Satu Kaivonen: Driving Raute's ESG Revolution

Amy Fuhlman

Satu Kaivonen has been active in the European ESG movement for years. As part of Raute, she'll help drive change on the forestry level.

Late last year we introduced our new ESG Manager, Satu Kaivonen. With ESG still being a relatively new concept, we asked Satu to take us on an insider’s expedition of what ESG really is, how it came to be and why it’s so important for Raute and other companies to take a stand.

ESG is an acronym for Environmental, Social, and Governance. As a practice, ESG is a way to report and assess how well a company manages its risks and opportunities related to sustainability issues. There is a growing demand for organizations to properly disclose and report their sustainability efforts. Stakeholders and investors have a vested interest in understanding a company´s sustainability performance. In today’s landscape, investors are looking for companies that prioritize ESG performance for a very tangible reason: failure to comply can result in significant losses. In addition, consumers are looking to move the needle on sustainability, too, and consumers carry a great deal of influence throughout the supply chain.

As with most forward-looking initiatives, ESG has developed in response to environmental pressure points:

  1. The urgency for limiting global warming
  2. The scarcity of global resources
  3. The realization that there must be standardized ways to report about risks and opportunities
  4. Acknowledging that the points above cannot be accomplished without ethical business principles and care for wellbeing

Now that we’ve defined what ESG is and why it’s so important, a look into Satu’s background will show how she is leading the ESG initiative for Raute with unparalleled vision.


By all standards, Satu is a self-made change manager. After graduation, she knew she wanted to join a firm where she could drive change and make a difference. As technology and sustainability are a natural match, she targeted and gained experience from international tech companies. She joined a large media company where she quickly started to build environmental practices on the shop floor. From there, Satu held positions where she spearheaded such initiatives as reframing sustainable offerings and their communications, managing circular business models, compiling mandatory reporting, analyzing climate roadmaps, supporting sales, and looking into concepts like green coding, green cloud and sustainable data management. For over a year now Satu has chaired the Sustainability Working Group in Technology Industries of Finland. This group influences Orgalim, which is the umbrella organization representing Europe’s technology industries at EU level. 

Satu learned about Raute from former colleagues who have joined the company. “Raute operates from a circular economy point of view: how to make more from less, optimizing resources with solutions that capture carbon. Working side by side with the forestry industry and having hi-tech solutions with ESG in the core of its strategy made Raute the perfect fit for me,” states Satu. “This is what got me interested. What got me engaged is the people at Raute and having an inspiring ESG-driven strategy.” 

At Raute, we have a vested interest in ingraining ESG practices into our core business. The global wood industry is very much at the core of creating and solving sustainability challenges. “The worst-case scenario for the wood industry regarding climate change and biodiversity loss involves decreased timber supply, increased pest and disease outbreaks, regulatory restrictions, and market instability,” states Satu. As you can imagine, any of these challenges could have significant economic, social, and environmental implications for the wood industry. Thus, Raute has proactively taken steps to stand at the forefront with our customers to rein in these changes, future-proofing the industry with solid ESG practices.* 

When asked what stumbling blocks she’s come across regarding ESG, Satu’s answer is clear. “One of the most challenging parts of my work is that in some cases ESG has become a vague sales term. If there is no credibility behind the ESG claims, it is misleading information, also known as greenwashing. This undermines trust, obstructs progress toward sustainability goals, harms reputations and detracts from genuine sustainability efforts.” 

Those are pretty inspiring words… words we hope will trigger more companies like Raute to take an active role in ESG practices. 

With so much more to say about ESG, look for a sequel blog where Satu will discuss how companies can meld ESG into their corporate values. She’ll also provide insight into which countries are embracing ESG practices and what we as individuals can do today to make our tomorrows a much healthier place to live.