Striving for sustainability: how one firm is meeting its goals

2030 is a crucial year for sustainability. With targets set across Europe to collectively cut greenhouse gas emissions, consumers are looking to service providers for guidance. For medical device industry leaders, setting clear goals and demonstrating progress to partners and customers is what is expected.

Integrating sustainability into its business model, Swedish steel manufacturer Sandvik is dedicated to using engineering and innovation to make the crucial steps towards a greener future. Taking a holistic approach to their environmental agenda, Sandvik is integrating targets within performance management systems, creating sustainability idea hubs, and holding annual award ceremonies to celebrate innovation in this space.

Sandvik’s main action statement ensures absolute transparency of progress through regularly updated progress reports and maintaining accountability with four goals to achieve by 2030.

Marketing communications manager Lena Wiig Boström shares the company’s green mission, with the hope that other medical device manufacturing companies will follow their lead in striving towards a sustainable future.

Four-step program

Sandvik’s 2030 Sustainability Goals focus is on the areas of Climate, Circularity, People, and Fair Play as the basis of the company’s environmental agenda. The four goal areas have been included in the business area review process, and across all divisions in the organisation, helping to develop roadmaps to achieve these targets.

The shift towards circular business models is essential for a sustainable business. Sandvik aims to be more than 90% circular by 2030, meaning that material and resources are used efficiently, including halving waste in production processes and recycling parts for customers.

In 2020, 82% of Sandvik steel produced was made from recycled material. Sandvik’s Rebuild program focuses on extending the lifecycle of mining equipment by refurbishing and recycling tools.

To reduce its impact on the environment, Sandvik has committed to halving current COemissions by improving product development projects and reducing its transportation carbon footprint. This includes using fossil-free electricity or biofuel vehicles and Kanthal® electric heating systems for applications such as the processing of aluminium and steel.

Human sustainability

Continual improvements in health and safety procedures are crucial to Sandvik in achieving their goal of zero harm to people. Working in heavy industries such as mining, the company is integrating safety improvements in all product development projects, carrying out safety/risk analyses with all services and products, and offering health and wellbeing programs to all Sandvik employees.

Within operations, Sandvik aims to halve Total Recorded Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) and occupational illnesses. Sandvik also complies with ISO 14001 standards, which specifies the requirements for an environmental management system, helping companies to manage environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner.

Sandvik’s commitment to its sustainable targets reach beyond their immediate workforce. All suppliers are compliant with the Sandvik Supplier Code of Conduct, which comprises fundamental principles on human rights, labour rights, and the environment.

Sustainable practices

Sandvik’s continual development in the medical device sector is reflective of its commitment to improve lives. The EXERA® brand of ultra-fine wires and wire-based components are used in medical devices such as pacemakers, glucose monitors, and hearing aid implants, enabling patients to regain control of their lives and live as normally as possible.

The EXERA® brand specifically is working towards sustainable practices. For example, when Sandvik works with customers to manufacture a medical component, expertly configured prototypes are created to test absolute suitability and efficiency for the application to avoid creating large starter batches that may prove to not be ideal.

Goals in action

Sandvik offers transparency of its sustainability targets and results, aiming to operate a proactive and agile compliance system. Building on this sustainable ethos, the company aims to create a diverse and inclusive workforce with at least one-third female managers.

These goals have been put into action with Sandvik reaping the rewards. In 2020 the company launched a global training program in diversity and inclusion in which about 20,000 employees participated.

Sandvik’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its daily production. Through programs such as The Sandvik Sustainability Award in Memory of Sigrid Göransson, an internal award praising sustainability and community involvement, Sandvik motivates their team to strive harder towards its goals. In 2021 Jörgen Petersson and Anders Åkesson received the award for their innovative circularity program based on a process of producing manganese wear parts for cone crushers using more than 90 percent recycled steel as raw material.

To find out more, visit the home page of Sandvik (link included).

For more information about Sandvik’s medical wire program visit