Get to know the new Managing Director of our Recycling Division

As the new MD of our Recycling division, Rogier is responsible for our recycling operations across Europe. During his 13 year-long career at DS Smith, he’s also held senior roles in both our Packaging and Paper divisions, gaining valuable insight and experience across sustainable paper and packaging production. We spoke to Rogier about his new role.

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What attracted you to the role of MD of our Recycling Division?

After working in both our Paper and Packaging divisions, I couldn’t say no to this fantastic opportunity. I’ve 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, keeping materials in use for as long as possible. This is just one of the ways we are enabling the circular economy and minimising the impact on the world around us. I’m excited to play a part in helping to 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 to meet many of the passionate, knowledgeable people in our team who care deeply about our business, want to make a difference and have the expertise to deliver. I want us to be able to share even more of our experience and expertise and help our customers with their recycling challenges whatever they might be – achieving recycling targets, improving performance or meeting sustainability goals.

What makes you proud about your new role?

It’s our mission to ensure our customers' recycling is truly recycled and I firmly believe we can make a difference in most markets we operate in. I’m especially proud we have the responsibility of providing the highest possible quality of materials for recycling to our own mills, and a network of trusted partner mills around the world. I’d like us to use our capabilities, passion, processes and footprint to help our customers and shape our entire industry.

What stimulates you outside of work?

I care deeply about making a difference and I think it’s really important that we invest in our future generations, share learnings and experiences to ensure they benefit from this. For me, this begins with my own family. I was recently able to help my son with a school assignment about sustainability by sharing real-life examples of sustainability in action from my work at DS Smith. It fills me with pride that soon everyone that works for DS Smith will be able to share their knowledge and enthusiasm like this.

Last September we launched our Now and Next Sustainability Strategy, what can our customers expect from this?

I’m really excited about the launch of our new Now and Next Sustainability Strategy.  This is our company-wide commitment that aims to tackle the sustainability challenges we are facing today, as well as those that will impact our future generations.

One of the standout targets for me is that by 2030 we will engage 5 million young people on the circular economy and circular lifestyles. I already see this strategy coming to life across Europe and, as I already mentioned, it’s also helping me with my son's school assignments!

Many of our customers have always been interested in our sustainability initiatives and this is now only growing. We will work together with partners and customers to develop fully circular strategies, from design to production and supply to recycling. I truly believe that by partnering with our customers, communities, governments and influencers, we can make a real difference together.

What would you say to our customers about the challenges they are facing right now?

Sustainability pressures on all businesses have been rising significantly over the last two years. 

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still an expectation that organisations of all kinds shouldn’t just minimise their impact on the natural world, they should strive wherever possible to create a positive impact on people and the planet.

Sustainability sits at the heart of our business model and is core to our Purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’. Thanks to our unique business model, we are involved in every touchpoint of our customer’s supply cycle and can guide them on adopting long-term sustainable practices and solutions. 

I personally look forward to working closely with all our customers and potential customers across Europe and showing how DS Smith can have a positive impact on meeting their recycling targets, business objectives and environmental goals.