Haarla, the family-owned industry supplier with vision, passion and expertise, was founded in 1962. Now, on a sunny and warm Thursday in September 2022, it was time to put on some sparkle and celebrate Haarla’s 60th birthday. Around 100 invitees and Haarla employees were gathered for the special seminar and evening program on the company’s home turf in Tampere, Finland.
The topic of the day was sustainability. As Haarla’s CEO Julius Haarla pointed out in his opening speech, this was an easy choice for the theme, as all of the company’s core business areas – food, chemicals and water treatment – serve life-essential industries. “This is not a whim. It’s something we all need.” Six decades is a long time, during which the world has changed and there have been both ups and downs along the way. “We do our best to manage what life puts in front of us. It has always boiled down to hard work and good people,” Julius Haarla stated, thanking the dedicated employees and trusted partners of Haarla.
Extraordinary thinking required
During the plenary session, Salla Ahonen, Sustainablity Director of Neste Oyj, talked about the importance of sustainability – not only for the future of our planet, but also for business success: “Investors are increasingly interested in sustainability. It is vital for businesses. If your company is not delivering, you will get kicked out. In order to stay relevant, sustainability needs to be at the core of your business strategy.” For Neste Oyj, sustainability work has long traditions and involves the whole organization. “Every single employee believes in the joint purpose. Sustainability needs to be on everyone’s agenda.” Salla Ahonen also spoke about the importance of co-operation between companies: “Nobody can save the planet alone. We need to join forces. Changing the world requires extraordinary thinking and crazy ideas.”
Call for action on climate change
In his keynote speech, Atte Borgenström, CEO of Reforest Finland Oy, focused on the climate actions and emission reduction. He pointed out that sustainability is a wide term covering many areas from responsible consumption to equality. However, the climate is currently one of the most topical focus areas of sustainability. “With rising awareness of climate issues and the hands-on goals based on, for example, the Paris climate agreement, it is increasingly important for companies to understand, reduce and compensate their emissions.”
The story continues
In the afternoon, the guests split up into interactive workshops covering industry-specific topics. The celebrations continued in the evening at Restaurant Kuuma with an exquisite gala dinner, highlighted by performances by mountain climber and explorer Pata Degerman and the outstanding pop-kantele singer Ida Elina. Pata Degerman drew the allegory between his expeditions to the Antarctica and reaching new heights in the business world: “Do we stop when we encounter problems? No! It all boils down to good planning, good communication and deep teamwork.”
With all these pieces of advice in mind, and so many great memories to cherish, Haarla wants to thank everyone for the successful 60 years. The story continues, together.