Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2019

SUSTAINABILITY

Supporting children, young people and the local community

Corporate social responsibility

KONGSBERG contributes to value creation and economic development in the communities where we operate. As an international technology group, KONGSBERG has major corporate social responsibility, and we have a particular focus on nurturing children’s and young people’s interests and skills in the natural sciences. We invest in the local communities wherever we have a presence, and in our employees and their families by supporting cultural, social and sporting activities.

We aim to motivate students to complete courses of study on which they have embarked

In engineering studies, drop-out rates have been high among first and second year students on certain courses. KONGSBERG has been working closely for several years with a number of colleges and universities, including NTNU and the University of South-Eastern Norway. Established partnerships between industry and educational institutes ensure that the changes taking place in industry are rapidly transferred to the education sector, thereby ensuring that studies remain relevant. Similarly, the knowledge and skills developed in educational institutes will also engender innovation and change in industry. We have rolled out several initiatives to motivate students to complete their degrees. One of these is the YOUR EXTREME competition for students at NTNU. This competition, which we have been running since 2013, is a 48-hour case competition in which groups of 2–5 students work on solving a hypothetical future scenario where sustainability and technology are at the core of the problem. The aim of the competition is to relate students’ theoretical knowledge to solving practical problems they may encounter in working life.




As well as the student competition, KONGSBERG is the main sponsor for three multi-disciplinary student projects at NTNU where students get to put theory into practice. Since 2014, KONGSBERG has been the main sponsor of Revolve NTNU, in which a new team of students develops, designs and builds a racing car to use in competition. NTNU’s Ascend project participates in the annual International Aerial Robotics competition, where the goal is to push the limits of capability of autonomous drones.

In NTNU’s Propulse project, students design, develop and build a rocket to use in the Spaceport America Cup, the biggest student rocket competition in the world.

From theory to practice – the summer job programme

Every year, KONGSBERG takes on a large number of students who work in different departments and summer projects throughout the company. The projects are very popular, and many have been extended for several years. Through the summer jobs, students get to see what opportunities are available when they graduate, and we want this to motivate them to study harder and complete their degrees. At the same time, it is a good recruitment arena for us where we get to know the students better.

We aim to raise the percentage of women involved in technology

KONGSBERG is working systematically to increase the percentage of women studying technology. In 2019, the percentage of women in technology careers was only 23 per cent. One of the steps KONGSBERG has taken to address this is its sponsorship of the Girl-project ADA. The aim of the project is to foster satisfaction and motivation in girls while they are studying, to provide a careers network and inform students of job opportunities. A goal for the summer student programme is to have at least 45 per cent women participating.

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Silje and Mats became permanent employees after having summer jobs with KONGSBERG.


We support children and young people to raise interest in the natural sciences

The natural sciences are essential to solving some of the challenges the world is facing. Therefore, we want to motivate children and young people to study physics, maths and natural sciences through a variety of measures, all the way from kindergarten to college.

Thus we support the science centre "Vitensenteret i Norge", which is free to schools and kindergartens. Children are introduced to the natural sciences through play and experiments, as well as teaching modules in subject areas such as energy, mechanics, mathematics, technology and animation, with more for the older ones. We collaborate with a number of secondary schools, colleges and universities in Norway. Here we hold motivational lectures, invite people to visit the company, participate in career days and take on students for work placement. We support selected student projects where the students wish to write their master’s degree in collaboration with KONGSBERG.

KONGSBERG has a strong focus on vocational education and we offer, along with other companies in the town of Kongsberg, a unique training programme for apprentices through the K-Tech training centre. An apprenticeship certificate programme in polymer composites has also been established at the composite factory in Kongsberg. During 2019, there were 71  apprentices in total.

In 2016 we opened the KONGSBERG Innovation Center, where our employees can bring their children and experiment with drones, robots and visualisation. The Center also hosts visits from local schools and educational institutions, and is used by students working with us.

Inclusion at work

Far too many people are currently excluded from work. An inclusive workplace is important for everyone – from people needing jobs, to companies needing workers. It is also important for the community, because it supports our welfare state. In 2019, KONGSBERG focused on improving its organisation to ensure that more people were able to come to work. In 2019, 18 people benefited from our practical work placement positions.

Contributions to sports, culture and social activities

KONGSBERG’s sponsor strategy focuses on activities and projects in Norway and internationally within the following areas: 

  • Sports – in particular local sports activities for young people in the local communities in which KONGSBERG operates.
  • Culture – in particular local communities in which KONGSBERG operates.
  • Social, humanitarian and/or environmental activities – locally, nationally and internationally – that aim at sustainability.
Norway

In Norway, we have concentrated on supporting organisations in the local communities where we are represented. KONGSBERG has chosen to support many different sports, especially for children and young people, and we always sponsor teams as opposed to individuals. Our two biggest cultural sponsorships are with the Kongsberg Jazz Festival and Glogerfestpillene (classical music festival). Both festivals enjoy a very high professional level and have their own programmes for developing young talents.

Employees have the opportunity to try out new technology at Kongsberg Innovation Center.

Your Extreme 2019

Urbanisation – interplay between land and ocean

Urbanisation – interplay between land and ocean

Since 2013, KONGSBERG has collaborated with NTNU in arranging the student competition YOUR EXTREME. This is a 48-hour case competition, where groups of 2–5 students work on solving a hypothetical future scenario where sustainability and technology are at the core of the problem.

The purpose of the competition has been to motivate students to complete their degrees, due to the significant drop-out of first and second-year students in certain subjects, and to relate their theoretical knowledge to solving practical problems they may encounter in working life.

The theme for the 2019 competition was “Urbanisation – interplay between land and ocean”. The students were challenged to describe the role that technology can play in implementing resource-efficient and climate-adapted initiatives for more robust and resilient coastal towns and cities. The students were asked to reflect on technical, ethical and societal issues related to urbanisation along the coast.

This year’s winner was the “Green Hemisphere” team. Their proposed solution was based on a concept which uses dry ice or silver iodide to trigger precipitation. By obtaining data from weather stations and using KONGSBERG technology for autonomous drones and mother ships, an outline was presented as to how humans can control the weather for the very first time. In their entry, the team demonstrated the use of technology and expertise in an innovative and sustainable way. Their solution addressed five criteria: Problem delimitation, innovation, feasibility, sustainability and market potential.

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