How Sandvik is Embracing Sustainable Manufacturing & Empowering Workforce: Helen Blomqvist

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Helen Blomqvist

In April 2023, Helen Blomqvist, the esteemed President of Sandvik Coromant, visited Sandvik Coromant’s Indian operations in Pune. This journey provided her with a firsthand experience of India’s vibrant manufacturing landscape and a unique opportunity to witness the company’s commitment to making a positive impact. From fostering sustainable practices to promoting an inclusive workforce and prioritizing the upskilling of employees, Sandvik Coromant, under Helen’s leadership, is taking bold steps towards creating a lasting difference in sustainable manufacturing.

Sustainable development goals (SDGs) lie at the core of Sandvik Coromant’s mission, and their commitment to driving positive change is particularly evident in their endeavours in India. During her visit, Helen was captivated by the remarkable emphasis on sustainability throughout the country, with many local and national projects propelling the manufacturing sector towards a greener future.

Striving for Sustainability: Accelerating India’s Manufacturing Trajectory

In March 2023, Sandvik Coromant achieved a significant milestone by inaugurating a cutting-edge wastewater treatment plant at Talawade Garden in Pune. This marked the fourth collaborative endeavour between Sandvik Coromant and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to address the pressing issue of untreated sewage waste. In Pimpri-Chinchwad, a city known for its development and industrial prominence in Maharashtra, a substantial volume of wastewater flows through the drainage system, contributing to surface water and groundwater pollution. To combat this environmental challenge, Sandvik Coromant India has diligently worked alongside PCMC to install regional wastewater treatment plants, facilitating water recycling and reuse. Thanks to these concerted efforts, a staggering 9.1 million liters of wastewater can now be repurposed, benefitting four gardens in the area.

Sandvik Coromant’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond wastewater management. In recent years, the company has collaborated with Green Yatra, a leading non-profit organization in India, to develop a magnificent Miyawaki forest in Pune. Sandvik Coromant has planted 6,000 saplings through this collaboration, expected to flourish into a thriving Miyawaki Forest. This initiative is a testament to the company’s dedication to environmental conservation and biodiversity enhancement, contributing to the greening of Pune’s urban landscape.

Sandvik Coromant’s Electrification Partnerships: Recognizing the importance of electrification in improving the well-being of urban communities, Sandvik Coromant has embarked on electrification schemes in India. The company has forged a strategic partnership with Krushi Vikas, an organization committed to community development. Together, they strive to bring electricity to three villages in Jalgaon, an aspirational district. By working in tandem, Sandvik Coromant and Krushi Vikas aim to uplift these communities, providing them access to a vital resource that will enhance their quality of life.

Empowering Women in Manufacturing: Paving the Way for Inclusivity

Helen’s interaction with female shift workers in production sheds light on the gender disparity in India’s manufacturing sector. Historically, women were underrepresented on shop floors, but Sandvik Coromant is determined to change that. In Pune, the company fosters an environment that encourages more women to join the manufacturing workforce. By improving gender balance, overcoming societal barriers, and unleashing the full potential of all talents, Sandvik Coromant is creating a more inclusive industry.

They have implemented a flexible system that enables women to work in morning, afternoon, and evening shifts, promoting learning, awareness, inclusion, and safety. The result has been remarkable, with the number of female employees in Pune increasing from 4% in 2019 to an inspiring 20% in 2022. Sandvik Coromant Pune has even made it a prerequisite to have at least ten women working on the shop floor at any given time. To ensure the safety of female nightshift workers, the company provides transportation, equipped with GPS tracking and CCTV cameras, accompanied by a security guard. Moreover, a digital app allows employees to register their safe arrival at home. These initiatives align with Sandvik Coromant’s global goal of having at least one-third of managerial positions filled by women by 2030, promoting equal opportunities and diversity in the workplace.

Upskilling the Future Workforce: Nurturing Talent and Bridging the Skills Gap

While addressing gender equality, Sandvik Coromant also recognizes the imperative of upskilling the manufacturing workforce. Helen acknowledges that the sector faces a significant skills shortage, and to tackle this, Sandvik Coromant has established specialized centers worldwide, including one in Pune. These centers serve as collaborative spaces for learning, innovation, and practical training sessions, enabling experts to impart knowledge and skills to the younger generation of engineers. The Pune facility is crucial in providing engineering solutions, conducting research, and serving as a global production plant for Sandvik Coromant’s inserts and tools. By investing in nurturing talent and providing cutting-edge training opportunities

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