Malin Löfgren - Rookieprogram Luleå

Malin wants to live and work sustainably

I have always been interested in science and the environment. It feels like I'm in the right place in life right now with an interesting job in a region that enables one of my goals - to live in the countryside and be self-sufficient."

From vast plains in Skåne to mountains and forests in Norrland. Malin Löfgren's new life began with a degree project on sustainability in the High Coast in the wake of Covid. Today, she has just started her professional career in a role as a Climate and Sustainability Consultant through AFRY's Rookie Program.

AFRY's Rookie Program is aimed at newly graduated engineers and means that you get to work on sharp projects with great guidance and support for a year. Malin already knew about AFRY and feels that she got off to a good start.

"I did a job during my student days at AFRY and I had heard it was a nice place to work. I knew that the company was, and is large with offices all over the world, that the atmosphere was good with an open and fun climate where you can grow. When I did the interview for the position of Climate Consultant, I was even more excited when I realized that there was an opportunity to make a real impact here," says Malin.

 

Malin Löfgren standing beside a wall

Do you get the support you need?

"Yes, absolutely. There is always someone to ask and the system for rookies is great - we have several meetings during the year when we all meet nationally to learn more about the role of consultants and exchange ideas and thoughts. I have good support from my colleagues and manager, plus there are usually two consultants on each project. You also get the opportunity to develop through 'learning by doing' - and I like that."

Woman and man looking at forest

What motivations have brought you to where you are today?

"Nature has always been close to my heart, as has to create my own things. For me, it is both fun and natural to make use of things like second-hand clothes and furniture. My partner and I are both interested in organic shopping, i.e. buying locally-produced food without intermediaries. My interest in the environment has been with me since secondary school and has both increased and been shaped by the current debate. At the same time, I have listened to all the major sustainability projects in northern Sweden via the media. This made Norrland feel like the right choice for both me and my partner and for a sustainable future."

Can you give a brief description of your role?

"My task is to contribute to the project having a lower climate impact. This may involve preparing climate calculations and conducting workshops with different areas of expertise in the project on alternative solutions to reduce climate impact. Thereafter I develop proposals for action. Now I work with both rail and road projects throughout Sweden from Luleå."

Can you give some concrete examples?

"Each project is unique and often involves new solutions but also innovations. For example, there may be discussions about making a wooden solution instead of using concrete - what are the advantages and disadvantages? Wood binds carbon dioxide but may have a shorter lifespan than concrete and so on. Many questions revolve around material selection, recycling, and reuse."

E18 bro

New sustainable solutions?

"Yes, it's about finding optimal solutions based on the existing conditions. Can a bridge be made less wide, how many bridge supports or bridge rails do we need, can they be hollow? Maybe use climate-smart concrete and asphalt? We need to leave no stone unturned, and without compromising on safety, requirements, and regulations, of course."

A lot is about reducing the CO2 footprint?

"Yes, exactly - like determining climate emissions from production and the lifetime of the structure. If you do a life cycle cost study, it is more about costs for operation and maintenance, for example. This often goes hand in hand - what benefits the climate is about saving on materials and reusing, which often results in lower costs as well."

Challenges?

"Yes, of course. But also opportunities! By 2040, for example, the Swedish Transport Administration's goal is for infrastructure to be climate neutral - here I see electrification as a huge opportunity for contracting, that it is integrated early in a process. But if there are to be electric trucks in a project, the infrastructure needs to be reviewed so that there are things like charging posts and fast charging. This brings us to the public debate about electricity supply, which is a challenge that affects our progress. It is a challenge, but I still see electrification as a way forward. We are working with Norway and can learn from them. "The Norwegians have come a little further in requiring contracts to have electrified vehicles."

What do you see ahead?

"My goal is to complete an entire project from start to finish, to make my deliveries and gain experience. Keep learning new things - and discover the north of Sweden! I want lots of snow - ice skating, skiing, and trying out ice fishing. It will also be extra fun when Luleå's skating rink in the middle of the city is ready for winter. I have had a wonderful first impression of life in the north of Sweden and Luleå. I cycle to the office every day, past water and forests towards the city - it's very nice."

Woman walking in forest
Malin Löfgren and some chicken

Dreams and the silver lining in everyday life?

"My ambition is to live in the countryside more. I dream of having chickens in the future. There are so many natural resources here and you don't need long transportation to the forest and land where mushrooms and berries are found. Plus, you almost have the forest to yourself, which I appreciate."

What is it like to be a rookie at AFRY?

  • A fun and safe start to working life

  • There is an incredible amount of competence

  • I thought I was going to be alone as a consultant - but that's not true.

  • It's open to contact at all levels.

  • There is always someone to ask, it feels comforting here.

  • Good sense of belonging

  • Good contact with customers

Malin's tips for a sustainable outdoor life:

"Think before you visit a natural area. What nature protection exists and what do you need to take with you to have as little impact on the area as possible?"

Woman tying shoelaces, white trainers, yellow jacket

Looking for new opportunities?