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Our People


Borealis’ People Strategy focuses on creating a learning organisation, supporting the requirements of a growing company which is developing towards globalisation and the Circular Economy, and leveraging the benefits and opportunities of digitalisation. To implement this strategy, the Group focuses on five areas: employee engagement, diversity and equal opportunity, training and people development, process automation and fair remuneration. Achieving the Group’s goals in these areas supports Borealis’ profitability, helps to ensure high levels of employee engagement and satisfaction, contributes to operational excellence, encourages a strong health and safety performance and continuous improvement, and broadens the talent pool from which the Group can recruit. In 2019 7,397 employees (compared to 6,671 in 2018, now including mtm plastics GmbH, Ecoplast Kunststoffrecycling GmbH, Rosier S.A. and Rosier Netherlands B.V.) worked for Borealis on a permanent (98%, same as 2018) or temporary (2%, same as 2018) basis. This workforce was supported by 159 (177 in 2018) leasing employees who are not employed by the Group, primarily in Austria and some 300 summer workers, job students, apprentices and interns.


The Group’s primary people-related goals in 2019 were to:

  • implement a Top Leaders team to drive Borealis’ transformation towards the Circular Economy;
  • fine tune the new organisational structure for Human Resources (HR) and in particular increase the efficiency of the HR Services organisation, primarily by continuing to upgrade the HR-related IT infrastructure to increase end-user satisfaction and add new functionalities;
  • run the 2019 People Survey, including improving the tool and its reporting functionalities, defining a nimbler action follow-up process and achieving a target response rate of 83%;
  • implement the new talent acquisition strategy, differentiating between four different hiring processes; and
  • design a comprehensive new onboarding process to shorten the time to full performance and keep retention at high level.

Key Achievements and Results

During 2019, Borealis:

  • formed a group of Top Leaders, who jointly developed Borealis’ new purpose and shaped the Group strategy update;
  • supported all employee-related aspects of the new company structure resulting from the separation of Borealis’ Fertilizer, Melamine and Technical Nitrogen Products (TEN) business, such as the organisational split and legal transfers;
  • digitalised workflow implementation to increase HR Services’ efficiency and fulfil its service level agreements with Borealis’ leaders and employees;
  • ran the 2019 People Survey with a response rate of 85% (compared to 83% in 2017, the last People Survey), with the results evaluation and action plans to be developed in 2020;
  • clustered recruitment into differentiated hiring categories as part of the talent acquisition strategy, to focus resources where they will add most value;
  • focused on the standardisation of on-boarding programmes, developing the Global On-Boarding programme for new employees for launch in 2020;

Employee Engagement

Achieving high employee engagement strengthens employee satisfaction and is in line with Borealis’ Values and desired behaviours. As engaged employees are more productive, high engagement is also important for delivering Borealis’ growth strategy and links directly to the Group’s profitability. Borealis has the opportunity to further improve engagement and its business by maintaining an open dialogue with employees, to understand what drives engagement.

The Borealis People Survey is the Group’s key tool for obtaining feedback from employees, evaluating employee engagement and measuring the effectiveness of Borealis’ people management. It takes place every two years and has a tagline of “Building a better Borealis”. The overall participation rate in the 2019 People Survey was 85%, compared to 83% in 2017. Actions are being defined based on the survey results and their implementation will be closely tracked.

One of Borealis’ four core values is Respect. This value includes respecting employees who wish to organise themselves and be represented by unions or works councils. In Borealis, 90,31% of all employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. In some countries, no comparable agreement exists.

The Corporate Co-operation Council (CCC) is an important platform for dialogue between management and employee representatives. It is a forum for exchanging information between the works councils at the various Borealis locations, top management and owners. The CCC holds four meetings and one conference each year. Anticipating Borealis’ future transformation, the 2019 CCC Conference addressed the topic of “Balance in Times of Change”. The aim of the event was to ensure that the successful well-being approaches at the different sites can be sustained and to find activities to further improve local cooperation between employer and employee representatives.

Borealis also has Open Fora and other opportunities for interaction at all of its locations. Common topics discussed at these events include the Group’s financial performance, different Group initiatives and other topics of interest.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Diversity and equal opportunity, in terms of gender, origin, religion, nationality or any other facet, are integral elements of Borealis’ open culture and enrich the Group’s working environment. Borealis strongly believes that diverse teams are more creative, resourceful and knowledgeable, and that they generate broader perspectives, ideas and options. Diversity and inclusion therefore have a strong impact on people and teams, improving engagement and job satisfaction and directly contributing to the Group’s profitability and sustainability.

Gender diversity is one area where Borealis is only in line with the industry average, with about 20.6% (20.1% in 2018) of the Group’s employees being female. Borealis is therefore starting to take a more structured approach to increase gender diversity. Diversity will be one of the core people themes in the new Company strategy and is also part of the People KPI in the Group Scorecard 2020.


The Group’s HR goals for 2020 are to:

  • enhance HR’s change management capabilities to successfully implement the new Group strategy and company transformation;
  • increase the focus on people mobility to ensure sufficient supply of expertise to Borealis’ growth projects and joint venture companies;
  • increase the focus on workforce diversity and inclusion to ensure equality of opportunity for all employees to work to their full potential;
  • implement a HR dashboard to capture key metrics on Borealis’ workforce;
  • implement a workforce planning tool that helps to identify demographic challenges proactively;
  • develop a Group-wide learning strategy; train HR teams to become more knowledgeable about financial matters and KPIs;
  • evaluate the 2019 People Survey results and develop action plans, in close cooperation with management and the CCC;
  • introduce the global on-boarding process to provide a general framework of best practices across locations;
  • further increase the efficiency and user-friendliness of HR Services; and
  • introduce a new applicant system which will go live in Q1 2020, together with a new career site.

Combined Annual Report 2019 (PDF)

Download complete version

This online report contains only highlights and excerpts from Borealis’ Combined Annual Report 2019. Only the entire report is legally binding and it must be read in full to gain a comprehensive understanding of Borealis’ performance and activities in 2019. A copy of the Combined Annual Report 2019 can be downloaded here.