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Acts of sustainability: More electronic tools and less unnecessary material

The National Land Survey of Finland (NLS) is committed to advancing 50 acts of sustainability in its sustainability programme by the end of 2027. The programme consists of four themes: data to serve society; people who feel well; sustainable environment; and sustainable way of working and economic sustainability. This article presents the first part of the 2023 acts of sustainability related to the theme of sustainable environment.

Arto Arvilahti

Daily activities made easier using electronic tools

The NLS extensively promotes the use of digital tools. To make the use of new tools as easy as possible, the NLS continuously provides training and communication for its personnel. The intranet is also home to necessary instructions and a guide for new employees, for example. New potentially usable tools are also tested actively.

Even though work is shifting to digital environments, the NLS still requires multifunction devices, printers, and plotters for map printing. The NLS customer service also scans large volumes of material, including share certificates and various documents brought for digitisation.

‘We follow environmental criteria when purchasing new devices, and we have reduced the total number of devices. In addition, we have ensured that any devices and accessories that are no longer used are processed appropriately,’ says Taina Aaltonen, Senior IT Specialist at the NLS.

Recently, the NLS started to use the printing service of Valtori, the Government ICT Centre. The service enables shared devices when we will move into facilities shared with other government organisations in accordance with the Government’s facility strategy. This will also further reduce the total number of devices.

Sustainable business, exhibition and employee recognition gifts

The new range of business, exhibition and employee recognition gifts will steer the practice of remembering the NLS’s stakeholders and employees in a more sustainable direction. The gift range was updated with focus on product quality, material and origin, among other factors. We also sought immaterial options.

The NLS gives gifts to its employees when they turn 50 or 60 years or retire. This year, the Museum Card and a hotel gift card were added to the gift range as immaterial options, while new products include a travel bag made in Europe from recycled material and a high-quality multipurpose tool with a 25-year guarantee. In addition, wool socks and nest boxes made in Finland are part of the range of business gifts.

‘We’ve mainly received positive feedback on this update. Hotel gift cards are especially among employees’ favourite gifts. People need a bit of immaterial luxury. In the future, we will also communicate sustainable choices through gift packaging,’ says Elina Toivonen, Designer at the NLS.

The best way to reach exhibition visitors is to give them something to talk about in the form of an exhibition gift. To reduce unnecessary items, the range of exhibition gifts now also includes coffee vouchers, booklets made from the NLS’s old maps, and daily usable products such as plasters and kitchen rags.

Not all good ideas could be implemented. For example, the much requested options to donate an amount equalling the value of a gift to charity and to receive an extra day off as a gift are not possible based on the Government’s instructions and guidelines. In contrast, edible gifts are difficult because of their shelf life, as we order gifts in larger batches. Because the NLS is a nationwide organisation, gifts must also be available equally across Finland.

More information

Sustainability Specialist Annukka Kokkonen, 050 467 0911,


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