Sandvik has announced details on its plans for a greener, more agile future for the company in Canada, and plans to begin this transition in Ontario before the end of the year. The company’s vision for its future operations in Canada includes a sustainable and agile organization that is flexible and can respond to customer requirements, wherever they may be, while minimizing harm to the environment they operate in.
“This transition will not happen overnight, but it begins with a few key changes that will support some more immediate needs of our customers and will jump-start our sustainability initiatives,” Peter Corcoran, VP of Sandvik Canada, said in a release.
Sandvik’s climate action plan includes offering customers carbon reduction pathways through battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology and reducing the carbon footprint of Sandvik’s operations. The company plans to take specific actions in Canada to address these goals.
“BEVs are a large part of Sandvik Canada’s sustainability plans,” added Corcoran. “We envision ourselves as an enabler of zero emissions-mining through our battery-electric offerings.”
In order to enable the industry’s transition to cleaner technology, investment is required in education to expand the industry’s capacity to maintain BEVs. These units require a unique technical skillset to support as they have fewer mechanical, and more electrical, components. To support the transition to this cleaner technology, Sandvik has partnered with Northern College to develop a BEV technician education program and build a new generation of service specialists to support this industry in mining.
“This program is really a win-win for a cleaner industry and our communities,” explained Corcoran. “Servicing these machines requires specialized knowledge of both mechanical and electrical systems. We are investing in educating this next generation of service specialists because we forecast an increase in demand for technicians in this field in the future. We also want to invest in the local talent pool as the benefits of hiring locally and developing sustainable capacity in the community cannot be understated. This partnership addresses both of those areas.”
Physical footprints will be re-evaluated in Ontario throughout 2021, with a focus on the corporate head office in Mississauga, to improve energy consumption at Sandvik’s facilities. The company has already taken many preliminary measures to improve energy consumption – this includes switching to LED lightbulbs, with plans for more impactful measures in the coming months and years.
One such action is to consolidate its Kirkland Lake and Lively operations to leverage the established infrastructure in Lively and transition its resources in Kirkland Lake into agile field service agents that are ideally situated to support the needs of BEV customers. The company anticipates that this action will lead to an improvement in energy consumption, and that the increased support in BEV field service will encourage more customers to consider a low-emissions solution like battery technology.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)