At the age of 38, Johan Berterud has already acquired a wealth of experience since he joined Veolia Nordics, a subsidiary of Veolia in Northern Europe, in 2007.
After working as a project manager, then site manager for water contracts in the Stockholm region, the young engineer joined the Technical & Performance Department as a water specialist for all Veolia Nordics’ sites, especially the Skövde site in Sweden, where the Group has been managing Volvo Powertrain’s1 different facilities since 2015. Veolia supports the car manufacturer in designing the vehicles of the future, to allow it to achieve its ambitious aim of becoming a world leader in sustainable transport. Thanks to a high degree of computerization and automation, Veolia manages the electricity, heating and ventilation, and is also responsible for maintenance, and landscaping of the site’s outdoor areas.
Only wastewater treatment, which was previously managed by another company, was not included in the initial contract. However, by relying on its technicians’ proactive drive and expertise, Veolia was able to suggest that Volvo optimize the wastewater treatment system at its Skövde plant. This initiative has been a source of pride for the local teams.
“A year after the contract was signed, our technicians noticed that the Volvo Powertrain site’s water treatment system, which was managed by another supplier at the time, was not operating at maximum capacity,” remembers Johan. “They passed on this information to Veolia’s local management, which led to a dialogue with the client.”
Following this exchange, in early 2018 Volvo decided to cancel its contract with the other company for the treatment of its industrial effluent, and signed two new contracts with Veolia: a five-year O&M (Operation & Maintenance) contract worth €1.1 M (i.e. a 20% increase in the revenue of the existing facilities management contract), along with another agreement worth €600,000 for the complete renovation of the water treatment plant.
Johan is familiar with the behind-the-scenes work on all Veolia Nordics’ water contracts (in Sweden, Finland and Norway). He put his invaluable expertise to good use — especially by helping his colleagues with legal and technical aspects — throughout the Skövde facilities’ transformation, notably providing technical support in coordination with the site’s local manager to rebuild the plant.
“To see the renovation through successfully, I carried out technical studies and wrote a report with suggestions for setting up the new equipment,” he explains. “Our action in Sweden, which can be adapted wherever Veolia is based, consists in breaking down the traditional barriers between different areas of expertise, in order to better harness our technicians’ talent and know-how. It is a business but also a personal relationship.”
Fundamental efforts made by local management allowed this ability to shake things up to be applied. Technicians — and all members of staff — were encouraged to dare to get even more involved, for instance during “Safety Thursdays,” a weekly meeting devoted to discussing suggestions to continually improve on-site safety.
Proud of having contributed to this pooling of resources, which has led to a “win-win” situation for Veolia and its client, Johan more than ever finds meaning and motivation in his job.
1. Volvo Powertrain manufactures engine parts shipped all over the world (Europe, North and South America, Asia, India).