UPM Plywood provided local elderly care with 50,000 protective face masks

Story 10.7.2020 10:00 EEST


hopearanta1_16x9.jpgUPM Plywood mill directors were warmly welcomed when delivering face masks to local elderly care centers or home care services in Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Savonlinna and Kouvola as part of the UPM’s Biofore Share and Care programme.


"There have been challenges in the availability of protective equipment all over the world and also here in Savonlinna," says Tommi Takanen, Director of UPM Savonlinna plywood mill. “We feel it is important for us, as a local operator, to be involved in supporting members of our community in the fight against the coronavirus. There would have been many suitable targets in our area for this support, but we wanted to use it for the benefit of the elderly. We selected two non-profit communities that provide nursing homes for the elderly”.

Although Covid-19 infections are currently under control in Finland, personal protective equipment is still used when nursing people in risk groups.

“We are extremely grateful for this support, as using face masks is one of the most important ways, in addition to hand washing, to protect residents from coronavirus infection. Residents have not been outside the nursing home for many months and have stayed healthy, so protecting them is very important”, says Marja Arffman from Hopearanta elderly care centre in Savonlinna.

“In accordance with the instructions of the regional hospital district, nursing staff still use protective equipment throughout the shift. The face mask must always be replaced if it is removed for any reason, for example when eating and drinking. I believe that face masks will be needed for the time being, therefore this support is really necessary”.

In Joensuu the face masks were delivered to municipal elderly home care.

“In our region, we have an average of 600 clients in home care every day, and the home care staff usually visits them twice a day. This means a total of 40,000 home care visits a month. During home visits, we use 700-800 masks daily”, tells Service Manager Soili Särmä.

“We were pleased and grateful to receive this social responsibility support from UPM to help us protect our customers from the coronavirus. In addition to supporting our nursing work, this is also of great financial importance to our local home care unit”, Särmä emphasizes.

In cooperation with local communities

During this spring UPM has been active in sourcing the masks for the use of its employees’ and contractors’ and provided also its sourcing expertise for the common good. In addition to this pro bono work, the company has offered each production site 10,000 masks to be distributed to a locally chosen cause. In total, 500,000 masks are available for this purpose. The masks meet the requirements set for EN standard Type I products.  

Also, our UPM Otepää plywood mill in Estonia and UPM Chudovo plywood mill in Russia have provided the local health care with face masks.

UPM is involved in many community projects supporting sustainable development and the prosperity and welfare of the communities in which we are active. The activities are coordinated through the Biofore Share and Care Programme. During the Covid -19 pandemic the programme has contributed to common good through sponsorships, donations, in-kind contributions and bro bono voluntary work, and the valuable work continues.

Read more: Covid -19 support for local communities