Mégane Satis, 26
Circular Economy Manager, Berry Global Group Inc.
Born in France, Mégane Satis has been interested in science throughout her education. She wanted to attend engineering school after high school, so she took a preparatory class.
"After completing the competitive entry to engineering schools, I had the choice of orienting my career towards polymers chemistry between leather, plastics, formulation and textile," she said. "I chose plastics materials by preference. … I preferred to choose industry than research lab because I am an active woman: I like production spirit, contact with [the production] workfloor, and like the fact to work for products which I buy and use in my personal life."
She completed a technical internship in production with Astic Injection Industrielle SA and an engineering internship in continuous improvement with Berry Global Saint Georges de Reneins, formerly Astra Plastique SAS.
"My first position was an internship in a small company, specialized in technical parts for automotive and aviation," she said. "I appreciated to discover production work."
Satis started in September 2019 with Berry Bramlage as a plant project manager, then moved to circular economy manager for Berry's Consumer Packaging International division in April 2021.
"Now I am working for the packaging industry," she said. "I like to work for products which I buy and use in my personal life. Trying to find sustainable innovation, especially recycled materials for future packaging, is my main challenge, and I love that."
Satis' current challenge with customers is showing the value of sustainable packaging "without thinking only of the economic gains due to the taxes put in place by the governments of each country."
"Make marketers want to think about future generations and the impact they can have," she said.
On the other hand, with suppliers, her challenge is in finding more recycled material grades to offer.
Another hurdle, since the start of the pandemic, has been having the same efficiency in virtual interactions as in physical ones. The first few months called for adapting to reorganize meetings.
"I did a graduate program, along with 10 other potential young hires by Berry across Europe, each workshop every two months was normally in different production plants, across EU countries," she said. "We missed four workshops because of the pandemic, being 10 people from four different countries, we adapted, but we had to spend eight hours a day on Zoom."
The advice she would give to others is to "keep going."
"You will be surprised how you can appreciate your work, more interesting than what you can hear in the media or at school. Industry isn't all about men and big machines," she said.
The best advice Satis has received, however, is to stay true to yourself.
"It does not matter if you do not have the answer to a question that you are asked," she said. "The people you are talking to are human and have been in your place; they will be understanding."
Q: What steps have you taken to advance in your career?
Satis: I followed the International Graduate Development Program (IGDP) in the CPI division within Berry Global for two years. Through this program and the workshops, I received many tips and tools to learn how to have an impact in my professional life, improve my communication, be an inspiring leader. I have learned a lot in the last two years, and for sure that will help me in my future career.
I worked at a factory-level position in France and seized an opportunity; I applied for a group position. Now I work more internationally, a challenge but very rewarding for my career.
Q: What is your philosophy related to plastics and sustainability? What steps have you taken to improve plastics' sustainability, either in work, your community or personal life?
Satis: I am working for the sustainability team in Berry. Every day I try to find the best sustainable solution for new packaging between the R&D team and our customers. Or better solutions, trying to switch from virgin material to recycled materials (bio-based, mechanical, chemical recycling).
Lots of other sustainable targets are in place in the group: reduce carbon footprint, reduce water usage in production, propose products 100 percent recyclable, promote refill and reuse packaging.
In my personal life, I use more and more reusable packaging. I try to convince my family or friends to take more attention of our future. I explain to them in simple words how by simple acts, they can be better. For example, pay attention of bin sorting at home.
Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
Satis: The plant manager of my site, who was my manager during my internship when I started at Berry Global in 2019. He was at the origin of my hiring in September 2019 and supported me to apply for the second in 2021.
He was my mentor for my graduate program for two years, and still is. Always here if I need it, to give me advice and tips.