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Social responsibility

Responsible employer
General human resources management

A high level of technology and material knowhow is crucial for Exel Composites’ business. It is therefore critical to ensure recruitment of skilled employees, relevant competence development, knowledge retention and knowledge transfer. Human resources (HR) are managed through the company’s corporate values, Code of Conduct, the HR policy and HR strategy. For the ongoing strategy cycle, human resources focuses globally on four topics: individual and team performance, increased personal engagement and employee development, increased retention in a competitive talent market and improved attractiveness as an employer.

At the end of December 2017, Exel Composites employed 568 (455) people, of whom 230 (206) in Finland and 338 (249) in other countries. The average number of employees during the financial year was 532 (479). The number of employees of the Group grew during the financial year with about 90 employees due to the acquisition of Nanjing Jianhui Composite Material.
In 2017 the employee turnover ratio was 14.9% [4].

In 2017 the annual Performance Development Reviews were carried out across the Group, covering 97% of all employees. The process allows employees together with their manager to evaluate individual performance, set targets, give feedback and identify career aspirations and potential. In 2017 trainings were carried out according to the identified needs and a “high potential” program was initiated as part of Exel-wide career planning. The program starts in 2018 and involves the focused development of six to seven selected employees through a two to three year period. In 2017 work was also done to develop the succession planning process to ensure a smooth transition from leaving employees to their successors. Currently the process covers senior management, but is also an important project group-wide to improve knowledge retention.

In 2017 Exel launched an initiative to implement a new, global HR management system. The target is to have it in use in first business units during 2018. The system will eventually cover all main HR processes and in its first phase includes employee core data collection that is further used to develop processes around performance management as well as training and development.
In 2018 Exel’s target is to measure employee engagement with a survey. The previous survey was conducted in 2015.

Employee related KPI's

Occupational health and safety

A safe environment for our employees and neighbors at all locations is a priority for Exel Composites. The occupational health and safety issues are an integral part of responsible management and all the sites of the Group have a safety organization with defined responsibilities. The management of health and safety issues is based on identified risks and guided through the global Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety (QEHS) Policy [6], the company’s Chemical Policy and the OHSAS 18001 standard. Accident prevention has a very important role in all units. Every lost time injury (LTI) is inspected and reported to top management. LTI is one of the main key performance indicators used for monitoring the operations of Exel [7]. All LTI’s are also reported to other units to ensure the lessons learned are used to in order to prevent accidents elsewhere. Near-miss and unsafe condition reporting is used for accident prevention in all factories. All these are monitored and reviewed in monthly reports for top management.

The Group is continuously vigilant about updates in listings of chemical Substances of Very High Concern, such as in the REACH and RoHS declarations, in order to ensure it stays ahead of regulations. As about 50% of the employees are in daily contact with dangerous or flammable chemicals in their work, the main occupational health and safety risks relate to the possibility of fire or health problems due to allergies or long-term exposure.

The core of Exel Composites' health and safety efforts lies on preventive measures and reporting based on active risk assessments as well as internal and external evaluations. In 2017 the company continued to monitor the quality of breathing air in all sites. Exel has defined a limit that is among the strictest in the world amongst pultrusion companies for allowed styrene concentration in the air. Low concentration is maintained by efficient ventilation in all factory sites. Employees’ styrene exposure is monitored by regular mandelic acid tests (urine samples) and taking the necessary measures if any high or increased levels are found.

In 2017 Exel continued with regular safety training for all employees. These include fire extinguishing, first aid as well as working with dangerous chemicals. All employees and visitors alike are provided with appropriate safety gear whenever in factory premises. In compliance with local regulations, all sites have Health & Safety Committees that during 2017 continued their work with local safety topics. These included preventive wellness and employee wellbeing, for example, through the implementation of an early intervention model and efforts to create a more enjoyable workplace through improvements of the working environment.

Safety KPI's

Diversity and non-discrimination

Exel Composites’ corporate values and Code of Conduct [8] state that everybody shall be treated with fairness, respect and dignity in the workplace and beyond by management and fellow employees. The company follows a zero tolerance policy for discrimination. All employees are expected to report any discriminant behavior or other Code of Conduct violations using for example an anonymous “Report misconduct”-form, which is available at the company’s website.

Diversity is encouraged and respected in the work place, all recruiting decisions [9] as well as in the composition of the company’s Board of Directors. The shareholders’ Nomination Board shall follow Exel’s principles of diversity in making their proposal to the Annual General Meeting regarding members to Exel’s Board of Directors [10].

During 2017 no incidents related to harassment or discrimination were reported. While the “Report misconduct”-channel is already available for all employees, an intensified communications process shall be initiated in 2018. The purpose is to ensure that all current and new employees are aware of the existence of this tool and the related process.

Employee diversity

Human rights in own operations and supply

Exel Composites’ corporate values and Code of Conduct state that the company supports and respects the protection of human rights in all its operations, including its supply chain, and follows global human and labor rights conventions. No form of forced or child labor is tolerated in the Group nor from any of its business partners or third parties associated with the Group.

The Group sources components and materials for its manufacturing processes from multiple sources and multiple countries. A majority of the company’s supply chain is composed of large, international manufacturers or their distributors, that often have established processes and high sustainability standards and therefore are considered low risk in relation to human rights violations. The majority of Exel’s own production units are located in countries where risk for human rights violations is generally considered low. The slightly increased risk that is presented in China, where the company has two production units, is mitigated through a dedicated local supply chain organization. All suppliers are chosen with care and on the basis of objective factors such as quality, reliability, delivery and price, in addition to ethical standards and sustainability. Exel Composites has currently no Supplier Code of Conduct, but expects its suppliers and contractors to demonstrate similar high ethical standards, compliance with Exel’s Code of Conduct and with appropriate legislation and regulation. The company conducts audits of existing suppliers primarily through factory visits. Audited suppliers are selected based on purchase volume, the criticality of the supplier as well as its location. In case of violations action is taken either to allow time for corrective action or to terminate the relationship.

In 2017 there were no reported human rights violations in Exel’s own operations nor within the company’s supply chain [11].
In 2018 a process shall be initiated to confirm the suppliers comply with Exel’s requirements regarding human rights and other Code of Conduct topics, including chemical safety regulations. In addition, the supplier auditing process will be further developed.


Reference to metrics in Nasdaq ESG Reporting Guide:

[4] Nasdaq S3 – Employee Turnover Ratio 
[5] Nasdaq S5 – Temporary Worker Ratio
[6] Nasdaq S8 – Global Health Policy
[7] Nasdaq S7 – Injury Rate
[8] Nasdaq S6 – Non-Discrimination Policy
[9] Nasdaq S4 – Gender Diversity
[10] Nasdaq S12 – Board Diversity
[11] Nasdaq S11 – Human Rights Violations

Exel Composites Oyj, Vantaa head office, Mäkituvantie 5, FI-01510 Vantaa, Finland