"Sustainability is the new Tech"
Driven by her passion for sustainability and leadership, Anna Axelsson, CEO of Envima, wants to make a difference and inspire others to think sustainable. We meet Anna to discuss the concept of sustainability, how the industry can reduce its climate impact, and the importance of being responsive to the rapidly changing world. "In the winds of change, we often find ourselves in denial, but that's where we begin our journey towards a better future".
Välkomnande som en strålande sol öppnar Anna dörrarna till Cleantech Park i Linköping där Envima har sitt kontor. Hon visar mig kaffemaskinen och vi smiter in i ett öppet och ljust konferensrum för att ta plats och snacka hållbarhet. Hon börjar med att berätta om hennes resa och hur allting startade.
– I've been working at Envima for almost 3 years. During the pandemic, I had the opportunity to step in as CEO, and I felt that it was an incredibly exciting role. Here, I get to combine the best of two worlds – questions that I'm truly passionate about; sustainability, transition, and the global goals, but I also get to work with leadership, which I have done for many years before and love. My mission is to make the company grow with satisfied customers and happy employees, and it feels like a fulfilling mission, says Anna with a smile
Since its inception in 2001, Envima, an environmental and sustainability consultancy, has always had a strong focus on environmental issues and how to reduce carbon footprint. Back then, Envima primarily worked on assisting its clients with concrete measures such as sampling, ISO certifications, setting up environmental management systems, and creating structures to develop their environmental thinking. Today, in sync with the changing world, Envima has expanded its operations with an overarching focus on sustainability. The social aspects of sustainability have grown, with diversity, inclusion, and gender equality becoming crucial topics. All of this, combined with the development of Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement, the global goals, and strategic sustainability efforts, has led Envima to enhance its expertise – a shift that Anna sees as a positive step.
– Today, we offer a wide range of services where environmental issues still form the foundation. Sustainability has risen to prominence and become the new Tech! It's no longer just an environmental enthusiast within the company who is passionate about sustainability. Now, it's also the management, the board, investors, customers, suppliers, and employees who are interested. Everyone is asking more questions related to sustainability and climate. Investors used to look for cool Tech companies to invest in, but now they're looking for cool companies that can help solve the climate crisis and work on sustainability issues, says Anna.
Challenges and Opportunities in Industrial Environmental Impact
Envima serves various customer segments, but the industrial and energy sectors have long been a stable foundation in their clientele. Since DAZOQ work towards creating a sustainable future for the industrial sector, I'm naturally curious about Anna's thoughts on the most significant environmental impact factors for the industry and how they can be reduced. Anna believes that energy supply, along with logistics, are areas that need to be reviewed and ensured to be operated sustainably.
– One of the major challenges is energy supply, production, and access to electricity. Industries need to consider how they can replace oil and gas with more sustainable alternatives, while also adapting the infrastructure for electrification. We are facing a significant transition towards achieving a fossil-free Sweden, and industries have a crucial role to play in this matter. This is where DAZOQ also plays a vital role. To drive change, you need to understand the current situation through measurements, for instance. Then you can start to observe and analyze; should we replace the machine, or what do we actually need to do? In what areas are we posing risks to the environment, and how should we act to reduce our climate impact?, Anna concludes.
– Logistics is another crucial factor for industries and their environmental impact. It involves considering how much and from where on the globe goods should be transported. Finding possible solutions and strategies to optimize logistics becomes a vital part of sustainability efforts within the industry. Additionally, it's a risk mitigation where industries need to ensure a continuous flow of electricity, parts, components, and deliveries to their customers. By bringing certain activities closer to each other, one can both reduce risks and enhance sustainability, Anna notes.
– Moreover, we mustn't forget that we live in a global world. Sweden is not a small isolated place; how do we measure Sweden's footprint? Is it only what we emit within our country's borders, or do we also have responsibilities beyond them? What about when we purchase items manufactured on the other side of the globe with terrible working conditions and significant emissions? Clearly, we must take responsibility for that as well. I believe that's a challenge, the global society. We have to adapt, set demands, and establish relationships with others, Anna emphasizes.
Leading through inspiration
Anna's enthusiasm for sustainability has permeated the entire conversation, highlighting that the well-being of people, the planet, and businesses holds the same priority in her value matrix. As time flies by, before saying farewell and deciding that we should meet again soon to continue open dialogues about development in the right direction, I ask the last, but perhaps the most important question: What does sustainability mean to you Anna?
– There's nothing more important to me! I'm completely focused on making improvements on as many levels as I can. I try to push forward and not shame or force anyone that we should be better than others; I don't believe in that at all. I try to find ways to inspire and constantly educate myself, seeking new knowledge. In the winds of change, we often find ourselves in denial, but that's where we begin our journey towards a better future, Anna concludes passionately.