Goals of responsibility

1. Peace, justice and good governance

The National Archives lays the foundations for the realisation of publicity, transparency, good governance and democracy in Finnish society. It stores and offers official and private materials for the use of researchers, communities and private persons, of which the National Archives has more than 220 shelf kilometres in its possession (approximately more than 2 billion pages).

The effectiveness of the National Archives in accordance with sustainable development increases with digitalisation, as the materials become more and more easily available. The digital and analogue use of the materials describes the development of the activities of the National Archives as a provider of transparent and good governance.

Access to integral data strengthens confidence in the authorities and thus supports civil society and civil peace. Finns trust in the National Archives. A survey entitled “Luottamus&Maine” was conducted in 2019 and 2021, and in both years, the National Archives ranked among the top public bodies in terms of reputation and trust in the organisation.

  Indicators:

  • Use of the National Archives’ electronic materials
  • Documents delivered to the reading room
  • Processed information requests
  • Luottamus&Maine, source T-Media Oy

The reputation of the National Archives 2019 and 2021

Quality education

The National Archives plays a key role in the Finnish research infrastructure. Research lays the foundations for high-quality education. With its information resources reserves, the National Archives enables lifelong and continuous learning. Information and its use both in scientific research and directly in the activities of communities and individuals supports the society’s ability to change, as well as enhancing creative, investigative and responsible action. This National Archives’ footprint in quality education is illustrated by the indicators describing the use of materials presented in Section 4.1.

The National Archives is the largest operator in the field of archives in Finland. As it promotes digitalisation, it also creates new skills in its entire operating environment. To be at the forefront of the provision of our services, we strive for an open, innovative, experimental and effective operating culture.

We also take care of our employees’ work capacity and competence development. A personal learning target related to digitalisation has been confirmed for each member of the personnel. The opportunity to experiment and do things in a new way, as well as to maintain and improve one’s competence, describe how we have succeeded in addressing these internal goals of sustainable development.

  Indicators:

  • Opportunity to experiment and do things in a new way (VMBaro)
  • Support for the maintenance and improvement of competence (VMBaro)

Decent work and economic growth

The National Archives lays the foundations for knowledge-based services and the economy by promoting digitalisation and the availability of open data. By March 2022, the National Archives had digitised 142 million files of archive material in analogue format. In particular, with optical character recognition, digitisation decisively increases the usability of materials. In optical character recognition, the image formed by digitisation is transformed into textual content.

The National Archives has applied optical character recognition to more than 68 million files, 3.2 million of which were handwritten. The National Archives also opens their materials in machine-readable format. However, there is as yet no indicator for the development of these open data.

The personnel of the National Archives feel that their work is relevant. The experience of relevance is important for well-being at work. At the same time, it shows that our work is in line with the goals of sustainable development. We implement and develop equality and parity work, the aim of which is to prevent all forms of discrimination and inappropriate treatment, as well as to promote parity in work. The experience of parity has developed favourably in the National Archives.

  Indicators:

  • Total number of digitised materials 2019–2021
  • Relevance of the work (VMBaro)
  • Progress of equality and parity (VMBaro)

Climate action

In the field of archives, the National Archives serves as an example of a digital approach. With its guidance and services, it supports the authorities’ transition to digital archiving.

Digital archiving reduces the need for the construction and maintenance of agencies, as well as archive rooms for the National Archives. Digital document information is available independently of the location. Digitalisation also reduces paper consumption. On the other hand, as the electronic use of materials increases, so does energy consumption. The National Archives does not yet have an indicator to monitor the overall impact of this significant policy change.

Partnerships for the goals

In its activities, the National Archives promotes cooperation with public and private sector actors, communities and individual citizens. An example of cooperation with the public sector is chargeable document digitisation and organisation projects. Partners in these projects include both the state authorities and municipalities. The projects make an important contribution to enhancing the accessibility and use of information and generating cost savings.

The statutory task of the National Archives is to participate in the development of private archive activities in cooperation with private archive operators. This task is a good example of cooperation between the public and the private sector. The reception of private archives is guided by the procurement policy agreed between the archive operators. This ensures the representativeness of the materials and their appropriate location in the various archives.

The National Archives activates private communities and even individual citizens to participate in its activities, especially in the crowdsourcing projects of voluntary digitisation, optical character recognition and research. These projects strengthen the link between the National Archives and civil society and make the operations of the National Archives more effective.

Research projects carried out by the National Archives increase social understanding. The acquisition of materials and support for research projects deepen our knowledge of the history and social development of our country. The National Archives is also engaged in international solidarity work, in particular by providing shelter for endangered materials from crisis areas.

  Indicator:

  • Increase in the number of private archives 2019–2021

The footprint of the National Archives, i.e. the negative impact of the activities on the environment

The National Archives has branches in Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Oulu, Turku and Vaasa. In addition, the Sámi Archives is located in Inari. In 2021, the National Archives’ employment volume was an average of 225 person-years.

Archive activities are space-intensive. In addition, the preservation of materials requires the energy-intensive management of conditions. As a result, maintaining the property volume consumes a significant amount of electrical and thermal energy. The National Archives uses green electricity, which has significantly reduced the environmental footprint of electricity consumption. Emissions of thermal energy have been falling, thanks to the purchase of emission-free district heat for some of the properties.

A key part of the environmental impact resulting from the personnel is caused by travel. Travel has decreased sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic and the policy changes fuelled by it. Meetings are now attended via remote connections. Our goal is to permanently reduce travel volumes. The most important indicator for achieving this goal is the amount of air travel.

  Indicators:

  • Energy consumption
  • Emissions from energy consumption
  • Emissions from air travel