noun_Email_707352 noun_917542_cc noun_Globe_1168332 Map point Play Untitled Retweet

When sustainability meets digitalization – How Luke increases the impact of what they do.

How can smarter processes and digital solutions help to build a greener tomorrow? Meet John Kettle, and learn what Luke does to make the world a better place – and how they do it.

Antti Seppälä / January 14, 2021

We had the chance to e-meet with John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations at Luke. A privileged moment to discuss what Luke does to make the world a better place – and how they do it.

What is Luke?

Founded in 2015, Luke (short for Luonnonvarakeskus) is the National Resource Institute Finland. Acting under the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the organization researches alternatives to make better use of renewable natural resources. To that end, they provide sustainable solutions to solve food safety, sustainable agriculture, and forestry-related problems. Today, Luke employs 1300+ talented people and is involved in numerous international development projects, well beyond Finnish borders.

A challenging journey towards a more sustainable world

Humanity is at a crossroads.

Never before have we had so many means to precisely measure and understand the impact of our activities on the planet. Fortunately, our growing knowledge and overall awareness are greatly contributing to driving countries to find innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce their footprint.

Yet, our impact and CO2 emissions have never been as critically high as they are now.

Fortunately, our growing knowledge and overall awareness are greatly contributing to driving countries to find innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce their footprint. Never before have we had so many means to precisely measure and understand the impact of our activities on the planet.

“We take more from the land than the land can actually supply - maybe less so from a Finland perspective, but it is the case from a global perspective.”

John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations, Luke.

 

John mentioned three key challenges that Luke and similar organizations around the globe are facing.

 

Three sustainability challenges we need to solve

1. Societal awareness

Research keeps confirming that climate change is happening faster than expected around the globe because we aren’t doing enough.

For this reason, part of Luke’s mission is to explore new paths to encourage people to consume more sustainably and reduce waste. That includes investigating and supporting actions towards developing more self-sufficient countries and responsibilize local populations’ consumption habits.

Is it enough to change people’s mindset?

John believes that we’re heading in the right direction, but that the speed is too slow and we also need to do a lot more to save what can still be saved.

In fact, in most of the western world countries, inhabitants don’t realize how fast climate change is happening as they don’t witness its most severe manifestations themselves. As a result, our consumption behaviours are only slowly evolving on a global scale.

 

“People don’t realize how fast global warming is happening, they don’t see the effects fast enough. When, at the same time, some populations have to cope with weather conditions we didn’t expect until 2100”.

John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations, Luke.

 

2. Funding

Because Luke isn’t a fully state-funded organization, John mentioned that “funding is always a challenge for organizations like ours … but it’s getting less of an issue as more funds are allocated for climate and biodiversity issues”.

Public and private funding opportunities are closely tied to societal awareness. As the public is increasingly paying attention to environmental topics, governments and international organizations are doubling down on supporting sustainable initiatives.

 

3. Political initiatives/courage

The third challenge comes from the actions and initiatives conducted by our leaders.

Eventually, the masses will be driving the change. Until then, we need our elites to work together to enact change. This is why global initiatives such as the Paris Agreements (2015) are key for us to move faster towards more sustainable societies.

What’s more, the recent global collaborations to find a cure against COVID-19 spark optimism for John.

“Out of all the negative things related to the pandemic, you can see that progress can be made very rapidly when companies and governments come together. The overall willingness to move in one direction is important.”

John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations, Luke.

 

Using knowledge and facts to build a better tomorrow

John and his colleagues at Luke are convinced that sharing knowledge based on undeniable facts is fundamental to support our fight towards building a better tomorrow.

“It’s not about opinions. What we’re trying to do is having it all fact-based.“

John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations, Luke.

 

Fuel change through facts and knowledge

With a great focus on climate change and circular bio-economy development, Luonnonvarakeskus contributes to increasing the understanding of our impact on the environment and brings solutions to mitigate it.

One concrete illustration of Luke’s work is seen through how they support farmers with relevant, fact-based information to help them operate a sustainable, yet lucrative transition.

Help farmers plan “what do to next

Milk farms are threatened by the yearly decrease of milk-based products consumption, as revealed by the latest “What was eaten in Finland” reports:

Year

Milk products consumed

per capita in Finland (in kilograms)

2017

160

2018

155

2019

148

Sources: What was eaten in Finland in 2017-2019 - Luonnonvarakeskus (2018-2020).

 

The report also reveals an emerging trend: people are starting to consume a lot more oat-based products in Finland. An opportunity that farmers could jump on to meet growing demand.

Year

Oats products consumed

per capita in Finland (in kilograms)

2017

7.3

2018

7.3

2019

9.5 (+30.13%)

Sources: What was eaten in Finland in 2017-2019 - Luonnonvarakeskus (2018-2020).

 

Of course, farmers rely on heavy investments to run their business, and they need a lot of time and support to switch activities. This is why such information is vital for them as they can slowly plan a transition towards products that are both a) high in demand and b) have a smaller environmental footprint.

Another positive sign that Luke’s work contributes to changing mentalities is the attractivity of sustainable initiatives for young talent.


Sustainability attracts young talent

The evolution of our behaviours is also seen through what job seekers look for and believe in.

John reported that young jobseekers now prioritize what companies stand for above concrete benefits such as the offered salary. During the interview processes, it’s now common to have candidates asking questions such as “What is your company doing that’s sustainable?”, John added.

 

“There’s a real swing towards working in the natural resources research field.”

John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations, Luke.

 

What’s more, Luke won first place as the Most Attractive Employer in natural science in 2020 both for professionals and for students.

 

“TietoEVRY helps us to increase the impact of what we do”


Driving change isn’t only about good intentions.

In the 21st century, it requires a mastery of the latest technologies and communication methods. To put it another way, the more light Luonnonvarakeskus gets, the more knowledge it can spread.

This is something that TietoEVRY has been supporting John and his colleagues at Luke with.

 

Leverage digitalization to be more efficient

Luke’s workforce has been delivering invaluable studies for many years now. Their professionalism, work ethics, and overall understanding of the great challenges we’re facing contribute to making it one of the most renowned organizations to fuel sustainable change around the globe.

What they were lacking, however, was a comprehensive set of skills, tools, and processes to better position and market their expertise and, therefore, increase the impact of what they do to build a better tomorrow.

TietoEVRY supported teams at Luonnonvarakeskus with:

  • Defining a clear value proposition development to present their offering.
  • Building an efficient customer segmentation to seize opportunities

 

Refined value proposition

A value proposition refers to what an organization says it can deliver to its customers. While Luke had fantastic researchers, the organization was missing a clear value proposition to present its services. As John puts it, TietoEVRY’s expertise helped Luke’s teams “to make more of the knowledge that we have”.

“Really talented researchers were working in the sales group, but they were not getting enough information internally to further develop ideas so that we could make more of the knowledge that we have.”

John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations, Luke.

Today, Luke’s value proposition is clear and crisp.

 

“We are independent scientific research and advisory organization with a wide network of stakeholders. We actively research global change drivers and have the skills and knowledge to assess sustainability and holistic ecosystems.”

 

Improved customer segmentation

By implementing tools and processes to better segment their prospects and clients, TietoEVRY’s experts helped Luke’s teams to strengthen their sales process and prioritize key segments. As an example, having a clear and detailed customer segmentation helped John and his teams to visualize which companies in Finland could need their services, and how they could help them.

 

Why did Luke decide to work with TietoEVRY?

For starters, working with TietoEVRY came as a natural decision for John.

“TietoEVRY has a great reputation, they were familiar with our industry and they are reading from the same book.”

John Kettle, Director of Sales and International Relations, Luke.

 

John also mentioned that TietoEVRY’s team took the time to “listen and understand what our needs were”. Doing so, our experts at TietoEVRY were able to interpret Luke’s needs and deliver a tailored proposal on time, following a thorough timeline.

 

“Luke’s people carry a vast knowledge regarding sustainability matters and they keep pushing for a better tomorrow. This really is what our societies need these days. We are proud to have helped to give this knowledge more visibility for Luke’s customers.”

Antti Seppälä, Business Design Lead, TietoEVRY.

 

The journey towards a more sustainable world is paved with challenges

Fortunately, organizations like Luke are giving everything they have, each day, to spread knowledge and help consumers all around the globe to be better. Thanks to TietoEVRY experts’ experience and tailored support, Luonnonvarakeskus now relies on clearer and more efficient internal processes and ways to digest and understand the information.

TietoEVRY has provided digital experience consultancy services for Luke related to customer engagement and sales development during past years.

 

Antti Seppälä
Business Design Lead

Antti is a business designer who combines service design and business development skills in daily work. His perspectives are based on work as consultant, in-house strategist and business leader in the area of customer experience. Connect me on LinkedIn!

Author

Antti Seppälä

Business Design Lead

Share on Facebook Tweet Share on LinkedIn