The advocate of health, safety and environment
Emmi Backman has worked as a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Engineer at Wärtsilä in Finland for 11 years. “It’s quite unusual but I’ve been happily in this same position all the time I’ve worked with Wärtsilä. That’s since every day is so different, and I’ve been constantly learning and have had opportunities to develop myself,” she tells and continues: “I have some routine tasks, such as following up changes in the environmental and safety legislation, internal sustainability reporting and making reports to different authorities, but also very varying tasks within different projects or trainings.”
Emmi says that her most memorable work-related memories are related to occasions where she has succeeded well together with her colleagues: “Like the day when we submitted an application for a renewed environmental permit for Delivery Centre Vaasa in 2009. I was quite new in the company and I joined the project when it had already started; the schedule was tight, and everything was new for me. The takeaways from the project were invaluable. I was really happy to be included in it, and also received good feedback on the work.“
Emmi enjoys working at Wärtsilä because she thinks that Wärtsilä genuinely aims for sustainable future – something that is close to her own heart as well. “In my personal life I am interested in same topics as in my work, environment and safety. I am enthusiastic to work with and develop these areas.”
Emmi highlights that, in her daily work, she also enjoys the fact that she has great colleagues whom she can count on and with whom she shares good team spirit. “Quite often we get tasks that are new for everyone, such as implementation of some legislation changes. With good collaboration we sort things out! Actually, HSE colleagues all over the world have the same mindset and it is always great to cooperate with them. We have different expertise areas which helps a lot and I would say my expertise is in environmental issues and legislation.”
In addition to environment, Emmi has expertise in handicrafts and she is the chairman of Wärtsilä's local Handicrafts’ Club. Some stories also tell that Emmi is somewhat into singing: “When I started at Wärtsilä, I shared an office room – and similar taste of music – with a colleague. As a consequence, we started our mornings so that one of us started to sing a song, usually The Beatles or Simon&Garfunkel, and the other one had to continue. This battle was a great start for the day,” Emmi says with a wide grin.
With a wide variety of tasks and projects, Emmi has had fruitful learnings at Wärtsilä. “During the years I have noticed that if there is a need to improve in a particular area or department, it is crucial to involve people working there. Safety cannot be improved behind the office desk as change will not happen if people who are affected by it are not involved. Same thing applies in an area such as waste handling. You can plan all kinds of nice waste centres, but you have to ask from your target audience if it is easy to use or not.”
Emmi believes that Wärtsilä will continue innovating and entering new business areas in the future. “Wärtsilä has acquired companies that support our purpose and developed new products, such as the Wärtsilä 31 engine here in Vaasa. I think we are innovating and developing new all the time, and not just following what others do. For myself, I look forward to our new Smart Technology Hub here in Vaasa and I am keen to see what kind of development that will bring! I hope we will get an even safer and more environmentally sound workplace there.”