TIME and energy are two resources Gavin Graveson can’t recycle.
However, as Veolia’s Chief Operating Officer, Gavin oversees the recycling of many things. The UK leader in environmental solutions, Veolia provides a comprehensive range of waste, water and energy management services designed to build the circular economy and preserve scarce raw materials.
Gavin, who first made his name in the industry as general manager of his family business, has moved his company strategy away from sustainable thinking in 2012 towards sustainable doing.
Gavin is another of our innovative speakers at Naked Leader’s Conference in October. He believes that as markets evolve in business, complacency can only come at the expense of future success.
‘By 2050 the world’s population will reach nine billion,’ he says. ‘There aren’t enough resources to meet the quality of life demanded by the seven billion people that inhabit the planet now.
‘This population explosion and the competitive economic context will put scarce resources under even more pressure. It’s a complex challenge that is driving change in business and Veolia can make a bigger difference than most.
‘A “business as usual” attitude simply wouldn’t allow us to respond to the immediate challenges in front of us.
‘So the first step towards business transformation was a change in our culture – from the top down. We eliminated “group think” and rewarded radical, creative thinking by individuals. Employees were free to try new things, explore new ideas and make mistakes. It transformed doubters into believers and made re-writing the future a challenge that everyone relished.’
Gavin was proud to inform me that Veolia won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Outstanding Achievements in Sustainable Development since these changes have come about.
‘Our innovative ideas and pioneering technologies are also helping other businesses to meet their environmental challenges,’ he added. ‘Our landmark solution has helped a national food producer to use recycled water in food production. We’ve collaborated with a leading healthcare company to recover high-quality platinum from obsolete drugs plus many more examples of making the circular economy a reality.’
Gavin will share his thoughts at the Conference and is sure to get delegates thinking about what they can do to build a circular economy.
‘We are delighted that Gavin can share his thoughts with us on resourcing the World,’ says Naked Leader founder David Taylor. ‘Gavin is another example of a visionary who recognises that what we do now can make a massive difference to all of our futures.’
So, it is clear that listening to Gavin will certainly not be a waste of time!