2021 – the year when circular material flows started to be seen as a solution to counteract global warming

I am the CEO for this third-generation family-owned company that has decided to contribute to a better, more sustainable future. Our short-term sustainability ambition is to become climate positive already by year 2030. We will do this by reducing our own  emissions with at least 50%. Added to this we will implement circular solutions that in total will reduce the  emissions with more than our own remaining emissions.

I am very proud that Ragn-Sells is one of 18 partner companies in Business Sweden’s Pioneer the possible programme that has the ambition to export innovations that will support a fossil free future. At the end of 2021 we, together with all these partner companies, shared our knowledge at COP26 where seven of our circular processes were in focus in 15 different sessions.

We opened our first session with a film, where both the President of Estonia, the Prime Minister of Estonia, and the EU Commissioner for Energy participated, shared their views and declared the importance of our Estonian Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage project. Six years ago, we started our research project with the purpose of finding a way to use the large ash mountains of eastern Estonia as raw material for creating new products. By using the ash, which is a waste, and combining it with another waste stream, carbon dioxide (CO2), we will produce PCC (precipitated calcium carbonate) a widely used raw material in the manufacturing of building materials, paper, plastic etc.

Today’s PCC is produced by digging up limestone from the bedrock and then incinerating it. The total potential of the project, if we use all the Estonian ashes, is to reduce the emissions with 400 million tonnes – eight times the amount of what Sweden as a nation emits annually. Our ambition is to have the first factory up and running already by 2025, and collaboration will be the key word. Collaboration between nations and with future business partners.

A sustainable future does not only mean reduced carbon emissions. It also has a social dimension and a leadership dimension with strong focus on the importance of governance. Therefore, as part of our defined sustainability goals, a safe work environment is a prioritised area, as well as having a gender balance in the leadership positions throughout the company. These are critical areas for us to secure so that we can grow and develop as a company, so that we can continue to support the transformation towards a circular society.

In 2021, all our business units not only fulfilled our financial ambitions, but they also increased their ability to collaborate. Despite the Corona pandemic and the consequences it has had on the market and society at large, Ragn-Sells have had the highest increase in a single year, in both customer and employee satisfaction. Of course, we still have things to improve on, but clearly it is an indicator that we are on the right track.

To conclude, and even though we have a heritage that dates back to 1881, I would like to say that our work towards circularity has only begun.

Lars Lindén
CEO Ragn-Sells Group