10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mika Anttonen

In the world of business, pathbreakers are admired for their enduring impact and uniqueness. One such trailblazer is Mika Anttonen, a Finnish energy businessman. He is the founder and majority owner of St1, a Nordic energy company. Despite his remarkable success and influence, many aspects of Anttonen’s life and career remain quietly fascinating. Here are ten things you may not know about Mika Anttonen.

1. He Started His Business in a Basement

St1, today a flagship energy company, had its humble beginnings. Anttonen started the business from the basement of a car repair shop where he initially sold automotive spare parts. It might be hard to imagine given his success today, but the origins of his empire were quite austere. The story of St1 serves as an inspiration for those dreaming of starting their business.

The initial capital of the St1 company came from rebuilding old, written-off cars and selling them. This bootstrapping mindset carried through his life and laid the foundation for his current success.

2. He Was Initially Rejected by a Bank

When Anttonen first sought financing, the bank rejected his application. They told him his business idea of selling gasoline was impossible as there were already established competitors in the industry. However, this rejection didn’t deter him. Instead, he was adamant about his plans and set out to prove them wrong.

Anttonen mortgaged his own house to get his business idea off the ground, showing the level of faith he had in his concept. His perseverance eventually paid off, with St1 becoming a leading brand in the Nordic energy sector.

3. He Is a Known Environmental Advocate

Mika Anttonen is known as a significant proponent of environmental sustainability. His company, St1, focuses on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. But his endeavors aren’t limited to his company. He has contributed significantly to various environmental causes.

Anttonen has continuously argued that in order to fight climate change, you first need to understand what is contributing to it. He firmly believes that companies must acknowledge their responsibility for the environment and act accordingly, a belief reflected in his business practices.

4. He Invests in Climate Research

Anttonen’s commitment to environmental sustainability isn’t just talk. He has invested heavily in academic research into climate change. This includes providing funding for various environmental research projects at universities.

In 2016, he pledged a significant donation to the University of Helsinki to fund research focused on detecting the precise causes of climate change. This investment showcases his dedication to finding concrete solutions to the climate crisis.

5. He Promotes Renewable Energy

Under Anttonen’s leadership, St1 has become a fervent advocate for renewable energy. The company has invested heavily in renewable fuels such as bioethanol. Their innovative approach to fuel production, such as extracting bioethanol from food waste, is a testament to Anttonen’s forward-thinking leadership.

The company has also ventured into wind power and geothermal energy. These investments show Anttonen’s commitment to diversify away from fossil fuels and promote renewable sources of energy.

6. He Is a Champion of Education

Anttonen is a significant supporter of education. He believes that education is the key to solving many of the world’s problems, including climate change. Therefore, he invests heavily in educational initiatives, including scholarships for students at different educational levels.

He has also funded multiple infrastructure projects for schools in Finland, emphasizing the role of education in promoting social progress.

7. He Is a Renowned Philanthropist

Despite his success, Anttonen has not forgotten his roots. He is known for his philanthropic activities, frequently investing in the welfare of the community. His charitable works range from environmental causes to human welfare.

In fact, he pledged to donate most of his wealth to environmental causes during his lifetime. His philanthropy makes him a role model for other entrepreneurs.

8. He Received an Honorary Doctorate

Anttonen’s efforts in combating climate change did not go unnoticed. The University of Helsinki awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his investments in environmental research. The honorary doctorate serves as a testament to his significant contributions to the field of climate research.

The degree was awarded at the University’s ceremonial conferment of doctorates in 2017.

9. He Is an Author

Anttonen is also an author. He wrote the book “Ilmastoherätys” (Climate Awakening) in 2018. He critically discusses the prevailing discourse on climate in this book and offers alternative perspectives on the issue.

His writing showcases his deep understanding and passion for the subject. The book allows readers to gain insights into his unique approach to tackling climate change.

10. He Hails from a Working-class Background

Anttonen’s success story began from humble beginnings. He hails from a working-class background, which grounded him in the principles of hard work and determination. This upbringing shaped his approach to entrepreneurship, highlighting the significance of resilience and ambition.

His story shows that success can come from any background. It is a testament to his determination, resistive spirit and innovative mindset.

St1 Official website

Good News Finland feature on Mika Anttonen

Mika Anttonen donation to University of Helsinki