Teamwork makes the dream work – part 1

Here at the High Performance Metals (HPM) Division, our defining goal of acting sustainably and always staying one step ahead requires structured and close collaboration as well as enthusiastic people who dedicate themselves to sustainability issues with their expertise. In the context of inSPire, this is exactly what happens.

Every day at HPM, international teams of interdisciplinary experts work together on the further development of sustainability in the company. They cover the following subject areas:

  • Circular Economy
  • Climate Impact
  • Sustainable Sourcing
  • Social Impact

It is particularly important for us to keep a broad perspective. Interdisciplinary teams link the different departments and contribute to an even stronger network. Monthly cross-thematic meetings help keep all team members up to date. This close collaboration makes it possible to incorporate different experiences and perspectives into developing solutions. Additionally, each team keeps track of its tasks in a project management tool. This means everyone can access the tool and see what is happening in each area — across locations and topics. This is particularly important as the teams work from different locations: from Kapfenberg, Vienna, and Linz to Hagfors in Sweden. Thanks to our close collaboration, the inSPire team can look back on a successful first few months together.

CSO Philipp Horner is particularly proud of this:

CSO Philipp Horner

CSO Philipp Horner

I am delighted to work with such a great team and am impressed with what is possible when motivated people from a wide range of professional backgrounds work toward a common goal. I am confident that with these experts and the strong collaboration both inside and outside the division, we will achieve our ambitious goals.


Josephine Müller, Franz Eder, and Katharina Handler.

Franz Eder, Josephine Müller, and Katharina Handler follow the topic of Circular Economy with great motivation. The biggest driver for them is to help shape the future positively with their daily work, new developments, and projects, and to do good for the company as well as for the environment and society. As a result, the team is constantly looking for new ways to keep critical raw materials in the cycle as long as possible and to reduce the use of primary resources in order to ensure their future supply, as well as to reduce waste in general (Zero Waste). Cooperation with coworkers across national borders, as well as with renowned research institutions, established corporations, and innovative startups is particularly important. The team wants not only to drive the development of the circular economy within HPM, but also to inspire other stakeholders to do so.

The strength of the team lies in the different career paths of each member. They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise from various fields — from physics to financing and ESG (environmental,social, and governance), to research and the circular economy. These different perspectives are of great benefit to the team when it comes to complex tasks.

Another strength of the team is constant, mutual feedback from coworkers. Through honest and constructive communication, both the individuals and the team itself can grow and develop further.

The Circular Economy team benefits every day from sharing a common office, enabling them to communicate directly and quickly with each other. Supporting tools that enable efficient collaboration are regular meetings, and tried-and-tested project management and software solutions.

How did your journey at HPM start?
Team: Our journey started three years ago. At that time, we set the goal of ensuring the availability of key materials for the future.Shortly afterward, we realized how many circular economy initiatives are already happening within HPM. Due to the complexity of the subject, we were looking for new experts in different fields. We have now had a full team for several months. We complement each other with our knowledge and all pursue the same goal.


What are the roles in the inSPire team?
Team: Within the team, we divide the roles according to our different expertise.Circular economy is not an isolated issue, but covers several areas.In cooperation with HPM’s production sites and Value Added Service companies, we drive developments in the fields of alternative raw materials, material and scrap cycles, the recycling of by-products, and zero waste.


Which word or phrase best describes the team?
Team: The persistent.


Finish the following sentences:

  • We have always been fascinated by… collaborating with diverse coworkers in an international environment.
  • This fascination helps us in our professional life/work when… we solve complex problems together with different production and Value Added Service companies as well as external partners.

What inspires you?

  • Our actions contribute to a positive future for the company, people, and the environment.
  • Ensuring that our critical raw materials remain in circulation and are available for future generations.
  • Collaboration with coworkers all over the world as well as with first-class research institutions and many other partners.


Thomas Steiner and Michael Ebner

What could be more motivating than contributing to climate protection on a daily basis? The team behind Climate Impact, made up of Michael Ebner and Thomas Steiner, draws motivation and inspiration from their work every day. They are convinced that efforts in climate protection are worthwhile for all of us. The greater the effort, the more our well-being benefits, the team assures. In their daily work, the two always have the big picture in mind and appreciate the meaning behind their work. Intrinsic motivation plays a decisive role for them. They also benefit from the extensive experience they and their inSPire coworkers bring. Individuals with decades of experience in the Group meet with a specialist network of internal experts and combine experience in the production companies to extensive interdisciplinary knowledge in the energy and environmental fields.In addition to these strengths, the team acts very result-oriented and is always on the lookout for innovative solutions. The recipe for success? Transparent communication as well as mutual appreciation and respect. Over time, mutual trust and an environment in which everyone supports each other have developed. Ongoing, direct communication enables close collaboration, guided by clear structures and objectives that the team members can rely on. In addition, the team uses project management tools to keep track of everyone’s projects and tasks.

How did your journey at HPM start?

Thomas Steiner: After many years in the hospitality industry, I moved to voestalpine BÖHLER Bleche as a production employee. There, I realized the great potential of the steel industry in sustainability issues and decided to get involved in this area. One year later, I met Michael Ebner at the presentation of my thesis. We realized that we werealready heading in the same direction at that time. At the same time, the platform inSPire was founded at HPM, which deals with issues that are, in my opinion, fundamental for a sustainable successful future. I have now been a proud member of the Climate Impact Team since autumn 2022, and every day I relish the opportunity to accompany HPM on its path towards a CO2-neutral future.

What is your role in the inSPire team?
Thomas Steiner: In short, I coordinate and drive forward all HPM energy efficiency and decarbonization projects.

Which word or phrase best describes you?
Thomas Steiner: The intrinsically motivated.

Finish the following sentences:

  • I have always been fascinated by… what’s possible when a team works together to solve a problem.
  • This fascination helps me in my professional life/work when… I take on a new task and I can’t solve it on my own. Then, teamwork is the best way to find a solution.

What inspires you?
Thomas Steiner: Together we can make the world a better place. I am inspired by the idea that companies around the world, especially voestalpine, are one step ahead on all sustainability issues. Especially the combination of environmental protection with simultaneous economic success is my motivation.


How did your journey at HPM start?

Michael Ebner: I started my professional career in research at voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl in 2004. At the moment, I am still responsible for the areas of environmental protection & investments, corporate development, and sustainability. Additionally, I have been coordinating environmental protection, energy, and occupational safety in the HPM division since 2011. Since 2022, I have also been responsible for the Climate Impact pillar of inSPire.

What is your role in the inSPire team?
Michael Ebner: Leader of the Climate Impact Team.

Which word or phrase best describes you?
Michael Ebner: The results-driven.

Finish the following sentences:

  • I have always been fascinated by… how technology makes our world more efficient.
  • This fascination helps me in my professional life/work when… I am faced with seemingly unsolvable tasks. A network of experts working together as a team can solve almost all problems together.

What inspires you?
Michael Ebner: Changes come, whether you like them or not.


The team behind inSPire is large and diverse. In the second part of our team presentation, you will get to know the people behind Sustainable Sourcing and Social Impact.

In our previous blog posts, you can learn more about inSPire and its background:

Sustainable performance inspires

inSPire is here to stay

Sustainability with real value

Credit for photographs:  Klaus Morgenstern


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