Diversity as a tool for new thinking
Mixing skills, perspectives, and experiences has been a necessity for the environmental company Ragn-Sells since the start in 1881. To keep developing new circular solutions for a sustainable future, promoting a diverse organisation is key. In the upcoming decade, HR Director Susanne Schumann views diversity as more critical to maintaining a successful business than ever.
– In order to drive the transition into a circular economy and contribute to a sustainable society, we need to constantly devise new circular value chains. Diversity is our tool for new thinking, and indispensable for innovation, says Susanne Schumann, Chief HR Officer at Ragn-Sells Group.
It‘s not a coincidence that diversity is defined as one of Ragn-Sells’ seven sustainability goals. Ever since the business was founded, developing new skills, and working methods has been crucial for the business to progress.
Research shows that a diverse and inclusive organisation creates an incomparable environment for innovation. It increases productivity and creativity, both essential for development. Adding perspectives also improves decision-making throughout the organisation.
– In every decision we make, from planning climate efficient transport of waste to developing new value chains where waste replaces virgin resources, we need to ensure diversity in both skills and thoughts. It’s the best tool we have to achieve our sustainability goals while developing the business, says Schumann.
She emphasises that the best way for Ragn-Sells to be a sustainable force in society is to make sure that the company’s own micro-society is sustainable.
– We want to constantly work towards a more inclusive working environment, where everyone, regardless of background, competence, or identity, feels safe, respected, and welcome just as they are, says Susanne Schumann.
Promoting diversity is also integrated in strategies to prevent discrimination and promote well-being. For example, Ragn-Sells works across all markets to better accommodate needs for hybrid work solutions, as well as finding ways for employees to be able to care for young children or aging parents.
A serious strategy to improve diversity has to be firmly grounded in the actual challenges the organisation faces. It also benefits from clear commitments to which the organisation can be held accountable.
– As a male-dominated company in a male-dominated industry, gender equality has so far been a priority within our diversity ambitions. Now we are expanding our view on diversity, says Schumann.