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Balancing business and the environment

July 13, 2016

Johanna Pirinen is the Director of Corporate Responsibility at Konecranes.

What is the connection between circular economy and your work?

Circular economy provides a framework for different sustainability business models. The concept is a response to the current unsustainable linear economy model. In short, our planet simply cannot keep up with current consumption and production patterns.

Thus, the concept of circular economy combines economic models with ecological principles such that it ties economy and ecology together.

How is Konecranes involved in circular economy?

Konecranes utilizes the concept of circular economy when developing our business models and making longer-term decisions. Overall, our traditional business is aligned with the concept of circular economy, including product design, available spare parts, modernizations, and diagnostics. In addition, our service business aims to assist customers with maintaining functional cranes without interruption. Also, our new warehouse management system, the Agilon, is leased with a monthly fee and is not built on the sale of equipment.

What are some of its current challenges?

The move from a linear economy to a circular one is a huge systematic change the whole world is facing. That already summarizes the challenge. This level of systematic change does not come easily, but takes place by business entities forcing traditional industries to change, or a regulatory push towards circularity.

We need to keep a fresh eye and be the change in our industry. We are off to a good start with our diverse offerings and new business models that are even more focused on offering service rather than things. When it comes to society, we hope to be an inspiration for others.

How can companies use the concept better?

It takes courage from businesses to not only adopt new ways, but to also let go of old ones. Perhaps the future generations will, for example, use shared cars instead of owning them. Although things could stay the same, that presents a sustainability challenge from a planetary boundaries perspective.


Text: Mirkka Aarti
Photo: Riitta Supperi


Fast File

  • Johanna Pirinen is tasked with developing and managing corporate responsibility initiatives at Konecranes, such as those related to integrity, safety, people, and the environment.

  • Pirinen started her career at Konecranes as an Environmental Manager in 2008, and became the Director of Corporate Responsibility in 2015.