Management Approach

Sustainability is an important part of Boliden’s operations and work conducted is based on the material topics for the business. The Board of Directors is responsible for the stewardship of the company and ensures that an appropriate corporate governance structure and system is in place. Sustainability is taken up both at each Board and Group Management meeting, and in local management meetings. The Head of Corporate Social Responsibility is a member of the Group Management team. Day to day responsibility is, however, decentralized to each business unit. 

103–1  Explanation of the material topic and its boundary

Boliden shall be among its industry’s leading companies in terms of customer satisfaction, efficiency, and responsibility. This entails an understanding, readiness, and progressiveness with regard to all topics deemed to be material.

Identify material topics

Boliden has an internal process designed to annually review Boliden’s material topics in response to Boliden’s overall ­results, changing business requirements, changing stakeholder expect­ations, implementation of the global goals for sustainable develop­ment, technological and scientific progress, etc. The ­process includes cross-disciplinary discussions and impact analysis where multiple internal experts participate. The material topics are anchored across the organization and adopted by Group ­management and the Board of Directors through the strategy plan.

Material topics for Boliden shall be based on Boliden’s business model, taking into consideration risk and opportunities such as business intelligence and risk mapping, as well as applicable requirement and expectations such as;

• Stakeholders expectations

  • Current and potential legislative trends
  • ISO 9001, 45001,14001 and 50001 standards
  • GRI Standards (Global Reporting Initiative)
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • UN Global Compact

Boliden regularly consults selected stakeholder groups on its sustainability performance from a broader perspective. These stakeholders are asked to comment on Boliden’s material topics in order to drive opportunities for improvement.

Boliden has identified the relevant SDGs for each of its material topics to show how Boliden’s sustainability work contributes to cross-sector international efforts to solve global development issues. Boliden’s comprehensive approach to sustainability means that it supports many of the 17 SDGs through its operations. ­Collectively, these topics have a positive impact on Boliden’s ability to become a world-class metals company and a sustainable first link in the metals’ value chain.

Boliden supports the Sustainable Development Goals

The picture shows the 17 Sustainable Development Goals disclosed by the United Nations in 2015.

Sustainability component of the business strategy

Boliden’s process for integrating and implementing ­material ­topics into the business strategy and our everyday work is ­described in four steps;

  1. Identify material topics
  2. Prioritize focus areas
  3. Implement systematic sustainability work
  4. Report, follow up and improve.

Prioritized focus areas

The identification and prioritizing of the Group’s sustainability efforts are based on the overall vision of being one of the leading companies in the industry in terms of development, productivity, responsibility, and value creation.


102–47  List of material topics





Global Goals


Economic performance

Contribute to long-term economic growth by providing metals that are important for society’s sustainable ­development.


Market presence

Contribute to local employment levels, trade and industry by generating purchasing power and providing a critical base for social services.

8, 11

Indirect economic impacts

Contribute to job creation indirectly or induced through its subcontractors, suppliers or the effect of its employees’ expenditures.

4, 8, 17


Promote and monitor compliance throughout the company by following Code of Conduct and the Anti-Corruption policies.


Activities inhibiting competition

Cultivate a culture in which employees preserve Boliden’s competitive position.




Contribute to the circular economy through recycling and by maximizing metal recovery from available raw materials.

8, 12

Sustainable resource usage

Invest in R&D to develop new products that eliminate waste.



Implement and maintain energy management systems to achieve energy efficiency and conserve energy.



Reduce the consumption of fresh water and the discharge of used water.

6, 12


Measure the effects from our operation on flora and fauna to ensure there is no net loss of biodiversity, using an Environmental Impact Assessment.

6, 14, 15

Air pollution emissions

Reduce carbon dioxide intensity and reduce metal emissions to air through improved process efficiency and increased electrification with plans on a fossil free mine.

3, 12, 13, 14, 15

Discharges to water and waste

Reduce the discharges of metals to water and waste.

3, 6, 12, 14, 15

Environmental legislation compliance

Always meet legal requirements with no serious ­environmental incidents.

12, 16

Business Partner Environmental Assessment

Expect Business Partners to follow the Business Partner Code of Conduct; identify and document their significant environmental aspects; and comply with environmental legislation and common practices.




Provide an attractive workplace.


Occupational health and safety

Provide a safe and healthy workplace.

3, 8

Training and education

Facilitate career and skill development.

4, 8

Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Foster workforce diversity that reflects the local ­community.

5, 8


Discourage all forms of harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, ­sexual orientation or any other factor.

5, 8, 16

Local Communities

Maintain good community relations and effective ­operations management.

8, 10, 11

Business Partner Social Assessment

Expect customers and suppliers to comply with the ­Business Partner Code of Conduct.

12, 16

Socioeconomic Compliance

Ensure legal requirements are always met.


Resettlement and Closure planning

Plan for conservation and reclamation of mining areas during their operation and end of production lifespan.

1, 5, 11, 14

Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Promote open dialogue and long-term cooperation with Sami communities in order to mitigate the negative ­impacts of Boliden’s mining activities on local people and the environment.




103–2&3  Evaluation of the management approach and its components

The general aspects of 103-2 and 103-3 are covered in this part of the report, whereas the more topic-specific management aspects are covered in association with the disclosure of 200/300/400 topics. Identifying and prioritizing the most important and relevant issues within the context of Boliden’s sustainability work is an ongoing process. Sustainability comes with a long-term perspective and is a long-term commitment. Which means it is an integral part of Boliden’s strategy and operations. The basis for the sustainability work is that all operations are conducted in accordance with legislative provisions and permits in the countries in which the Group operates. Boliden’s ambitions are, however, significantly higher than this and the Group works proactively by formulating goals and guidelines that are fundamental to its operations from a sustainability point of view. In order to systematically control and develop Boliden’s operations, management systems have been implemented to ensure that significant sustainability aspects of the operations are covered, making it possible to minimize the risks associated with mining and metals production. Boliden’s way of working also facilitates adaptation to market conditions and preferences, and ensures compliance with future legislation. Boliden became a signatory to the UN Global Compact in 2012, and continually enhances the efforts to protect and respect its principles and promote its spirit.

The prioritized material topics enable Boliden to set relevant goals, and to track and improve performance.

Sustainability Targets 2014 – 2018

Boliden has defined targets for the period from 2014 to 2018, with 2012 as the base year. Performance disclosure information and comments are presented in the Economic, Environmental and Social chapters of the Sustainability Index, as well as in the Annual and Sustainability Report.

Policies and Management Systems

Boliden has a governance model comprising Group-wide and local policies, instructions and guidelines, tools, and local management systems that correspond to the challenges the company faces. The overall steering documents are collected in the Management Manual, which is available to every employee via Boliden’s intranet.

Boliden’s operations have adopted quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. The ambition is to have all sites certified in accordance with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, respectively (implementation of ISO 45001 is ongoing). In 2018, all sites except Kevitsa and Kylylahti have achieved these certifications. The Group’s smelters are also certified in accordance with the ISO 9001 Standard for quality management and ISO 50001 Standard for energy management. By working with certified management systems, Boliden ensures that its operations review significant issues, set targets, measure performance, follow up on progress, and continuously work to ­improve their performance. The certification schemes also ­demand documented delegation of responsibilities on each site and that relevant competences are upheld.

Boliden’s Business Partner Code of Conduct

Boliden’s Business Partner Code of Conduct is a policy for business partners with whom Boliden enters into an agreement. They are publicly available on Boliden’s corporate website.

The Code has been developed from the principles laid down in the UN Global Compact, and issued by the ILO (labor standards), as well as from those contained in applicable ISO standards and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

Boliden’s Whistleblower reporting

This reporting channel affords Boliden´s employees the opportunity to raise concerns regarding actual or suspected serious wrongdoings committed by people in leading positions or key personnel within the Boliden group.

A serious wrongdoing means any serious conduct or irregularity within the Boliden group concerning (a) accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing matters, measures to combat ­bribery, banking- and financial crime, or (b) other serious conduct or irregularity concerning a Boliden company’s or the Boliden Group’s vital interests or the life or health of individual persons, such as serious environmental crimes, major ­deficiencies in the safety at the place of work and very serious forms of ­discrimination or harassments.

Boliden Group Targets 2019 and beyond

As a complement to these numerical targets communicated publicly, Boliden also works with several internal activities related to the identified material topics.

Material topic / Directions

Target and KPI


Economic performance

Contribute to long-term economic growth by providing metals that are important for society’ s industrialization and development. Provide metals for the transformation to a Sustainable society.

  • Return on investments shall be a minimum of 10% (NPV)
  • Net debt/equity ratio in an economic upturn shall be 20%
  • The dividend shall correspond to one third of the net profits

Air Pollution Emissions

Reduce carbon dioxide intensity and reduce metal emissions to air through improved process efficiency and increased electrification with the first fossil free mine planned for 2025.

  • Emissions of metals to air, –1%/per annum1)
  • CO2 intensity, –3%/per annum1)



Discharges to water and waste

Reduce the discharges of metals to water and waste.

  • Discharges of metal to water, –1%/per annum1)

Environmental Legislation Compliance

Always meet permit values and legal requirements. No serious environmental incidents.

  • No serious environmental incidents

Occupational Health and Safety

Provide safe and healthy workplaces.

  • Zero accidents (LTI)
  • Sick leave rate <4.0%

Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Strive towards workforce diversity that reflects the local community.

  • At least 20% proportion of females in total work force in 2020

1) From 2017.

2) Base year 2012.

The Code addresses:

  • Human Rights and Labor Rights

    • Fundamental human rights
    • The effective abolition of child labor
    • Upholding the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor
    • Non-discriminatory practices
    • Protecting and respecting freedom of association and collective bargaining
    • Working hours
    • Living wages
    • Health and safety
  • The Environment:

    • A precautionary approach to environmental challenges
    • Implementation of environmental management systems
    • Minimize the operational impact related to energy, greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and water consumption
  • Anti-Corruption:

    • Zero tolerance of bribery or any form of corruption
    • Zero acceptance of direct or indirect involvement in prohibited benefits
    • Compliance with trade sanctions and prevention of fraud, extortion, money laundering
    • Legal compliance on taxation, fees and royalties, and transparency in disclosure of the same

Boliden’s Corporate Responsibility work in relation to suppliers is developed and improved continuously from new knowledge and new conditions, such as amended legislation and principles set forth under the Extractive Industry Transparency ­Initiative (EITI). The ESG evaluation of Boliden´s business partners (customers and suppliers) is repeated at a minimum of three- to five-year intervals. The extent of the ESG evaluation depends on assessed sustainability risk and the strategic importance of the business partner. All of Boliden’s business partners have been checked through sanction controls during the reporting year.

Responsibility and Monitoring of Progress

Boliden’s Group management has ultimate responsibility for the Group’s sustainability work. Prioritizing sustainability issues, and identifying and selecting the most relevant sustainability issues, is an ongoing process involving all units within the Boliden Group. The Group management includes the Senior Vice President – Corporate Responsibility, who ensures that sustainability issues are addressed continuously.

The work is largely carried out through Group-wide networks in order to facilitate the dissemination of Boliden’s goals and strategies and by exchanging expertise and experience between the Business Areas and between production units. There are networks for health and safety, the environment, chemical management, quality, human resources, and communications, and the Chairs of the respective networks report to the Group management. Boliden’s Board of Directors reviews the Group’s sustainability performance data annually.

Environmental performance, sick leave, and accident rates are reported on a monthly basis. They are also presented at every Group management meeting and at every Board meeting. ­Supplier assessments of environmental and labor practices are reported on a quarterly basis. Boliden also presents sustainability performance in its quarterly interim reports.