2020 was not a normal year that we can easily put behind us, but a year in which the entire world faced difficult and serious challenges. It was a year in which the Coor culture – flexibility and the ability to find new solutions – really was put to the test.
I took up the reins as President and CEO of Coor in August 2020 and was repeatedly asked, “What does it feel like to be appointed CEO in the middle of a pandemic?” I can honestly say that it has certainly been challenging, but after nearly 20 years at the company I know the business well and I know the tremendous strength that exists in our organisation. A strength that we achieve by working together – with each other and with our customers.
An important contribution to society
I am deeply impressed by the courage and fighting spirit that Coor’s employees throughout the Nordic region have shown in the fight against the unpredictable COVID-19 pandemic. In many places, our employees have worked round the clock, shoulder to shoulder with healthcare staff, cleaning and disinfecting intensive care units for COVID patients. We also helped to set up the field hospital outside Stockholm that was kept in readiness in case it became impossible to provide the necessary care at the normal wards. In Denmark, we worked on disinfecting schools so that children could be taught in a safe environment. We also took part in managing the logistics for distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to all regions of Sweden. These are just a few examples of everything we have done during the pandemic. I am so proud that Coor was asked to handle these tasks and that we, as a private-sector player, can be there to help when society needs us.
Record-high employee satisfaction
2020 was a year that truly put us to the test, yet despite that we scored higher than ever before in our annual employee survey. I see this as a testament to our strong culture, where we work together with strong, coaching leaders and fantastic employees with an unwavering sense of responsibility. During the year, we got to experience wonderful moments of joy and laughter in the midst of all the worries.
Strengthened customer relationships
In 2020, Coor’s customer-centric business model with decentralized responsibility and close customer dialogues showed its strength. We also achieved new highs in our annual customer survey. Crises such as this often bring matters to a head and strengthen existing relationships. I am immensely proud, but not surprised, that we at Coor are proof of this. Our relationships with our customers have become even better and closer as a result of the pandemic; we have found solutions for them and they for us. As offices have closed and regular office cleaning has not been needed, we have instead carried major cleans, rearranged our planned property projects, shortened the opening hours of staff restaurants and cut down menus, to mention a few examples. Both our customers and employees have been quick-footed and solution-oriented, and this enabled us to deliver a strong financial result for 2020.
Diversity builds Coor
Coor’s 11,000-strong workforce is a reflection of society at large, in terms of culture, background, age and gender. I am convinced that all these differences strengthen us as a company. I am also proud that Coor can serve as an engine for integration. As a facility management firm, we are in a very good position to give people their first job in a new country. A job that becomes a path for integrating into society.
A front runner in sustainability
Sustainability is a fundamental value for Coor. For us, the concept includes business, social as well as environmental dimensions.
The harsh reality is that we as individuals have overexploited our planet and that each and every one of us now needs to use whatever means we have to ensure that we pass on a healthier planet to the coming generations. Coor has a long-term ambition in environmental sustainability and we are at the forefront of these issues in the facility management industry. Over the past few years, we have set clear and measurable goals for both social and environmental sustainability, just as we have always done for our business activities. In order to give a global context to our goals, we have chosen to link them to eight of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where we have the biggest potential to make a difference.
The road ahead
I am very optimistic about the coming years. Much has changed in our world, but Coor’s strategy remains the same. We will continue to develop our company by offering customised solutions, we will continue to be the Nordic market leader and we will continue to grow, both organically and through strategically important acquisitions.
We are currently engaged in many productive discussions with existing and potential customers who want help creating efficiencies, finding new solutions, and adapting and developing their business in the wake of COVID-19. I am grateful that we are being entrusted to help our customers move into a new future. As I see it, the pandemic has made Coor’s mission and vision even clearer: through our committed employees and customised service solutions, we will create the happiest, healthiest and most prosperous workplace environments in the Nordic region, so that our customers can focus on what they do best.
President and CEO