2020 – a remarkable year to remember

Raimo Voipio, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Kai Öistämö, President and CEO

Vaisala’s work towards its mission Observations for a better world continued throughout the year, marked by the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

For several reasons, the year 2020 will go down in history. As we write this annual review, the content looks rather different than what we anticipated in the beginning of 2020. The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted societies, organizations, and – above all – people and families across the world. Vaisala was no exception.

Vaisala’s main priority during the pandemic was to ensure business continuity while at the same time secure the health and well-being of our employees globally. Many of our employees started working remotely to ensure both their own safety and a safe working environment for those colleagues whose roles required presence in Vaisala premises. Furthermore, our teams developed several new ways of serving our customers virtually. Two good examples include remote Factory Acceptance Tests and augmented reality (AR) customer service.

The year 2020 was twofold. Even though it was challenging in many ways, Vaisala’s overall performance was good. The restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down order intake, whereas we could see how trust in the global economy recovered in the second half of 2020. Despite the fluctuating demand, we managed to keep up our profitability and maintain our global delivery capability. This would not have been possible without the flexibility and innovativeness of our 1,900 experts globally. Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to thank the Vaisala team for its dedication, effort, and support throughout the year.

In addition to combating the COVID-19 pandemic in our own business operations, we contribute to the fight with several of our products. These comprise our continuous monitoring system used, for example, for monitoring vaccine development, production, and storage facilities as well as other instruments, such as our probes for measuring hydrogen peroxide vapor and utilized for sterilization of devices and spaces, such as laboratories. The examples illustrate well the important, needed, and continuously growing role that reliable measurements play in tackling major global societal and environmental challenges.

“As the global market leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, we see that the requirements for accurate and reliable data will only increase, serving as a source for new growth and innovation opportunities.”

On a quest for a sustainable future

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major part of a larger global megatrend: well-being and health. Our business is additionally intertwined with several other megatrends affecting our planet. These include, for example, climate change, digitalization, urbanization, resource efficiency, and circular economy.

We continue our commitment both to the UN Global Compact as well as to those UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that hold the highest relevancy for Vaisala. In 2020, we took important steps to further integrate these SDGs into our business plans and product development. In both of our business areas, sustainability and addressing the global megatrends are key elements.

Through our products and solutions, we help customers to make informed decisions and act upon the greatest challenges of our time. They can understand, adapt to, and mitigate climate change as well as
save energy and natural resources.

Moreover, we strive to continuously improve sustainability in our own business practices. We are proud to say we reached our target of utilizing 100% renewable electricity in our premises by the end of 2020, which demonstrates our dedication to environmental sustainability in our business. Furthermore, we are committed to respecting human rights, promoting diversity and equality, ensuring occupational health and safety, and preventing corruption. This commitment includes both our own operations and our network of global partners.

Year of proven technological achievements

During the year, Vaisala launched new products both in the Weather and Environment as well as Industrial Measurements business area, including openings in the digital realm. The key launches of the year are presented in the Highlights chapter of this annual report.

In July 2020, technology by Vaisala and the Finnish Meteorological Institute once again took off to space and headed towards Mars. Our technology is known to be reliable and accurate also in the most demanding conditions. It is an honor that our pressure and relative humidity sensors, utilized in a multitude of applications on Earth, have been selected for planetary exploration to provide information on the conditions of the Red Planet.

Moreover, Vaisala’s multigas instrument MGP261 for the biogas industry, launched in 2019, was awarded in the Finnish Quality Innovation Awards in November 2020. The instrument measures biogas quality and improves biogas energy production significantly. Winning the Circular economy and carbon neutrality innovations category, this serves as a strong example of our commitment to new innovations that contribute to a more sustainable future.

The foundation for our reliable and accurate products and technologies lies in our science-based approach and strong investments in R&D and innovation. In 2020, we invested 14% of our net sales in R&D. As we enter 2021, our new state-of-the-art innovation center in Vantaa is opening its doors for ideation and co-creation by our R&D employees, customers, and partners. We are curious and excited to see what new inventions this will bring.

Change of President and CEO

In late 2020, Kjell Forsén handed over the responsibility as President and CEO of Vaisala after 14 successful years in the company to his successor, Kai Öistämö. Öistämö joined the company on October 1, 2020.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to once more thank Kjell Forsén for his valuable contribution to significantly develop and grow the Vaisala business.

Raimo Voipio, Chairman of the Board of Directors


Towards future growth and innovations

Throughout its history of 85 years, Vaisala has been a forerunner in science-based innovations. As the global market leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, we see that the requirements for accurate and reliable data will only increase, serving as a source for new growth and innovation opportunities.

We are committed to finding novel ways of making our planet safe and sustainable for future generations, continuing our high investments in R&D and strong collaboration with scientific community, customers, and other partners.

Closing this remarkable year, we want to thank our employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders for their valuable contribution and collaboration in 2020. We look forward to writing the next chapters of Vaisala’s story together with you.


Raimo Voipio
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Kai Öistämö
President and CEO