Our transformation, which started in 2012, continued undiminished in 2014. This transformation opens new opportunities for Tieto to support society with innovative IT services and solutions. During the year, we also focused on further strengthening corporate responsibility (CR) throughout our operations and value chain. Supporting sustainable development is an important part of our corporate citizenship.
Creating value for our stakeholders is one of our main long-term sustainability goals. The past years’ quality and efficiency measures contributed to further strengthening the financial development of Tieto in 2014, with improved underlying margins. The next stage of our company strategy combines efficiency, innovation and growth. We have broadened our offering portfolio, as well as invested in new offerings in different areas - initiatives that will support our customers to capture the opportunities arising from the ongoing digitalization, and create value for citizens. Our healthcare and welfare solution - Lifecare - is one such example, where a number of new applications and interfaces were launched in 2014 and more are to come. Lifecare key applications are designed for areas such as national interoperability, mobile homecare and eServices for citizens.
We are convinced that IT has an important role to play in supporting sustainable development, also to help mitigate climate change. Based on our own calculations, our digital transaction services and other services replacing paper helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for our customers by 217 594 tons (tCO2) in 2014. A clear example of sustainability by IT solutions.
At the same time, we recognize that increased IT usage and digitalization pose some challenges, such as increased energy consumption. Minimizing our environmental impact is another of our long-term goals as a corporate citizen. Our data centre operations have focused on energy efficiency for many years, and we were one of the first to explore the opportunities of recycling excess heat from data centre servers to warm up buildings. Naturally, we also focus on lowering energy consumption in offices. In 2014, our total indirect energy consumption in business operations decreased by 5% to 120 689 MWh, reaching our yearly target of -3.5%. This development helped to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our operations by 22% compared to the previous year, from 40 834.9 to 31 834.7 tons CO2. Another contributing factor was the reduction of business traveling.
Maintaining a good understanding of our environmental impact is a crucial part of our environmental work. The inclusion of Tieto in CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index in 2014, for the fourth consecutive year and with a score of 98/100, demonstrates our capabilities in this respect.
An IT service company is nothing without its employees. In 2014, our employee engagement index slightly decreased compared to the previous year, from 644 to 621. The transformation of Tieto together with an unexpectedly rapid market change in one of our business areas caused necessary restructuring measurements, which unfortunately affected employees in parts of our operations during 2014, and may have impacted the employee engagement results to some extent. At the same time, the great number of colleagues throughout the company who took part in the survey clearly shows the commitment among employees to contribute to our future direction.
Our sustainability approach is based on the United Nations Global Compact principles, which we have been a signatory of since 2010. In 2014, we renewed this yearly commitment. Our aim is to be an ethical forerunner in society, and during the year we placed a lot of focus in further integrating our ethical business practises into our daily business operations and value chain. Among other things, we strengthened management of CR risks and opportunities in our supply chain. At the end of the year, we launched a new and modern Code of Conduct training for employees.
With the reshaping of Tieto into a competitive, profitable and innovative provider of IT services and solutions, and our increased focus on CR, I’m convinced we are laying the foundation for a solid development of the company in the years to come. We hope this report, our sixth GRI-compliant corporate responsibility report, will answer your questions on how we as a company support a sustainable development of society, and welcome you to contact us for any further requests.
Kimmo Alkio, President and CEO