The Finnish Cultural Foundation’s responsible operating principles derive from its origins: its donors have always represented diverse social backgrounds and values, and have held varying beliefs concerning what forms of culture should be supported. Therefore diversity of values is one of the Cultural Foundation’s pillars, and funds are allocated to mutually divergent, even conflicting activities in the fields of art and research. By financing these fields through grants and through projects, the Foundation contributes to the society’s wellbeing in the long term.
Environmental and climate sustainability comes into play for example in monitoring the carbon footprint of the work carried out by our personnel. Contemporary environmental and climate-related themes are clearly present in the grants awarded by the Foundation, and several own projects have been set up to promote sustainability.
At the Finnish Cultural Foundation, sustainability also means good governance, looking after employees, farsighted asset management, and transparency of the grant process. The Cultural Foundation is a member of the Association of Finnish Foundations and complies with its Code of Conduct.
Responsible governance implies having consistent and reliable application processes. Grant applications are dealt with by grant panels, consisting of the foundation’s trustees as well as experts appointed on an annual basis. Peer evaluations ensure better knowledge and equality in each field, and thanks to the annual rotation of the panels’ experts, no individual can have too strong an influence on grant decisions. The Foundation works to lower the application threshold by offering application guidelines in plain language and audio versions.
Projects that make a difference
The Cultural Foundation runs its own projects to further four major long-term objectives: combating the ideological and material polarisation of society and promoting equality of all kinds; improving the support of the public towards the sciences and the arts; promoting the accessibility of culture, regionally and in the society as a whole; and nurturing endangered cultural heritage. Many projects are directed especially at increasing the wellbeing of children and adolescents.
The Finnish Cultural Foundation has long followed sustainable investment principles. The foundation takes into account environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria in choosing its investments across all asset classes. The sustainability of investments is assessed on a regular basis.
Green Office environmental management system
The Cultural Foundation has used WWF’s Green Office environmental management and certification system since 2021. The system involves tracking and actions related to electricity consumption, travel by personnel and representatives, workplace dining and event catering. The programme was expanded to apply to the regional funds in 2022.