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Mon 26 Aug 2019 09:32 AM

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Making sustainability more than just a buzzword

Brand View: Paul Gandy, managing director of Pure CE, has over 20 years' experience building businesses in the GCC and UK. He outlines his insights into what he's learned and how to implement positive change

Making sustainability more than just a buzzword
Paul Gandy believes that a circular economy is not just about saving resources, but instead a strategy to use available resources in a smarter way

What inspires you?

Making a positive difference to those around me and always keeping an eye open for new and innovative ideas.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I know it’s hard to believe but I have two married and grown up kids; thankfully no grandchildren... yet!

Quote to live your life by?

Those who know me pretty well, will also know I never give up! Life can throw you many challenges and the key is to embrace and learn from them. The greatest leaders in history have one thing in common: they pursued their vision and never wavered from their task.

Finish this sentence: The world would be a better place if only…

People can embrace positive change.

What’s the story behind your business?

Pure CE (Circular Economy) is a ground-breaking private equity corporation with a mission to identify and evolve conceptual ideas into globally changing businesses.

Advocating the transition to a circular economy, Pure CE has brought together a world-class team of leading experts and practitioners with a strong focus on the biotech, cleantech, healthcare and technology industries. If we carry on using the Earth’s resources at the current rate of increase, we’ll need three planets by 2050.

Businesses across the world face new challenges. On the one hand they have to deal with increasingly constrained resources – be it energy, land or materials – adding to price volatility of raw materials. On the other hand, they are faced with increasingly demanding customers and markets when it comes to sustainability. This poses the challenge to decouple growth from resource use. This is a challenge that requires a new economic paradigm of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’.

The concept of a circular economy aims to present a solution to this challenge by combining revenue with social impact. It enables businesses to grow and prosper while keeping the environment and society intact, ensuring growth for themselves as well as future generations. Pure CE specialises in the development of sustainable and analytical solutions and tools across a range of industries, including recycling, oil and gas, biomedical, renewable energy and smart infrastructure.

How did your business start the year?

We have been working on a multitude of projects simultaneously since the start of 2019. Virtually everything we have accomplished so far this year has, to some degree, been a first of its kind – whether in regards to the development of a particular technology, such as our real time oil sampling tech, or the application of a technology such as our waste-to-energy plasma tech. There have been a plethora of hurdles to overcome along the way. Thanks to a mixture of timing, strategy and a highly dynamic and adaptable team, we have not just overcome these hurdles, but accelerated both in terms of growth to date and future prospects, far beyond even our own predictions.

If all goes well, where do you see business going in the next five years? The next decade?

We are due to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange this year, beyond that, we plan to have three separate Purecog branded sustainable technology hubs operational across the UAE within 12 months. One will be focussed on the manufacturing of an environmentally friendly single-use plastic alternative, one focussed on turning waste plastic back into oil, diesel and biofuel and one focussed on turning medical waste into useable energy.

Around these we will build educational and research programmes for schools and universities, as well as visitor experiences and fun outdoor clean-up events for anyone who has an interest in the ever more topical subject of sustainability.

For our residential property review site, Mintaga, our goal is to be operational and working with key partners in every corner of the MENA region within 12 months, globally thereafter.

Over the next five years, we aim to have taken each of our existing brands global, with the help of our key partners. Ten years from now, we aim to have created some of the strongest and most recognisable brands in the various industry sectors we operate, having conducted business in the right way and continuing to positively impact people, planet and profit.

What do you enjoy the most about working at your company?

Everything Pure CE is tackling, has a positive impact on the environment and therefore a positive impact on people’s lives.

What advice would you give to someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Take positive references from the truly inspirational leaders who have impacted people’s lives. Equally, good leaders have a strong ability to listen and learn from others around them.


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