With 30 years of experience, Tor Lundström is Head of Division at NIRAS International Consulting. In this interview he shares his thoughts and experience working with the sustainable development goals, and the SME2GO platform, towards building sustainable and democratic societies.
With a background in agriculture and agriculture economics, Tor Lundström is heading NIRAS international consulting, which is the part of NIRAS that works with international development.
– When I first joined what today is NIRAS Finland, about 30 years ago, I came in as a trainee and made my first research work in Kenya on dairy production, says Tor Lundström.
He joined NIRAS again a few years later and has been with the company ever since.
– I have spent eleven years abroad, about ten years in Africa, and one year in Estonia setting up Scandinavian agriculture business just after the Estonian independence, Tor Lundström explains.
NIRAS has offices in 26 countries, 300 permanent staff and a 65-million-euro turnover. The company has been growing steadily and been profitable for the last 15 years, today with the UN as their biggest client. NIRAS is one of the leading companies in Europe, working cross several sustainability sectors such as water innovation, startups, youth employment, and creating innovation in Africa and Asia.
– Generally, we work as advisors and experts, offering technical support and facilitating change as supervisors. Our role is often to try to connect skills and knowledge to certain problems for developing business, education systems, and governments. Through SME2GO, we’re connected with even more companies, says Tor Lundström.
Connecting the growing younger population to good business is something NIRAS feels extra passionate about, Tor Lundström explains:
– Among other big subjects such as human rights, democracy, gender issues and equality. NIRAS is working with all 17 of the sustainable development goals. Reducing poverty and creating wealth. NIRAS is building sustainable and democratic societies.
The SME2GO-project represents something were we can combine all our skills, says Tor Lundström:
– We are now integrating our company strategy and business model towards the sustainable development goals, and the SME2GO platform is connecting many companies and business opportunities.
SME2GO is a EU funded growth project running between 2016-2018 with the aim to increase exports of smart city solutions from the Central Baltic region to new and expanding markets. SME2GO focus on increasing the cooperation between growth-oriented SMEs with solutions for smart cities and multinational enterprises to create synergies, new cross-border business opportunities, and export.
Project participants are offered networking opportunities, international marketing and sales training, matchmaking, market intelligence, and customized support. The project is a unique opportunity for innovative and growth-oriented companies to create business in new and expanding markets.