Mirka's production site in Jeppo, Finland.

Sustainable Mirka - for you and the environment

Our business is focused on providing the best tools and solutions to both surface finishing and the precision industry. To be the most sustainable choice, we are digging deep down to the core of our company to figure out what it really means to be sustainable. We have accomplished a great deal already and have many more initiatives we will take on in the future.

For us at Mirka, it has always been clear to not waste financial or material resources – our own or those of our customers. It is equally clear to preserve the planet’s resources. Sustainability is a natural extension of this approach. It means taking the economy, the earth, and people into consideration when we make business decisions – now and for future generations.

We work hard to conserve energy and raw materials, reduce waste, increase recycling, and decrease the use of persistent chemicals. We develop healthier, safer, and more efficient products and processes for our customers and employees. For example, our dust-free sanding systems help protect the lungs while giving a cleaner and better surface finish.

We have compiled our economic, environmental and social initiatives and achievements in a Sustainability report, also called “Our Clean Commitments”. Under these topics, we describe the development of our corporate sustainability transparently with various KPIs. Read more in our Infographics or Download all material.

About Mirka

Mirka Ltd is a global company and part of the family-owned KWH Group Ltd. Mirka’s business idea is to offer world-leading surface finishing solutions. Our business focuses on our customers’ needs.

The company’s typical customers are, among other things, manufacturers of wood products, automotive manufacturers, and subcontractors, as well as the construction and renovation industry and the composite industry.

For over 75 years, our brand has paved the way for technological breakthroughs in surface finishing, and we continue to shape the industry with our expertise. We follow our company values by being responsible, committed, innovative and respectful.

We offer our customers sustainable solutions that take into consideration the financial, health, technical, and environmental aspects.

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Global Mirka

Mirka is a globally expanding company with 18 subsidiaries located in Europe, Middle East, North and South America as well as Asia. Headquarters are located in Finland, and production facilities are based in Finland, Belgium, and Italy.
We are the sustainable industry shaper in the surface finishing business and a leader within all segments in our market.

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An overview by our CEO

Long-term sustainable development has always been an important and natural part of Mirka’s business. It is an integral part of Mirka’s vision: to be seen by customers and interested parties as the most responsible company. This vision of sustainability is expressed in our Clean Commitments. This means that we strive to manage all parts of our operations and manufacturing with as little impact on the environment as possible and ensure that using our products improves ergonomics and facilitates a healthier work environment.

Health and ergonomics, naturally, also apply to our employees here at Mirka. Over the past years, there has been substantial investment in Health and Safety development and ergonomics, for example, continuously improving Power Tools assembly workstations. For years, our zero-accident policy has led us to continuously improve occupational safety and well-being in the company towards world-class levels.

It is an exciting time for sustainable development. The EU Green Deal really is engineered to support a strong green transformation, and a lot of investments will be channelled to enable even bigger and faster steps of development. Mirka is a founding member of the Sustainable European Abrasives Manufacturer (SEAM) program, where the whole abrasives industry in Europe comes together to lead an even stronger sustainable development.

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New technology saves production energy

For some years now, Mirka has been developing a completely new production method for its abrasives. Not only is this ground-breaking method hugely energy efficient; it also allows for production without hazardous chemicals.

Throughout its history, Mirka has invested a lot in R&D and has also come up with several revolutionary solutions, with dust-free sanding as the most prominent example. Now Mirka is amid taking the biggest technology leap in the company history, with the introduction of a completely new production method. In Mirka’s new machines, the glue that binds the sand grains to the paper is hardened with high-energy curing, instead of with heat as in the old machines.

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“You could compare the old machines to giant paper machines, while the new machines are more like digital printers. The old machines are hundreds of meters long, while the new ones are just 25 metres”, explains R&D Director Mats Sundell.

Less waste through quality campaign

In 2020, Mirka launched a campaign to improve quality and productivity, mainly by lowering the waste in production. As the targets were exceeded, the campaign can be described as a success.

The campaign was launched in early 2020 to the personnel. Two of Mirka’s biggest coated abrasive products were chosen for closer examination – Gold 80 and Gold 320. The goal was to find out in which stages of the production unnecessary waste emerges, and to change the way of working by raising awareness among the employees.

In addition, tangible targets were set for the campaign. The measures should result in savings of 250 000 euros for the two Gold products, as well as in savings of one million euros for all Mirka’s products.

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Automation calls for continuous training

Mirka puts great effort into personnel training, which has become increasingly important. New skills are needed as manual work is replaced by automated processes.
Mirka has always been committed to training its personnel. In recent years, however, training has become even more important. As more and more processes are automated and digitalised, there are constantly lots of new things to learn. At the same time, the focus has shifted from routine manual work towards knowledge and expertise work.
“We really put great effort into training. In addition to training our current employees, we are also constantly hiring new employees to get the right kind of expertise to Mirka”, explains HR Manager Ulla Kauppi.

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Investments in safety and wellbeing pay off

When a new employee starts at Mirka, he or she undergoes very thorough and extensive safety training. Employees in production get an occupational safety card that needs to be renewed every five years.

These are just a couple of examples of how Mirka takes safety issues very seriously. In recent years, even more, the focus has been put on safety, as it is also part of Mirka’s strategy.

In 2020, the safety work was intensified with the launch of the BeSafe campaign. The campaign aimed at raising awareness around safety issues to an even greater extent than before.

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Lower carbon footprint through local purchases

If Mirka is faced with the decision to choose between two different suppliers, that technically and economically are somewhat equal, the company generally favours the supplier that is geographically closer to Mirka’s production facilities in Finland.

Mirka has consistently been working according to this principle for decades already, resulting in a big network of local suppliers. More than half of the raw materials and 30 per cent of the components used by Mirka come either from the Ostrobothnian region or from Finland in general.

This way of working applies to all sourcing at Mirka, from raw materials for abrasives to components for electrical tools. When Mirka first started producing electrical tools a decade ago, the components were first sourced mainly from Asia, but later Finnish suppliers were chosen instead.

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Environmental proactivity around the world

Sustainability and environmental issues are something that concerns the entire Mirka group. This can clearly be seen in the fact that our subsidiaries also follow our principles of clean proactivity and work to achieve development in the field of sustainability.

In 2019, Mirka India partnered with the NGO Give Me Trees trust and launched the Dust Tree campaign in Delhi – one of the most polluted cities in the world. The outline for the campaign was that for every 500 discs of Abranet sold, Mirka India would plant a peepal tree in selected green areas in Delhi.

Mirka Brazil decided to do their part and advocated the strategy that, as the car fleet was renewed, the emphasis would be placed on more environmentally friendly alternatives to cars running on traditional fuels. This meant moving away from diesel and gasoline in favour of biofuel and hybrid vehicles.

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Program setting industry standards in Europe

As a member of the Federation of European Producers of Abrasives, FEPA, Mirka had a central role in the founding of the Sustainable European Abrasives Manufacturer (SEAM) program, which was launched in 2020.

The objective of the SEAM program is to support and assist European abrasive manufacturers on their way towards sustainable growth and sustainability improvements, mostly in production and distribution. The program is organized into the three fundamental pillars of sustainability: environment, labour and economy. To be approved into the program, manufacturers have to meet a series of minimum requirements within these pillars, so for Mirka's part, this came naturally through our commitment to sustainability

The SEAM programs idea is to set a European sustainability standard that pulls the industry upward where it can find the right balance between environmental efficiency, production performance, labour safety for the whole abrasives industry in Europe comes together to lead an even stronger sustainable development.

More information about FEPA: https://fepa-abrasives.org/

More information about SEAM: https://www.seam.earth/

FEPA stands for quality

FEPA serves as a guarantee of quality for customers. By purchasing FEPA-certified products, customers know that the product they are buying will meet specific quality and safety criteria.

European abrasives manufacturers have the highest quality and environmental standards in the world, but this message has yet to reach all customers and interest groups.

This is something that the Federation of European Producers of Abrasives (FEPA)  is working with.  The organisation has approximately 250 member companies, including Mirka. FEPA's President is Mirka CEO Stefan Sjöberg.

As one of the founding members, Mirka is involved in shaping the programme and amongst the first to initiate sustainability reporting according to new criteria. Mirka's quality and safety requirements are already so advanced that, in practice, adherence to the new programme will not require any changes to our operating practices.

Read more about abrasives safety: https://abrasivessafety.com/en-us/

The Mirka Ltd Restricted Materials List (RML) specifies the chemical substances that are classified as "banned", "restricted" and "substances of concern".

Mirka Restricted Materials List (v. 2.0 / 2020)