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Passion for sustainability leads to Scania

8 OCTOBER 2018

A lifelong passion for sustainability and a keen interest in the role of responsible sourcing led Rasmus Finnström to Scania.  

For some people, a passion takes hold at a very young age. When he was around six years old, Rasmus remembers that he put solar panels on his toy playhouse. That early fascination with finding solutions to environmental issues, particularly climate change, has only grown. Over time he came to realize that the social and economic aspects of sustainability were equally important for creating a long-term competitive business. That abiding interest in sustainability led Rasmus on a career path to his current job as Sustainability Business Developer at Scania.

After earning his M.Sc degree in Environmental Economics and Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science in Uppsala in 2015, Rasmus wanted to work for a company that shared his commitment to sustainability.

“I knew Scania had a good organizational culture and good core values,” Rasmus says. “I also knew the automotive industry had big sustainability challenges ahead. Recognizing that these challenges also create great opportunities for Scania triggered something within me. I believed that I could make a difference and help Scania create sustainable solutions when facing these challenges.”

Sustainability mindset in purchasing

His first job was with Purchasing, as a sourcing manager for the Swedish market. “Our focus was improving both quality, productivity and sustainability performance in our dealer network, and that was challenging as well as rewarding.”

In 2017, he was hired in his current position, where he supports the Purchasing organization with the tools and methods to make sustainability part of their daily work, including sustainability training. He also performs sustainability audits of suppliers, which he finds meaningful and necessary for supplier development.

“I have an opportunity to help our suppliers improve their sustainability performance, for instance in areas like working conditions and their environmental work,” Rasmus explains.

Making a difference

There are plenty of sustainability opportunities from a supply chain perspective, he adds. The purchasing department has a big impact on Scania’s sustainability focus, according to Rasmus.

“To offer a sustainable end product and solution, we need to secure that we have sourced the materials and components for these products and solutions in a sustainable way,” he says.

“My job is to get all stakeholders to understand that a focus on sustainability is not just a responsibility but also a way forward to create a competitive economically sustainable business,” says Rasmus. “Working with that kind of responsibility is inspiring.”

“My ambition is to always work within the sustainability area,” he adds. “To focus on today’s and future sustainability trends and opportunities is what stimulates me”. “

Engaging with students

Rasmus will share his enthusiasm with other young people on the Scania Student Tour, a road show Scania is staging from September until the end of November 2018 where a truck and trailer combination will pay visits to students all over Sweden.

Rasmus will join the tour in Uppsala and looks forward to talking to students. “It will be interesting for me to hear what students have to say, and their understanding of the global challenges Scania will face. I think the transportation industry is one of the most important industries in tackling the global sustainability challenges we have today. We are part of the problem; we also need to be part of the solution.”

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No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure.

To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?