Philip Smith is passionate about sustainability and has just finished his internship at FlexLink’s sustainability department. He has worked with issues related to environment, health and safety in the manufacturing industry. Read my interview with Philip where we talk about business models, circular economy and how companies can contribute to a more sustainable future.
New experiences create possibilities for professional development
Philip Smith has had several working tasks during his internship at FlexLink. “I have been working with a lot of strategic questions at the sustainability department”, Philip says. “For example, I have been studying environmental regulations, what they mean and how FlexLink meets current as well as future rules and regulations. There are rules about, for example, energy consumption, recycling, choice of material as well as working environment, health and safety. Also, I have worked a lot with an e-learning program on sustainability for all employees. I have had a lot of freedom in making the program as exciting and educational as possible to increase the employees’ knowledge about sustainability.”
Circular business model – a way for companies to be more sustainable
“When I started studying economy, I soon became aware of corporate sustainability and its role in creating a sustainable society. Including, how important it is that people in the private sector prioritize sustainability issues and take the lead on innovative solutions and business models. Not long after that, I was introduced to the concept of circular economy and circular business models. One of the topics within sustainability that I am most passionate about is consumption, and that is why I find circular economy so exciting”, he says.
“Many manufacturing companies today have a linear business model”, he continues. “That means the material used to manufacture a product is consumed after the product has been discarded. A circular business model, however, is based on the concept that all materials can be reused or recycled in a sustainable and efficient way. The concept requires a creative mindset and technological innovations. In a dream world, all companies would be based on a circular economy which means that everyone would be able to consume in a sustainable and circular way.”
Preventive and proactive sustainability work
“The manufacturing industry has a central role in the society. In a way, it is what keeps the society and consumption moving forward. Therefore, it is very important that the industry works actively with sustainability, and maintains a clear vision with high goals. The preconditions are good for the manufacturing industry since, for example, machines consist of different parts. If one part breaks, it could be replaced by recycled material. When all parts are recyclable, you are one step closer to a circular business model”, Philip says.
A responsible and modern organization that values creativity
FlexLink focuses a lot on creating a more sustainable industry. “An example of a sustainability-issue that has a high priority at FlexLink is power consumption” Philip says. FlexLink also focuses on internal communication where they educate and involve the employees in different sustainability issues. I believe the people are the key to a successful sustainability work. In order to create real change, everyone must be on board. I am hopeful for the future”, he continues. “I believe business models can change quite quickly by prioritizing a sustainable workflow and making sure products can be repaired and recycled. I also believe a lot of change can be made through innovative solutions regarding service.”
FlexLink challenges individuals to achieve their highest potential
“FlexLink is a flat organization, which I really like. I am happy that I was given so much responsibility during my internship. I have worked with real projects and they have shown great confidence in me. I felt I made a difference and was given the space to both succeed and fail in my work. That, in combination with always feeling welcome and encouraged, has really made me enjoy my weeks at FlexLink”, Philip concludes.
I hope you enjoyed reading my interview with Philip Smith. Are you more curious about the people working at FlexLink? Visit our website to find out more about the employees and their work.