Sustainable and responsible business is the lifeblood of every company

We only have this one Earth, and its survival requires tireless work. We must be ready to boldly renew and rethink our actions. This kind of mindset is at the core of the new TT Gaskets business strategy that is taking shape right now.

This year saw us finalizing the first version of the TT Gaskets program for sustainable development in which we commit to becoming carbon-neutral by 2027 and advancing our growth by treating nature with respect.

Sustainable growth is a responsible business practice which we have listed in our ownership strategy. The ownership’s will is key in the sustainability and responsibility of a company. A clear message from the owner provides a framework and encourages to dream for a better tomorrow.

Our dreams revolve around high-quality smart gasket solutions that aim to minimize our customers’ carbon footprint in the coming years. We truly care about human rights and our different stakeholders. We are committed to responsible administration, good leadership, continuously developing our supplier relations and adhering to the SA8000 social responsibility standard. We aim to improve our operations and partnerships in a direction that creates even more added value for our customers’ business.

Responsibility work must resonate throughout the company

TT Gaskets will continue to make major investments in sustainable development. Our investments include solar panels, air source heat pumps and geothermal heating and cooling systems. This year we established a team for finding actions for saving energy. The team’s goal has been to see how savings could be generated even with small actions.

We have also actively discussed possible actions with several CEOs from the Pirkanmaa area, with TT Gaskets board chairman Matti Arpiainen acting as an instigator. We have now progressed to a point where we can refine both small and large energy saving ideas together with our entire staff. Ownership commitment is important, but it is equally relevant to hear from the entire company when working to conserve our shared planet.

We have also taken part in public discussion – for example, we were invited to Tampere mayor Anna-Kaisa Ikonen’s energy-themed stakeholder event in October. Sharing information and active discussion have given us valuable comments and a whole swath of new ideas. Thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughts!

October also saw us receiving the honor of being chosen as one of the 50 Finnish companies partaking in SITRA’s training program for developing circular economy practices. I hope we will gain food for thought that helps us develop new circular economy solutions together with our suppliers and customers.

Family businesses unite to create sustainability

My 7-year-old son recently attended a scout event that was preceded by a questionnaire measuring lifestyle sustainability. The pre-assignment generated great conversation in our family, but the key insight came after the event. My son’s group was complimented because their lifestyle choices were the least harmful to our planet out of all participants. This still didn’t feel like a great result to my son because they were then told that if the entire world lived like them, we would still require two Earths instead of one. “But that’s not possible. We must do something about this, and quickly!” he said with determination.

We’ve reached the same conclusion with the family businesses of the world. We have a strong will to encourage and challenge each other towards more meaningful and sustainable business practices. Therefore, the Family Business Network-International (FBN-I) has established the Polaris committee. It has helped share information and produce different publications and tools for family businesses for them to operate more sustainably and strengthen their own purpose. These activities have highlighted that sustainable business is often both profitable and highly meaningful to those conducting it. The triple bottom line and its three tenets – people, planet, and profit – are nothing new, but the Polaris committee’s work has advanced the synthesis of these aspects.

I am a part of the FBN-I board, and this year we developed a tool for reporting sustainable development in family businesses in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. It makes reporting and measuring sustainable development easier than ever before. I encourage all family businesses to visit the UNCTAD website, sign the pledge for sustainable development and start reporting their activities!

Strengthening collaborations with TT Gaskets

Our investments in sustainable development and responsibility have not gone unnoticed, as is evident from our customer audits. Several international business groups have given internal recommendations to strengthen or develop collaborations with TT Gaskets because our operations are in check with the principles of responsible and sustainable development.

Conducting sustainable and responsible business is the lifeblood of every company in today’s world – and rightly so. However, defining, measuring, and improving your own sustainable development is not always easy. The TT Gaskets recipe is to boldly start with addressing your current situation. When your system and status are documented, they can be improved. At the same time, it is important to pick a comparison group and a reporting tool. Everything cannot and shouldn’t be done at once. Speed is not of the essence, determination is.

I wish you all a great late-onset winter and insightful reads. Let’s share ideas for conserving our shared and only Earth – not forgetting our own wellbeing.

With responsible regards,

Aleksi Arpiainen

Aleksi Arpiainen is the CEO of TT Gaskets in the third generation. According to him, the success of a family business is fueled by continuous development and innovation. In the blog, Aleksi sheds light on his thoughts on where the world of gaskets is going.