In each issue of Swedish Chamber Insights, readers will have the opportunity to get to know one of our members better. First out is Swedish Chamber Patron member Polestar.
Swedish Chamber Insights asked Managing Director of Polestar Netherlands Willem Baudewijns about the company’s view on sustainability, the automobile sector, branding as a Swedish company, and their engagement in the Swedish Chamber’s fall calendar.
How does Polestar approach sustainability and corporate social responsibility?
At Polestar we are determined to improve the society we live in, using design and technology to accelerate the change to sustainable, electric mobility. Our goal is to build sustainable electric cars and to help create a sustainable society. We intend to reach our goal by focusing our efforts on the areas of climate neutrality, circularity, transparency, and inclusion. We want to be fully transparent about sustainability, so you get the information you need to make informed, ethical choices.
Polestar, along with all car makers, has a vital role to play in meeting global climate goals. Our industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters and right now we are way off track, despite having funds and engineering capabilities to change that. But to change we need a clear pathway, we need collective climate action and unprecedented collaboration. That is why we teamed up with Rivian and Kearney to create the Pathway Report. We also do annual life cycle assessments for our models (currently Polestar 2) in which we’re fully transparent about all greenhouse gas emissions from cradle to grave.”
Which three factors do you think will be the most important for Polestar to continue being at the forefront of the automobile sector?
Polestar stands out in terms of design, technology, and sustainability. Polestar is design-led in everything it does. We challenge preconceptions of traditional luxury and reinvent it for a sustainable era. We use technology to move our products, our industry, and our society forward. Based on a mission of sustainable progress, we push transparency and climate action throughout our products, business, and industry.
Does Polestar profile yourself as a Swedish brand? If yes, how, and why?
We are a Swedish electric performance car maker. We have our roots in Sweden, our global headquarters is based in Gothenburg. Polestar cars and Polestar Spaces demonstrate our consistency and commitment to clever minimalist Scandinavian design that appeals to the modern customer.
What upcoming events in the Swedish Chamber calendar are you at Polestar most excited about attending, and who do you hope to meet there?
We are looking forward to the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Sustainability & Innovation Summit in December because it’s really at the heart of what we want to achieve as a company. We hope to meet like-minded people, to be able to exchange thoughts about the pathway to a climate-neutral world, and maybe even join forces in the future.
As a Patron member, Polestar has taken part in our Young Professional Patron membership offer. The offer entails three free Young Professional memberships for all Swedish Chamber Patron companies. You can find more information about the Young Professional memberships offered here.
One of the employees who has joined the Young Professional community through the Patron Offer is Melle Roorda, HR manager at Polestar. Roorda answered the following questions:
How does Polestar invest in employee development, professional growth, and diversity in the organization?
We’re strong advocates for on-the-job learning and creating room for broadening skills, specializing, or if the right opportunity comes up, relocation to one of our other locations. This flexibility also ensures that there’s always an internal growth opportunity. We also believe that the challenge we offer provides an excellent space to take on greater ownership and responsibility. Approximately 50% of our leaders come from within Polestar. Polestar always seeks to champion equality regardless of gender, age, beliefs, or background. We’ve appointed an Inclusion Lead to promote inclusion in all parts of our business. Our People policy puts inclusion at the heart of our strategy and work, to make sure that everything we do has a positive impact. Since we are a non-hierarchical organization there is an open culture in addressing behaviors and patterns, no matter the relation. From our headquarters to our local Dutch office, every employee is valued equally. This enables our interaction and collaboration to be efficient, quick, and honest.
What does Polestar believe is the value of having young employees in the Swedish Chamber Young Professionals network?
We believe it’s important for our young employees to exchange knowledge and learn from the experiences of people outside our company and industry. Their important voice in our organization can be empowered through learning from the experience of peers. Being part of the Swedish Chamber Young Professionals network will help our young employees broaden their vision and grow professionally.