing the conservation of natural resources and reducing
environmental impacts both in our procurement
and in our service provision.
• Increasing the personnel’s environmental knowledge
• Increasing the customers’ environmental awareness
6.3 Environmental goals
Common objectives for all service sectors based on the
environmental goals are:
• Using suppliers who operate in an environmentally responsible
manner and have quality and environmental
• All personnel are to observe environmental considerations
in their work
• Guiding customers towards eco-friendlier activities
(e.g. circular economy, life cycle projects, saving energy,
reducing the amount of waste).
Responsibility is a shared concern for all of us.
Reducing the overall
from vehicle and
The personnel must
consider both the
Source: Statistics Finland, Emissions into air by industry and Annual national accounts.
Agriculture, fishing industry and game husbandry
Oil refining and production of chemicals
Water supply, sewerage and waste management
Metal refinement and manufacture of metal products
Mining and quarrying
All business sectors total
Food industry, etc.
Property maintenance operations
Operations serving traffic, mail
Other services and administration
0 2 000 4 000 6 000
28 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 29
6.4 Environmental aspects
SOL’s environmental policy, goals and objectives are based
on information about the environmental aspects and
impacts of our operations and services. Identification and
evaluation of the environmental aspects are presented
in the Environmental Management system. A valuation
method that is based on information gained from our own
operations, on the company’s potential leverage, and on
information provided by external studies is used for identifying
the importance of environmental aspects. Statutory
requirements, importance to the company’s image, environmental
benefits in relation to implementation costs, and the
severity and scope of environmental impacts are taken into
account when assessing importance factors.
The business sector-specific assessment procedure for
environmental aspects and the criteria for valuation are documented
in the environmental information of our Operating
System. The activities receiving the largest weighting using
this method have been selected for implementation.
An business sector-specific implementation programme
defining the operating instructions, timetables,
measurement method and responsibilities for achieving
the environmental goals and objectives has been prepared.
The implementation programmes are documented in the
environmental data of our Operating System.
Customer-specific environmental goals will be prepared
in conjunction with customer-specific action plans.
The Environmental Team coordinates operations for all
The task of the regional district’s environmental coordinators
is to monitor the realisation of customer-specific
environmental goals and identify new potential viewpoints.
The environmental coordinators will conduct customer-specific
environmental reviews and give reports about them to
the Environmental Team.
Environmental aspects are evaluated when necessary
and at least once every three years. The required changes
in action plans and goals are implemented based on the
information obtained from the evaluation and monitoring.
Environmental reviews by sector and by location will
be made according to the annual plan prepared by the
The achievement of the environmental goals specified
in action plans is monitored in development discussions.
The districts will monitor the implementation of the action
plans in their district meetings. The implementation of the
environmental plans will also be evaluated in conjunction
with internal audits.
6.5 Me, you, SOL and
an international company, but our values are the same
regardless of the country of operation. According to our
image of humankind, people want to do good work. We
want to give everyone this opportunity. We signed the
Finnish Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development
in June 2016. The targets and actions related to the
commitment were drafted in cooperation between our
environmental coordinators, the Environmental Team and
senior management. We have annually participated in the
energy-saving week, organised our own events and been
involved in various events for sustainable development.
As a steady employer, our commitment also includes
wise accounting practices and sustainable work that respects
nature and people. We communicated our Commitment
2050 targets and actions in the form of a video
to reach a larger number of our personnel, customers and
We constantly work to fulfil our social commitment
and monitor the realisation of the objectives. In 2017, we
processed the objectives and end goals of the Society’s
Commitment to Sustainable Development in SOL’s multicultural
6.5.1 It all starts with orientation
The Solar System Orientation Handbook is in active use.
The online orientation for service providers includes an
environmental section that guides our employees towards
environmentally responsible operations.
Commitment 2050 targets and actions
1. Equal opportunities for well-being
We are all different and we all have a place at SOL. We value
diversity and consider it a resource. We develop management
at SOL and we believe that our management
in the future will be service-oriented management. We
believe that a good work community is made up of people
of different ages and from different cultures. More than
30% of our employees are citizens of a country other than
Finland. We predict that, by 2050, 60% of our employees
will be from countries other than Finland.
SOL also has a lot of young employees. Employees under
30 years of age make up 42% of our workforce. According
to our image of humankind, people want to do good
work. We want to give everyone this opportunity..
We are committed to developing SOL’s age programme
The goal of the age programme is to promote the work
ability and well-being at work of SOL’s employees, support
the motivation of different age groups, reduce sickness
absences, increase the average retirement age, increase
respect towards senior workers and ensure the transfer of
we have salaried employees who are immigrants
in all of our districts achieved/not achieved
2. Working sustainably
We want SOL to be a place where happy multi-experts
work. We provide a wide range of active training opportunities
and our online study programmes bring studies
close to SOL employees right from the very beginning.
We train professionals who know how to do it right the
first time and develop their work continuously in small
steps according to the LEAN method. The SOL Life programme
looks after the safety and well-being of employees
throughout their employment relationship. We want
our employees to retire healthy.
We actively monitor the job satisfaction of our personnel
as well as the rates of sickness absences, accidents and
disability pensions. We have set goals for these and aim
to achieve them.
Now we want to make sure that the information we receive
through employee satisfaction surveys is accurate.
We also want to develop new methods for supporting
our employees. We value the joy of working and everyday
We are committed to developing our work so that the
results of the Joy barometer employee satisfaction
survey is above four and the response rate is 80%.
Joy Barometer: Target: above 4 (scale 1–5) + response
rate 80% in all employee groups achieved/
We are committed to developing an online tool for
supervisors that enables them to be constantly present
and support the well-being of employees.
Online tool for supervisors 2050 achieved/not
3. Resource-wise finances
SOL is a Solar System that provides its customers with
service solutions. We work to break down unnecessary
As part of the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development,
SOL as a service employer has committed to
strengthening SOL’s egalitarian work community. A good
work community is made up of people from different
cultures and of different ages and backgrounds. We are
Age programme established/not established
We are committed to promoting the career development
of immigrant employees
30 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 31
arriers between different services. It is easier and
more affordable for our customers to buy, manage and
develop work when they can do it with a single partner.
The customer saves time and we, for our part, can offer
new work opportunities for multi-experts. By combining
different tasks, we can make it easier to find full-time work
from within our company. Supervisors are responsible
for shift planning and ensuring shift availability. Now we
want to make it possible for employees to book work
shifts easily and flexibly. We value a sunny and satisfied
customer and an enterprising spirit above all else.
We are committed to developing an electronic shift
electronic shift booking system achieved/not
4. Decision-making that respects nature
We always consider the environment in our work. We aim
to constantly decrease the load that our operations cause
on the environment. We have already done a lot of work in
this regard and we want to ensure that this work continues.
We are establishing rules for our procurements. Our value
We are committed to establishing procurement instructions
that will take into account matters important to us:
• our partner suppliers will have environmental management
• we will favour domestic suppliers
• we will use less detergent than we do now
• we will use less unrecycled plastic
• we will use detergents with environmental labels (85%)
We are committed to auditing suppliers and our own
procurement instructions complied with/not complied
supplier audits carried out/not carried out
6.6 Developing inhouse
6.6.1 Environmental auditing established in
We use the environmental audits to monitor whether our
operations meet SOL’s Environmental Goals and measure
our performance at the district, business sector and
customer-specific levels. Our environmentally friendly
operations are guided by the development perspective.
Environmental audits are carried out with the help of the
coordinators work to
electronic system of SOL. The number of customer-specific
environmental audits increased, with a total of 250
carried out last year.
6.6.2 New SOL concepts
SOL concepts were completed as a result of the multi-professional
work group’s efforts. The concepts were finalised
and launched in the districts. During conceptualisation
work, we optimised the product selection of SOL logistics
in terms of both cleaning supplies and detergents.
6.6.3 Environmental impacts of procurement
In our procurement, we consider the environmental impact
of the products and operate in a cost-efficient manner.
We use established partners and carry out supplier audits
to ensure the environmentally friendly operations of our
6.6.4 Eco-labelled detergentst
We have paid particular attention to choosing detergents
and assessing their environmental impacts. For this
reason, SOL only uses eco-labelled products in washing
cleaning textiles and dishes. With respect to other
detergents, the proportion of Nordic Swan eco-labelled
products is 85%. We cooperate with a Finnish detergent
manufacturer and invest in product development. We
ensure the regular renewal of the Swan label criteria.
We aim to make smart choices that support the
occupational safety of our employees and environmental
protection and keep waterways clean.
6.6.5 Reducing plastic
We use waste sacks produced with the latest Cleantech
innovations. The environmental impact of Cleantech
waste sacks and bags is minor and they are convenient
and safe for our employees and customers. This choice
has an impact on the use of virgin raw materials, energy
consumption, logistics and warehousing costs and the
Our choices in this area have also reduced the amount
of waste through the use of more appropriate sack sizes
and colours. In 2017, we reduced the amount of waste
plastic from waste sacks and packaging materials by
We are currently using some 1,800 permanent waste
sacks. The use of permanent waste sacks has seen steady
growth. We carried out several campaigns related to the
use of permanent waste sacks at our service districts in
6.6.6 Eco-labelled cleaning equipment and
We invest in eco-labelled cleaning textiles. All of the mop
strings and microfibre towels we use carry the Swan label.
Inventories were established as part of our daily philosophy
of getting it right the first time and the development
of our in-house operations. The inventories were carried
out electronically for the first time and the results were
available to the districts in real time. A total of 1,000 inventories
were carried out at our customer locations in 2017.
Consumption of eco-labelled and other detergents
32 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 33
Responsibility is reflected
in day-to-day choices.
6.6.8 Utilising recycled fibres
SOL’s responsibility is reflected in the practical choices we
make. We have utilised recycled plastic bottles in the manufacture
of uniform shirts, lightweight backpacks, permanent
waste sacks and mop bags. About 100,000 recycled
plastic bottles have been used to manufacture textiles.
The “Make My Bed Collection” of SOL Palvelut is a
uniform collection for service providers working at hotels.
Its uniforms primarily consists of Ecostep textiles that have
been manufactured using environmentally friendly methods.
The products are manufactured at audited European
factories and have a long life cycle.
SOL is also involved in the Telaketju project with partners
including VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland,
the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation
(Tekes) and Touchpoint to develop new models for
utilising discarded textiles.
6.6.9 Waste management and energy
efficiency at SOL City
At SOL City, the headquarters of SOL, waste management
has been organised in line with circular economy.
The energy utilisation rate of our waste is now 43% and
the material utilisation rate is 57% at our headquarters
and property (including tenants of the property). We have
modernised the waste collection at our offices by acquiring
new recycling cabinets that are in compliance of the
new data protection requirements. When the property
was renovated in 2017, the AC machine was replaced with
a more purposeful, energy-efficient model. The lighting
utilises LEDs and is being constantly developed. We are
in cooperation with Energia Group to acquire the best
possible energy for our properties and offices.
In the procurement season 2017–2019, the emission limit
for new vehicles is 130 g/CO2/km. The emission limit
applies to passenger cars and small vans. Large vans and
pickups used for ploughing are not included in the emission
limit. This objective was met by 81% of our fleet, with
a 19.4% improvement from the previous year.
SOL vehicle procurement emphasises acquiring the
right equipment for the right site. We have reduced the
size of the vehicles whenever possible in order to enable
lower emissions. We use hybrid and gas cars as well as
a fully electric car that is currently in test use. We have
reduced the number of diesel cars and favour cars that use
petrol and alternative fuels.
This is due to the Nox emissions from diesel engines
that are difficult to purify.
In 2017, SOL operated a total of 364 vehicles, 192
of which were passenger cars and 172 vans. The cars
are used for about six years, making the average age of
the cars three years. This means that about 60 cars are
replaced every year.
SOL pays attention to economic driving habits. In cooperation
with our insurance company, we have organised
courses in economic and safe driving for our personnel.
We will continue the training in the next years. We took
our car and traffic insurances to insurance company Fennia
in early 2017.
The reported emissions are in compliance with
the recommendations of NEDC. The emissions of new
vehicles will be determined according to the new WLTP
test which will result in an increase in the emissions. This
means that the same vehicle may have different emissions,
depending on when it was registered.
6.8. Life cycle projects
SOL is involved in producing services for the life cycle
projects of property. We produce services in cooperation
with construction companies or managers as agreed. We
apply operating practices in accordance with the service
agreement model of the Association of Finnish Local and
Regional Authorities, RAKLI and the Confederation of
Finnish Construction Industries RT.
We provide expert assistance in the design stage of
the sites from surface materials and maintenance facilities
to indoor and outdoor passageways. We influence the material
choices of life cycle projects in an ecological manner,
taking sustainable development into account. Our choices
have a long-term impact on the quality of indoor air, the
comfort of the property users, etc.
6.8 Laundry Services
6.8.1 Developing in-house operations
The Group’s laundry services company, SOL Pesulapalvelut,
invests in eco-friendliness in both machinery and
Energy utilisation rate of waste
Material utilisation rate of waste
plastic bottles were turned into
uniforms, plastic bags,
permanent waste sacks and
34 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 35
detergents. As advances are made in both washing techniques
and detergents, we use ongoing training to keep
our laundry personnel up to speed with the changes. The
training of new employees is also very comprehensive.
With respect to the environmental impacts of dry
cleaning, the largest change has been the switch from per
wash to hydrocarbon wash. SOL Pesulapalvelut is constantly
renewing its machinery and replacing old machines
with hydrocarbon machines in about 2–5 laundry shops
per year. In 2017, three laundries received a new hydrocarbon
machine. Nearly half of our machinery consists of
hydrocarbon machines. The hydrocarbon solvent used in
the machines is not harmful to the environment and the
new hydrocarbon machines also produce less waste.
The dosage pump systems of water washing machines
are used in nearly all the laundry shops. The dosing
of detergent in water washing machines is automated.
New, computer-controlled water washing machines use
strictly specified amounts of detergents and water. The
detergents are as environmentally friendly as possible. The
use of machinery is optimised in each laundry shop and
the water and electricity consumption is monitored with a
detailed set of indicators.
In autumn 2015, we started collecting the cooling water
of a dry washing machine for washing with water. The
cooling water from the dry cleaning machine is run into
a separate water tank and reused in a water washing machine.
The water is warmer than room temperature, up to
45 degrees. The system also saves electricity when clothes
put in a tumble dryer are first rinsed with warm water. The
water collection system is used in several laundry shops.
6.8.3 Recycling textiles and projects
Since 2016, we have been involved in Tekstiilirinki, developing
and expanding the operations. Customers at our
Hakaniemi, Porvoonkatu and Sörnöinen shops in Helsinki,
Tapiola and Sello shops in Espoo, Myyrmanni shop in Vantaa,
Aleksis Kiven katu shop in Tampere and Kerava shop
can dispose of textiles in convenient recycling containers.
In the summer of 2017, we joined the Telaketju
project which is a network promoting the sustainable
recycling of discarded textiles. Telaketju develops textile
collection, sorting and refinement to correspond to the
needs of companies utilising recycled textiles.
6.8.4 Impacting environmentally friendly
operations of customers
We actively communicate environmental actions to
For example, customers have been instructed to return
hangers and use protection treatment that makes the textiles
last longer and reduces the need for washing them.
Environmental aspects at SOL
Environmental aspects at SOL Palvelut
Criteria for assessment procedure
for environmental aspects based
on environmental reviews and the
A = Statutory requirements
B = Importance to image
C = Environmental benefits/costs
D = Severity of environmental impacts
E = Potential leverage
Total = (A+B+C+D)*E
0 = Statutory requirements
1 = Importance to image
ACTIVITY, PROCESS OR SERVICE ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT IMPORTANCE
PROCUREMENT OF PRODUCTS,
Selection of suppliers
Selection of suppliers, cleaning
Selection of suppliers, property
Selection of suppliers, laundry
Environmental impact caused by the
production of products
Environmental impact caused by
Environmental impact caused by
Environmental impact caused by
2 = Environmental benefits/costs
3 = Severity of environmental impacts
A B C D E Total
1 3 2 3 3 27
1 3 1 1 3 18
1 3 1 1 3 18
3 3 1 3 3 30
6.8.2 Reducing the use of plastic
Correct selection, dosage and use of
substances to be used
Impact on wastewater caused by the
unnecessary use of detergents
1 2 2 2 3 21
We actively influence the amount of plastic waste by
reducing plastic packaging materials. A growing number
of our laundry shops are plastic-free, meaning that they
return clean clothes to customers without plastic packaging
and provide an option of a reusable fibre bag. Plastic
consumption is reduced every year. We are also developing
other materials for packaging.
-Waste generated by in-house
Consumption of water supply, impact
on water treatment plants
Consumption of natural resources
and emissions caused by production
Conservation of natural resources,
environmental impact caused by
waste and emissions at the final
0 2 2 1 3 15
1 1 1 1 2 8
1 2 2 2 3 21
Hazardous waste, PER waste,
Environmental impact caused by
waste and emissions at the final
3 2 2 3 3 30
Fuel consumption/emissions caused
Consumption of energy resources,
impact on atmosphere
1 2 2 1 2 12
Maintenance of transport fleet and
Service life of transport fleet Conservation of natural resources 2 1 2 1 2 12
Personnel’s environmental awareness,
eco-friendly and environmentally
Identifying and addressing environmental
aspects at work and in leisure
0 3 2 2 3 21
Guidance and training
Increasing personnel’s environmental
awareness and knowledge
Improving personnel’s ability to act
sustainably in their work
0 3 2 2 3 21
COOPERATION WITH CUSTOMERS
Recognising and supporting the customer’s
SOL’s role in ensuring the customer’s
environmental objectives are met
3 3 2 1 3 27
36 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 37
Wages and social security expenses (MEUR)
Wages and salaries, statutory social security expenses and benefits 2013–2017
The Group’s strategy recognises employees’
commitment and satisfaction and gives high priority
to personnel issues. HR work is done with and among
the personnel in all the Group’s business sectors.
The joy of working is one of SOL’s core values.
77.1 HR issues at the core
of the Group’s strategy
41,0 44,1 44,9 49,0 50,4
4,5 4,7 3,6 3,3 3,7
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Wages and salaries
Social security expenses
Non-statutory social security
Taxes paid (MEUR)
Personnel costs form the largest part of overall costs. High
priority is given to raising and maintaining the personnel’s
enthusiasm, willingness and readiness to serve, and vocational
skills, as these are the factors guaranteeing superior
service to customers. Committed employees comply better
with unified instructions and ensure long-term operations
of high-quality. Trust is the cornerstone of our work. Competent
personnel with the right attitude in the right tasks,
continuous personnel development, performance management,
feedback and incentive strategy are the focus
areas of the company’s HR strategy. The feeling that one’s
work is useful is important to everyone and creates the joy
of working. SOL’s HR strategy is based on a positive image
of humankind, where everyone wants to do good work, to
succeed and to be thinking and feeling human beings who
accept individuality. Our management culture must support
trustworthy interaction and an atmosphere that encourages
Personnel development focuses on orientation and
training that support the employees themselves and the
satisfaction of customer-specific needs. The training is
monitored through a Training Index, sorted by employee
and by customer. The coaching and training sessions are
supported on a personal level by competence assessment
and a learning passport. Each SOL employee completes orientation
training online, and a supervisor and a tutor ensure
location-specific competence through method and on-site
orientation and constant care for the well-being of the personnel.
At the end of their probationary period, each SOL
employee also attends the SOL IN training in their district.
Each employee acknowledges that he/she has completed
orientation training sessions.
For a long time, SOL has used employees trained as
tutors, who also work as occupational guides to support the
training process. Their role was enhanced at the beginning
of 2015 to cover the implementation of location-specific
training and ensuring competence. Salaried employees are
additionally provided with mentoring and coaching in their
sales and managerial work. The employee-specific Quality
Passport, where positive customer feedback is documented
with a laughter or smile symbol, continues to be used as a
Our aim is to offer opportunities for job rotation and
career advancement within the Group. Internal recruitment
and external job applications, today mainly in electronic
format, create a foundation for the company’s expanding
operations. The individual’s own views and his/her desire
and intent to develop and move forward are also seriously
discussed at the ‘From goals to results’ discussions.
We have published the SOL Age Programme aimed
at promoting the work ability of employees of all ages.
The goals of the age programme are to support the work
ability of different age groups, maintain good work fitness
and reduce sickness absences as well as promote positive
cooperation between different age groups. We pay special
attention to young people and “yellow panthers”.
A further goal of the age programme is to increase the
average retirement age. At present, SOL employees retire
on old-age pension at the average age of 63.3 years, while
the average age of starting disability pension is 58.5 years.
We do not condone discrimination against any age group.
The goals of the SOL Age Programme are supported
by the SOL Life well-being at work programme, which has
been established for a long time now.
1,2 1,5 1,1
INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND TYEL 2016 2017
Due employee pension contributions and unemployment insurance payments,
Due social security, TyEL, accident insurance, group life insurance and unemployment
insurance payments, employer’s contributions
22,0 22,3 21,8 21,2
Social security contributions
MEUR 10.8 MEUR 12.6
MEUR 39.5 MEUR 37.4
38 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 39
The “Backpack of Happiness” project developed as
part of the SOL Life programme has been continued. Workshop
activities and the use of well-being at work mentors
have been expanded to cover all service districts, with a
well-being coordinator appointed for each district.
7.2 Number of personnel
and type of employment
The average number of employees each year is calculated
from the average number of employees on the last day
of each month, and every person is included in the figure
regardless of the number of his/her working hours (not FTE
In 2017, the SOL group employed 13,685 people (2016:
12,862). The number of personnel increased by 823. In 2017,
an average of 9,530 people worked in SOL’s Finnish operations
and an average of 4,155 people worked in our foreign
subsidiaries. SOL employs over 800 seasonal workers in Finland
each year. We participate in the Responsible Summer
Some 92% of SOL’s personnel worked in permanent
employment relationships in 2017, the same number as in
Type of employment 31 December 2017
(SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut is excluded from these figures.)
For 85.86% of the Group’s employees in Finland, their
job in the SOL Group was their primary occupation. At the
end of 2017, a total of 152 our employees in Finland were
on maternity or nursing leave, rotational leave or study
leave. The figures do not include the temporary staff of SOL
Employment relationships are mainly agreed until further
notice, except with SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut, where the
majority of the employment relationships are fixed-term.
Ilmarinen granted 87 old age pensions in Finnish
companies in 2017 (old age pension and old age pension
payable on early retirement). No part-time pension granted.
A total of 28 people were granted disability pension, of
whom 14 receive part-time disability pension. Euro-denominated
pension expenses dropped considerably from the
30.62% level of 2016
The SOL Life well-being at work programme engages
in effective cooperation with occupational health services
(Terveystalo), the accident insurance provider (OP) and
pension company (Ilmarinen).
NUMBER OF PERSONNEL FINLAND FOREIGN SUBSIDIARIES SOL GROUP TOTAL
The SOL Continuous caring model was developed to
support the supervisors. The Sirius programme helps supervisors
with the early identification of disability risks.
Employment relationships on a trial period basis that
are terminated by the employer are monitored by supervisors
and at the district level via scorecards every month.
The length of the working day was 7.6 hours for SOL’s
salaried employees in 2017. The length of the working day
among SOL employees varies between the companies. The
average length of the working day was 4.65 hours for the
employees of SOL Palvelut, 4.53 hours for the employees
of SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut and 5.65 hours for SOL Pesulapalvelut
7.3 Personnel’s age and
duration of employment
The average age of employees in the Group’s Finnish
companies was 34.8 years in 2017 (2016: 37 years). The
average age of personnel in SOL Pesulapalvelut was 39
years. In SOL Palvelut, the average age was 30 years, while
in SOLEMO it was 44 years. The average age of personnel
in SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut was 30 years, while the corresponding
figure for salaried employees was 38 years. The
age distribution among the Group’s personnel in Finland
is as follows: under 20 years: 6%, 20–24 years: 16%; 25–29
Joy Barometer, SOL employees
years: 17%; 30–39 years: 23%; 40–49 years: 15%; 50–60
years: 17%; and over 60 years: 4%.
There is a significant difference between the duration
of employees’ and salaried employees’ employment
relationships. The average duration of SOL’s employment
relationships in Finland has increased slightly over the past
few years, to 5.63 years for employees and 9.03 years for
salaried employees. Some 23.26% of all SOL’s salaried employees
in Finland have worked for less than three years
and 37.85% for more than 11 years. Some 68.91% of the
employees have been employed for less than three years
and 16.25% for more than six years. The longest employment
relationships – over 40 years – derive from the time
of the previous Group. Some 44% of the employees and
22% of salaried employees in the international operations
have worked for less than a year, while 13.67% of the employees
and 26.44% of salaried employees have been in
the company for more than 5 years. The longest continuous
employment relationship has lasted 22 years.
7.4 Employee distribution
Women accounted for 64% of the Group’s total personnel.
In Finland, the percentage of female employees was 63%
(SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut is excluded from these figures).
The proportion of women in international operations is
64% among employees and 44% among salaried employees.
Six out of the nine members of SOL’s Management
Team are female. Three women sit on the four-person
Board of Directors of SOLEMO Oy. At the end of 2017,
women represented 73.53% of the management in the
Group’s Finnish companies.
Permanent employment relationships 6331 3302 9633
Fixed-term employment relationships 461 853 1314
Full-time employment relationships 2054 1650 3704
7.5 Investing in
personnel’s work ability
Main employment relationships 8188 3375 11563
Duration of employment relationships
Personnel age structure
8% 2% 6% 6%
More than 20 years
Less than 1 year
More than 60 years
Under 20 years
Joy Barometer, SOL salaried employees
Safety and I
Safety and I
SOL as a
SOL as a
In 2017, SOL spent some EUR 229 per employee on the
prevention and treatment of illnesses in Finland. SOL monitors
sickness absences on the performed working hours,
so-called 100%. In 2017, the morbidity rate in Finland was
4.78%, which means an increase of 0.05 percentage points
from the previous year. The most important causes of sickness
absences include musculoskeletal diseases, infections
The SOL Life Early Caring Model helps supervisors to
intervene with work ability problems in their early stages.
The most important aims include preventing sickness absences,
reducing the number of accidents and minimising
The rate of morbidity due to occupational accidents
in Finland was 0.26%. There were 589 accidents at
work, and 116 accidents occurred while commuting. The
accidents at work resulted in 2,899 days of sick leave,
equivalent to some five sick days per accident. Accidents
while commuting caused 1,479 days of sick leave absence,
equivalent to some 13 sick days per accident.
40 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi
www.sol.fi | Vastuullisuus 2017
The supervisor makes
an appointment for
the employee at the
centre for 1) a work
ability assessment and
2) a discussion between
the supervisor, the employee
and a physician
SOL Life – a model for continuous caring
The employee’s performance has weakened
or the limit values for sickness absences have
THE SUPERVISOR HOLDS A DISCUSSION IN ACCOR-
DANCE WITH THE MODEL FOR CONTINUOUS CARING
A problem in the
The supervisor discusses the situation
individually with each member of the
The regional supervisor reports
to the regional manager about
A personal-life problem
working hours, unpaid leave,
annual leave rescheduled
at an earlier date, flexible
SOL was awarded by
the European Agency
for Safety & Health at
Work (OSHA)in May 2017
at Finlandia Hall for its
successful project in wellbeing
at work: “Everyone
has the right to wellbeing
provides the employee
and the employer
with an assessment
of the situation and
initiates any necessary
Risk of disability
guides the employee
to apply for professional
provided by Ilmarinen
or medical rehabilitation
provided by Kela
The supervisor implements measures
to improve workplace relations and the
atmosphere at the workplace
If necessary, the supervisor
arranges for less stressful or
alternative assignments and/
or flexible working hours either
temporarily or permanently
to revise the job
description or adjust
the working hours
Supervisors conduct continuous safety risk evaluations
at worksites and customer premises, and implement
the necessary actions according to plan. The occupational
safety officer is often also involved in these activities. The
Occupational Safety and Health Committee operates
nationwide and convenes five times a year. Each SOL employee
is responsible for safety, and all of SOL’s activities
are based on preventive measures.
A separate on-site risk list and related occupational
health and safety instructions are made on the basis of the
risk evaluations. The employees are specifically oriented
on the topic of the risk list and its instructions and the
orientation must be signed for.
In the event of an accident, our instructions are to also
immediately inform the Occupational Health and Safety
Manager, the relevant Business Director and the Managing
Director directly. The event must be explained and
the following procedures to prevent the accident from
reoccurring must be described.
Each accident is investigated and documented to find
out the core reason. The accident is discussed on-site and
the corrective measures are implemented. After this, the
next district meeting of the service management area will
discuss and state for general information all the completed
corrective measures. Excerpts from the minutes will be
sent to the Occupational Health and Safety Manager.
The Occupational Health and Safety Manager will
monitor the development of the accident statistics and the
accident rate monthly and inform employees of any observations
and issues the personnel should pay attention
to at the workplace with any new necessary instructions or
The sickness and accident statistics will be regularly
presented in management reviews.
Electronic occupational safety tool:
Occupational accident frequency
Figure 19. Accident rate per million working hours, 2013–2017
On the job
At least 3 days
Less than 3 days
On the commute
Risk assessments: 139
Safety observations: 334
05 0 100 150 200 250 300 350
Classification of safety observations:
Personal protective equipment, clothing: 7
Order, tidiness: 29
Chemicals, air quality: 11
Machines, equipment, platforms, supplies: 32
Passages, exits: 38
Lowering oneself: 7
Slipping, falling: 73
Noise, lighting, temperature: 6
Bumping one’s head: 26
Risk taking: 4
Transport of goods: 25
Sharp objects: 37
Threat of violence: 9
Getting squeezed between something: 19
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 0
Summary of electronically
the most observations
match the categories
with the highest accident
suggests a direct link
between paying attention
to these factors and
development in reducing
the accident frequency.
42 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 43
A total of 250
leading to a
and customer service
7.6 Personnel training
The long-term and systematic development of the personnel’s
competence is critical to SOL. An estimated 25% of
the personnel employed by our Finnish business lines hold
a vocational qualification or a further or specialist vocational
qualification. The Group has six full-time instructors
with qualifications in teaching: five in SOL Palvelut and
one in SOL Pesulapalvelut. Other people in the Group
have also been trained to provide training sessions.
The needs and requirements of customers and the
needs of the company and the personnel are taken into
account in the planning of the training sessions, and the
formulated plans are turned into a tangible form as an
updated training programme for each year. Supervisors
Site and task-specific training,
Special expertise and
Rewarding, personnel benefits, career plan, well-being at work
prepare a competence plan for their staff based on the
programme and update the plan as necessary.
In 2017, a total of 12,000 people participated in the
The number of training days amounted to an average
of two days per employee in Finland. Most of the training
sessions are conducted internally, but they also often
involve outside experts.
The training sessions are divided into targeted training,
which maintains or deepens knowledge, and longterm
degree-oriented education, which is implemented
as module and multiform/online training. The aim of the
training is to pave the way for an opportunity to take a
practical examination leading to a qualification, and to
identify and recognise the competence acquired through
work as well as the training provided by SOL in the preparation
of a personalisation plan.
Our diverse personnel challenge us to continuously
develop our training programmes, which is why we are involved
in a number of projects such as the SAFHY project
that produces digital learning materials, including video
clips and tests, for use by educational institutes and businesses
in Estonia and Finland. The materials are produced
in Finnish, Estonian, Russian and English. The materials
include texts, video clips, photos, tests and a professional
(The SAFHY project is funded by the ERDF Interreg
Central Baltic programme and coordinated by the Central
Uusimaa Training Consortium Keuda)
In addition to classroom training, we invest in the development
of online training. Our goal is to further invest in
orientation training and the implementation of procedures
and operating methods in line with the concepts we have
developed. We are also continuing our work in site-specific
initial and development training and increasing the
target auditing carried out by instructors as well as the
implementation of the LEAN operating model. In training,
we focus on coaching tutors, service instructors and
well-being at work mentors as well as the development
of online training and diverse coaching, including not
only online and classroom training but also webinars and
Our goal is to reduce the number of contact training
days and to increasingly utilise the Internet as a learning
SOL Training Steps is a model of how an employee
can exploit our in-house training to improve his/her skills
and to broaden his/her tasks. Each step includes a number
of training sessions. These are based on SOL’s in-house
training, but they can also include specialised degrees or
special skills training arranged by other organisations.
In 2017, some 230 SOL employees participated in apprenticeship
training in Finland, taking various degrees,
• Vocational Qualification in Textiles Care
• Vocational qualification in property maintenance services
• Further Vocational Qualification in Property Services
and Specialist Qualification for Property Services
22 SOL members
SOL Life well-being
• Site facilities operative, further vocational qualification
• Supervisor of cleaning work, specialist vocational qualification
• Cleaning technician, specialist vocational qualification
• Specialist Vocational Qualification in Management
• Security guard, further vocational qualification
• Specialist Qualification for Security Officers
• Practical examiner qualification
• Specialist vocational qualification in business management
• Janitor, specialist vocational qualification
• Immediate supervisor, further vocational qualification
Last year, the emphasis in training investment was placed
on Immediate supervisor training, directed at service
instructors and new service supervisors. The qualification
was completed by 24 SOL members. The Backpack of
Happiness project was an investment in the coaching of
SOL Life well-being mentors. At the end of 2016, a pilot
group was launched which, in 2017, was expanded into national
operations, having 1–2 well-being mentors in each
district (22 SOL Life well-being mentors in SOL Palvelut
and 1 in SOL Laundry services).
The objectives and purposes of the well-being mentor
• To support and promote the joy of working created and
experienced by the employees
• To promote shared commitment to the SOL organisation,
the development operations of SOL Life and
high-quality customer service
• To strengthen genuine, honest communications between
the supervisor and employees
Our cooperation with Keuda has continued for nearly 15 years.
22 SOL members completed the SOL Life well-being mentor qualification
SOL Life well-being game seeks good leadership models by means of gamification.
44 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 45
• To act in cooperation with the service management and
supervisors in order to improve well-being at work and
the flow of information
• To manage the organisation of events, such as service
provider sessions, as agreed in cooperations with the
district and supervisors
• To conduct the Joy barometer survey
• To complete quality and training rounds and help employees
• To set an example to the employees.
In 2017, the Ergonomy Handbook was created, and ergonomics
and the guidance of ergonomic work methods
were the particular focus at the tutor/well-being mentor
In 2017, SOL trained 53 new TUTORS to help the supervisors
guide and coach both new service providers and
those who have served in the position for a longer time.
The training managers had three meetings over the
course of the year. They are in charge of planning and
implementing district training events in cooperation with
the district and trainers. Every autumn, the programme for
next year is drawn up in the training calendar, and during
the year we were also involved in the Oppi-va project of
ESF that was launched in 2/2017 and will be completed in
The objective of the project is to promote the fluency
of work, well-being and productivity and to produce tools
to support different learners. The project has included a
questionnaire, interviews and training for supervisors. In
2018, orientation materials will be made with, for example,
SOL Palvelut Oy was given the Apprenticeship
Employer of 2011 award by the Helsinki Apprenticeship
Office (the award applies to the whole of Finland). In
2013, the Lapland Apprenticeship Centre recognised SOL
with multiple awards including apprentice of the year,
apprenticeship company of the year, on-the-job trainer
of the year and apprenticeship trainer of the year based
on the company’s active and positive efforts in the field of
There are eight experts at SOL who have completed
the practical examiner training. They have the skills
to evaluate employees’ previous skills in relation to their
duties and official degree requirements, and to assess
the completed degrees. The objective is the promotion
of lifelong learning, and the personnel training at SOL is
integrated to correspond to the basics of qualifications
and, therefore, promotes the completion of practical
examinations and cooperation with apprenticeship offices
Annual theme days are organised, for example, for tutors,
service instructors, coordinators of training, environmental
affairs and recruitment, service supervisors, sales
personnel, full-service laundry personnel and customer
We cooperate with significant educational institutes
across Finland. Our cooperation with Keuda can be traced
back more than 15 years and the partnership has developed
through the years. In particular, vocational qualifications
and further vocational qualifications in property
services have been completed as both apprenticeships
and self-motivated training.
We have worked together with Amiedu particularly in
the area of targeted training in property services.
The level of training of the service operatives working
for each customer is monitored by the Training Index, and
employees are guided to the necessary training courses
based on the index.
The online orientation for service providers were renewed
in 2016 in Finnish and in 2017 in English and Russian. New
skill tests and online training sessions were also developed
in 2017. In 2018, the work continues with conceptual
training, cleaning technology, environmental training,
safety and customer service training. When necessary, we
develop customer-specific online training.
Online training for salaried employees will be
renewed in 2018, and the goal is to add some webinars
that were also implemented in 2017. With Muutostaito
Changeskill Games, we developed the SOL Life game for
our districts and supervisors and certified three SOL Life
game trainers from our HR and training team.
We have utilised Coaching in 2017 for individuals and
will continue it for districts and teams in 2018.
7.7 Personnel unionisation
In Finland, the provisions of the current collective bargaining
agreement between the Finnish Real Estate Employers
and the Service Union United PAM for employees in the
property maintenance sector applies to SOL’s employees
in the cleaning, property and facility maintenance services
The personnel have full freedom to unionise in all the
operating countries. Since the countries of the foreign
subsidiaries do not have collective bargaining processes
similar to Finland, local labour legislation and SOL’s internal
practices are applied to their work.
SOL Palvelut Oy is a member of the employer union
Real Estate Employers, SOL Pesulapalvelut is a member of
the Yleinen Teollisuusliitto ry, and SOL Henkilöstöpalvelut
is a member of the Palvelualojen työnantajat PALTA ry.
7.8 SOL is a multicultural
SOL is a multicultural work community that offers equal
opportunities to all employees. More than 30% of SOL
services’ employees were not Finnish citizens.
We promote the equality of all employees and prevent
discrimination in all forms. (For example, discrimination
due to age, origin, nationality, language, religion, conviction,
opinions, political activities, trade union activities,
family relations, health, handicaps, sexual orientation or
other reason arising from a person is strictly prohibited.)
SOL established its multicultural work group in 2007.
Its objective is to promote the integration of employees
from different environments into the operating culture at
SOL and to improve the understanding of diversity. The
multicultural work group has, for example, prepared an
annual global calendar which includes the holidays of
different religions. In cooperation with PAM (Service Union
United), the work group has produced a video for new
employees with the intent of introducing the employee to
many important issues.
– Of course, the people in the video are SOL employees
A video is a modern and more lively channel for
communicating important issues to employees, and an
image also relates an important image of the employer,
We are all equal
SOL is widely known as a multicultural work community.
– Orientation to SOL’s work tasks and taking root in
the Finnish working culture are emphasised in the work of
the multicultural development group, says Sari Crnobreg,
Chair of the multicultural work group.
SOL has employees from over 60 countries and all
continents. Crnobreg emphasises that despite the differences,
everyone at SOL is equal.
– We wish to give everyone equal chances for a
career, learning at work, and well-being at work. Harmonising
working methods and making service easy is important.
For instance, we have translated training materials
into many different languages.
– One of the key challenges is mapping and utilising
the skills of multicultural employees more efficiently.
According to Crnobreg, good interaction is created
by ensuring that the employer has a clear picture of the
difference of the peoples’ backgrounds. Despite training,
it is important to preserve the person’s idendity.
– Families have also been integrated with the help of
SOL. An intact family has a tremendous, positive effect on
the life of an employee, which also benefits their working
Crnobreg finds it delightful that more and more couples
are working at SOL these days, enabling a new level
of planning their future in their new home country.
– One must not forget one’s roots and identity – quite
the opposite. Multiculturalism is a diverse gift, and one
ought to be comfortable with one’s identity.
In 2016, SOL handed out its first award for an act
promoting multiculturalism. The award was given to the
Multiculturalism Working Group led by Sari Crnobreg in
recognition of the group’s accomplishments in promoting
colleagues, the work community and the rules of working
life to the viewer.
SOL is taking part in the Osaavat naiset project coordinated
by MONIKA - Multicultural Women’s Association,
supporting the employment of immigrant women in many
different ways. SOL is an active partner in the project and
has already provided many women with job opportunities.
Women with an immigrant background are trained to
seek jobs, taught IT skills, and guided towards language
studies and other training.
The events organised by the multicultural group have
– They bring joy to everyday life, and SOL employees
from different cultures can get to know each other.
The multicultural development group also maintains
a world calendar containing the holidays of different
– This is an important work-planning tool for the
supervisors. We share holidays from all over the world and
each of us can learn new, interesting and inspiring things
from different cultures. By getting to know different countries
and their customs, we are also more truly present as
Join in and make a difference
According to Sari Crnobreg, the development group has a
large number of new goals, and they are in constant need
of more eager participants as the members of the development
group fluctuate among work tasks and potential
– For instance, we would really like to have participants
from South Asia. It is important to have a comprehensive
representation from different continents.
Crnobreg reminds us that the multicultural work
group encourages all SOL employees to take initiative.
– There are never too many ideas, and there are no
limits to what we can achieve through cooperation.
Providing comprehensive orientation training
to all employees is a matter of honour for us.
46 Responsibility 2018 | www.sol.fi www.sol.fi | Responsibility 2018 47