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A Swedish 'green steel' company is hiring over 100 tech workers to help fight climate change. Here's what the chief digital officer says job seekers need to know.

H2 Green Steel (not pictured above) is hoping to transform how steel is produced.

  • H2 Green Steel is looking for tech talent around the world to work on a green steel plant in Sweden.
  • The trend to decarbonize steel is everywhere, the company’s chief digital officer said.
  • In addition to creating environmental impact, talent can get experience in building a new company.

If you’ve ever needed an excuse to move to Sweden to help save the planet, now’s your chance.

H2 Green Steel, an eco-friendly “green steel” manufacturer based in Stockholm, is hiring over 100 engineers and other tech-related roles. Unlike traditional steel, which is made using carbon, green steel is made with hydrogen, thus eliminating nearly all CO2 emissions from the process.

Today, steel production makes up 25% of Europe’s industrial CO2 emissions — more than all flights departing from the European Union. H2 Green Steel, and companies like it, offer purpose-driven job seekers an alternative, says Olof Hernell, chief digital officer at H2 Green Steel.

Over the past two years, Hernell says he can’t remember a job interview with young tech and engineering talent where they didn’t ask about a company’s social responsibility. One third of Gen Z considers climate change a top concern, and high paying climate-tech jobs are expected to grow fast over the next few years.

Hernell is responsible for recruiting tech talent for the company, and said traditional industries like steel need tech workers to improve its operations and minimize steel production’s impact on the environment.

“There’s a huge difference between carbon that comes from steel, and what comes from other things like consumption, travel, and so forth,” Hernell said. “There’s a lot of things we can change behavior-wise, but we cannot stop building bridges, we cannot stop building houses, we cannot stop building vehicles.”

By next summer, Hernell wants to grow the 45-person company to 200 engineers and tech employees. Insider spoke with Hernell to learn more about what he’s looking for in green-steel talent — and the perks of a Nordic relocation.

What is ‘green’ steel, and why does it need tech talent?

H2 Green Steel was founded in 2020, and by 2024, will start full production at its site in Boden, Sweden. By 2030, the company aims to produce five million tons of fossil-free steel annually.

At H2 Green Steel, green steel is produced by using hydrogen instead of coal to reduce iron ore, meaning the plant emits water, not carbon dioxide. This process allows the plant to take out 95% of carbon emissions per ton of steel produced, Hernell says, a process that requires skilled engineers and tech talent to optimize.

One example is using machine learning to predict energy prices hour by hour, and to forecast frequencies in the energy grid that the plant will be part of.

“By putting machine learning, data science, and algorithmic optimization people on this problem working side by side with electricity and hydrogen experts,” Hernell said, “we’ll be able to have a fundamental competitive edge, because we’ll produce our hydrogen at 10% or 15% lower prices.”

Hernell also wants to recruit tech talent to help him build a digital factory, “where machines capture and stitch together data points — like temperature and rolling speeds — across the factory.” Over time, he said this will allow the company to trace what kind and how much energy it takes to produce different products. 

When looking for young talent, Hernell said he wants people who can share his passion and commitment for making an impact on the climate and sustainability. And because H2 Green Steel is still in its early stages, talent should be able to handle larger responsibilities working alongside more experienced colleagues.

“It’s not being close to power, it’s being close to experience,” he said. “I like working with talented, smart, knowledgeable people.”

Why H2 Green Steel?

Although some of its tech roles are flexible-remote, getting a job at H2 Green Steel could mean moving to its headquarters in Stockholm, or farther north in Boden once the plant is running. But Hernell said Sweden itself is a lure for international talent to move there for the job.

“If you move to Sweden to build the future of steelmaking, you will work in a country that has free education for everyone,” Hernell said. “There’s free childcare, healthcare is free, you have one year of combined parental leave.”

Like the talent he wants to attract, Hernell started his career in tech. Before joining H2 Green Steel, he worked at Google, then was CDO of EQT, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. 

Leaving EQT for H2 Green Steel was an easy choice, Hernell said. Because H2 Green Steel is building from scratch, new talent is part of building the new generation of industrial impact companies. 

“I spent a while talking to the youngest folks in the company, asking what the value prop is,” Hernell said. “It’s the sustainability thing, but apart from that, a very common answer here is the access to people. You will work really, really close to the sharpest minds in this industry.”

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