Diving Into More Sustainable Future

My Ensto Journey started in the beginning of February 2023 as the Senior Sustainability Specialist in the Overhead Line and Underground Cable Product Development Team. My area of expertise is to create and manage product specific environmental impact assessments, to digest the regulations behind the standards, and to carry out life cycle assessments to avoid unintentional green washing during the communications.

Environmental Impact Data Collection 

In addition to creating environmental impact data on products I also have Ensto level responsibilities in environmental issues. One of them is responsibility scoping, which means collecting information on the impacts that are formed outside of Ensto gates, for example estimating those of purchased goods like raw materials in global supply chains. Then I report the findings to be published in our communications. Information-based decision making in sustainable product development needs a lot of research and development. Next, we need to know the current state of impacts from Ensto’s supply chains. Establishing environmental data and new Key Performance Indicators for sustainable development as collaboration are in my mind right now.

Pondering Sustainability and Responsibility  

To me, sustainability is the idea of building resilient systems that can adapt to change. Basically, it is risk management. Sustainability is about nurturing ecological and social resilience to enhance the capacity to withstand and recover from disruptions. In philosophical terms, sustainability can be viewed as an ethical framework. Responsibility in turn means to me being proactive, anticipating challenges, finding solutions to problems and being accountable for my actions. For example, during life cycle assessment it means being open, admitting uncertainties and even challenging my own work results if good quality information has not been available. 

Green Transition with Smart Systems 

Ensto belongs to a technical cycle of materials, and we need to face the fact that currently, a vast amount of fossil greenhouse gases is being released during manufacturing of the raw materials used in our products. Most significant is the performance of Ensto products and their role in enabling the green energy transition, which requires building more energy distribution systems. Ensto’s collaboration with stakeholders is crucial since sustainability is an omni valent value, and like quality and costs, it’s formed everywhere. Our operations already remind me of system thinking, and I feel positive about the possibilities we have with our smart solutions in circularity.

Ensto Family Business Values  

My expectations are that family-owned businesses prioritize sustainability and generational continuity rather than maximizing short-term profits for stakeholders. I think that decision making is more agile in a family business like Ensto. Trust Capital in technical product development could mean maintaining a high level of integrity in product design and development and providing reliable and consistent support. Winning together and creativity have appeared to me in the collaboration spirit and the constant development for identifying and removing obstacles related to technical work or wellbeing.

Removing Barriers for Diversity 

I have enjoyed experiencing and witnessing practices that support development for increasing inclusion at Ensto by removing barriers like pay inequality and adding transparency into the recruitment process. It allows to attract and retain top talents from diverse backgrounds, which will be beneficial for catching the best professionals when there will be shortage of talents available on the market. All this creates a safe and enjoyable working environment.

Compelling Learning 

I’m still quite new to Ensto, but as this is a totally new industry to me, I have learned a lot from my colleagues about products’ composition from the development point of view. Hence, a new dimension of material engineering is opening up to me as metals and alloys play a significant role alongside more familiar polymeric materials. Learning to know new information management systems and about colleagues’ special roles from international operations to fine-tuning manufacturing have been most compelling to me.  

My whole engineering career is related to research and development, mostly focusing on polymeric functional materials and their processing and characterization. I hold a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and after graduating, I studied risk management in the circular economy point of view and did a master’s thesis on implementing life cycle assessment into product development.

Marjo Ketonen 

The writer of the blog works as the Senior Sustainability Specialist in Ensto’s Overhead Line and Underground Cable Product Development Team in Finland.