Who: Maarit Kaskela
Works as IT Director, SSAB EuropeAuthor's photo

Sustainability for me is about thinking smart, and who doesn’t want to be smart? I’m relatively new to the job of IT Director at SSAB Europe. I’m trying to find my way around the organization, which has also meant a great deal of travel, especially to those places where my co-workers are based, in Borlänge, Raahe and Hämeenlinna. Flying as much as I do is not sustainable, neither for me nor for the environment. I always try to coordinate meetings, to find environment-friendly ways of getting to and from the airport and, of course, as far as possible using the tools we have within SSAB to organize good-quality meetings also remotely. 

Before I made the decision to accept this position, what I found interesting was not just the challenge of the new role, but also finding out how SSAB works on gender equality and sustainability. I want to be part of a modern company with modern leadership, and a company that also assumes responsibility for future generations. I want to be proud of representing SSAB. And I am.
In IT we joke about the fact that we really do build sustainable systems – one of our Finnish systems has more than 40 years under its belt. But I really do believe that IT can contribute to sustainability in many different ways, partly through various kinds of optimization measures using information/data in our systems, but also through smarter planning, transport/logistics, manufacturing and virtualization. Within IT we have many projects under way at the same time involving people from all corners of the world, but even then we find ways of meeting more sustainably. It’s just a matter of thinking again, of thinking smart. 

But sustainability isn’t just the job, it’s also about creating the right conditions to keep you going on a personal level! For me, it’s about striking the right balance between food, sleep and exercise. I “happened” to promise a colleague that a few times this summer I’d cycle to and from work. After all, that’s sustainable and good! Then I realized that I can’t cycle on the motorway, but have to take the back roads, which means a round trip of about 140 km. But a promise is a promise. Although maybe that wasn’t the smartest one…

SSAB is on an exciting journey of sustainability – Sustainability Expedition. In a series of blogs, some of our employees talk about various sustainability initiatives under way within the company. How we are working with our vision – A stronger, lighter and more sustainable world.