My role in sustainability: Ensuring good working conditions and compliance for global suppliers

I work as a category manager in customer mill and construction site procurement at Valmet’s Operational Development team. I have been working twenty years at Valmet in various roles, such as in site planning and cost estimation, production, procurement, and sales development.

My work is very global and involves site subcontracted works, site leased workforce and site management services. My work is strongly connected to people and sustainability and can be seen in ensuring the safety and wellbeing aspects of our own and sub-employees, making sure that everyone has good conditions to work, and fulfilling the compliancy requirements in site location.

Following the instructions, laws, and other country-specific requirements

I work to make sure that everyone operates according to country-specific instructions, laws, and other requirements. This also applies to subcontractors who are part of our site organization in different countries. We have a lot of subcontractors from different cultures, countries, and companies, and it is important that everyone respects each other and follows the common instructions for example on safety, environment and global mobility related aspects.

When it comes to our suppliers and sub-contractors, we familiarize them with Valmet’s HSE manual and policy to integrate the same operations for everyone. We have also implemented events called Contractor HSE days, where we collect feedback and align safety commitments with our key site suppliers together with the end customer. Lately the majority of the Contractor HSE days have been organized remotely, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Covid-19 has changed my work a lot in other ways too, as it is essential to protect our people and keep the projects running, for example the medical risk assessment for Covid-19 is required from everyone who is travelling for global assignment. This is made to protect the person and the local community in the site location.

Sustainably made products with a long lifetime

In general, I see sustainability as a basis for all our work, as we must ensure that there will be enough resources for future generations, too. Our mindset for sustainable operations is very focused at Valmet because it is part of our strategy, as well as a requirement for our competitiveness. Our products need to be sustainably made with a long lifetime and we need to deliver our projects on a sustainably compliant way as well.

We focus on resource efficiency, for example by using local resources and decreasing the business travel, as it benefits the local societies. In the future, I hope that we can use the latest technology as a tool to control our sites also remotely by increasing digitalization and artificial intelligence at mill sites. By this we can reduce the amount of travel remarkably and the site data is available for wider group of people.

Sustainability is the biggest driver for change

When I think about how my work has changed in recent years, sustainability is the biggest driver. On a personal level, I think about the need for travelling a lot more and have increased remote working for the sake of the environment and my own wellbeing.

At the workplaces, we have started to recycle more, invested in our safety equipment and increased awareness, which have guided our employees’ actions to the right direction. Sustainability as a topic is discussed a lot in our team and we share tips and challenge each other for a more sustainable lifestyle, on topics such as food and commuting.

Valmet’s mission is to convert renewable resources into sustainable results, which I have always found very inspiring. I want to enable this mission together with the suppliers by performing in sustainable and compliant ways at the customer sites.