A man and a woman are walking side by side in the forest.

 

Responsibility at the Regional State Administrative Agency

The Regional State Administrative Agency is one of the key actors in Finnish society, which is why we have significant opportunities to promote sustainable development. The State Treasury recommends that all central government organisations report on responsibility every calendar year. We use the responsibility report to communicate how we promote sustainable development through our own activities. We focus on the ways and practices in which we carry out our statutory tasks. The responsibility report also helps us to monitor, organise and develop our work related to sustainable development.

We have submitted the goals on which we report to the State Treasury and we prepare a responsibility report annually. No responsibility report was drafted in 2021 due to the coronavirus epidemic, the crisis in Ukraine and the nurses’ strike requiring a lot of our time and resources. We decided to postpone the first report to 2022. The report will be published in spring 2023.

Responsibility goals

The State Treasury's guidelines are based on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. According to the guidelines, we have selected the goals on which we can have the most impact. The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consist of 17 main objectives, five of which are at the centre of the Regional State Administrative Agency's responsibility report. In addition, the most essential sub-targets set for the main objectives have been identified for the Regional State Administrative Agency, and they are used for more detailed reporting.
Our goals are to:

  • ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (UN Goal 3)
  • ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (UN Goal 4)
  • promote economic growth and decent work for all (UN Goal 8)
  • ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (UN Goal 6)
  • build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (UN Goal 9). 

In addition, we have set the following conditional future goals:

  • reducing inequalities within and between countries (UN Goal 10)
  • taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (UN Goal 13)
  • strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development (UN Goal 17).

What is the Regional State Administrative Agency doing to be responsible?

Our tasks include safeguarding well-being and equality, increasing vitality and striving for carbon neutrality. We are continuously working towards our goals and take the above-mentioned Sustainable Development Goals into account in our operations.

Sustainable development guarantees everyone a good life in the future

We cooperate with ELY Centres on climate issues and have established a joint climate working group. The state of the environment, biodiversity and the state of waters are important to us. For example, we solve permit matters concerning water supply and domestic waste water treatment in accordance with the Water Act and the Environmental Protection Act. This ensures, for example, that domestic water supply takes place in an environmentally sustainable manner, that sufficient water is available for all uses and that the treatment of wastewater does not cause any health hazards. The speed and quality of our permit processing ensure that the projects are not delayed due to the duration of the permit process.

We are involved in mitigating climate change and developing a more sustainable use of natural resources. We are developing electronic case handling, which has resulted in a significant reduction in the use of paper. In order to curb energy consumption and environmental stress, we favour shared use of facilities and engage in resource-saving cooperation with several other state actors. We travel and work business hours only when needed.

We also strive to improve the competitiveness, health and safety of food production. Together with the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, we will carry out a comprehensive assessment of health hazards, emphasising the identification and prevention of health hazards. 

Well-being, communality and equality are everybody’s business

Our aim is to increase vitality by increasing the employment rate and education and competence levels, among other things. For example, in 2021, we organised continuing education mainly as webinars and online courses, in addition to which we utilised videos, podcasts and social media. The availability, versatility and impact of the training were very good: The events varied in terms of content and methods and were organised in Finnish, Swedish and Sámi. 

We are working to ensure that basic services are safe and equally accessible, that legal protection is realised and that social exclusion is reduced. With the help of discretionary government transfers, we support outreach youth work and workshop activities and grant aid to various development projects.

Well-being at work and communality are important matters to everyone. Our occupational safety and health authorities carry out tens of thousands of occupational safety and health inspections each year. We also issue advice and guidelines concerning occupational safety and health and concerning the terms and conditions of employment relationships. 

Sustainable and efficient practices

We strive to continuously develop and reform our work, anticipating and utilising researched information. Our areas of responsibility have carried out network-based development work to create shared manuals, document templates and tools. By working digitally, we have increased the cost-effectiveness and impact of our operations. In addition, we have experimented boldly with data mining and examined the possibilities of open data in areas such as occupational safety and health. 

We design and implement solutions in interaction with customers and other stakeholders. One of the projects we have carried out was the Maailman parasta täydennyskoulutusta – Världens bästa fortblidning project (World’s best continuing education) which increased national cooperation and communality across sectoral boundaries.