Sustainable and profitable business is the key to solving climate change

President and CEO Kai Öistämö & Chair of the Board of Directors Ville Voipio

Solving climate change and responding to other global megatrends are prerequisites for companies wanting to succeed in the future. Demand recovered and discourse on climate change increased in 2021 even amidst the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to mark the year 2021. The health and safety of our personnel were priorities for us in Vaisala also this past year, and many of our employees kept working remotely to ensure the safety of those employees who cannot work from home due to the nature of their work. In addition to our own actions, we are proud that our instruments have enabled us to also be a part of the solution and help to alleviate the pandemic. We help our customers to ensure optimal conditions in vaccine development, production, and transfer and thus protect people and societies all over the world.

Despite the pandemic, the economy started to recover during the year, shown in customers’ willingness to invest in measurement technology. Our excellent result and net sales demonstrate that even in the uncertain world situation we managed to strengthen our position in the global markets. The component shortage created significant challenges for all companies worldwide, but with active supplier management and operational excellence, Vaisala was able to keep up its delivery capability and even increase market share throughout the year. We served our customers commendably. For this, we want to give our sincere thanks to our personnel globally and especially to our employees in Operations.

For investors, we offer responsible returns and scalable, long-term growth. We raised our growth ambition in 2021, and our updated strategy is to actively seek sustainable growth by solving business-critical challenges for our customers and to aim to the leading position in our selected markets. The success drivers to our strategy are first and foremost our engaged and talented employees as well as product and technology leadership, deep customer understanding and application knowhow, and scalability in high-mix, low volume business.

Vaisala’s business is extremely well-positioned at the core of key megatrends, such as climate change, renewable energy, resource efficiency, and health. Our customers’ will to invest in Vaisala’s solutions stems from our product and solution leadership: we enable them to make business-critical decisions reliably and achieve their own profitability and sustainability targets.

Corporate sustainability is more than carbon neutrality

Sustainability is at the core of Vaisala’s business. We continued integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into our business, and we are committed to the UN Global Compact initiative and its 10 principles regarding human rights, labor standards, environment, and anti-corruption. We strive to ensure human rights in our network, which is imperative for sustainable business in our global world.

Therefore, we are happy to report that our sustainability work gained outstanding recognition during the past year. Vaisala was in fifth place in Sustainalytics’ global ESG comparison covering over 10,000 listed companies. In Finland, private investors voted Vaisala as the most sustainable among Finnish listed companies. Moreover, Vaisala was at the top of Financial Times’ listing of 300 European climate leaders – companies that have decreased their emissions the most during 2014–2019.

Climate change took space in the wider discussion after the sixth IPCC report that highlighted the urgency of the situation. It is no longer enough that a company decreases its own environmental footprint and manages its ESG risks. In this day and age, all companies wanting to succeed in the future need to look at how their business relates to the world’s challenges and to renew their business accordingly. The business itself should have such an impact that it becomes a part of building our planet into a sustainable place to live for all humankind.

Vaisala aims to minimize its own carbon footprint by, for example, continuing to use 100% renewable electricity and emphasizing energy efficiency in all its facilities. Even more importantly, however, Vaisala participates in understanding, mitigating, and adapting to climate change through its business. Firstly, our weather measurement technology helps experts and scientists to understand the phenomenon. Secondly, we mitigate climate change by helping customers to decrease their emissions and use our planets’ scarce resources more efficiently as well as by providing solutions for cost-effective production of renewable energy. Thirdly, through our weather observation solutions, we increase companies and societies’ capabilities to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather.

To have a long-term positive impact on humankind, our business needs to be both sustainable and profitable.

"It is no longer enough that a company decreases its own environmental footprint and manages its ESG risks. In this day and age, all companies wanting to succeed in the future need to look at how their business relates to the world’s challenges and to renew their business accordingly."

Research and development is the cornerstone of our success

To keep our market leader position and to create innovations for the world’s needs also in the future, we invest significantly in research and development. In 2021, these investments constituted 13% of our net sales.

In the spring of 2021, we opened a world-leading R&D center in Vantaa, Finland. The new building supports our growth ambitions, functioning as the springboard for our continuous innovations. The center houses approximately 40 top-of-the-line specialized laboratories, all of which provide preeminent working environments for our experts. Furthermore, Vaisala is deeply engaged with selected universities and scientific research institutes around the world, which enables us to stay at the forefront of relevant technologies.

We serve our customers comprehensively, building cutting-edge measurement instruments and focusing increasingly on digital solutions, such as recurring revenue business models. Announced in the beginning of 2022, our acquisition of the US-based AerisWeather, subscription-based software company providing weather and environmental information, also supports this.

Employees form the backbone of a healthy company

Engaged and talented employees make Vaisala’s success, and they have done tremendous work also during these past two exceptional years. We are very happy that our people have remained engaged and motivated also during these challenging times.

While the pandemic has accelerated more flexible working practices, it has also generated new challenges. We established a Future of Work project group to understand what Vaisala’s employees want from their work in the future and started to develop guidelines for future working practices. In the fall, we saw more and more employees gradually moving back to the office only to reverse back to remote work as the COVID-19 situation deteriorated towards the end of the year. The learnings from the new hybrid ways of working during the autumn as well past years will enable us to find the optimal working practices in the rapidly evolving situation.

The well-being of our employees is critical also going forward. We drive to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work community and in society. We started the development work in 2021 by founding a work group and expanding our employee survey with questions on the topic. This subject is increasingly integral for us, and we will focus on it in 2022 and onwards. Diverse thinking, appreciative culture, and engaged employees are the foundation of a more equal society, new innovations, and companies’ performance.

The future is built together

The year 2021 was filled with lots of great stories and highlights that are depicted in this report. One of these was the triumphant Mars journey of our technology, together with the Finnish Meteorological Institute. In February, the Perseverance rover landed on the Red Planet, sending its first successful measurements during the spring. Our space journey is an excellent reflection of the Vaisala spirit. It is a testament to the reliable quality of our products and product development, and it brought our proud employees together even remotely, which was more important than ever in these exceptional times.

With this focus, we continue developing the most reliable measurement technology to solve global challenges. We do this by serving our customers with the best product and application expertise as well as by providing our personnel with development opportunities and work with a purpose. Together, we will continue to build a more sustainable future also in 2022 and beyond.


Ville Voipio
Chair of the Board of Directors

Kai Öistämö
President and CEO