Wide range of different stakeholders
Many different parties take an interest in the operations of VR Group because it plays such an important role in society.
Regular cooperation with various stakeholders is important so that VR Group can on one hand respond to their expectations and, on the other hand, improve the conditions for its own business operations.
The stakeholders of VR Group can be roughly divided into three groups: government sector operators, operators related to its business operations, and organisations and other stakeholders interested in the Group's operations. The Group has Finnish and international stakeholders.
VR Group’s government stakeholders are the State of Finland as owner, national and international decision-makers, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and various authorities, with the Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency being the most important of these for the Group’s operations.
Many of the parties involved in the VR Group’s business environment have more than one role. For example the Finnish Transport Agency is both an authority and a customer of the infrastructure operator VR Track.
The entire railway sector – and through this a significant part of the operations of VR Group – is strictly regulated at EU and national level. Regulation is dynamic and continuously changing the business environment in which VR Group operates.
The extensive discussion on the European Union's fourth railway package has played a major role in this process in recent years. Implementing the directive amending EU's first railway package will result in changes in national legislation by extending the powers of the regulatory body monitoring the railway market, specifying the service obligations of railway undertakings and reforming track access charges.
Listening to all customers
Customers, personnel and business partners, such as subcontractors, are VR Group's stakeholders in its business operations. VR Group also has personnel, customers and partners outside Finland. VR's customer loyalty programme Veturi, which has rapidly gained popularity, provides the company with important information and with a platform for communicating with consumer customers and for registering their wishes concerning the development of rail passenger services. Veturi allows VR to reach active customers committed to train travel and to provide them with benefits.
VR Group wants to ensure that its services are accessible to all customers in the same manner. VR has made train travel easier for disabled passengers by introducing new rolling stock and new services. At the moment, there are disabled-friendly train services on nearly all lines. Click here to read more.
VR Transpoint is cooperating with its customers in the development of efficient logistic solutions. The cooperation also involves extensive action programmes in such areas as safety and training. Joint risk surveys help to improve safety in the customers' production plants. The purpose of safety activities is to achieve a better and safer operating environment and better and safer operating practices through continuous improvement.
VR Transpoint's domestic road services are mostly provided by subcontractors (contract carriers). Long-term carrier contracts and an extensive network of carriers ensure reliable and high-quality operations. VR Transpoint always uses partners complying with the requirements of the Act on the Contractor's Obligations and Liability.
VR Track has a large number of subcontractors and material suppliers. VR Track requires that its suppliers and contractors join the Luotettava kumppani (Reliable Business Partner) scheme to ensure that they meet the obligations of the Act on the Contractor's Obligations and Liability. The safety and environmental programmes steering the operations are also binding on the company's material suppliers and subcontractors.
Cooperation between organisations
VR Group takes part in the operations of a number of important organisations in its operating environment. It has closest relations with personnel organisations. VR personnel belong to the Locomotive Drivers Union, Rautatievirkamiesliitto (Union of Railway Officials), Akava, the Trade Union for the Railway section of the trade union JHL, and Rautatiealan Teknisten liitto (Union of Railway Technical Personnel).
VR Group is a member in such organisations as the Confederation of Finnish Industries and Service Sector Employers PALTA. The Group also belongs to the Finnish Business & Society’s (FiBS) network for responsible business.
VR Track Oy is a business member of Infra ry. It also belongs to the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Finland STUL, the Finnish Geotechnical Society, the Advisory Committee for the Civil Engineering Sector MANK, the Finnish Association of Consulting Firms SKOL and the infrastructure, urban planning and training sectoral groups of BuildingSMART Finland.
Pohjola Liikenne is a member in the Finnish Bus and Coach Association and VR Transpoint in the Finnish Transport and Logistics SKAL. Avecra is a member of the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa.
The most important international organisations in the rail sector are the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT). CER represents the interests of the rail sector at EU level. The UIC acts globally as the sector’s cooperation organisation and at a European level as the cooperation forum on technical issues. The International Rail Transport Committee CIT helps in the practical implementation of the COTIF agreement in international rail services. (Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail).
VR Group is an observer in the Organisation for Co-operation between Railways (OSJD), which promotes cooperation between railways in Eastern European countries, CIS countries, China and some other Asian countries. The Group is an affiliated member in the Council for Rail Transport of the CIS States, which coordinates rail services and cooperation between Russia, other CIS countries and the Baltic states.
VR Group is also a member of the Coordinating Council for Trans-Siberian Transportation, which develops and coordinates transportation on the Trans-Siberian railway. VR Group also participates in the work of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), a promoter of sustainable development and innovations and cooperation in the public transport sector.
Regular cooperation with various stakeholders is important so that VR Group can respond to their expectations and, on the other hand, can improve the conditions for its own business operations.