Energy-tour, culture and innovation

Hi everyone,

In my very first blog post I’d like to capture my first impressions of Lantmännen and the Energy division where I’m placed. Since time passes so fast and so much is happening, I want to take this chance to type down some aspects that have given me a wow-feeling so far!

First of all, these first weeks at the Energy divison couldn’t have started better. The energy division constitutes of the three companies Reppe, Agroetanol and Aspen and the production sites are a bit scattered in Sweden. My office is the Stockholm HQ but to get the full picture of the division I got the opportunity to travel and visit the different production sites. This was a great way to get to know the companies and one thing that surprised me is how much of the production that is actually foodstuff. You most likely consume quite a bit of glucose syrup from Reppe when treating yourself with candy or if you are in the US and order a vodka based drink. Agroetanol is a bioraff where several exciting products, both fuel with a low carbon footprint and edible stuff are produced. Aspen is producing alkylate, which is a fuel (and not edible!) but it is healthier to walk behind a lawn mower with alkylate instead of one filled up with regular fuel from the gas station.

Sensorik testing of vodka at Reppe and feeling very small at the Agroetanol
production site.

Second of all, most of my time I spend at the Stockholm office and what keeps amazing me about this building is the extremely friendly atmosphere. People really mingle with one another by the coffee machines, in the elevator and in the breakfast/lunch area. Everyday I learn something new or get some insight in a different business area pretty much just by just waiting for the machine to brew my coffee. It has also been very easy and successful to approach people with an email saying “Hey – what you do sounds interesting, can we have a coffee or a short meeting to talk more?”. With so much competence and interesting business areas under one roof, this atmosphere really creates a workplace which is much more than the tasks I have on my desk.

Last but not least, what I wasn’t fully aware of when applying to Lantmännen is the large focus on innovation within the company. Surely it is not rare for companies today to highlight the importance of innovation for its employees but I’ve heard several stories, especially from the companies in the Energy division, where individuals have had a new quite daring idea and been able to take it all the way. A concrete example of the embracement of new ideas is the program Lantmännen Växthuset where employees, owners and everyone else gets the chance to develop a new business idea and present it to a dragon’s den. I really hope that some of us trainees gets this chance and can share some of that experience.

The stockholm crew: Helena, Peter, Pontus and Linnea

With these first impressions typed down I want to summarize by saying that I’ve had a great start, I have learned so much and I have a feeling it will continue on the same note!

All the best,