Family business – responsibility across generations

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I had the honour of being a member of the steering group for the Finnish Family Firms Association’s publication Responsibility produces value. In the steering group we had fascinating discussions about the ways that responsibility is reflected in a family business. Like many other matters, this one also looks a little different from a family business point of view.

As our CEO Pekka Ekberg said: “Responsibility means that the business will still exist after me.” The Finnish Family Firms Association’s spokesperson, Krista Elo-Pärssinen, writes in the foreword of the publication: “Sustainable development is a core value for family businesses, because the goal is to hand the business over to the next generation – in a better state than it was when you received it from the previous generation. A family business is something that is a gift from the previous generation and that you are borrowing from the next generation. In family businesses, success is measured based on the long term.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Krista’s words. As one of Fiblon’s owners and a person who has participated in the company’s operation for 22 years, I can confirm that the horizon is always far, far ahead. Even though our daily operations test our responsibility in a number of ways, the deepest sense of responsibility lies in seeing the company develop in the long term. This is probably the case in many family businesses. Short-term profits and a quarterly approach to business aren’t at the top of our priority list. Responsible handling of finances is obviously still important to us – otherwise there won’t be work for anyone in the future.

We have wanted to keep our business in Finland, even though the decision wasn’t easy. Modern equipment, energy efficiency, high-quality raw materials and skilled, dedicated personnel form the foundation of our company.

Modern equipment guarantees that our production is efficient and modern. Energy efficiency is essential in terms of natural resources. We want to source our raw materials as locally as possible because we want to know where they come from as well as avoid unnecessary transport costs. Skilled and dedicated personnel guarantee that our customers receive the best possible service. At Fiblon, we have a very human-oriented approach and our customers can always be in contact with humans, not automated services. We do not offer and endless variety of products: the reason we are able to provide such high-quality expertise is that we have specialised in a sufficiently narrow set of products.

Even though we have to face harsh global competition on a daily basis, we are committed to making the world a better and more sustainable place, one napkin at a time. We work responsibly and love what we do!

Read more about why responsibility is so important to us.

 

Anne Ekberg

Vice President, Communications and Marketing

 

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