Meet the future of energy: Josephine Korijn, Investment Manager at Northvolt.
How do you spend your day at Northvolt?
I focus my days on setting the financial structure for Northvolt to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory and set a new standard in the battery industry. I believe it is imperative to bring on board investors and lenders who truly understand our values and vision so that we receive the right support to make a change in the world while growing rapidly.
How did you get so interested in finance?
If you look at the world we live in today, finance plays a crucial role in influencing how companies do business. What I would like to see is a financial market that looks at its impact beyond the money a company makes. To achieve that, we need to have businesses that can prove they can be extremely impactful on both an environmental and societal level while providing the returns shareholders need.
That’s why I love Northvolt. I believe we can achieve both goals. If we demonstrate that we can raise the capital we need while being the type of business that is environmentally sustainable, we can also influence how other companies establish themselves and operate. We can show that you can’t just think about your financial returns, you need to also think about the environment impact your business will have. Besides that, we aim to prove that a large industrial company can be circular and sustainable, which tends not to be the norm when you look at the world today.
If we can show that sustainability and profitability can go hand-in-hand in the battery industry, we can inspire changes across other industries as well.
Do you think many companies are going in this direction?
Yes, it’s part of a broad trend, but there are not many companies that operate with strong sustainability standards at scale. That will be the big difference with Northvolt. We will be truly at scale.
There are a lot of small companies that are doing brilliant work at the moment. And then you’ve got big companies claiming that they are social and sustainable, but I don’t know per se if it’s true, if you look closely you’ll probably see that it’s a very small piece of what they focus on. At Northvolt, sustainability will be at the core of everything that we do, like the suppliers we select, the energy we use, and repurposing the byproducts from our factory.
You spent almost five years in London at Chelwood Capital, a social investment firm. What was your job there?
Chelwood Capital is a capital advisory services firm that focuses on social impact, on how we lift people out of poverty and give them access to basic needs. These types of projects were often non-profit based but developing for-profit entities, so the kinds of investments we looked at were hybrid.
What I did there is very similar to the work I do here. Once an enterprise had an idea, some revenue established and had started to set up its business, we helped them raise the right type of investment to get them to the point where they were able to operate profitably.
How did you find Northvolt’s recruiting process?
What was very cool about it it’s that it was a very thorough interview process that required a lot of time. I think it was a refreshing experience because you have so many interviews with so many different people in the company that once you accept the role you feel very confident that you are making the right decision.
Usually, when you are applying for a position, you have interviews with one or two people only, but that doesn’t give you a great insight into the company you will work for. Instead with Northvolt, I felt like I had a good understanding not only of the Finance Team but also of the other teams.
Did anything else influence your choice to join Northvolt?
When I came in for my first interview, the office was buzzing with this unique energy. Everyone at Northvolt is driven by this belief that together we can build something truly outstanding and perhaps even influence a change in the world.
It is rare that a large industrial company embeds circular economy principles and sustainability throughout every inch of the business and to such a high degree. We are still in the start-up phase, but when we succeed in our endeavors, we will be that large industrial company that is paving the way for a whole new kind of industry.
What does it make you tick at work?
My colleagues are absolutely rock stars! We have different range of backgrounds and cultures, which creates a super dynamic working environment – I learn every day!
Apart from your job, what are you passionate about?
I love engaging in full moon rituals – being in touch with the cyclical rhythm of the world gives me a broader perspective on day to day activities.
The moon has such a big influence on us as humans, I really believe it. Ebbs and flows are fully influenced by the moon, and we are 60% water: so why would it not have an effect on us?