We believe companies play a key role in solving global challenges in a sustainable way.
Heli Kerminen, Director, Sustainable Investments, Tesi

Tesi and C&S

Together Towards More Sustainable Investing

10/02/2021

Tesi expects sustainability from its investment targets. Castrén & Snellman helps Tesi achieve its sustainability goals. 

It is increasingly important for law firms to be able to support their clients’ sustainability work.

One good example is the long-term collaboration between Tesi, or Finnish Industry Investment Ltd, and Castrén & Snellman, in which sustainability has grown in significance year by year.

‘We expect our partners to help us achieve our sustainability goals. To do that, they need expertise in and insight into sustainability issues and the developing regulatory environment’, said Heli Kerminen, a director at Tesi.

Kerminen is responsible for developing the sustainability and impact of Tesi’s investment activities.

Among other projects, C&S advised Tesi when it participated in Swappie’s 35-million-euro investment round last year. Swappie refurbishes and sells recycled phones. Its goal is to operate in 18 countries by 2023.

Investments Totalling 250 Million Euros in 2020

Tesi is a Finnish is a state-owned investment company investing in venture capital and private equity funds and directly in growth companies.

In 2020, Tesi invested a total of 250 million euros. Investments into nine private equity funds made up 82 million of that sum, and 39 million euros were invested into 20 growth companies. In addition, Tesi gave a 65-million-euro investment commitment to the KRR IV fund-of-funds, which it manages, and invested a total of 63 million euros into 24 companies through its COVID-19 stabilisation programme and Venture Bridge programme.

Tesi was founded in 1995. Kerminen divides the company’s history into three stages: the first stage focused on building the Finnish venture capital and private equity market, the second on internationalisation and the third began in 2019 with a new strategy that shifted the focus onto social impact.

‘Sustainability is one of our key operating principles and an integral part of our investment and decision-making processes. We encourage companies to grow sustainably by sharing information and expertise with them’, Kerminen said.

‘We believe that Finnish companies have a key role to play in finding sustainable solutions to global challenges.’

A Circular Economy Programme to Promote Sustainable Growth

Sustainability can be seen in many parts of Tesi’s operations.

Based on the work Tesi has done with the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Tesi created a circular economy programme, which is an investment  programme focused on responsible and sustainable growth.  The goal of the programme is to promote the circular economy, support the growth and internationalisation of target companies and promote impact investing. Tesi has dedicated 75 million euros to the programme.

Tesi’s core mission is to support the growth and internationalisation of companies. Tesi’s mission is also to highlight and promote sustainable investing.

‘We look at the impacts that our investments have on the environment and on society. Profit is not enough for Tesi, we expect investment targets to operate sustainably and to have a positive impact on society’, Kerminen said.

Tesi also encourages its portfolio companies to develop sustainable products, services and business models.

‘A great example of a sustainable business model that is going global is Swappie. Swappie sells refurbished smartphones. This reduces harmful environmental impacts by extending the lifecycle of smartphones and also provides social benefits by putting affordable phones on the market’, Kerminen said.

A Forerunner of Sustainable Legal Services

Castrén & Snellman is a forerunner of sustainable business practices in the legal services industry.

In 2020, C&S was the first Finnish law firm to join the UN Global Compact, which is the world's largest sustainability initiative.

Sustainability is not just a part of C&S’s own activities, but also a part of the work it does for its clients and of the impact it has on society.

‘We help our clients build sustainable success stories and achieve their sustainability goals’, said C&S’s Head of Sustainability, Partner Anna Kuusniemi-Laine.

The Team

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