Sustainability, customers & employees
Our productivity improvement program, along with our digital offering and exceptional tool life, increase customers’ productivity and efficiency while reducing energy, emissions and waste.
Sandvik is an industry leader within material recycling. A customer buy-back program has been in place since the early 1990s, whereby we reuse the materials from used cemented carbide tools. Our Wolfram division is a world leader in cemented carbide recycling and over the past three years it has significantly increased the recycling rate of tungsten. Our recycling efforts have extended to our packaging where we have a program to identify solutions based on non-fossil materials. Sandvik has also been instrumental in the development of vegetable-oil lubricants, which help promote a healthier work environment when working with moving machine components, for example.
Efforts continue within our own operations to reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions through various initiatives, such as replacing conventional oil with non-fossil solutions. A global clean electricity solutions initiative is underway to identify how to best transfer to clean and carbon-free electricity solutions. We have a “Green Factory” program in place for Sandvik Coromant with focus on reducing carbon emissions, increasing recycling rates and implementing energy improvements at sites. Yearly targets for energy efficiency improvements are defined and followed up by all divisions.
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Harald Kissel, R&D manager, is passionate about the opportunities that additive manufacturing in metal can bring – like being able to print custom-made medical implants.
Employer of choice
We work proactively to attract people with the competencies necessary to support our transition to Industry 4.0 and the selling of total machining solutions. We offer a flat organizational structure and a modern way of working that is attractive for that type of talent. In addition to recruiting people with skills and know-how in robotics, artificial intelligence and digitalization, we are acquiring these skillsets through our strong acquisition agenda. We also continue to develop strong and diverse leadership skills, which have become even more crucial as remote work increases.
Health and safety continues to be our number one priority and in 2020 we supported employees working from home and promoted health and safety when at our sites. We put extra focus on the non-routine risk areas. For example, Sandvik Coromant initiated events to increase the focus on hazards reporting in order to prevent incidents. Activities were also held to improve the quality of investigations related to injuries with an emphasis on sharing and learning between sites.
In July, a tragic accident occurred at our plant in Gimo, Sweden, in which two employees lost their lives. We collaborate with authorities to investigate the cause of the accident. Our thoughts are with the relatives and close colleagues of the deceased.
In addition to physical health and safety, the psychological health of our employees is on our agenda. With so many employees working from home in 2020, we put extra emphasis on providing the right tools and keeping them connected emotionally. Psychological well-being is a big part of our safety meetings where we encourage everyone to speak up, give their opinion and ask questions. We conducted employee surveys to find out how employees felt working from home and how we could support them. We offered online motivational training and developmental training, and diversity awareness training for managers.
In our employee survey, the engagement rate improved to 80 percent (77 in 2018). Our scores improved more or less for all dimensions and in particular in employee health and welfare, which increased from 77 to 84 percent.
Customer’s first choice
Delivering on time, being readily available and providing added value to customers are a few of the ways we aim to be the customer’s first choice. Having a strong digital presence enabled us to effectively address all of these areas while facing the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our digital offering adds customer value. Our sensor-embedded tools, for example, ensure higher efficiency in our customers’ workplaces.
Sandvik aims to lead the industry and become the customer’s first choice within sustainability. We are providing customer solutions that raise performance, reduce setup times and cut down on energy consumption. Our Wolfram smelter has conflict-free certification and we support our customers in fulfilling the obligations of the US Dodd Frank Act as it relates to supplies from conflict-affected areas.