Meet Julianne, Manager, Industry Affairs, NOVA Chemicals
At her company, Julianne is surrounded by people with advanced degrees.
But she doesn’t need a technical background for her role: bringing people together to solve tough problems.
“Everybody knows I am not an engineer. But I’m very curious. I’m the person in the room who asks the questions that I think are on everybody’s mind.”
Julianne convenes some of the sharpest minds from her own company – one of the world’s largest plastic makers – and others in the plastics value chain to develop solutions to a complicated issue: plastic waste and recycling.
“I see myself as a connector. My role connects my company with our peer companies, with our customers, with NGOs, with governments. We’re looking to bring those bright minds together, formulate ideas, solutions, and figure out how to make plastics more recyclable, more reusable.”
As manager of industry affairs at NOVA Chemicals, Julianne is looking for answers to an important question:
“How can we help to make the world a better place?”
Meet Julianne. One of America’s Change Makers.
Julianne is both observing and making sustainable change in her industry.
“Today I see the intensity and the excitement among these great minds that are coming together and looking for those innovative ideas, looking for those solutions, then turning them into action.”
One of those solutions?
“I had a chance to work with some of our peer companies, and we developed an investment fund called Closed Loop Circular Plastics. We saw a need to invest in recycling infrastructure, to look for ways that we can collect more, we can sort more, and we can process more plastic, keeping it out of the environment and making new products from this valuable resource instead of throwing it away.”
The Fund is focused on innovative technologies for hard-to-recycle plastics.
“Some of the investments that have been made are on cutting edge technologies that help with collection, sortation and processing of those hard to recycle plastics.”
“For example, artificial intelligence and optical sortation. Artificial intelligence is helping companies do data mining to figure out what plastic materials are being collected. Optical sorting identifies the various plastics in the recycling facilities so they can be captured and reused. It allows us to capture more plastics along the way.”
The Fund helps companies that are looking to expand their plastics recycling operations.
“There’s a lot of companies along the way that used plastics has to touch as it goes through the process to be recycled. And that’s where this fund can come in and help companies upgrade their equipment, upgrade their technology, upgrade their sortation process and help us create the recycling infrastructure to produce more recycled plastic.”
Julianne is rightfully proud of her ability to bring the right people together to develop solutions.
“One of the things I like most about being a connector is bringing the best minds together, linking those individuals that have creative ideas about recycling, that have the technological background, that can understand how to improve recycling. And bringing the governments and nonprofits together and actually having conversations.”
“Because great ideas start with conversations. And in those conversations, we can come up with the solutions that will have far reaching impacts.”
Creating far reaching impacts. That’s what motivates her. And her peers.
“I think all of us have a shared role in keeping plastics out of the landfill and our environment. I think we can all do our part. I think industry, government, the communities, and even us as individuals, we all have a part to play in solving this.”
Julianne also has a personal motivation.
“My four grandchildren are very important to me. I look at the world they’re going to have when they grow up, and I think recycling is a big part of their world. There’s an opportunity to actually leave the world in a better place than where we started.”
Thanks for bringing us together, Julianne.
We wish Julianne continued success.