Interview with sustainability ambassador Anders Ohlsson

2017-06-26, 08:44

About Anders

Who are you?

Anders Ohlsson. I’m 44 and have three kids. I live in a flat, but also have a summer cottage. 

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am an open, positive and cheerful guy – my basic premise is that life is fun. Work assignments are fun until proven otherwise. I can get a bit bored if I have too little to do, but not for long – I’ll always come up with something.

What is your role at Cybercom – or roles?

Skills Team Lead, which means I am a coaching manager for the Digital Team, responsible for individualized employee and skills development. I am also responsible for making sure the team comes up with team-building activities. In addition to the Team Lead role, I am a self-appointed Cybercom ambassador, out and about talking up and personifying Cybercom so that others will understand how proud we are to work for Cybercom – and making sure that sense of pride is realized. 

How long have you worked here?

Since March 2016.

What do you like most about your job?

The interaction with consultants and clients – the opportunity to be involved and do the little things that have big impact. Sustainability and sustainable leadership are a joy, but more than anything, hugely important. Our status as a big company, in contact with a great many clients, is manifest. With 1,300 employees, we are a major player in Sweden and can have an impact and make a difference, not only at Cybercom, but in our work with clients.

The role of sustainability ambassador

What does sustainability mean to you?

I see sustainability as being able to use resources, but not use them up or wear them out to such an extent that they are not preserved for the future. But natural resources are not the only aspect; sustainability also involves social issues like human rights and long-term relationships. I am angered by injustice in the world and believe there should be no question that human rights must be protected – that is an incredibly important subject. 

Why did you want to be a sustainability ambassador?

At first, I wasn’t really sure what it involved. I had heard about it from other employees who had done it and about how we had carried out a charitable mission in Rwanda. We work with these issues, environmental certifications, and always do our utmost to comply with the UN’s 17 global targets. It wasn’t entirely clear what the role of ambassador entailed, but I was eager to give it a go. We have set an agenda for CSR, Rwanda and SOS Children’s Villages, but haven’t really gotten started with the work itself. We have geared this up a little with our Sustainable Business initiative, which has required massive commitment from a great many people to draft appropriate business models.

Sustainable Business – We are developing models to create sustainable solutions, in Advisory, but also purely in terms of how we can help clients think sustainably when they move into digitalization – or develop new products. We also want to raise awareness internally so that we can communicate current sustainability issues.

Sustainable Voice – This involves internal and external information about sustainability – providing scope for training and easily accessible information. Sustainable Voice is about communicating by making it easy for people to access materials.

Sustainable Leadership – The former business model was sustainable too, but we have now included a social component in sustainability and leadership issues. In this area, we are also working to enhance cooperation within Cybercom and with partners in relation to sustainability.

Who can be sustainability representatives for Cybercom?

Everyone – anyone can become a sustainability ambassador. Our CEO Niklas, or Head of Communications and IR Kristina, post on our intranet, encouraging employees to apply by writing a little about themselves and why they would like to work as sustainability ambassadors. The OLT group meets as and when to select representatives. There were five in total last year, but now we also want to cover Poland and Denmark to make sure we have ambassadors in all of our offices.                                                                                                 

How and when did this come about? And why?

The effort began in 2010 when we signed the Global Compact agreement, which is when we started to have “CSR ambassadors.” The role has matured and now covers more aspects of sustainability, which is why we chose to change the name to “sustainability ambassadors.”

What are the key ambassadorship initiatives at the regional and national levels for the entire organization?

Most people in the group are working with Sustainable Business, a few of us with Sustainable Voice and one person with Sustainable Leadership. We are also working actively to cooperate more extensively with others, in areas such as how we manage our electronic waste – to recycle more and make it pay. We are networking actively to identify partners and working models.

How do our clients benefit from our sustainability work?

To an increasing extent, companies are realizing that this is not only about a digital change, but also about having a sustainable mindset. Thirteen billion people in 80 years is not a figure we can ignore – global warming is a fact, and we really must begin taking responsibility for our world.

How far ahead is break even?

Hopefully, we will get there by 2025. I hope and trust that environmental impact will have changed by then. Another thing to keep in mind is that population growth means we have to change our way of thinking and our expectations as regards natural resources. The goals here are clear: more change in a positive direction and a healthy planet.