Sandvik: Building sustainability into upstream supply chain
According to figures from Sandvik’s 2022 Annual Report, the business of sustainable manufacturing and mining machinery is booming. The high-tech engineering group supplies new solutions to industries to support their actions in these areas, which will also help them reach their sustainability goals.
However, it’s about more than just machinery as the company is now delivering a new sustainability strategy that will allow further impact in the future while also ensuring commercial success for Sandvik and the users of its solutions.
In September 2023, the company made a significant update to its sustainability shift strategy, which was originally brought to public attention in 2019. This also aligns with how the structure of the organisation has evolved as Sandvik Materials Technology was separated from the Group and listed on Nasdaq Stockholm as a business called Alleima. Alongside this further businesses were acquired by the company, making sustainability a crucial strategy for its growing business.
“We are leaning on the good work that has already been done,” says Mats W Lundberg, Head of Sustainability, Sandvik.
“But the field of sustainability is evolving. It is becoming more mature with new legislation and increasing customer, shareholder and employee expectations. We need to evolve with it and meet the new demands.”
The Key focus areas of Sandvik Group’s sustainability strategy include:
- Sustainable solutions – An emphasis on closely aligning with customers and their businesses, pioneering change through engineering
- Ecosystem regeneration – Sandvik’s innovative approach to collaborating with partners throughout the value chain, focusing on revitalising diverse ecosystems, promoting responsible water management, and mitigating pollution
- Circularity and resource optimisation – The objective encapsulates the aspiration to achieve greater output with fewer resources and to embrace resource efficiency as a fundamental mindset
- Net Zero Commitment – Sandvik pledges to attain science-based net zero targets, which received approval from the Science Based Targets Initiative in September 2023
- People and Communities Engagement – Sandvik’s approach to its interactions with the communities in which it operates and provides its products
- Responsible Business Practices – commitment to conducting ethical and responsible operations across the entire value chain.
Sandvik solutions for the sustainable industry
As an organisation that covers a number of industry practices, and is heavily involved in early-stage supply chain activities, Sandvik is digging deeper to create more value for businesses through its mining and machinery solutions. Taking a leading role in decarbonising its supplies from the top, Lundberg explains how the business will generate value across multiple facets.
“We have focused much more on our contribution and how our businesses create value”, says Lundberg. “The new strategy is connected to the Sandvik purpose of advancing the world through engineering, it is forward leaning and shows that Sandvik wants to be a positive driving force.”
Lundbergy is also correct in saying that raw material is one of the primary components of all value chains, whether that involves the production of goods or machinery to ensure services are provided sustainably.
“For any product to be truly sustainable, the entire value chain needs to be sustainable, from raw material sourcing to the manufacturing and usage of the products,” says Lundberg. “And we operate in important and relevant areas here; the mining and processing of raw materials and the machining. If we can contribute with sustainable solutions in these areas we can have a massive impact on sustainability outside of our own operations.”
McKinsey & Company research states the mining industry generates between 1.9 and 5.1 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) every year. These emissions originate from all of the major resources required to sustain consumer product industries, but also those that are critical for providing sustainable electricity and clean-energy-driven solutions to transport. An example of this being the use of cobalt, nickel, and lithium in the electric vehicle (EV) sector as major components in platform batteries.
As the global demand for raw materials grows, the pressure on mining, rock excavation, drilling, and cutting processes is forever impactful to the emissions embedded in their supply chain. Understanding how crucial this stage is to the reduction of overall emissions in the atmosphere, therefore the ability to reach net zero, will allow greater impact on the environment moving forward.
Source SustainabilityOctober 20, 2023