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How are we contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals?

by Sara Räisänen June 03, 2022 7 min read

Picture saying "How are we contributing to the SDG's" with two hands and world

As a small company, we have built our operations on a sustainable basis from the beginning, and our goal is to find more new solutions to support the environmental friendliness of both our products and our company. Because we have been able to start with the principles of sustainability in decision-making from the start, we are investing in numerous  SDG goals  in our operations through our daily decisions. As a company, it is essential that we can develop our operations through practices that maintain their environmental and social value.

Building operations on sustainability principles is the only way to develop a functioning and profitable business. There is plenty that can be done, no matter the size of the office. Every deed counts in the entity of SDG goals. 



We are creating a flexible and transparent work environment

We have a good place to work. Since work is what we do most of the week, it is a hugely important matter. At MyNolla, we can enjoy it and trust in having good working conditions. We invest in  SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being  and  SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth  with providing everyone a right to choose their place of work, for example. 

We have a small office space in Otaniemi, Espoo and our employees are free to work there as much as they wish. However, we believe in flexibility and easing the effort of combining work with other parts of life, as well, which is why all of us work a lot from home during the hours that work best. That way, getting some time for exercise, family and friends is easier and builds better well-being. We take care of each other and maintain a positive vibe at the workplace. Also with people working from home, there is less need for heating, stocking and lighting the office, as well as getting there by car.

The Finnish economy is based on exports, which is why globalization plays a huge role in the overall picture. For many, it means taking jobs abroad and replacing local work as a result of the China phenomenon, but in reality, globalization creates more opportunities. 

For us in Finland, it has meant cheaper electronics, for example, but in general globalization has lifted nearly a billion people out of absolute poverty globally in recent decades. In Finland, successful exports create new jobs, which are especially related to the demand of large markets the domestic ones cannot achieve on their own.

We are supporting domesticity and local production and offer internships for various level students with different projects and tasks. Our location is important to us culturally and logistically, which are also important considerations for sustainability. Finnishness is an important asset for us in our international work, as well, since Finnish design is highly appreciated around the world. We believe in global cooperation and the widest possible dissemination of awareness, which means reaching beyond our own borders for cooperation. 


The essence of our work

SDG 7 - Affordable and clean energy is one of our our main goals for the coming years. We want to provide consumers with solutions to benefit from the modern use of electrical equipment, while bringing products to the market that are manufactured sustainably, minimize environmental impact and help customers to reduce energy consumption. As green electronics is still largely an evolving field, only few alternatives have been available. At MyNolla, we recognize that all local and low-emission production emits emissions into the environment, which is why we have calculated the carbon footprint of each product from the choice of materials and offset emissions to provide customers with a completely emission compensated product.

To support product development, we carefully map the needs of different public spaces and households to better meet the needs of our customers.

We have invested heavily in the safety features and functional features of our first product. With additional voluntary testing, we are able to guarantee its functionality and safety as part of the home or office environment and provide a sustainably produced electrical appliance for use. Because we adhere to strict Finnish product standards, we can guarantee that our products are top-class in terms of functionality.

Even though electronics is just taking baby steps when it comes to sustainable production, there is plenty to be done. We can already make decisions on materials, manufacturing, logistics and packaging according to their recycling properties, for example. By ensuring we only use sustainably sourced materials and follow the manufacturing process, we can also support other like minded companies on their journey forward. We have also wanted to design our products for repair to stand against single use, and we teach our customers on how to properly recycle their old electronics. Thus the targets of  SDG 12 -  Responsible consumption and production are a definite part of our daily operations.

 

Our actions for the climate

We chose manufacturing within the EU to be able to minimize logistical emissions as well as to keep track of what is happening in order to improve the sustainability of our manufacturing. Also more than 80% of our components come from Europe. We aim to keep the carbon footprint of our products and operations as low as possible. We want to support sustainable development, because we genuinely believe in improvements that can be done in order to help this planet feel better.

But also because we want to invest in the future. Future of us as well as the company. Building a company on any other than sustainability is long gone, because it all starts with operational sustainability happening in the long run. Things taking the environment into account and combating climate change as  SDG 13 - Climate action urges to. If not literally with actions related to climate action, by choosing a way to operate that does not cause wear on the environment. For individuals, it can be as simple as biking to work rather than driving. Choosing a train instead of a plane. Making sure every unnecessary device is switched off at the end of day. At the enterprise level, sustainability consists of similar kinds of choices on different scales and topics.

The escalating climate crisis has accelerated the commitment of different countries to climate action and business to pay more attention to the sustainability of their operations. 

 

Managing our forest environment

I’ve lived practically my whole life in Finland, and been lucky enough to travel and see other parts of the world, as well. Here in Finland, the air is still fresh and pretty clean, there are lakes to dive into and forests blossoming. Some winters the whole country is covered with a white blanket of snow, some not. Summers seem to get increasingly hot and dry. The change is happening faster than ever before. And that scares us. The state of the Baltic Sea and lakes is being actively monitored and deforestation is appearing in news coverage. According to WWF, two thirds of Finland's forest environments have been assessed as endangered. 

What would we be without our forests?

Forests have a key role in the protection of biodiversity, the water cycle, diversified production and environmental services. For people in developing countries, tropical forests are also a source of protection, food security and energy. Deforestation is an extreme risk to a healthy ecosystem, as it needs the sea and forests in particular to function.

At MyNolla, wood material is an essential part of our products. We use only sustainably sourced natural wood from the EU, and work closely together with our suppliers. As production always generates emissions into the environment, it was also a priority for us to compensate for the emissions caused by our production. SDG 15 - Life on Land  focuses on saving our natural resources. Managing our forests sustainably and halting biodiversity loss not only protects our environments and its species, but also us people. Thus we are constantly looking for more sustainable materials and recycled options we can use.

In the meanwhile, we designed our products to be suitable for disassembling and recycling. They can also be repaired, which reduces the need to buy completely new products and ensures a longer service life for the materials.

 

Together for better

We can all choose better for the environment and do our part in tackling climate change. But we can do more together through collaboration.  SDG 17 - Partnerships for the goals encourages entering into global partnerships and working together to achieve the goals common to us all. Especially the last couple of years during corona has taught us communication and connections can be made without face-to-face contact, which all the more supports these targets. 

During the last few years, the term "Think global, Act local" has been echoing around the world. Behind is the idea that an essential part of international expansion is to ensure that one's own brand remains globally cohesive and at the same time focuses on local target audiences and their needs with a strong presence. By focusing on the local environment, small actions can grow and begin to lead to positive change in the area - starting with our office, our immediate surroundings, and finally the community, the city, and even the country.

We have come into contact with several companies being able to provide materials, service and solutions helping us forward. We are also a part of AGrid, a startup community at the heart of Otaniemi campus area. They’re offering the university’s international network of resources, students, research and infrastructure to everyone’s use and creating an atmosphere of creativity, innovation and working together.

Given the corona situation, things slowed down for a while, but as things are getting more vibrant there’s plenty happening and more thrive for collaboration than ever before. If anything good can be seen in the pandemic, at least we've all learned a variety of ways to communicate and make contacts without face-to-face meetings. The value of cooperation is seen, and having connections appreciated. As colleagues, we follow the same principles and combine our strengths to be better in every area.   

Partnerships are more than the sum of their parts, and there are yet many talents to be found. We approach our field with open hearts and keep listening to others, learning from people more experienced and give to others what we can do to help. In that way, we truly believe we can not only build a successful base for our own operations, but to truly support sustainable development and its goals, as well.    


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