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Review of Luke's handprint and footprint in 2021

Research responsibility

As a research and specialist organisation, our most important means of influencing the selected UN Sustainable Development Goals is to provide reliable information and solutions related to them. We describe how we have contributed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2021 in the following pages: 

Environmental responsibility

Luke's goal is to continuously improve our overall sustainability and environmental practices. In 2021 Luke set a goal to create an environmental programme that will be launched in 2022.

Environmental programme

In the first phase, the environmental programme will cover Luke's experimental research infrastructures.

Luke is committed to maintaining and improving its level of environmental protection in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard throughout its own experimental research and government activities. The programme is applied to Luke's livestock and field, horticulture, forestry, and aquaculture research environments.

Luke is committed to continually improving the suitability, appropriateness, and effectiveness of its environmental programme to improve the level of environmental protection in its research environments. With the help of the programme, Luke's environmental impact can be systematically assessed and measures can be taken to reduce environmental damage and increase any positive environmental impact.

During 2022, Luke will also develop its own guidelines for experimental research in natural environments, such as research forests, based on the EU's Do No Significant Harm principle.


Preliminary estimate of Luke's carbon footprint in 2021

Luke's total carbon footprint has been calculated for the first time. The calculation will be developed and refined in the coming years, and thus the result for 2021 is preliminary and indicative.

Luke's total carbon footprint for 2021 includes the following emissions figures (based on data available in early 2022): 

  • Electrical energy
  • Thermal energy
  • Business travel
  • Fuels (work machines)
  • Arable farming, livestock, horticulture and seedling production
  • Aquaculture

Emission figures for electricity and heat from Luke's sites and research environments are based on figures provided by Senaatti properties.

Senaatti properties is the Finnish state's real estate expert and Luke's main real estate partner. Senaatti procures 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources, and mainly procures carbon-neutral district heat for its locations in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Jyväskylä and Vaasa. In a few localities, Luke operates on the premises of university campuses and no emission figures for electricity and heat for Luke were available, so they have not been considered in the calculation.

For aquaculture, the calculation was based on data from each aquaculture farm on feed consumption, additional growth of fish and the amount of chemicals used. The average carbon footprint of feed was obtained from the recently completed 'Climate Impacts of Finnish Fish Products' project and the 'Climate Impacts of Chemicals' mainly from the Ecoinvent v3.0 database. The nitrogen excretion of fish was calculated based on average nitrogen content of feed and nitrogen bound to fish and the proportion of nitrous oxide on nitrogen excretion based on calculation guidelines from the IPCC (2006, 2013).

To avoid double counting, electricity, heat and water consumption and driving machinery were excluded from the calculation of emissions from arable farming, livestock, horticulture and aquaculture as they are included in the total emissions reported by Senaatti under the categories “electricity”, “heat” and “fuels”. Although the carbon footprints of the different categories have been estimated separately, they largely follow the same calculation guidelines. The compatibility of the calculation methods will be further developed.

The 2021 calculation lacks certain Luke functions, such as transportation, research laboratories and the Savonlinna technology platform for the vegetative growth of forest trees. In addition, the research and gene reserve forests used by Luke and managed by Metsähallitus have so far only been taken into account in Metsähallitus' own calculations.

During 2022, we will develop Luke's total carbon footprint calculation, analyze the components affecting our carbon footprint, and set operational targets to reduce the carbon footprint of our own research data.

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Social responsibility

At the heart of Luke's social responsibility are well-being at work, occupational safety and to be an attractive and equal opportunity workplace.

Well-being at work

Luke's goal as an employer is to have happy, healthy personnel. In 2021 Luke, launched an occupational well-being programme. Its aim is to improve the well-being of employees at work by developing, among other things, a leadership and management culture, ways of working and operational effectiveness. The goal is to have functional work processes, streamlined management practices, and for supervisors to have better early intervention skills.

The programme will continue until the end of 2023. The purpose is to map out the structures and operating methods that could be enhanced to improve well-being at work in Luke. When employees feel that their own work is manageable, their well-being and ability to work improves and absenteeism decreases.

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An attractive and equal workplace

In 2021, Luke was once again the most attractive employer in the field of natural sciences in the Universum study for professionals and students. Luke's work is appealing, and the goal is to remain one of the most popular workplaces in the natural resources field.

Employee survey:

  • Job satisfaction index 3,88 / 5
  • Supervisor index 3,95 / 5

Luke's goal is to build an international, diverse, multidisciplinary, equal and non-discriminating work community. Luke's Equality Plan supports the achievement of these objectives and fulfills the obligations of equality and non-discrimination legislation.

Luke takes the principles of equality and non-discrimination into account in all its plans and decisions and their preparation and implementation. The Equality Plan applies to all Lukeans, and each Lukean has a responsibility to promote equality in their own work environment.

Read more about Equality and non-discrimination at Luke

Occupational safety

Safety is part of every Lukeans job description. In 2021, Luke started to compile statistics on accidents at work using the Lost Time Injury 1 day (LTI1) model according to the Finnish Workers’ Compensation Centre. It reports all accidents that occur during working hours at work or on a business trip, require medical attention and result in at least one day of sick leave in addition to the date of the accident. In 2021, 23 of these accidents were recorded. The most common injuries were dislocations, sprains, wounds, and concussions. The riskiest jobs were working with animals and field work. Workplace risk assessments have been carried out, emphasising the importance of proactive safety measures.

In addition, in late 2021, Luke introduced the Whistleblowing notification channel. Here, a person who, during their work, detects or suspects abuse or activities against the public interest in specifically defined areas of EU or national law, can report it safely.

Financial responsibility

Luke is a responsible financial actor and a respected partner that delivers value and solutions to its customers and society through research - locally and globally. Luke's financial activities are governed by the Budget Act and Regulation and the regulations and guidelines based on them.

Luke supports regional sustainable growth

Luke supports local regions in achieving Finland's carbon neutrality goals and developing bio- and circular economy solutions by providing its expertise.

Regional funding is a mechanism for Luke to bring its know-how to the region's business community, develop local solutions and modernize primary production. One of the Luke's goals is to support sustainable growth in the regions and to even out the differences in development and well-being between regions.

The funding allocated to the regional projects implemented by Luke for 2021 totalled approximately EUR 8.3 million. A large number of projects under both the European Regional Development Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development were implemented in Eastern and Northern Finland. The projects implemented in Southern and Western Finland focused on the European Agricultural Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Regional projects volume in 2021: 8,3 M€


Luke supports international sustainable growth 

Luke also conducts natural resource research internationally and participates in numerous international projects each year. Funding from the EU in 2021 was EUR 6.5 million, up EUR 0.9 million (15%) from the previous year.

Luke has about 100 EU projects, 9 of which are coordinated by Luke. Of the 76 EU project applications submitted in 2021, 18 had been approved for funding (one coordinated by Luke) by the end of March 2022. Luke's goal is to increase the amount of EU and other international funding in the future.


Luke is developing sustainable procurement

Luke contributes to sustainable public procurement practices by focusing on procurement planning processes that take into account overall sustainability requirements.

In addition to the Procurement Act, our operations are guided by the government's procurement strategy and the decisions and guidelines published in principle by the government, which set out guidelines on issues and requirements related to responsibility.

Luke's acquisition instructions were updated in 2021 and came into force on January 1, 2022. The guide now includes procurement that follows sustainable development practices and sets out more precisely the economic, social and environmental responsibility targets required in tenders.


NPS 75 (goal >50)

NPS (Net Promoter Score) measures the customers willingness to recommend Luke based on completed projects.