A committed social partner
Corporate social responsibility
KONGSBERG contributes to value creation and economic development in society. As an international technology group, KONGSBERG recognises its 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. It is an important factor in successfully solving the challenges facing society and contributing to sustainable economic growth. We offer good jobs that enable people to develop, and engage with the communities in which we operate. We care about our employees and their families by supporting sport, culture and social causes.
Our approach to corporate social responsibility
For several years, KONGSBERG has been working closely with a number of colleges and universities, including NTNU, the University of South-Eastern Norway and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MiT) Industrial Liaison Program. Established partnerships between industry and educational institutions ensure that the changes taking place in society and industry are rapidly transferred to the education sector, thereby ensuring that the curriculum remains relevant. Similarly, the knowledge and skills developed in educational institutions will also engender innovation and change in industry. It is important for us to succeed with the digital and green transition.
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 students solve a hypothetical future scenario where sustainability and technology are at the core of the task. The purpose of the competition is to demonstrate the connection between theory and practice. In the spring semester, we ran a digital competition with the theme “What role can technology and/or other collaboration methods/measures play in solving the professional and psychosocial challenges in student life as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?” In the autumn semester, the task was to explore how technology can ensure sustainable management and utilisation of the oceans and help save lives in critical situations.
During 2021, KONGSBERG was also the main sponsor of four multi-disciplinary student projects at NTNU in which students get to put theory into practice.
Every year KONGSBERG welcomes a large number of students to work on different projects. In the summer of 2021 we had 134 students working with us. These summer jobs give the students an idea of what opportunities are available at the end of their education, and the goal is to motivate them to perform better in their studies and complete their degrees. At the same time, it represents an important recruitment arena for us and an opportunity to get to know the students better.
The target of the student summer programme was for women to comprise a minimum of 45 per cent of the participants; in 2021 we achieved 41 per cent. We are working to increase this to 50 per cent from 2022.
Proportion of women in technology subjects
KONGSBERG is working systematically to increase the proportion of women studying technology. We collaborate with Jenteprosjektet ADA at NTNU. 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. In 2021 we collaborated with NHO’s Jenter og Teknologi (Girls and Technology), in which girls in the ninth and tenth grades visited our business in Horten. In the United States, we support Women Offshore, an organisation and web-based resource centre that supports a diverse worldwide maritime workforce.
Increased interest in science
The natural sciences are essential to solving many of the challenges the world is facing. We want to motivate children and young people to recognise the value of studying physics, maths and natural sciences through a variety of measures, from kindergarten to college.
To this end, we support the Vitensenteret science centre in Kongsberg, access to which is free for 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, 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 projects where the students wish to write their master’s dissertation in collaboration with KONGSBERG.
KONGSBERG has a strong focus on vocational education and, along with other companies in the town of Kongsberg, we offer 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 2021, we had a total of 196 apprentices.
At the KONGSBERG Innovation Center, 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 society, because it supports our welfare state. KONGSBERG has focused on improving its organisation to ensure that more people were able to come to work. COVID-19 reduced access to vocational training for some people. In 2021, 46 people benefited from our practical work placement positions. We continue to focus on this and increase the number when the situation once again permits. We are also making it possible to retain within the Group those with reduced residual working capacity.
Contributions to sport, culture and social activities
KONGSBERG’s sponsorship strategy focuses on activities and projects in Norway and internationally within the following areas:
- Sport – in particular local sports activities for youth 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 focus on sustainability.
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, with our financial support always given to teams as opposed to individuals. Our two biggest cultural sponsorship partnerships in 2021 were with the Kongsberg Jazz Festival and Glogerfestspillene (a classical music festival). Both festivals are of a very high professional level and have their own programmes to develop young talent.
Our Polish colleagues contributed to one of Poland’s best-recognised and most effective national charity programmes that runs every Christmas, NOBLE GIFT. This scheme works as a platform for personal aid that goes directly to people and families who are experiencing difficulties.