I interviewed Michael Rada who discussed Sustainability as a Future. He has set up a network of companies which are able to up-cycle and utilize waste products to help manufacturers save money.
It’s nice to speak with you today again, Michael. We’ve done interviews in the past. It’s been a year or so or maybe more since the last time we talked. Today I’m looking forward to hearing your views on the topic of sustainability as a future. Can you start by providing a brief background of yourself?
Yes. I would like to thank you for the interview, and thank you for calling me. It’s already three years, so it’s quite a long time when we talked together. Let me introduce myself. My name is Michael Rada, and at the moment I’m the president of International Business Center of Sustainable Development, which I’m opening right now. My background is about more than 20 years in logistics. The past five years I spent in an international corporation, the second largest in Japan, as a business-development manager. Since one year I’m an individual entrepreneur, and I’m targeting sustainability and efficiency, mainly efficiency in a global supply chain, so not only on one side or in one process but a global one. Generally, I deal with industrial within Czech Republic, Europe, and some of them in Asia as well to help them improve the efficiency of the global supply chain and to reduce the amount of generated waste in the production.
How do you define sustainability?
Sustainability for me, it’s a way to prevent waste. Generally, because waste can be prevented if we do not put things in the garbage, if I say so. Sustainability for me, it’s something which is closely connected to the issue of chain, like a supply chain. A chain starts to be misunderstood by many as a part of something, but chain is a complexity, it’s a harmony, and sustainability is for me, a harmony of action which results in a future on the Earth; otherwise, we will not be able to survive for another hundred years or thousand years on the Earth. This is how I define sustainability. Do not produce waste, start reduction of waste.
Why do we need sustainability for our future?
If we do not start to think and act sustainable, we will exploit all our resources which are existing on the Earth. Generally, this will result in.. it’s already now, it’s visible. There is a shortage of water. Even in California, such a rich state of the U.S., there is a lot of resources. But, in reality, this is not so. The resources exist; they are already here but we are not using them sustainably. We produce a mobile phone. Next year we buy other one, and this one is put as waste generally, but it’s wrong because in this old one, there is a lot of material which can be utilized.
At the moment if I throw my old mobile in a garbage bin, it’s garbage. I cannot utilize it anymore because it’s garbage, it’s waste. If I stop it before and I do it sustainably, then I work with the resources which are existing. Unfortunately, there is a big group of people which I call waste companies—and these waste companies generally live from wanting more waste. My intention is to stop it because we do not have to produce it. This is why sustainability is so important. We would like to have resources, we would like to live like now, and we have to utilize the existing things, not throw it away.
How do you do this in practice?
It’s very simple. It’s unfortunate that it cannot be seen by video, but, generally, through the definition of waste, there starts everything. Waste is thing or material or whatever which you put on a place which is intended for the waste to store in.That means garbage bin, waste containers, and whatever.
But if you stop it, if you do not put it there, then it’s not waste. If I’m in a factory and this factory utilizes shipments from overseas which are protected by polystyrene inlays, generally, I’m going to generate 400 tons a year and put this in a container, standard shipping container. This container is able, 40-foot container is able to carry on a 900-kilo, and this client has 400 tons a year. You can imagine the volume of traffic. How we change this, we stop to put it in the garbage bin, and we find out a production company which produces out of this, make the original material which are the small, white balls generally and produce new products out of it.
But we have to stop it before it becomes waste. The client did not invest any penny; he just started to utilize or the change to process, not put in a garbage bin but place in their returnable package.
This returnable package was then delivered to the production company and so on. This is very simple: Don’t throw things in the garbage bin. Stop it before and think, whether you can utilize it, and if not, find somebody who can help you to find utilization.
In production facilities all around the world what I have seen, and I am almost daily in a production factory, there is a lot of obsolete materials. It’s one of the most expensive ones.
Still, the companies prepare to generate waste instead of spend time to change this and find somebody who will buy the obsolete one.
International Business Center of Sustainable Development is this one supporter which found out the way and have a network of companies which are able to up-cycle, utilize, really do it up to the maximum to save the money.
Back to the polystyrene story, the company was paying 10 million Czech Korunas yearly to get the rate of this waste generated by polystyrene. By investing zero because they just changed the process, they are in plus 50 million yen, which means 60 million yen within one year without investing a single penny. This is a type of sustainability. It does not have to cost a lot of money even though investment is needed; just change of the process.
Thank you, Michael, for sharing today.
You are welcome.
About Michael Rada
President and Project Father of
CENTER OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (IBCSD)