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Case 10.12.2021

Circular economy is reinventing mining

Sandvik aims to be a carbon-neutral top performer of the Circular Economy – but how does the savvy hi-tech company intend to achieve its goals?
  • Sandvik, established 1862, is a high-tech and global engineering Group.
  • About 37,000 employees.
  • Advanced products of Sandvik improve the productivity, safety and profitability of customers' operations.
  • Sandvik Mining and Construction Oy is a global leading supplier of equipment and parts, service and digital solutions and sustainability-driving technologies for the mining and construction industries. 
  • Business Finland offers funding for research and development and networks around the world through Business Finland's program.

  • A leading company operates in global networks and has the knowledge and will to accelerate innovation activities in its industry. Business Finland challenges global companies to lead ecosystems that consist of companies of different sizes and other players.

Funding for leading companies and ecosystems



Sandvik is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals to achieve Agenda 2030. Climate, recyclability, people, and fair operations are at the heart of the company’s strategic goals for sustainable business.

Mats Eriksson, CEO of Sandvik Mining and Construction Oy, says that the company wants to halve its carbon footprint by 2030.

There is a considerable “sustainability boom” among the company’s customers.

"Our commitment to Circular Economy also gives us a competitive advantage", he notes, adding that there is a considerable 'sustainability boom' among the company’s customers. This means that low-carbon solutions are frequently requested – and often required.

Say goodbye to diesel

Sandvik believes in reducing the carbon footprint across the board. This translates to, for example, taking the electrification of work machines to a whole new level.

 "We have made more than 600 electric loaders", says Eriksson.

In addition to being climate-friendly, mining “e-machines” are also human-friendly: using diesel fuel deep underground is always a health risk. In addition, digitalization and automated mining are enablers for a new generation of climate solutions, promoting Circular Economy in a variety of innovative ways.

™ LH514BE loader combines battery technology, electricity, and automation. The machine is powered by an electric cable and a battery. Additionally it can also be automated. Photo: Sandvik

When factories go green

The very same “green streak” can also be seen at Sandvik’s Turku and Tampere production facilities. Petri Liljaranta, director of the Turku plant, says that the plant has been recycling virtually all of the waste generated in production for several years now.

"In Turku, welding robots are integrated into our heat recovery program and 30% of the steel we purchase is recycled", he adds. Tampere plant’s green innovation, then, is a test mine that uses recycled water in its process.

In addition, both Turku and Tampere factories uses LED lights and employees are encouraged to use electric cars and bicycles through the use of various incentives. Also the roof of the Turku plant received a new smart coating in the summer of 2021.

"Every year, we make plans and list actions how to reduce our carbon footprint. We monitor the situation and make sure that the targets are met", says Eriksson.

Aiming for critical mass

Ecosystem Lead Kari Koskela from Business Finland believes that it is vital to have innovative industrial companies such as Sandvik in the frontlines of sustainable development. Through wise investments in Circular Economy, a “critical mass” can be achieved, which in turn boosts the competitiveness of the Finnish manufacturing industry. Business Finland's Bio and Circular Finland Program wants to support the networking of companies and research organizations in new circular economy solutions and the development of business models.

"Reducing emissions and carbon neutrality are important to Sandvik in its own production as well as in the technical solutions sold to customers", notes Koskela. According to him, Sandvik is a solid example of a company that is able to combine sustainability with state-of-the-art technology and maintain the productivity push in operations.

"Sandvik would not be able to do this alone, but there is a lot of specialized expertise available in Finland offering support", Koskela says. Business Finland's funding for leading companies and ecosystems accelerates the development of the industry in a network-like way and ensures the competitiveness and supply of Finnish industry in transition.

Ecosystem edge

In addition to the leading company project  Business Finland works closely with Sandvik within the industry’s own ecosystem.

"For example, Business Finland’s Sustainable Manufacturing, Smart Mobility and Batteries from Finland programs interact closely with the company", says Koskela.

Business Finland also supports Sandvik’s integration into applicable EU programs.

Welcome to join Bio and Circular Finland Program