Dan Sten Olsson - October 2019


Namely - to take into account the complexity or the two-sidedness, (the duality) of everything - to nevertheless act decisively by - being simple, fast and brave.

To be able to see ourselves from the outside and compare ourselves with other companies, at this year’s Sphere Forum, we met three traditional companies – Bonnier, Ericsson and Morris Law, three start-up companies – Kry, Einride and Serendipity/Hidden Dreams and an example of a different constellation for co-operation – Hybrit. We devoted one day to these meetings and half a day to reflect on what the comparisons mean to us. The common potential for improvement for all our units is the ability to collaborate effectively in groups. Actually, we have no employees. We have coworkers. We are all coworkers, regardless if we have the opportunity to influence decisions or not. All coworkers influence our results. It is therefore of utmost importance that everyone has the necessary powers to do a good job and relatively quick access to the information required to perform it.

A new thing, we learnt, is that start-up companies emphasize the importance of individual differences in each group in order to achieve a fruitful collaboration. Ideally, every individual should possess a truly superior ability in their area. At Stena we have always believed in competence and the importance of consistently developing new skills. Those who do not consistently try to develop will eventually be phased out. It is tough but inevitable due to today’s rapid technological changes. Openness to new ideas and energy paired with the ability to make use of them will thus be our only lasting competitive advantage.

Spending time with energetic, highly competent and strong-minded people is not easy. The ability to work together is only partly inherent. It needs to be practised. The purpose of co-operating is not really harmony. The purpose is to acheive results without excessive energy waste. Responsiveness and care for the common good win, as long as you understand the complexity and have the ability to find simple, communicable solutions.

We do not only believe in the blessings of new technologies. We believe in the ability of coworkers to leverage them for new businesses or ways of doing business.


  • So what prevents us from seizing new business opportunities?
  • What locks do the obstacles have?
  • What keys are missing, in order for us to open them?
  • From the old company, which survived for one hundred and fifty years, we learned:
  • To have the courage to challenge with the intention of making the best better!
  • To use our powers to take the initiative, instead of being a victim of external factors.
  • In order to succeed, you have to let go of your convenience, often to such an extent that you feel bad.
  • Too much self-confidence has killed many companies.
  • To make money each single day and at the same time build for the future.
  • Being a quick follower is not enough. You have to be the leader.

We should look for the best business opportunities, where there are possibilities to scale up. As a rule, this means that we should try to find solutions which entail some sort of digitization.

The motto for our next twelve months will be:

We care and live in hope, to continue to develop ourselves and our companies to become and remain leaders.


Dan Sten Olsson

Gothenburg 6 October 2019




We are proud of our past, rightfully so. Stena is a fantastic company that has grown and evolved over decades. However, we know that we cannot rely only on the recipe of a proud past to safeguard also a promising future. Especially now, when the world around us is changing rapidly, where do we find the right answers? And how to make sure we do not get lost in our search for the right paths to take? My belief is that our challenge is not primarily about finding the right answers, it must start by asking ourselves the right questions. To be curious, brave and look beyond the obvious.

A few weeks ago, the annual Sphere forum took place, gathering management teams from our different businesses, to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead by asking ourselves the right questions. We discussed in terms of “locks and keys” – what hurdles (locks) do we see ahead, both in the market but also within our own companies to remain successful? What are the actions (keys) that can help us open these locks?

One common conclusion was that we need to become better in utilizing the power in our people and teams, the power of “diversity of mind”. Peoples different ways of thinking, reasoning and app-roaching challenges is a gold mine in driving innovation, creating new solutions and challenge our blind spots.

It sounds obvious, but as many times it is easier said than done. Because it is not enough to safeguard that we have diverse teams. It is not even enough that we truly want and believe in the effect that diversity in teams can bring. We need to know why we want diversity to understand what we look for and how to get it. We need to understand how to facilitate the diversity to create the effects we are after. It very much boils down to leadership. A leadership that is more enabling than controlling. More based on networking than formal organization. More about sharing knowledge than protecting it. More about diversity of mind than minds who think alike. 

To support this leadership shift we have developed a program called Ready 4 Anything, available for our whole sphere. It’s a series of development activities, for leaders, experts and their teams to develop the skills needed to create and capture business value in a fast changing and unpredictable world, through the power of people and teams. 

This is not easy, it can even be quite uncomfortable at start. But without friction there is no spark, and we need the sparks to find the right questions! And – we need to do this staying true to our basic values. Staying true to who we are, but always in an improved version!

Eva Hansdotter

Director People & Organisational Excellence, Stena AB




The Tianjin Xingang Shipyard in north-eastern China is building the Global Mercy – the world's largest civilian hospital ship. Heading the project is Stena RoRo, commissioned in 2014 by the international aid organisation Mercy Ships. The vessel has now been launched and the equipment phase with wiring, piping and interior fittings is underway. Stena RoRo has 16 employees at the shipyard to monitor the complex project.

The Global Mercy is classified as a passenger vessel, designed for 500 passengers at sea and about 1,000 persons in port when used as a hospital. The ship is based on Stena RoRo’s RoPax concept Stena Seabird, and the flexibility of the concept will be particularly useful.     

“Where there’s usually a car deck, we’re building a hospital with six fully equipped operating theatres,” says Per Westling, CEO for Stena RoRo. “The project is unique with extremely stringent demands on flexibility and quality, and it is a joint undertaking by several European and Asian companies. We have experienced personnel on site monitoring construction and we’re quite happy with the results to date. It feels good that we’ve been able to contribute with our expertise on a project this important.” 

The equipment phase has now begun, initial painting both inside and outside has been completed and the ship can soon start its generators that will produce the necessary power both for propulsion and hospital equipment. 

Left: Rikard Olsson, Project Manager, Stena RoRo and the team at the site in China. Right: Prototypes of physical environment enables tests of both appearance and functions at the 600m2 constructed mock-up.


“We’ve constructed a 600 m2, two-storey mock-up,” says Staffan Stenfelt, New-building Manager at Stena RoRo. “The prototypes of physical environments we’ve created enable us to see everything in detail, and we can check both appearance and functions before implementation onboard. If anything needs to be adjusted, this can be done early on.”


Mercy Ships has offered free medical care to the world’s most needy for more than 40 years. The present hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, is out ten months at a time, calling on ports along the African coast to provide medical and dental care. The ship has been in Dakar, Senegal since August. By training local personnel, help is also provided to the nations visited in building up their own medical capacity.  

“With the new ship, we can more than double our assistance to the poorest of the poor with life-changing operations,” says Tomas Fransson, head of Mercy Ships’ Swedish organisation. “Our work is based on the efforts of volunteers, and once the Global Mercy is deployed, we’ll need twice as many as before. Although this naturally applies primarily to medical personnel, we also need people with many other skills, such as engineers and food service workers.” 

The ship has space for 199 patients and more than 600 staff members. There are six operating theatres and the total area is about 30,000 m2. The Global Mercy is scheduled for completion in about one year. 

Gross tonnage37,000 tonnes
Deadweight4,500 tonnes
Passenger capacity1,000 persons in port, 500 at sea

Read more and watch films about the building of Global Mercy here.




THE City of Belfast has been warmly welcomed into an illustrious group of locations around the world that have embraced The Knotted Gun sculpture and its supporting organisation, the Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVPF).

Belfast will join a number of international cities including New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, Cape Town and Berlin that host a permanent sculpture of The Knotted Gun – an international symbol of peace, created by the Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd for his friend John Lennon after he was shot and killed outside his home in New York on December 8th, 1980.

The bronze sculpture has been gifted to Belfast and its citizens by the Olsson Family from Sweden and was accepted on behalf of the City by Lord Mayor John Finucane at an unveiling ceremony held today (September 13th) at Girdwood Community Hub in North Belfast, where it will be on permanent display.

As owners of Europe’s largest ferry company Stena Line, which operates 7 ships and 3 routes to Britain from Belfast Harbour, the Olsson family has a long-standing relationship with Belfast and is committed to supporting lasting peace in Northern Ireland.

Presently there are over 30 locations around the world hosting one of the most recognisable symbols of peace which is supported internationally by a number of world-famous Global Non-Violence Ambassadors including Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Lionel Messi and many others.

Stena Line owner Dan Sten Olsson commented: “Northern Ireland is a very important region to Stena Line and we have a long history and relationship with the community here, which has helped us create one of the Company’s largest freight and passenger travel hubs.

“Since we moved our ferry services to Belfast in 1995, I personally and our company have established a bond with the City of Belfast and its people.  Having business interests around the world, I can say that Belfast is a good place to do business and hopefully we can leave a positive and lasting legacy – and not only on the commercial front.

“We’re investing in new ships, and continually supporting tourism and trading here BUT we’re also committed to being a good corporate citizen, so we’re very happy and proud today to donate this iconic peace sculpture, which was originally founded in Sweden, as a gift to Belfast and its citizens.”

Mr Olsson added: “We are fully aware that there is more to a City than its economic prosperity.  The unveiling of The Knotted Gun sculpture will also herald the start of a process of greater engagement for Belfast with the Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVPF), and perhaps there are examples and inspirations from around the world that we can harness here today to hopefully play a small part in this continuing journey for Belfast and Northern Ireland.”

Belfast’s Lord Mayor John Finucane said: “The Knotted Gun is a world-renowned symbol of peace and non-violence and I’m delighted that Belfast will be joining a very vibrant and engaged family of cities around the globe in hosting this iconic sculpture. The siting of the sculpture is also hugely significant as Girdwood Community Hub has been developed as a shared space as part of our city’s ongoing journey on the path of peace and reconciliation.”

“On behalf of the city of Belfast and all its citizens, I would like to sincerely thank Mr Olsson and his family for making this enormously generous and inspiring donation. It’s an honour to accept it and I trust its presence here will be an inspiration for generations to come.”

Jan Hellman, Chairman and Co-founder of the Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVPF), added: “To be here in Belfast and be a part of the unveiling of the world’s strongest peace symbol, the Knotted Gun, is an important step for the Non-Violence Project Foundation. The symbol is a universal message of peace and non-violence, it speaks louder than words, crossing all cultures, religions and ages and it is an honour to welcome Belfast as an official ‘City for Peace’. Also, a warm thank you to Stena Line, a perfect and very serious partner in our quest to stem violence around the world.”

For more information please contact:

Carl Mårtensson, PR & Communications Manager, Stena Line, +46 704 85 83 32 or press@stenaline.com


About Stena Line: Stena Line is one of Europe’s leading ferry companies with 37 vessels and 20 routes in Northern Europe. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe with its extensive passenger operations. The company is family-owned, was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Gothenburg. Stena Line is part of the Stena AB Group, which has about 16 000 employees and an annual turnover of around 36,5 billion SEK. For more information please visit www.stenaline.com

About Belfast City Council: Belfast City Councilis the local authority with responsibility for part of the city of Belfast, the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. The Council serves an estimated population of 333,871 (2011) the largest of any district council in Northern Ireland, while also being the fourth smallest by area. Belfast City Council is the primary council of the Belfast Metropolitan Area, a grouping of six district councils with commuter towns and overspill from Belfast, containing a total population of 579,276. The current Lord Mayor is John Finucane of Sinn Féin. Councillor Finucane was first elected to council in the local elections held on 2 May 2019.

About the Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVPF):The NVPF is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to INSPIRE, MOTIVATE & ENGAGE young people on how to solve conflicts peacefully. It holds violence prevention and non-violence education programs for schools and sports clubs around the world. NVPF, which was registered in 1993 in Geneva, Switzerland and has currently offices in 11 countries around the world. Its logo is the iconic Knotted Gun sculpture named Non-Violence. NVPF has educated eight million students, teachers, and sports coaches with programs covering three main subjects: conflict management, self-esteem building, and non-violence.



For the third year in a row, Stena Line launched a fleet-wide donation campaign to support the free, life-saving medical treatments that Mercy Ships provides from its hospital ship in countries where it’s needed the most.

This year the campaign started 1 October and throughout the month customers on all 37 vessels will be encouraged to Round Up for Charity. At the end of the month Stena Line will round up as well – hoping to beat last year’s result of 200,000 SEK.

What’s better still is, Mercy Ships has been appointed a UK Aid Match* Partner for the last quarter of 2019. This means every pound donated to Mercy Ships from a vessel travelling to and from the UK will be matched by the British government – up until 31 December and up to a possible 2 million GBP.


The Stena Line mascot Happy the porpoise has been very well received among our young travellers, and he now brings double the happiness. We are donating 1 Euro for every Happy toy sold in our on board shops, directly to Mercy Ships. Since the launch of the new collaboration we’ve seen an increase in the number of Happys sold, generating a much-needed additional monthly donation for Mercy Ships.

*UK Aid Match works to bring charities, people and the UK Government together to collectively change lives. If you want to read more about the UK Aid Match and of how you can contribute, please visit ukaidmatch.org or mercyships.org.uk.



The global charity organisation Mercy Ships has been our partner since 2017. In addition to fundraising and creating awareness, we aim to contribute with the unique technical and naval competence held by our employees. This year, two able seamen and two engineers joined the other volunteers at the yard in Grand Canaria, preparing the sailing hospital Africa Mercy for her next mission to Senegal.

Mercy Ships is run by volunteers and every year around 1,300 people work and contribute onboard the sailing hospital Africa Mercy. As well as medical expertise such as nurses, doctors and dentists there is also a need for other volunteers to keep the hospital ship running including chefs, engineers and teachers.  And, in order to provide help where it is needed the most, Mercy Ships is dependent on volunteers with a completely different skillset – seamen.

“In Mercy Ships we have found a partner that like us see the benefits of having the ocean and ships as your workplace. I’m very proud of our employees who choose to contribute with their nautical competence to the important work that Mercy Ships do”, says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.

The volunteer program is part of Stena Line’s sustainability strategy

The program was launched in 2017 and employees from all eight of the shipping company’s regions are encouraged to apply. In accordance with Mercy Ships’ values, all volunteers work for free. 

However, Stena Line guarantees their leave of absence and covers overhead expenses as well as their vaccinations. If you want to read more about our partnership or volunteering for Mercy Ships, please visit stenaline.com/mercyships. 

Martina Thowsen, Able Seaman. Alexander Gustafsson, Able Seaman. Cees de Jong and Misha Vellinga, engineers.

“It felt good contributing to a great cause”

Martina Thowsen normally works as an Able Seaman on the Stena Scandinavica, operating the Gothenburg-Kiel route. During dry dock on board Africa Mercy in Las Palmas she worked as a night watchman making fire safety patrols and assisted in the general maintenance, grinding rust and painting the vessel. 

“I had no idea how it would feel to come on board the Africa Mercy, but I felt very much at home and met so many fantastic people from all over the world. And even though I wasn’t part of the medical team, it felt good contributing to a great cause,” says Martina. She adds: “I really enjoy my time here, and I can see myself returning in the future.”

“Seamanship is an international language that all sailors speak”

The role of Able Seaman is one of 200 different positions needed to run the Africa Mercy and during dry dock the deck crew plays a very important part to get the ship ready for its journey. A lot of maintenance needs to be done in a short period of time meanwhile new supplies and equipment need to be brought onboard. 

“It was a great atmosphere between colleagues on board, and we were constantly learning from each other when discussing how we should handle a new situation. It was fun to see that seamanship is an international language that all sailors speak”, says Alexander Gustafsson who usually works as an Able Seaman on the Stena Nautica, operating the Varberg-Grenaa route.

“Beautiful work is being done”

While Martina and Alexander got leave of absent to volunteer for three months, Cees and Misha from the North Sea decided to support the team during their summer vacation. With their technical background they were able to assist in numerous projects. 

“Misha and I were assigned to a team that completes all kinds of projects in the accommodation of the ship. You should think of replacing the ball bearings of all fans and electric motors of the ventilation system. Also, bigger projects were current, such as maintenance work on the propeller shafts, replacing the entire IT system by a new installation. Even the diesel generators, which we know from our fleet, were completely overhauled” says Cees de Jong, Chief Engineer from the Stena Transit.

Misha and Cees were happy to volunteer and every day they felt that the people on board were very grateful that Stena Line has entered into a partnership with Mercy Ships. The mix of cultures and bond that arose made their experience unforgettable. 

“There are about 200 crew members with approximately 40 different nationalities from all over the world which come and go for long or short periods. It’s a fun place, there is a special atmosphere on board with all the volunteers and the great work that is being done” says Misha Vellinga,
Electrician from the Stena Transit. 




Donsö Shipping Meet was created to promote Swedish shipping internationally. In contrast to other events, the highest priority is on encounters between people and opportunities to establish genuine contacts. For three days, 2,000 visitors and 250 exhibitors gathered on Donsö – a small island in the Gothenburg archipelago, where Stena originated.

As Global Head of Corporate Identity for Stena AB, Lena Alvling was responsible for the communication concept for the Stena shipping company booth, shared by Stena Line’s subsidiary Retail and Food Services and Stena Oil from the Stena Metall Group, under the theme “Stena investing for the future”. Elisabeth Anckar-Ottenfalk made sure that everything was working smoothly in the booth, where among other things, Stena’s fleet was on display in a simplified version of the digital platform Orbit, and visitors could meet representatives from the various companies.

“It’s very inspiring when we’re seen together,” says Lena Alvling. “And it strengthens us! It’s also good for our customers and suppliers who visit our booth because they get the chance to meet all the companies in one place. Donsö Shipping Meet is also a good opportunity to attract labour to the shipping industry.”

Jonas Backman, MD, Sirius Shipping and Dan Sten Olsson.

In addition to the displays, Shipping Meet also includes speed meetings and inspirational seminars. A financial workshop was held Tuesday morning and in the afternoon there was a very well-attended commercial meet under the theme Surrounding World Analysis, introduced by Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO, Stena Rederi AB who was also the moderator. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, Carl-Henrik Svanberg, Chairman of the Volvo Board and Alrik Danielsson, President and CEO, SKF discussed the global situation from various perspectives. In the evening, there was a banquet for nearly 2000 seated guests in a tent at the quayside with entertainment by such popular artists as Tommy Körberg.

“Stena is proud to support this truly amazing event that attracts visitors and inspirational speakers from around the world. Seeing how Donsö residents help with every-thing from transport to food and service is fantastic,” says Lena. “They’re the ones who make this work.”

Stena's booth at Donsö Shipping Meet. Well-attended commercial meet.




Your connecting flight is unexpectedly cancelled, and you are now stuck in Schiphol Airport. The business meeting is in 4 hours. It is at times like this you need effective and trusted support to guide you onward.

Offering the business traveller a personalised service is one of the key objectives of Clyde Travel AB, a Northern Marine Group company located in Gothenburg.

It has been one year since the Company launched its services by issuing its first airline ticket to a travelling customer: a return flight from Stockholm to Gothenburg.

A Swedish offshoot of UK-based parent company, Clyde Travel Management; the business’s services are delivered from Stena AB headquarters by its four Swedish travel consultants.

Currently providing travel support to many Stena Group companies, the business has enjoyed a successful first year of operations during which 6,500 flight tickets have been issued, 2,600 hotel bookings have been made and 1,400 rail journeys have been booked. 

Paul Cronje, Director, said: “Our first-year objectives have been entirely operational: employ the right people, establish customer relationships, explore market differences and adjust and secure a smooth flow of data from the reservation to the invoice. 

“We were very fortunate to quickly find an exceptional team of travel consultants in Arne, Lena, Anna-karin and Ellinor and being a part of the Stena Group has played a fundamental role in establishing this business. 

“For modern day travel management companies to thrive, they need to have a multi-cultural and global footprint; not necessarily to be ‘bigger’ but definitely to be ‘better’ at understanding the global trends in the travel space and adapting quickly in lagging markets.”

As well as benefitting from its parent company’s well-established travel management operations and know-how, Clyde Travel AB can rely on its employees’ in-depth knowledge of the Swedish travel industry and the requirements of both onshore and offshore travelling professionals.


Consultant, added: “The Swedish market, like many global markets, differs from the UK in many respects especially in terms of technology, traveller expectations, forms of payment and VAT regulations. 

“We therefore couldn’t simply take a copy of Clyde Travel Management and paste it in Gothenburg. What we offer today in Sweden is a Swedish value proposal but still distinctly different in the local market: we have chosen to establish ourselves as ‘high-touch’ service-orientated instead of following the global trend among travel management companies to be more faceless.

“The biggest success in our first year of operations has been all the happy customers. It has been a great advantage being an in-house travel agency within the Stena HQ, as this has led to quick feedback both to us and to our customers. The team has a lot of competence and knowledge of the industry and we have really got to understand our customers well.”

Second year objectives for the Company includes the increased utilisation of its self-booking platform and the increased usage of data analysis tools to improve services. 

Clyde Travel AB is the only travel management company in Sweden which holds membership in the WIN Travel Network, offering the Company increased ticket buying power, consolidated data, access to leading hotel programmes, and enhanced local market knowledge.

In addition, Clyde Travel Management is one of only a handful of travel management companies which benefits from a New Distribution Technology, enjoying direct pricing arrangements with airlines such as British Airways, thus offering fare flexibility and a more personalised service to clients. It is hoped the NDC agreement will soon be extended to Clyde Travel AB. 

Paul added: “We still have some way to go to implement more advanced technology and products to the Swedish market, but at heart travel consultants want to serve and please. The more faceless travel becomes, the more valuable a personal service is. We are confident we are offering the right balance.”


Stena Leadership Program, Ready 4 Anything


Diversity is becoming an increasingly important factor for businesses to be able to develop and be innovative in a fast-moving environment. But a business characterised by diversity also places new demands on leadership. Through the training Exploring the Golden Minds, which is part of the leadership program Ready 4 Anything, Stena's leaders will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge in the field.

To discover and take advantage of new opportunities, it is important to dare to break patterns, challenge oneself, listen to others who think differently and see that value can come from many different directions. This means that successful businesses need a variety of different perspectives. But it is not enough to recruit with diversity as a starting point. It is also important to be able to highlight the different perspectives that diversity offers, although it sometimes might take a longer time and involve some degree of conflict.

“A good way to do this is through facilitation, where the leader acts as a catalyst rather than an expert and ensures that everyone’s perspective emerges. Facilitation is extra beneficial when it comes to issues where no single individual can have the solution to the problem by herself or himself and can be used for a particular topic as well as for the group process itself”, says Maria Holmberg, Head of People & Innovation, Stena Fastigheter and program manager for the module.

A decisive factor for everyone’s perspective to really emerge is that there is a psychological security in the group. During the training, discussions are held about how to create such psychological security in groups back home.

“This means that you need to create a permissive environment where everyone dares to ask questions, express their opinions and have the opportunity to make mistakes. In such an environment you get creative people who can and want to contribute”, Maria Holmberg points out.

In addition to theoretical parts, several practical elements are included in the education. Among other things, the participants have the opportunity to try to facilitate, experience the benefits and challenges of diversity and try different types of group compositions. Before the course itself, all participants also do a Disc test. This provides a good basis for being able to make different types of group divisions that show how different results can be depending on whether the group is composed of people who are similar or different to each other.

“A big advantage with these exercises is that you really get a “safe zone” with no performance requirements, where you can be open, fearless and curious about how you can try to achieve the best results and at the same time develop yourself and your leadership”, says Maria Holmberg.

Register for the modules at the R4A website: r4a.stena.life

The new leadership program Ready 4 Anything develops Stena’s future leaders

Leaders at Stena are responsible for developing their employees, the business and themselves, which requires new skills as the outside world changes. The new Leadership Program Ready 4 Anything (R4A) is another step along the path towards positioning Stena’s leaders to capture the opportunities of the future. The program is divided into six modules, which are given on an ongoing basis and which are aimed at all leaders within Stena.


Hannes Pinkenburg, Product Owner SAILS, Transformation, Stena Line

What did you like most about this

”I really appreciate the whole journey with these educational programs, that highlight the ongoing transformation and open up for changes and how you can manage them.  Here, you get the opportunity to challenge yourself and learn in a safe environment, in a way that you cannot do otherwise. These two days have both provided inspiration, critical reflection in a positive way and several new ideas on how to best take advantage of the potential that diversity means.”

Eva-Lotta Vinskär, Marketing and Sales Manager Stena Bygg, Stena Fastigheter

What concrete parts of the education do you consider most valuable for your daily work?

“We have had many interesting exercises and discussions that have given us the opportunity to reflect on how groups and the different roles in the group work. We have also been given tools for recruitment and how to facilitate a group so that everyone’s opinions will be expressed. I think these trainings are a great initiative by Stena and very valuable to the company and the challenges we face. Each module is an important piece of the whole puzzle.”

Antje Pahlow, Business Analyst, Stena Line, Region Germany

What will you bring back home from this day?

”The education has both highlighted important aspects of diversity and given the opportunity to reflect upon your own behavior. The discussions and exercises on how to facilitate a group and thus find solutions to complex problems were very useful. Getting the opportunity to think about how to recruit in a way that creates diversity has also been very good. If you are not aware of the issue, it is easy to primarily choose people who are similar to yourself.”

Marcus Dahlinder, Business Controller, Stena AB

What do you think has been most valuable about attending the education?

”I am driven by the networking and find it extremely valuable to establish contacts with others within Stena. It’s both about to be able to share each other’s experiences on the spot and to help each other in different situations afterwards. One concrete thing I will bring back is what’s important when facilitating a group and how you can do to get a good result. The training also included a personality test. In addition to the personal reflection that it entails, it became a useful starting point for creating groups with a mix that challenged us in different ways.”

Petra Ihrskog, Strategic HR Business Partner, SKF 

How come you participated in the education and what was the best thing about it?

”Stena is seen as a pioneer when it comes to the entire Ready 4 Anything concept and we want to benchmark to learn more. This applies to this education that deals with diversity, as well as other parts of the program. I liked the mix of theory and practice, especially that there were so many practical exercises and an opportunity to reflect on them together. An inspiring mix of people, high energy and an open climate also contributed to a very rewarding education.”

Don’t miss out! 

Modules in Ready 4 Anything that you can sign up for right now

  • Exploring the Golden Minds: 27-28 November 2019
  • Gain or Drain: 5 February 2020, 26 March 2020, 6 May 2020,
    3 September 2020, 25 November 2020
  • Envisioning the Future: 28 January-3 February 2020,
    24 March-21 April 2020, 5 May-4 June 2020,
    25 August-2 September 2020, 6 October-3 November 2020,
    17 November-15 December 2020.



Stena Recycling's new Circular Initiative for sustainability puts the focus on an important societal challenge and is attracting decision-makers from Sweden's largest industrial companies. Several projects for developing circular material flows are already underway.

“A few years ago, sustainability was a secondary issue, but today we can see that it’s increasingly becoming a part of companies’ business strategies. Development has rapidly advanced and we’re both proud and happy that there are so many of us here today.”

This was the message from Kristofer Sundsgård, CEO for Stena Recycling, at the first major meeting within Circular Initiative. The new initiative is an arena for cross sector collaboration.Two-hundred attendees from industry, academia and government came to learn more and to identify collaborative forms for contributing to circular material flows. Representatives from ABB, Stora Enso, Electrolux and Combitech took the stage to describe their visions and projects.

“The idea with the initiative is to open the way for new collaborative forms,” says Lovisa Andersson from Stena Recycling, project manager for the Circular Initiative. “If we’re to achieve circular material flows, companies from various industry sectors must look for ways to collaborate in order to establish concrete plans of action and measures. 

Initially, the companies may not appear to have any common denominators, but once we sit down at the same table, I’m convinced that we’ll quickly discover new opportunities. One man’s waste is another man’s asset. We’re also convinced that new technology in digitalization and AI will strongly contribute to circular material flows.” 

The initiative is yet another step in Stena Recycling’s work to lead the way when it comes to sustainable solutions for a circular economy.

“For companies to be sustainable, it’s not enough with converting from fossil fuel to green electricity,” says Mattias Nilsson, sales and marketing manager at Stena Recycling. “They must also begin looking at their resource management. This is an area in which we can help companies with our expertise.”

The main purpose of the event in Stockholm was to welcome more participants to the arena, where decision-makers can meet and discuss how materials can be used more responsibly. From Stena Recycling’s side, it is important to go beyond discussions to concrete projects. The collaboration between Stena Recycling, ABB, Combitech and Electrolux is a good example, where tests are conducted for how robot technology and AI can improve the recycling of electrical products. 

Despite planning for the Circular Initiative having only begun at the end of last year, attendance and engagement were considerable. Jacob Wallenberg, chairman of the Swedish investment company Investor, was one of those who took the stage to share his visions:

“We’ve now reached a point where society is demanding that industry take responsibility. If you don’t engage in sustainability, you’ll lose both customers and employees – your company won’t survive. But if you address these issues in the right way, you’re not only supporting global goals for the environment, your business will probably do better as well.” 

The idea is that the Circular Initiative will become an annual event, but with work underway throughout the year.

“What it’s about now is identifying all the existing initiatives and seeing if there are others who want to collaborate on different projects,” says Mattias Nilsson. “Next is to bring the projects we’ve now started to completion so that we can present them next year.”

CIRCULAR MATERIAL FLOWSCircular material flows entail using products already produced instead of producing new. The recycling branch plays a decisive role in this. There is potential both in cost savings and in reduction of environmental impact. Circular material flows reduce dependence on our finite resources.



In June, eleven Swedish Upper Secondary School students received the Stena Circular Economy Award. The award is in the form of scholarships for Upper Secondary School students who are contributing to conversion to a circular economy with more efficient conservation of the Earth's resources.

“All initiatives that spark discussion on the circular economy are important, and that this is happening among young people is invaluable,” says Christer Forsgren,
Head of Research & Development, Stena Recycling and initiator of the scholarship.

“That someone sees my engagement and cares about the climate and its effects gives me hope for the future,” says
Henriette Arrland, who received a
scholarship for her work with the relation-ship between access to water and
economic growth. “It gives me the
motivation to continue my engagement.” ⁄

For more information about the scholarship, please click here.



Through daily efforts from Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management and repeated demands for release from both the Swedish and UK Foreign Offices, the Stena Impero was finally able to leave Bandar Abbas and Iran after 71 days.

After many turnabouts, the Stena Impero was finally able to weigh anchor and leave Bandar Abbas at 9.30 am on Friday, September 27. Three hours later, the tanker reached international waters and at 10.55 pm, local time, it arrived in Dubai, where relatives of the crew and staff from Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management (NMM) were waiting.

”It’s a huge relief, especially for the crew, of course, who obviously were happy to get off the ship. They were shaken, but physically in good health. And they seem to have the situation under control, but this is of course something we follow up on for as long as it’s needed,” says Stena Bulk’s President & CEO Erik Hånell.

The vessel was also, under the circumstances, in good condition and got a new crew in Dubai.



71 days earlier, late in the afternoon of July 19, Stena Bulk got the first call from the Stena Impero stating that Iranian authorities had called up the UK-flagged vessel when it was in Omani territorial waters, sailing through the Strait of Hormuz. Ten minutes later, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps came aboard, seized the ship and steered it north towards Iran.

”We immediately activated our Emergency Response Team within Stena Bulk and NMM. Already after 15-20 minutes we were operational and had our first discussion about how we should act towards the media and Iranian, Swedish and British authorities. We quickly established communication centres at Stena Bulk and NMM to receive information and try to reach a solution as quickly as possible. And not least to find out why it was seized,” says Erik Hånell.



But they didn’t get much information. Contact with the ship was broken ten minutes after the Revolutionary Guard Corps got on board. However, through the AIS transponder they could see that it anchored outside Iran’s largest port, Bandar Abbas.

”On July 21, we sent a request that they release the ship, or at least its non-essential personnel. Three to four days later they replied that we could talk to the ship’s Master for three minutes every Thursday and that the crew members were allowed to call their families ten minutes per day. Only then did we know that the crew was physically well, but on edge of course.”



Daily, Stena Bulk continued their efforts to get the ship and its crew free and to be allowed to get on board. After we met with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was visiting Sweden on August 4, we were able to establish regular contact with Iranian authorities at ambassador and foreign minister level, and one month later seven crew members were released.

”Since the ship was seized, this situation has taken a large portion of the day for me and a number of people at Stena Bulk and NMM. Throughout the process, there has also been great interest from Swedish authorities to help us in this situation. The UK Foreign Office and Department for Transport’s maritime division have also had legal contact with Iranian authorities,” says Erik Hånell, who wants to thank everyone that’s been engaged in the process.

Stena Bulk and Northern Marine would not act differently should a similar situation arise in the future.

”We’ve been transparent throughout the process and our professional staff has had as good control as you can possibly have over such a situation, and they’ve invested tremendous energy in constantly checking all boxes there are in order to move the process forward. Without our efforts and drive we wouldn’t be in this situation today,” says Erik Hånell.

“The professionalism of the Master and crew members onboard the Stena Impero is commendable. To demonstrate the resilience of ten weeks of captivity in such a positive way, as well as compliance with our core values in ship management under the difficult conditions, showcases leadership, teamwork and our culture of avoiding complacency. We very much thank all the crew members onboard and acknowledge that under such hardship it was an extremely difficult task,” says Philip Fullerton, Managing Director, NMM.

1 October, Ed. Note: Stena Bulk is still waiting for a formal accusation as to why the Stena Impero was seized. 


The Portrait - Cecilia Andersson


Stena Line aim to become a leader in sustainable shipping. As the Environmental Manager at Stena Line, Cecilia Andersson is a driving force in attaining this goal.

In 2016, Stena Line’s management decided to put sustainability high on the agenda, and in conjunction with this, an entirely new sustain-ability department was formed with the aim of intensifying work with sustainability for all Stena Line’s ports, vessels and offices. Cecilia took on the role and challenge as Environmental Manager and her job description became much wider than before.

“When I started as an Environmental Controller at Stena Line in 2010, I worked mostly with environmental and permit issues for our Swedish ports and Scandinavian vessels,” says Cecilia. “My duties included supporting the ships and ports with environmental goals, monitoring and implementing various projects. Everything from waste and chemical handling improvements to reduced noise and emissions into the air and water.” At the group level, I was responsible for sustainability reporting to Stena AB and introduced the SAVE e-learning to inspire and educate our colleagues how to save energy and resources.

“My current role involve all ten countries in which we have operations, and sustainability is high on the agenda, encompassing environ-mental, ethical and social issues.”

The UN has set 17 global goals for sustainable development, and based on these, Stena Line has developed five focus areas and linked them to the company’s operations. The five focus areas are Good Health and Well-being, Clean Energy, Responsible Consumption, Life Below Water and Equality, and Inclusion.

“Activities related to these focus areas is largely driven by other functions, but we maintain the overall approach, provide support, report to management and produce a sustainability overview,” says Cecilia. “There are many different sustainability issues we need to deal with because our operations are so broad. On the one hand, it is about technical operation and environmental impact in ports and on vessels, but we also have hotel and restaurant operations, which have completely different challenges. My job also includes monitoring global developments and communication, not least for gaining new knowledge and learning from others. An important part of this work is that since the spring of 2019, I’ve chaired the Environmental Committee at the Swedish Shipowners’ Associ-ation, where various shipping companies learn from each other, monitor new legislation and try to influence future laws.”



“Internally, the biggest challenge is in getting everyone to understand that the things we do together actually make a difference,” says Cecilia. “But it is important to communicate this in the right way, and a decision made at the head office can be difficult to implement in a large organi-sation. It is primarily about leadership, acceptance and willingness to change one’s behaviour. We have 20 ports, 37 vessels and over 5,000 employees, and change takes time. We’re now launching an updated e-learning, Save More, which we hope will prove to be a good tool and provide inspiration and help along the way. 

“Another challenge is in making our sustainability journey sustainable even from an economic perspective.  Our customers take it for granted that we work with sustainability but are not always prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly travel and transport. We’re also lacking enough good means of control for further development of greener shipping. Even if we could technically make certain investments and use cleaner fuel, this would simply be too expensive to implement.” 

Compared to Cecilia’s previous experience in the steel and automotive industries, which have a long history of environmental regulation, she says that shipping’s degree of maturity in sustain-
ability was low when she started at Stena Line nearly 10 years ago. A big change can now be seen in terms of demands from authorities, the general public and the global operating environ-ment, as well as from within the company.

“Since I started, a lot has happened. We have gone from having one person working with environmental issue to the entire company accepting that sustainability should permeate everything we do,” she says. “My dream is for everyone to understand that what each of us do, really does matter. We cannot stand still, and if a hotel can be eco-labelled our vessels must be able to accomplish this too. Our ambition is to be a leader in sustainable shipping. But must show our customers that we actually live up to this. It’s about credibility and our brand, but in the long run it’s about the survival of the company. Ashore, the development of cleaner fuel and electrification is moving at a fast pace. Shipping must never be the least environmental friendly mode of transport.”



“My husband and I share everything that concerns the children and the home, which is very important in achieving a good work-life balance. If you want to reduce your environ-mental impact, park your car and cycle as much as possible. Dare to try something new, like a vegetarian lunch. Last summer, the whole family took the train to Croatia. It was great fun and we want to do it again. In my work I take many meetings via Skype, but of course it’s also important to physically visit sites now and then.”

NameCecilia Andersson
TitleEnvironmental Manager, Stena Line
Years at Stena9,5
FamilyHusband Rickard and three children, 6, 11 and 13 years of age.
InterestsExercise in all forms, spending time in the nature and going to concerts.



The municipal elementary school in Fisksätra, east of Stockholm, has suffered from few applicants for serveral years. In September, Stena Real Estate bought the school from the municipality. The acquisition of the elementary school building is unique in the company's history, and is part of the work to strengthen the whole of Fisksätra. In the autumn of 2021, the school opens again – with the Viktor Rydberg Foundation as principal.

You couldn’t miss the joy in the voice of Kristy Lundström, Head of School at Viktor Rydberg, when she talks about the new school in Fisksätra. Even though the interview is done by phone, the whole room is filled with excitement. And these are clearly exciting times for Viktor Rydberg’s schools, as it’s the first time they have the opportunity to start a school for children from 6 to 16 years old.

”It’s great to get to work with students when they have just started school, and follow them until they graduate. We work with active learning and the concept ”the brain wants to have fun”. Thus, it’s very satisfying to be part of a context where we can work so closely with other stakeholders. Stena Fastigheter’s vision of strengthening Fisksätra suits us very well. We want the school to be a hub, and to build relationships between students from Fisksätra and young people living in other parts of Stockholm ”, says Kristy Lundström.

The Viktor Rydberg schools’ foundation runs independent schools known for their competent teachers and students with excellent study results. Kristy Lundström herself has followed Viktor Rydberg’s development since the start of their first high school in Danderyd in 1994, until now. By this point, they are running seven high schools and upper secondary schools in the Stockholm area. When the Swedish school authority Skolinspektionen gives its approval, the school in Fisksätra will become the eighth.

”One of our mantras is to always have positive expectations. Everyone can learn and all children look forward to going to school. And if they don’t, it’s our job to make sure they will. We are convinced that all parents want to see their children succeed. Together, we will ensure that’s just what the children at Viktor Rydberg’s schools in Fisksätra will do. What drives us are personal relationships, quality in school work and the courage to be innovative and think entrepreneurially. That’s what inspires us who work here”, says Kristy Lundström.



As for Stena Fastigheter, the acquisition of Fisksätraskolan is an important step in continuing developing Fisksätra. Here Stena Fastigheter has just over 2,500 apartments, with plans for a number of new rental apartments and condominiums.

”A well-functioning school is the single most important issue for the residents of Fisksätra. An attractive school is also a prerequisite for Fisksätra to develop and become an even more prosperous district. The school contributes to increased pride, commitment and stability”, says PG Sabel, CEO Stena Fastigheter Stockholm.

Karin Linander, who works as Property Manager at Stena Fastigheter Stockholm, describes how the company has long followed the discussions around the school in Fisksätra, but how something suddenly happened in 2018.

”Before the last election to the parliament, the associations in Fisksätra organised a political hearing. It turned out that what the residents were really interested in, and what discussions took most of the time, were the ones concerning the school. Then we realised that we could not go on for several years without doing anything”, says Karin Linander.

After that, things have moved on rapidly. Ideas and drawings from one of Sweden’s foremost architects Thomas Sandell have been produced and discussions have been held with the management of Viktor Rydberg’s schools as well as with the municipality’s politicians. In May 2019, this led to Nacka municipality being informed that Fisksätra-skolan would be sold. In June, the city council confirmed the decision.

”Fewer students tend to choose Fisksätraskolan. Only 92 out of 750 school children in Fisksätra have chosen Fisksätraskolan. The school has a hard time attracting educated teachers, the study results are low and it is not recommended by parents. All in all, this means that the school has reached a breaking point where it can no longer offer an education meeting our requirements”, said Einar Fransson, Production Director, Nacka’s municipal schools, in a press release when the sale became official.

However, the decision was not welcomed by everyone. Primarily criticism came from the opposition, but even parents of children at Fisksätraskolan felt that the decision was made too quickly. They felt that they didn’t have enough time to apply for a new school for the autumn term. The municipality agreed that the process was short but necessary and assured that every student would be offered a place at another school in the immediate area.

”All students are entitled to a great, stimulating education. I am very positive that Viktor Rydberg, one of Sweden’s very best schools, wants to establish a business in Fisksätra. It will be an important part of our future investment in Fisksätra,” says Mats Gerdau, Chairman of the municipal council in a press release.


School and preschool activities at Fisksätraskolan ended during the summer. On September 2 this year, Stena Fastigheter was officially admitted to the school. At the turn of the year, extensive renovations are expected to begin and if everything goes as planned, the school will open in the autumn of 2021.

”This is a school from the 1970s. A lot of things have to be improved to meet the requirements of today and together with the architectural firm, we are now looking at what we will do next.  For me personally, it has been a really exciting journey, to be able to help developing Fisksätra,” says Karin Linander, Property Manager Stena Fastigheter Stockholm.


Located at the inlet of the Baltic Sea in Nacka municipality, east of Stockholm, Fisksätra is beautifully nestled between the forest and the sea. 



Stena Fastigheter is the owner of more than 2,500 apartments in Fisksätra. The company is investing heavily in the development of the area. The acquisition of Fisksätraskolan is one of those investments. Up to 2030, extensive renovations of the existing houses will be completed. New housing, rental as well as condominiums, nursing homes and preschools will be built. To begin with, 380 homes will be built in Fisksätra Entré.



The Viktor Rydberg schools’ foundation was founded in 1994 by Louise Ankarcrona and Louise Westerberg. It is a Swedish foundation with all returns reinvested in the business. Today, the foundation runs three high schools and four upper secondary schools with more than 3,000 students and 315 employees in the Stockholm area. The foundation’s schools are private schools. The new school in Fisksätra, tentatively named Viktor Rydberg’s school in Fisksätra, will have capacity for about 540 students between 6 and 16 years old.




On June 17 this year, the City Council of Nacka Municipality decided to sell Fisksätraskolan to Stena Fastigheter. About the same time, all present operations were closed down. All students have chosen and been given places in other schools. The community youth center will move into new premises in the end of the year and the community house in the spring 2020.