#Green Jobs - Carina Lehming thinks sustainability holistically
Beyond clean, beyond green, beyond good: With these approaches thyssenkrupp Materials Services aims to think holistically about sustainability. The transformation to a sustainable company is central to the materials provider's corporate strategy. From 2030 the company aims to operate on a climate-neutral basis, make its supply chains and cooperation with suppliers sustainable, and take responsibility as the biggest materials distribution and service provider in the western world.
One of the strategic minds behind this green transformation is Carina Lehming, Sustainability Manager at thyssenkrupp Materials Services.
In her private life, Carina Lehming cared about sustainability for a long time. "I see the focus on sustainability and aligning our actions with it as an opportunity to initiate changes and make a difference in the long term as well," she says. Lehming intends to play an active role in shaping this change. For this reason, after almost nine years at thyssenkrupp, she started working on the sustainability strategy in February 2022 as a sustainability manager. Because: "Alongside politics, business in particular can help shape the green transformation," says Lehming.
Taking ahead to sustainability
However, sustainability is not just sustainability. While other sustainability managers focus intensively on technical environmental aspects or corporate social responsibility, Carina Lehming's role at thyssenkrupp Materials Services is more holistic. As part of a cross-functional team, she works on the further development and implementation of the sustainability strategy in all its aspects.
"The focus is on our climate neutrality, sustainable products and services, and social responsibility," explains Lehming. "Along our vision, we define strategic goals and break them down into projects and measures that we implement ourselves or pass on to other responsible parties." In addition, Lehming and her colleagues keep an eye on economic and political developments regarding sustainability and derive their influence on materials trading.
A holistic understanding of sustainability
Sustainability at thyssenkrupp Materials Services considers ecological, social, and economic aspects. But Lehming and her team think even further. "With BEYOND, we have created an approach that supplements the internationally recognized ESG standards with points that are of central importance to us and the success of our business as a materials provider," explains Lehming. The result: Beyond clean. Beyond green. Beyond good.
Sustainability is teamwork
But every overarching strategy also thrives on the small initiatives that make it tangible. Carina Lehming knows this too. That's why she is currently setting up a global, internal network at Materials Services to stimulate the exchange of knowledge on sustainability topics. "This community invites all employees interested in sustainability to make new contacts, learn about other projects and share their ideas," explains the Sustainability Manager.
Lehming's main aim with the community is to generate impetus and initiate an exchange about other business units, companies or economic and political developments. This is a project that she finds particularly exciting. "With the community, we create transparency about our sustainability activities, network committed employees and offer a space for discussion," says Lehming. " In the end, the community is intended to encourage the workforce to promote exciting and important sustainability topics in their areas."
Aiming for green growth
An exchange that becomes increasingly important, especially with regard to the future. Because in the next 10 years, companies will increasingly have to focus on "green" products and services, according to Lehming. "Over the past few years, people's growing environmental awareness and sense of responsibility has placed new ethical demands on companies," explains the manager. In her eyes, this development will influence the entire economy and make a company's sustainability the new criterion that determines business success.
According to Lehming, it is not realistic to achieve global sustainability goals by reducing economic output: "It is more important to strive for 'green growth', i.e. to optimize resource and energy efficiency to the extent that the overall environmental impact is minimized in the long term."
The courage to think in a new way
Making industries more sustainable - an attractive job for many young professionals. But how can young talents prepare for a career in sustainability? Carina Lehming knows there is no right way to a 'green job'. "As different as the job of a sustainability manager can be, so are the educational and career paths," says Lehming. Depending on the degree, courses of study in economics, natural sciences or social sciences can form the basis. Due to the high speed of change in sustainability, the most important thing is to always stay up to date and have the courage to think out of the box.