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This week’s Chief Sustainability Officer vacancy: LKAB

The Swedish state-owned company, which mines 80% of all iron ore mined in Europe, is seeking a CSO as it...
Edward Targett
This week’s Chief Sustainability Officer vacancy: LKAB
One of LKAB's sites in northern Sweden. Credit: LKAB

Mining and minerals group LKAB is looking for a new Chief Sustainability Officer. 

The Swedish state-owned company mines 80% of all iron ore mined in Europe.

Its minerals group is seeking a Chief Sustainability Officer who will report to SVP of Business Area Special Products and “be part of the leadership team.”

LKAB, which is seeking a fluent Swedish and English speaker, said the CSO will be “involved [in] and influence an ongoing transition and growth journey that will contribute to a broader and stronger LKAB with a focus on sustainability.”

The advertisement comes as LKAB says it is trying to achieve “zero carbon-dioxide emissions from our own processes and products by the year 2045.” 

At its mines in northern Sweden, which are over 100-years-old, it has started working with Swedish industrial firms ABB, Epiroc, Sandvik and Combitech to create “the carbon-free, digital and automated underground mines of the future.”

The company describes its mine modernisation work as the “biggest change in our 130-year history and perhaps the largest industrial investment ever in Sweden.”

The extent to which it has already mined the areas means it is having to take production further and further underground (2,000 metres) and plans to use more electric and automated systems to support this, including a fleet of EVs and chargers on the mine’s power distribution network, battery storage or microgrids.

LKAB says it is also trying to eliminate carbon from the energy-intensive iron ore refining process by using hydrogen made with carbon-free electricity for industrial-scale production of carbon-free “sponge iron”, instead of the traditional refining process that uses energy from fossil fuel to make iron pellets.

(Sponge iron is made by changing iron ore in any form to iron by a “cutback” gas or carbon and creating this highly efficiently “gives steel customers, who are the main customers for iron ore, direct access to an energy saving carbon-free product for their steelmaking process” says LKAB, which is also “developing new technological processes to extract critical minerals from its own mine waste.”)

The new hire will have a major focus on environment and energy and “drive and monitor initiatives that ensure compliance with stakeholders´ requirements and expectations, favours sustainable development, minimizes the risk of any negative impact on or from our business, but also that exploit opportunities for sustainable value creation and new innovative business models,” the company said this week.

The role will also include oversight of sustainable value chain work spanning qualification of suppliers and customers, supplier audits, supplier training, etc. and staying on top of directives from the EU: “Sustainability reporting needs to be handled as well as the EU's Due Diligence on the value chain” the company added.

Applications for the LKAB Chief Sustainability Officer role close November 6, 2023.

See also: Airbus appoints its first Chief Sustainability Officer