IN JANUARY 2019, Antti Kontiainen joined Boliden Kokkola as the company’s new General Manager. When asked what impressed him the most about Europe’s second largest zinc smelter, his answer is clear:
“Our company values responsibility and sustainability, in a wide sense. We take responsibilityfor the environment, our quality, the business, as well as our employees and their safety. I like what we do for the changing world: As zinc is used to lengthen the lifecycle of steel products, fewer natural resources are needed and the carbon footprint is smaller.”
BEING KOKKOLA’S largest private employer, Boliden Kokkola has over 540 employees on its payroll, among which 20% are women. With 30% white-collar and 70% blue-collar workers the professional tasks at the smelter vary greatly:
“In addition to processing industry tasks, which pertain to the zinc production, we also need people in our support functions: maintenance, administration, finance, marketing, HR and so forth”, Kontiainen describes.
Boliden Kokkola has a constant need of new employees. As many senior employees have recently retired, the average age is low, only 41 years. However, the company also employs older, more experienced workers and seeks to find talents of different backgrounds:
“Boliden, our parent company, has a clear framework for diversity. We aim to hire people who do not all look alike or who are not all the same age. We also look for people with different educational backgrounds, also people with university degrees, even doctors. In our factory we see a future need for skills in automation robotics, as our processes are more and more digitalised”, explains Kontiainen.
AS A LEADER, Antti Kontiainen aims to be downto-earth and approachable. He emphasizes the importance of teamwork and each employee’s responsibility for their own role in the company:
“We’re all in the same boat. I want different groups in the personnel to collaborate and look for solutions together. As for the individual employee, I highly encourage each and every one to develop their own work, as they are the ones who know it the best.”
Business sector: Zinc production
Turnover: 226 MEUR
Major markets: EU