Sunlight pours through the window as I sit down with HARALD PIHL’s Managing Director, Jonas Pihl, to be updated on the company’s performance and focus over the past year. While the special alloy stockholder continues to enjoy burgeoning growth, Jonas is keen to talk about the all-important human element of the company. As the HARALD PIHL family steadily expands, its focus on valuing its people, ethical business practices and protecting the global environment remains top priority.
By Joanne McIntyre, Stainless Steel World
“As a company that operates globally, we take pride in basing our business decisions on having a minimal impact on the planet and a positive effect for humankind,” explains Jonas with a smile. “Our primary focus is on taking care of our employees and positively impacting our world. We want our staff to have fun at work; our motto is ‘work hard, play nice’. That all starts with providing a rewarding and stimulating workplace for our team. We’ve proven that when people have fun at work and feel valued, it makes the difference between achieving a good and a great outcome.”
HARALD PIHL has operated for over 110 years and like a fine wine, the company has only gotten better with age, as the family-owned enterprise continues to innovate and evolve commercially, socially, and ethically. “While our company has a long history, we’re committed to remaining highly modern and innovative, continuously aiming higher,” continues Jonas. “We pride ourselves on being one of the most advanced and forward-thinking companies in the industry. But we are not satisfied by any means, we are always aiming higher.”
Join the HARALD PIHL
The company aims to create a sense of unity and belonging among its team members, fostering a supportive and collaborative work environment. Here, the focus is not necessarily on building a workforce but on building a community!
“At HARALD PIHL, we offer competitive benefits and conditions, but, equally importantly, we believe in job satisfaction,” continues Jonas. “Given the substantial time we all spend at work, we believe it should be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. It’s important to have fun and have a laugh! This is stimulated through the organisation of all kinds of activities for our staff, which are chosen through a democratic process. We also have high expectations for dedication and hard work – embodying our ‘work hard, play nice’ philosophy.”
“Today, we’re actively recruiting for a range of future leaders in our team, ranging from sales roles in multiple countries to members of our management team. While we always receive numerous applications, we maintain stringent selection criteria to ensure alignment with our team spirit. Once you start your HARALD PIHL adventure, you can expect an exciting ride, chances to grow personally and professionally, and a job that’s really satisfying,” says Jonas with a smile.
Social responsibility: ‘Business with a heart’
The social activities at HARALD PIHL extend beyond a fun workplace. The company is conscious of its social responsibilities and actively supports a variety of charitable causes. For ex-ample, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, proceeds from every order placed at HARALD PIHL were donated to UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – to help affected people. The money is used to send help packages containing emergency supplies such as blankets, sleeping bags, hygiene items, water and winter clothing to those in need.
In December 2022, the company took a more targeted approach to help Ukrainian victims by supporting a project started in Stockholm. “Students at Värmdö Tekniska Gymnasium decided to create a mobile surgery to provide much-needed medical services. On learning that they needed a large truck as the basis, we bought one and delivered it to them. The mobile surgery is dis-guised to look like an older vehicle to avoid attracting the attention of the aggressors.”
The mobile medical care unit has been deployed in eastern Ukraine, where access to advanced medical care is severely limited. The goal is to provide life-saving treatments to soldiers and civilians. The recipient of the mobile medical unit is Mariupol Military Hospital A1249 based in Kro-pyvnytskyi, with responsibility for the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. The mobile unit provides emergency surgical and primary medical care, carrying out 5-10 life-saving operations per day. The unit involves a team of specialists, including a surgeon, a traumatologist, an anesthesiologist, an anaesthesia nurse, a surgical nurse, and an ambulance driver.
Another project selected by the HARALAD PIHL German office team this year is sponsoring a girls’ football team. “The team was struggling to buy uniforms, so our German office has provided the kit they need. It’s generated lots of positive reactions from the community. We do whatever we feel is most needed each year; our staff choose the projects they’d like us to support.”
Patient surgeries are conducted daily in the mobile medical care unit in eastern Ukraine.
A commitment to excellence is the cornerstone of HARALD PIHL’s journey. With a sense of purpose, Jonas states, “We continually strive to elevate the quality of all our endeavours.” As the company prepares for a substantial growth phase in the near future, they’re not just seeking partners; they’re forging alliances with like-minded visionaries. “As we embark on significant expansion in the coming years, we place great emphasis on selecting the right partners who share our vision. Our expectations for these partners are equally high; the accuracy of delivery dates is critical. Those who meet our stringent standards will enjoy close collaboration as integral members of our extended family. Join us in upholding the standard of quality!”
Within HARALD PIHL’s extended family, dedication to craftsmanship binds everyone together. It’s an invitation to uphold a standard that isn’t only a benchmark but a new business mindset, and the company welcomes collaborators with an equal passion for quality and improving the sector in which they operate.
It’s this same passion that sees HARALD PIHL committed to driving change within the industry and making a positive impact on the world. A telling instance from last spring showcases this ethos in action, when the company discovered the presence of Russian nickel in some of their sup-pliers’ products.
“We identified that some of our suppliers were still using Russian nickel in products we purchased from them. This prompted an internal investigation and a decision to cease our relationship with such suppliers,” Jonas explains resolutely. “Simultaneously, we leveraged our communication channels to encourage others in our industry to conduct similar investigations. Our aim is to create meaningful and lasting change.”
With a strict ethical compass, it is a testament to the company’s conviction that actions speak louder than words.
Sustainability is always top of mind
The company’s German office, which opened in April 2023, is already leading its environmental efforts by achieving an astounding 90% reduction in CO₂ emissions, showcasing a commitment to sustainability that’s as impressive as it is impactful. “Thanks to our state-of-the-art photovoltaic plant, HARALD PIHL GmbH is one of the first companies in Germany to be 90% CO₂-free. Our solar panels generate enough electricity to fulfil our entire energy demand, including powering all of our hybrid and electric vehicles. Our generator output is 75,000 kWh/year, which helps us avoid amitting 32,000 kg/year of CO₂. This doesn’t even include the CO₂ emissions reduction from our electric vehicle fleet!”
While the entire HARALD PIHL group is committed to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint, the German office is a shining example of what can be achieved. “Our company building and office unit are based on the zero-energy principle, with triple-glazed windows and insulation thickness well above what is required by law. A heat pump produces heat in the winter and also cools the building in the summer, eliminating the need for additional air conditioning.”
In leading by example, HARALD PIHL’s German office isn’t just reducing their carbon footprint; they’re offering a blueprint for others to follow. “We’re proud to be at the forefront of sustainable business practices and hope to inspire other companies to do the same.”
As the company continues to evolve, the HARALD PIHL team recognises the need for continual organisational improvement and adaptation. “Over the past year, we’ve dedicated significant effort to redesigning our logo and refining our brand to align better with the digital landscape,” smiles Jonas. “The logo represents a fusion of design and mathematical precision to create harmonious patterns. It was a considerable undertaking, setting us apart from others in our industry.” Yet, for those who find comfort in familiarity, Jonas says this: “Rest assured, our iconic bird logo remains a permanent fixture of our identity. He won’t fly away!”
HARALD PIHL’s adaptability proves its commitment to the future and makes it clear that, in an ever- changing world, the company is a steadfast force, ready to turn challenges into opportunities and forge ahead into a future that’s as exciting as it is promising.
About this Featured Story
This Featured Story appeared in Stainless Steel World Event Catalogue 2023 magazine. To read many more articles like these on an (almost) monthly basis, subscribe to our magazine (available in print and digital format – SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR DIGITAL VERSION ARE NOW FREE.
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