4 Dec 2014, 0:00 CET

The start of the trainee programme

Exactly one month after the trainee kick-off, 15 excited trainees met up for the first module in the trainee program. It was so much fun meeting everyone again and to hear about their first month at their home department. Most of us have different positions and are based at BillerudKorsnäs’ various mills.

The first module started with three days of training together with the co-worker group at Skoghem & Wijk, Lidingö. The co-worker group consists of 12 handpicked employees that also will take part in the training sessions throughout the year. During the training, there were a lot of good lectures, exercises and interesting discussions. Focus was on turning strategy into action, working with change and leading a team in change. We also got the chance to listen to BillerudKorsnäs’ CEO Per Lindberg and COO Christer Simrén. It was interesting and inspiring to hear their thoughts on BillerudKorsnäs today and tomorrow, and we took the opportunity to ask a lot of questions. One of the biggest takeaways from the first training where our own Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) profiles. The session about MBTI raised our awareness of that we all prefer different ways of working. The insights into our own profile will be valuable in e.g. future team work and project leading.

The three days at Lidingö were intense and passed by fast. However, it was a lot of fun and especially that our group came together so rapid. Within the training we had interesting discussions, since we all have different positions within the company our perspectives differ. In the evenings we had the chance to get to know each other better. Except for nice dinners we had great fun in the game room, playing pool, dart and fussball.

After the days at Skoghem & Wijk the trainees traveled to Gimo herrgård, located in the forests of Uppland. There we visited BillerudKorsnäs’ first step in the value chain, namely forestry. BillerudKorsnäs Forestry’s aim is to supply our mills with fiber, in the right place at the right time. Since we don’t own any significant forest assets, we buy and fell wood from forestry companies and family forest owners. The unit purchases 10 million m3sub of wood every year. The raw material is either FSC or PEFC certified, or is controlled according to the certifications traceability requirements. All wood sourcing must fulfill the criteria that no wood raw material comes from illegal harvesting, forests with high conservation values or areas of serious social conflicts.

To get an understanding of how sustainable forest management works in practice, we went out into the woods. The environmental manager Caroline Rothpfeffer explained the forest cycle which starts with regeneration cuttings and is followed by planting, pre-commercial and commercial thinning’s, BillerudKorsnäs plants three trees for each one we harvest. Then we got to see a harvester and forwarder in action. A dream coming true for those of us who are into heavy vehicles.

During the afternoon we had the opportunity to test clay pigeon shooting. A sport where you are shooting at flying targets with a shotgun.  EC gold medalist Nathalie Larsson guided us through this challenging but super fun sport. Most of us managed a kill or two. Note that we only were shooting at clay targets not living birds.

At the last day of the visit we were focusing on the replanting of forests and the conservation of valuable habitats. Something that was new to most of us is that prescribed burning is done to promote biodiversity. The Swedish taiga is adapted to regularly recurring natural forest fires and some species are dependent on fires for their dispersal.

The trainee program’s first week has been incredibly fun. It has been a great way of getting insight into our company’s strategy, work with change and wood supply. We are really looking forward to the rest of the time as trainees’ within BillerudKorsnäs!

/ Anna & Tim