For Ludovic Capt, the words "plastics" and "sustainability" can co-exist.
When he started his career at Balcan Innovations Inc. in 2004 as a development engineer, sustainability wasn't even an afterthought: "It wasn't a thought," said the vice president of innovation and sustainability.
"Nevertheless, I quickly came to realize that as a company of our size in North America, every decision that I was making would have a potential impact on the environmental footprint of our company and the footprint of several key industries, like building and construction and lawn and garden," he added.
Capt said his philosophy is "all about developing circular economy models to meet the needs of our customers without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
"What steps have I taken to shift our sustainability momentum over the years? It all started with growing my team of product engineers and teaching them to evaluate our products through a sustainability lens. Over time, I've built an R&D infrastructure that has enabled us to shift more and more products to monomaterial structures; introduce newer, more sustainable resins; and downgauge wherever possible, among other key measures. We're constantly exploring new and emerging technologies to move the needle," he said.
Capt said he emphasizes to colleagues that sustainability plays a role not just in the health of the environment but also the health of the business. "Sustainability is now a companywide value that's baked into all key company decisions. This has all culminated with the establishment of our lofty company sustainability commitments for 2025 and 2030," he said.
Outside of work, Capt strives to incorporate sustainable approaches and practices in everyday life. He transitioned to vegetarianism "primarily for its environmental impact," and he bikes to work to reduce his carbon footprint.
"Even when renovating my house recently, I made decisions that would foster the best environmental footprint possible," he said. "I'm always thinking with that mindset. And while I know this is negligible in the big picture, these are steps that I take every day to play my part."