The multinational DS Smith deals with paper recycling services in 14 countries around the world with 3500 employees and 16 paper mills, producing 5 million tons of paper products every year, through this interview we meet the new CEO of the recycling sector.
Rogier Gerritsen as new managing director of DS Smith's Recycling division is responsible for recycling operations throughout Europe.
What attracted you to the role of CEO of our recycling division?
After working in both the Paper and Packaging divisions, I couldn't say no to this fantastic opportunity. I have always admired our circular business model and the Recycling division plays such a crucial role in this by helping our customers improve their recycling and reduce their waste, while keeping materials in use for as long as possible.
This is just one of the ways we are creating the circular economy, minimizing the impact on the world around us. I am thrilled to play a role in helping create a more sustainable future for our business, our customers and the environment.
What would you like to achieve in your new role?
During my first few weeks, I had the great pleasure of meeting many of the passionate and knowledgeable people on our team who care about our business , they want to make a difference and have the necessary experience.
I want us to be able to share our experience and expertise even more and help our customers with their recycling challenges whatever they are: achieving the goals recycling, improve performance or achieve sustainability goals.
What makes you proud of your new role?
Our mission is to ensure that our customers' recycling is truly recycled and I firmly believe that we can make a difference in most markets where we operate. I am particularly proud that we have a responsibility to provide the highest possible quality of recycled materials to our plants and a network of trusted partner companies around the world.
I would like us to use our skills, passion, processes and footprint to help our customers and shape our entire industry.
What motivates you outside of work?
I really want to make a difference and I think it's really important to invest in our future generations, share knowledge and experience to make sure they benefit . For me, this starts with my family.
I was recently able to help my son with a sustainability school assignment by sharing examples of sustainability in action from my work at DS Smith . It fills me with pride that soon everyone who works for DS Smith will be able to share their knowledge and enthusiasm in this way.
Last September the Now and Next sustainability strategy, what can our customers expect from this?
I am very excited about the launch of our new Now and Next sustainability strategy. This is our company-wide commitment that aims to address the sustainability challenges we are facing today, as well as those that will impact our future generations.
One of the main goals for me is that by 2030 we will involve 5 million young people in the circular economy and in circular lifestyles . I already see this strategy coming to life all over Europe and as I said, it is also helping me with my son's schoolwork!
Many of our customers have always been interested in our sustainability initiatives and now this approach is growing. We will work together with partners and customers to develop fully circular strategies, from design to manufacturing, from supply to recycling. I truly believe that by partnering with our customers, communities, governments and influencers, we can make a difference together.
What would you tell your customers about the challenges they are facing right now?
The pressures on sustainability on companies have increased significantly over the past two years.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still the expectation that organizations of all types shouldn't just limit themselves to minimizing their impact on the natural world, but should strive, where possible, to create a positive impact on people and the planet.
Sustainability is at the heart of our business model and is the core of our aim to " Redefine packaging for a changing world ". Thanks to our unique business model, we are involved at every touchpoint in our customers' supply cycle and can guide them in adopting long-term sustainable practices and solutions.
I personally look forward to working closely with all of our customers and prospects across Europe and showing how DS Smith can positively impact achieving their recycling goals, corporate goals and environmental goals.
Automatic translation. We apologize for any inaccuracies. Original article in Italian.
by DS Smith