Neste and Mantsinen paint the town to combat social exclusion

Neste and Mantsinen Group have joined forces to tackle one of society’s most difficult challenges: the social exclusion of young people.

The problem is vast as one in five children in developed countries lives in poverty*. Through the Zero Exclusion campaign, Neste and Mantsinen have pledged to get the voices of these young people heard and raise funds to tackle social exclusion. The campaign brings together young artists from Finland, the home-country for both companies, one of the leading international art galleries and the world’s largest hydraulic harbour crane.

The Zero Exclusion campaign features 42 paintings by three young artists created using a 300-tonne harbor crane fitted with specially-designed paint brushes. Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane-based coating, developed for the campaign by Teknos, was used for the first time in some of the paintings.

The artworks were produced in collaboration with the internationally acclaimed American art gallery, Albright Knox in Buffalo. The paintings will be sold and the proceedings donated in full to the Finland-based charity Hope ry. Through the campaign, Neste and Mantsinen Group aim to raise €50,000 to invest in programs designed to prevent the social exclusion of young people.

“The challenge of social exclusion is huge and tackling it requires a collaborative effort – this is why we are inviting companies to participate. Every young person, no matter where or how they live, should feel that they are an important part of our society. One of the objectives of the Zero Exclusion campaign is to give an unconventional and inspiring voice to the participating young artists,” says Heidi Peltonen, Manager, Sustainable Partnerships at Neste.

“The founders of our company come from modest backgrounds. We want to show that anyone can achieve success, if they are given opportunities for self-fulfilment. Once you have received a helping hand along the way, you want to help others too,” says Mia Mantsinen, CEO of Mantsinen Group.

The common theme of the 42 artworks is hope. The young artists have themselves received support from Hope ry in the past.

“The three of us wanted to participate in this project because we felt it was our turn to give something back for all the help we have received. I love art, and painting with the massive crane will forever remain an experience I will always remember. I hope my work inspires companies to take action and help other young people,” says artist Miia Kuittinen.

The artworks are on display at Bio Rex, Helsinki, between 4–22 December 2019 and online at the Zero Exclusion campaign site. They are available to purchase on the same website.

Zero Exclusion is part of the Journey to Zero project started by Neste to encourage its partners to take part in creating a healthier planet for our children.

*) UN News: One in five children in rich countries lives in poverty, UNICEF ‘wake-up call’ report shows