Teamwork makes the dream work – part 2

There are many enthusiastic people working at the High Performance Metals Division (HPM) who dedicate their expertise to sustainability issues. In the previous article about the inSPire team, we introduced the people behind Circular Economy and Climate Impact. Now, let’s get to know the people responsible for Sustainable Sourcing and Social Impact.


Örjan Alm and Christoph Oberroither want to make sustainability a global quality criterion and an integral part of HPM’s procurement strategy. To this end, the Sustainable Sourcing Team develops sustainability concepts and implements them in the supply chain in order to make the entire procurement process more sustainable. Collaboration with international suppliers and partners carries the subject beyond the boundaries of the Group. And the team itself is also internationally positioned: it works together every day between Sweden, Austria, and various international locations. For this, clear communication is essential. Therefore, the team members regularly take time for consultations in order to work together on the challenge of sustainable sourcing.

Due to the different locations and the resulting limited personal communication, the team relies on an online meeting tool for internal and external meetings as well as a project management tool.

The particular strength of the team lies in the many years of experience of each individual in the procurement of raw materials and other areas of HPM. By integrating the needs of suppliers, customers, and other division companies into the projects, the team is able to work with them to advance sustainable procurement.

How did your journey at HPM start?

Örjan Alm: I came to Uddeholm 20 years ago after working for Volvo Aero Division and some smaller companies. I was particularly interested in working with steel and the company’s international activities with global sales and customers in a wide range of segments.

What is your role in the inSPire team?

Örjan Alm: I lead the Sustainable Sourcing Team. My focus is on working with our suppliers to ensure that the materials and services provided to our department meet our sustainability requirements. I have been involved in the procurement of almost all our purchasing categories, but above all with raw materials and energy. Especially in these areas, the issue of sustainability has been very important for years. With inSPire, we are taking our ambitions in this area to the next level.

Which word or phrase best describes you?

Örjan Alm: The visionary strategist.

Finish the following sentences:

  • I have always been fascinated by… cars.
  • This fascination helps me in my professional life/work, when… I occupy myself in technical areas. The automotive industry is also a key driver for various business areas, including steel.
  • Here’s what the team says about me: “The tall Swede,” and hopefully, “a person with a lot of experience in the steel business.”

What inspires you?

Örjan Alm: I am seriously concerned about climate developments and the resulting changes that we see around the world. It motivates and inspires me to do something good: The steel industry generates a lot of CO2 emissions, which is why it is a great lever for change.

How did your journey at HPM start?

Christoph Oberroither: After completing my studies in materials science, I joined voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl more than five years ago. As a product and process technologist for tool and high-speed steel, I had the opportunity to gain in-depth insights into the production and property profile of our broad portfolio of steel grades. After learning that there was going to be a sustainability team in the division, I wanted to take up the new challenge. Here I am concentrating above all on issues that are upstream of our production and that we need to deal with as early as possible.

What is your role in the inSPire team?

Christoph Oberroither: As a sustainable sourcing specialist, I work closely with my colleague Örjan Alm to increase transparency in our supply chain. This is particularly true for raw materials, which have to travel a long way before they reach our production facilities. Close cooperation with our global network of procurement experts and a good relationship with our suppliers are essential to answer all the questions that arise in the sustainable procurement of materials. We are not only interested in the origin and processing path of our raw materials, but also in ways to reduce their emissions. This reduction can be achieved through a targeted adjustment of our procurement strategy and the choice of alternative goods, means of transportation, and routes.

Which word or phrase best describes you?

Christoph Oberroither: The open-minded.


Finish the following sentences:

  • I have always been fascinated by… technology, its way of working and its potential.
  • This fascination helps me in my professional life/work… to understand and solve problems, to optimize processes, and to find alternative, better ways of doing things.
  • Here’s what the team says about me: “Knows a lot about steel and loves his coffee.”

What inspires you?

Christoph Oberroither: The opportunity to develop and implement sustainability concepts in our supply chain so that sustainability becomes a global quality criterion and an integral part of our procurement strategy. This gives us the opportunity to collaborate with our suppliers on sustainability issues beyond the boundaries of the voestalpine Group.


The Social Impact Team is working on strengthening the social pillar of sustainability. Michaela Kotnik and Julia Aigelsreiter especially appreciate the collaboration with different experts and partners. Together, they strive to achieve positive changes for current and potential employees as well as other stakeholders. Particularly in a globally positioned Group like HPM, it is important to pay attention to local requirements and cultural circumstances. Working closely with people at all levels of the hierarchy ensures that tangible results are achieved and adapted to local contexts. The team benefits from its diverse experiences and perspectives, which it integrates into its day-to-day work. Mutual support also helps to achieve big and small goals.

Especially when it comes to social sustainability, the integration of as many stakeholder groups as possible is important in order to drive forward sustainable developments with impact. The catalog of measures for this is diverse: raising awareness of social and environmental issues usually forms the basis for further actions. Education and commitments in the communities also raise awareness about sustainability. The focus is not only on one group of people, but includes internal and external stakeholders: HPM employees, their families, coworkers, but also educational institutions and municipalities.

Good communication is essential for the successful development and implementation of socially sustainable projects, both inside and outside the team. Reliable internal communication is therefore paramount. In-house tools are used to disseminate knowledge, generate engagement, and promote learning.

The team adapts its communication to day-to-day conditions. Via an online meeting tool, it communicates regardless of location, for example when working from home or on business trips. Nevertheless, it prefers to exchange information about current developments and projects in personal meetings.

How did your journey at HPM begin?

Julia Aigelsreiter: After two internships at the voestalpine Group, I applied for a position as Project & Transformation Manager at HPM in the International Region of Value Added Service. The task and the environment fit perfectly with my interests and skills — I have always been enthusiastic about researching new trends, developing concepts, and deriving action plans. While I started out focusing mainly on organizational process redesign, my work has evolved a lot over the last four years. Now I also take care of the further development of the corporate culture and the topic of sustainability, with a focus on social and climate protection.

What is your role in the inSPire team?

Julia Aigelsreiter: On the one hand, I support strategy development on social impact and advise our companies in the division on finding and implementing concrete actions in this area. On the other hand, I work closely with the sales companies in the International Region on the topics of decarbonization and energy efficiency. I am also the contact person for the International Region on the subject of sustainability.

Which word or phrase best describes you?

Julia Aigelsreiter: The transformer.

Finish the following sentences:

  • I have always been fascinated by… exploring new things and developing solutions in new subject areas together with coworkers. HPM brings together people with different backgrounds and skills, which I value and find inspiring.
  • This fascination helps me in my professional life/work when… I collaborate with our distributors. I really like to go into depth thematically, to deal with the context of a problem, to engage with people and to understand the causes in order to develop suitable solutions.
  • Here’s what the team says about me: “Full of ideas, while being critical and well-organized to make things happen.”

What inspires you?

Julia Aigelsreiter: Purposefully creating positive change that really resonates with people. I especially like collaborating with coworkers from different disciplines and developing innovative measures. Some projects are very challenging. But as soon as the benefits become clear and tangible, you realize what is possible with good teamwork.


Although the individual teams work in different areas and locations, they have a number of things in common: They are all united by their enthusiasm for sustainability and the motivation to actively contribute to a future that’s worth living. United under inSPire, the individual team members contribute a wide range of knowledge and thus contribute to innovative, future-oriented solutions with their daily work.

Learn more about inSPire and its background in our blog posts:

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