Meet Ron, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, SEE
Ron is an innovator and a motivator. And throughout his 37-year career, two things have never changed for him.
“If I had to give advice to a young person starting out, I probably would say, ‘Stay true to your objectives. Set a goal for yourself and be passionate about what you do.’ Because having that purpose and that passion to follow through is key to everything that we do.”
Purpose and passion. Ron has been applying these two attributes for decades at a company known for an iconic product – Bubble Wrap® – that protects our valuables.
“Bubble Wrap’s first application was as a wallpaper. But its better application was protection. And one of the first products that it protected was something called a computer made by IBM.”
He and his company kept innovating to create similar packaging to protect our food supply.
“We all value the ability to go to a grocery store and select a wide variety of food items that are designed to be nutritious, safe and fresh and delivered in a very efficient manner. The innovation of plastic packaging enabled whole new categories of foods to be available to people as part of their diets in a very convenient and efficient way.”
His company, SEE® (formerly Sealed Air), is now applying that innovation in a new area: sustainability.
In his role as vice president of global corporate affairs at SEE, Ron is bringing awareness to the circularity of packaging materials and the benefits it brings to society.
“How can we take packaging materials that extend the shelf-life of food, that help protect things through e-commerce, and get those materials back so they can be recycled and put back into new products?”
And in that role, he’s inspiring a new generation to bring purpose and passion to helping protect our food. Our products. Our lives.
And our planet.
Meet Ron. One of America’s Change Makers.
Sustainability is key to decisions at SEE, a packaging solutions provider, and for today’s plastic makers.
“Up until about 15 years ago, we never even used the term sustainability. But now we try to bring sustainability to life, to really understand what it means.”
“Sustainability is defined in three parts: the economy, the environment, and the social impact. We have to remember that packaging doesn’t exist for its own sake. It exists to move products to meet consumer demand, to allow people to have the quality of life in terms of the choice for their food. And today in e-commerce to buy goods and services.”
SEE’s R&D teams are focused on the environmental aspect of sustainability, including “designing for recyclability.”
“We are a packaging manufacturer, so sustainability means creating the packaging in a form that can actually be recycled, helping ensure it is collected and can be made back into new packaging. We use design for recyclability in our everyday processes.”
The concept of designing for recycling is expanding due to innovative technologies.
“A few years ago, we were talking about design for recyclability as being specifically restricted to what we call mechanical recycling, what most of our municipal recycling facilities utilize. But today advanced recycling adds a new dimension to the way we can envision the use of materials, their recovery, and their reuse into new packaging.”
Advanced recycling technologies allow us to dramatically expand the types and amount of plastic that can be recycled.
“Advanced recycling to us is a natural extension of the mechanical recycling processes that are widely used today. Advanced recycling uses heat or energy to take plastic products and break them down into their building blocks to be reused. It allows us a broader selection of materials that we can use to provide even better packaging performance for things such as fresh cheese, meat, or other perishable goods in the grocery store.”
Meet Timi, another Change Maker from SEE who is working on advanced recycling.
Sustainability is a natural passion for Ron. As father to three adult sons, he’s been motivated to make the world a better place.
“I think my kids are probably saying, ‘Well, Dad is out there trying to save the world, one package at a time.’ I’ve always tried to embed in my kids what can they do to help make the world a better place.”
And as a senior leader at his company, Ron spends a lot of time motivating and mentoring younger professionals who will some day take his place.
“My passion has always been to bring technology into a space that I can apply it to develop new things to make people see things in new ways. To kind of see the impact that they can have based on technical training, based on their personal interests, based on many aspects of their life. How do you motivate people to rise to a higher level of contribution to society?”
To Ron, it all comes down to the two things that can inspire people to innovate and solve real world problems.
“If you can bring purpose and passion together and motivate someone to drive towards greater goals and outcomes… My feeling is that person can contribute not only to their own personal satisfaction but to great contributions to society overall.”
We wish Ron and all his colleagues – young and old – continued success.