Story | 11/08/2023 07:13:00 | 3 min Read time

The World Benchmarking Alliance has ranked UPM #1 in the 2023 Nature Benchmark

Elina Warsta

Senior Manager, Global Forest Affairs, UPM

How do you know if your efforts to support United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are ambitious enough? Which are the areas where there is room for improvement or possible challenges or gaps? UPM ranks first in the paper and forest segment and is among the top overall performers in the 2023 Nature Benchmark, a new public sustainability rating carried out by the World Benchmarking Alliance.

Climate and biodiversity are dominating the sustainability agenda in Europe but are certainly not the only important themes on UN’s 2030 Agenda adopted by the 193 member states in 2015. Public and private sectors as well as consumers need to do their fair share to support the positive development. Intergovernmental processes define how governments are to report their progress, but what about the private sector?

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), established in 2018, is one of the globally recognised organisations who benchmark companies about how they drive system transformation to achieve the SDGs. They drive change based on consultations of 10,000 stakeholders from governments, NGOs, businesses and consumers. WBA has identified seven transformations that need to take place to put society and the worldwide economy on a more sustainable path.

The transformations include food and agriculture, nature, urban, digital, social, decarbonisation and energy, as well as financial systems.

To turn these transformations into action, WBA is developing benchmarks including 2,000 assessments of the world’s most influential companies globally, which WBA has identified to be critical in achieving the SDGs. UPM is listed among these companies. 

 “UPM ranks first among its peers in the paper and forest segment and is among the top overall performers in the 2023 Nature Benchmark. It demonstrates leadership across multiple measurement areas, especially ecosystem and biodiversity, where it scored highest out of all companies assessed. The company also stands out for its performance in the core social indicators. UPM has an opportunity to improve on the governance and strategy, and social inclusion and community impact measurement areas,“ WBA describes in the written feedback of the assessment.

“This rating is one of the examples how companies’ responsibility actions and targets are assessed and recognised. Our ambition level in biodiversity and social responsibility seems to be highly valued by WBA which encourages us to continue on the same path,” Sauli Brander, VP Global Forest Affairs, UPM says. 

The World Benchmarking Alliance consults companies during the rating and allows them to provide additional publicly available information. The rating process is interactive, provokes companies to increase transparency and analyse the impact of current procedures and actions.

The WBA was established by Aviva, Index Initiative, and the United Nations Foundation, and is funded by Aviva, the Governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark. It has published the first Nature Benchmark including paper and forest segment in October 2023. Despite the name of the benchmark, it includes substantial number of social indicators and questions, which are rated with publicly disclosed information and data.

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