sustainability, people · 2/12/2020

Neste and Mantsinen’s Zero Exclusion campaign paintings find new homes – companies and people have their own reasons for doing good

Neste Corporation, News, 12 February 2020 at 9 a.m. (EET)

At the end of 2019, Neste and Mantsinen Group joined forces to tackle one of society’s most difficult challenges, the social exclusion of young people, by launching the Zero Exclusion campaign. The campaign featured 42 paintings by three young artists created using a 300-tonne harbor crane fitted with specially-designed paint brushes. The paintings were sold on Zero Exclusion -site and purchased by different companies and individuals. The campaign exceeded the target of raising EUR 50,000 for the Finland-based charity Hope ry in a week’s time.

“It was great to see companies collaborating on this important issue. We wanted to help young people in a concrete way, and it was exciting to see what kind of an outcome we could achieve together with our partners. While digging into the companies and people who bought these paintings, we found out that everyone had their own reasons to support the cause and the young artists. One had a history of doing good, the others saw it as living out company values or helping to attract emerging employees. What is more, it was wonderful to also hear about compassion and other personal reasons for taking part,” says Heidi Peltonen, Manager, Sustainable Partnerships at Neste.

History of doing good

One of the reasons for companies participating in the campaign was that it fit with the company history and culture of doing good. For example Niemi Palvelut, which specializes in moving services, acquired a Zero Exclusion painting for the company headquarters. Business Director Juha Niemi says that the campaign touched a chord for Niemi.

“Social exclusion is a big problem in Finland. We are happy to be able to help out young people and children under the risk of exclusion. Our history of social responsibility goes back decades so if there is a chance to participate in sustainability campaigns and take action, why not do it?,” says Juha Niemi.

Living out company values

Danske Bank also participated in the Zero Exclusion campaign by acquiring one of the paintings. For Danske, Zero Exclusion represents a continuation of the financial group's own corporate responsibility program, involved in economic equality
“Zero Exclusion is in full accord with Danske's values. On a global scale, Finland is a fairly equal country and there are many opportunities for social mobility. Despite the favourable metrics, social exclusion also has a tendency to be inherited,” says Toni Vainikainen, Director of Danske Bank's Eastern Finland Financial Center. 
Vainikainen observes empowering symbolism in Danske's Zero Exclusion painting. “The picture we bought is called Rise. Composed in warm and positive colours, the painting shows that no matter one´s background, we all can do something big.”
Vainikainen says that the Zero Exclusion painting will probably be donated to a school or an organization that works with children and young people. "This is how we can pass on this good story to a bigger audience."

Social Responsibility a channel for engaging in public debate and attracting emerging talents

The Finnish IT company Vincit acquired one of the Zero Exclusion paintings to jazz up the company's Helsinki office. Mikko Bäckström, Head of Marketing and Branding, believes that social responsibility is a good channel for companies to engage in public debate and it can even be a competitive advantage. This holds true especially in the IT industry, where there is fierce competition for emerging talent.

“The next generation is rushing into the job market. This generation appreciates employers who are, so to speak, on the good side.”

Art is a reflection of what matters to you personally

Neste bought one of the paintings with Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane-based coating, which Teknos developed for the project. In addition, Neste’s President and CEO Peter Vanacker also bought a painting for his office. 

“Companies lead by example and they have a huge role to play in society. But I also wanted to do more personally, to contribute and send a message that I stand behind these talented young people and believe in them. An image can tell a million stories, so much more than words. And I felt the stories of the artists were extraordinary – authentic, passionate, full of life and hope. Paintings are not only possessions, they are a reflection of what matters to you,” Peter Vanacker says.

You can read more about the campaign here.

Neste in brief

Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates sustainable solutions for transport, business, and consumer needs. Our wide range of renewable products enable our customers to reduce climate emissions. We are the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, introducing renewable solutions also to the aviation and plastics industries. We are also a technologically advanced refiner of high-quality oil products. We want to be a reliable partner with widely valued expertise, research, and sustainable operations. In 2019, Neste's revenue stood at EUR 15.8 billion. In 2020, Neste placed 3rd on the Global 100 list of the most sustainable companies in the world. Read more: