Harald Huppe

Manager - Global Environment and Sustainability Outotec Oyj

Tell us something about your current job? What are your duties and assignments?

At present I work as Manager - Global Environment and Sustainability at Outotec’s headquarter in Espoo, Finland. Outotec provides leading technologies and services for the Sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources (minerals and metals processing technology, innovative solutions for industrial water treatment, the utilization of alternative energy sources and the chemical industry).

My tasks include the development, maintenance and continuous improvement of the company’s environmental management system. This includes maintaining process and documentation, keeping up a system for identifying legal requirements and assuring legal compliance, and planning and executing internal audits. In addition, I lead the sustainability data assurance process for Outotec’s annual sustainability report that is based on GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and I am responsible for Outotec’s carbon footprint calculations (GHG Protocol).

How did you find your job (what sources did you use, how did you approach your current employer)?

Given that Outotec is part of Cleantech Finland, a pool of Finnish clean energy and environment companies, I thought that the company would be interested in me because of my study and work background in sustainability and corporate environmental management. When I contacted Outotec’s representatives and explained how I could contribute to advance the sustainability issues within the company, they were interested and I got the opportunity to start working for Outotec.

What skills gained during your CEM studies proved to be the most useful in your job?

There are various skills that are of use. I think the business focused approach of the CEM studies is really important. By that I mean the opportunity to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge in practice in real business life. The project work course is a good example of such. In addition, I had the possibility to write my Master’s Thesis for a company, where I got an understanding how sustainability  issues are managed in corporations and how sustainability megatrends impact business risks and opportunities.

What was the most unexpected CEM-related thing, new concept or skill, discovered in your new job?

I was really pleased to see that sustainability is that important issue for the top management and for the company strategy. Sustainability really affects all business areas, business and management processes and other activities of a corporation. Related to Outotec’s process solutions, it was an eye-opening to see to what extend technology development is driven by sustainability aspects such as energy and water efficiency, reduced emissions and optimised use of natural resources. Obviously, beside reduced environmental impacts, these issues also affect the life cycle costs of our clients’ operation (e.g. metal producing companies).

What would be your message for the current and prospective CEM students?

Well, from my point of view, I could tell to the students that they already have made the right choice by studying corporate environmental management. As sustainability covers such of a large field of corporation’s activities it could be an advantage to specialise and focus on a certain area of interest. To mention few areas, the importance of sustainability in the supply chain and in sourcing is more and more noticeable. In addition, corporate water footprinting is increasingly important.