Security of supply in Finland

Security of supply means preparation for potential crises and disruptions and continuity management by way of safeguarding critical functions so that society, the private sector and the population can continue to operate safely.

The security of supply of Finland is built upon a functional market and a competitive economy. However, the market alone does not necessarily have the capacity to maintain the economic and technical basic functions of society in the event of disruptions and emergencies. This is why security of supply work is needed to maintain preparedness for keeping the critical functions of society functioning as normally as possible during exceptional circumstances. In Finland, security of supply is safeguarded collaboratively between the public, private and third sectors.

A functional society is not something to be taken for granted

Finland is an economically and technologically advanced society. Finnish citizens can buy food and beverages from shops and restaurants, are supplied with electricity from the electrical grid and water from the water supply network, pay for goods and services using systems provided by banks and have access to high-quality health care services. These are all examples of functions that fall within the sphere of security of supply.

The objectives and methods of security of supply work must be determined in a way that takes into account the special characteristics of Finland, which include a cold climate, a remote location, dependence on maritime transports, an energy-intensive economic structure and long transportation distances. In addition to these, factors such as globalisation, changes in ownership and business structures and technological advancements also pose challenges for the safeguarding of security of supply.

Collaboration between public and private operators

In a networked society, preparing for threats necessitates both material preparedness and safeguarding the continued operation of organisations critical to security of supply.

In Finland, state and municipal authorities have a statutory duty to prepare for emergencies and disruptions. Companies participate in these efforts primarily on a voluntary basis, meaning that their preparation is based on business grounds, agreements made with customers and associated risk management.

The National Emergency Supply Agency engages in extensive cooperation with Finnish authorities, the private sector and the third sector. Together with the National Emergency Supply Organisation’s sectors and pools, the National Emergency Supply Agency coordinates the objectives and benefits of society and the private sector in regard to preparation measures.

The National Emergency Supply Agency’s role is to coordinate, promote and facilitate security of supply work in areas that are considered critical to security of supply. As regards stockpiling, the National Emergency Supply Agency is tasked with working with relevant organisations to maintain sufficient buffers of grain and oil, for example. The purpose of these buffers is to buy time for societal and private sector operators to activate their own contingency plans.

The methods and tools of security of supply are being constantly developed

Finland has plenty of strengths that help it maintain national security of supply. These include rich natural resources, a good food production capacity, advanced health care and educational systems and a well-functioning physical and electric infrastructure.

The national economy is Finland is extensively integrated into the global economy. This integration exposes it to emerging risk factors arising as a result of internationalisation, the network economy and technological advancements, which is why the methods and tools of security of supply are being constantly developed. In the 21st century, security of supply has started to focus not only on material preparedness, but on ensuring the continued operation of organisations and networks that uphold critical production and systems – i.e. continuity management.