To slow down the climate change is a very suitable objective for many public entities such as the Tax Administration. The real property and building units of the Finnish Tax Administration all have a recently drafted environmental program, and commitments have been made to pursue a selected set of criteria of the Green Office agenda promoted by the World Wildlife Fund.
The applicable criteria are especially oriented towards reduction of paper and electric power consumption, and additionally towards the cutting down of travel and waste management costs. Furthermore, Tax Administration staff will be trained to be more conscious of ecological effects. As regards procurement and purchasing, close attention will be paid to the environmental impact of product lifecycles.
It is the objective of the Tax Administration to conserve nature in connection with all its daily operations and activity. The Green Office logo and diploma were awarded in 2009 already to the Regional Tax Office of Northern Finland, to Large Taxpayers' Office and to the central office of the Tax Administration. After that in November 2010, The Green Office logo and diploma were awarded to the entire administration – including its all units and offices.
Online services offered to taxpayers help reduce CO2 emissions
As paper printing, paper filing and distribution now have a lesser role than previously, emissions of carbon dioxide are bound to go down. Up to the present time, it has been measured that the Tax Administration's activities causing the most serious ecological harm have been related to paper consumption, energy efficiency and road traffic emissions.
From the viewpoint of ecological accountability, the main concern at the Tax Administration is our indirect responsibility for our taxpayer-customers' business, especially if attention is drawn to certain sectors of business. Some aspects of corporate taxation may offer us opportunities or tools with which we can influence the taxpayers' business decisions to encourage more environment-friendly outcomes.
Further, the Tax Administration can advance ecological sustainability through paperless tax assessment and through the modern e-services that are available to taxpayer customers on the Web. A commitment with the Baltic Sea Action Group has already been made. The Tax Administration has made a pledge in 2010 to help conserve the Baltic Sea.
In spring 2009, the Finnish government has set a guideline for all public service entities setting out a requirement to formulate specific environmental agendas. In this way, environmental conservation programs or systems should be in place as of 2010 in Finnish public bodies. From the point of view of economy, we support the Green Office program, which can also be seen as an economical process that will drive down the need of financial resources, because saving energy also saves expenses.
We are committed to:
Reduce the following resource uses 2017–2025:
- Electric power, reduction 7.5%
- Paper consumption, reduction 30%
- Travel, reduction 32%. The use of environment-friendly means of transportation will be promoted. Public transportation for commuter traffic is not only strongly recommended but also subsidized via issuing employer-provided bus tickets.
- Office waste, reduction 18%
- Individual customers applied online for 1,316,000 provided withholding certificates.
- As many as 837,000 individuals used the Tax return on the Web (Veroilmoitus verkossa).
- Small-business employers used our www.palkka.fi to facilitate payroll accounting and wage payment with a total sum of €1.2 mrd million in paid wages.
- The number of hits at Vero.fi/www.tax.fi reached 23,000,000.
Timeline of actions to conserve the environment:
WWF and the Finnish Tax Administration agree on the Green Office project.
Green Office logo and diploma are granted to Regional Tax Office of Northern Finland, Large Taxpayers’ Office, and the central office.
Tax Administration, the Ministry of Finance and WWF arranged a media conference in June to promote the Tax Administration's corporate image as a responsible public entity prepare to take action in terms of protecting the environment. The newly created office bicycle scheme was presented, in which the employer lends free bicycles to tax officials working at the Haapaniemenkatu office who need to visit other units in Helsinki.
The Tax Administration and other agencies of the central government arranged an afternoon event on 18 December 2012 called ”The administration's role in the fight against climate change — Valtionhallinnon rooli ilmastonmuutoksen torjunnassa”. The objective of the afternoon session was to strengthen the network of cooperation.
Facts about the Tax Administration:
Number of employees in 2016: 4,900 (in statistical full-time equivalents).
Working together with:
- WWF Green Office — environmental programs
Baltic Sea Action Group foundation
- The Finnish Tax Administration, Verohallinto, wants to be a responsible corporate entity in terms protecting the environment. An administrative giant can show its positive attitude. The future of the Baltic Sea is connected with the global effort to combat climate change.
Person to contact:
Director in charge and Coordinator of the Green Office project at Finnish Tax Administration,
Mr. Keijo Vehmas, (+35829) 512 000 /switchboard