How we are expanding our sustainability efforts to focus on nature and planetary boundaries
Lindström is among the 15 leading companies participating in the Science-Based Targets for Nature (SBTN) training program — an initiative under the United Nations Global Compact Network Finland. This program guides and supports us in setting targets for nature, which will strengthen our work towards protecting the environment, climate, and biodiversity.
SBTN is a new initiative for companies to protect our natural resources: the framework was first published in spring 2023 and builds on the momentum of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which enables companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets.
Representing Lindström in the SBTN training program are Process Specialist Tanja Korhonen and Assistant Controller Katariina Palotie, who have combined experience in ecology, environmental science, business, and economics. Tanja and Katariina are working with other sustainability and environmental related projects and tasks, such as gathering and analysing environmental impact and performance data for Lindström’s sustainability reports.
“Without setting clear targets, you lack direction and action. This program helps us increase our understanding of the nature-related impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities and plan concrete actions so that we can ultimately contribute to a better world,” says Katariina.
Tackling nature loss alongside climate change to provide more sustainable solutions for our customers
While we’ve previously set SBTi-approved science-based targets for climate, this program adds a new complementary layer to our sustainability efforts, which in turn enables our customers to become more sustainable.
We need to take actions for a nature-positive future to achieve net zero. By focusing on nature, emissions can be reduced by up to 11.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2030, over 40% of what is needed to limit global warming.
Nature and biodiversity is still a rather new issue in the corporate world, and the focus of sustainability efforts has been mainly on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We need to start considering the planet as a whole, and we at Lindström are working towards this.” says Katariina.
Tanja stresses the interconnectedness of climate change and nature: “To take action towards sustainable operations, we must take into consideration all aspects of the natural world, not only our climate. Climate change challenges can’t be fixed if nature and biological diversity from genes and wildlife to habitats and ecosystems are not conserved as well. Climate change, on the other hand, is a direct impact driver for biodiversity loss.”
Focusing on nature is not entirely new for Lindström, but the seven-month training program provides a more structured approach to the topic. As part of the program, we delve into the SBTN guidelines, methods, and tools. One of the first steps is creating a materiality assessment so we can better understand the environmental impact of our operations and value chain.
The SBTN training program also provides a platform for companies to share experiences, discuss strategies, and overcome common obstacles, such as gathering accurate upstream data.
“SBTN is a challenging framework with a wider scope than SBTi. It’s really valuable to have experts to guide us and share concrete examples. It’s also nice to connect with other companies, share experiences, and hear how others are doing things,” says Katariina.
The textile industry is one of the major contributors to the environmental problems in achieving sustainability targets due to the linear business models and reliance on natural resources, overproduction, and short lifespans.
“Considering we use up environmental resources for our laundry services and textiles, protecting biodiversity is highly important for us,” says Tanja. Sustainability is in our company’s DNA as we operate with a circular business model to reduce overproduction of textiles and to conserve natural resources. From recycling water in the washing process to optimising delivery loads and routes, we’re committed to conserving natural resources and reducing waste. In fact, our goal is to recycle 100% of our textile waste by 2025, and ensure 30% of purchased textiles will include recycled or bio-based fibres.
“Because our business model is based on a circular economy, sustainability is a huge part of our daily practices. Everyone at Lindström—even people who aren’t working under a sustainability title—is working towards the same goals,” says Katariina.
Throughout the SBTN training program, Katariina and Tanja share the knowledge they gain with the rest of the company. They will also give a training session about SBTN to our group management team.
After completing this program, we plan to finetune our nature targets, focusing on areas where we have the biggest impact. For example, reducing our water usage in laundries that are located in areas of high water stress makes a big difference.
Tanja summarises the role we must all play in reversing nature loss: “Everyone—individuals, governments, and companies—must take action to prevent us exceeding any more planetary boundaries that have already been exceeded. Otherwise, the detrimental changes in the world will cascade and become irreversible.”
A sustainable future involves both reducing emissions and helping restore balance to nature. While climate change has been a key focus for many companies’ sustainability strategies — including ours — we also need to incorporate nature targets to address our impacts and dependencies on nature.
Learn more about our sustainability work here, including how we work together with our partners and customers for more sustainable business.