GILBERT, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Footprint, a global materials science technology company focused on creating a healthy planet, today announced plans for a European R&D center in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and new European leadership.
Located at Brainport Industries Campus (BIC), the Footprint R&D Center will feature a prototype and test lab, research facility and a primary hub of sustainable solutions innovation for European customers seeking to transition away from single-use plastics. The BIC campus, where top technology, education, government and high-quality facilities come together, will also be the location of Footprint’s European headquarters.
“Today marks an important step in creating a European center for Footprint’s sustainable materials innovation,” Footprint CEO Troy Swope said. “EU legislation eliminating many single-use plastics and European consumers’ progressive focus on sustainability has accelerated demand for plant-based fiber solutions. We’re very encouraged about the advanced conversations we’re having with European customers and look forward to providing new and timely solutions, led by this talented, Europe-based team.”
Footprint today provides some of the world’s largest packaged food producers with plant-based fiber alternatives to plastic. Through the Footprint Foundation, and Pledge2050, Footprint is also engaging in initiatives that help raise awareness about the damage to human health and the planet caused by plastic in the food chain. With non-recyclable single-use plastic more visible than ever during Covid-19 stay-at-home orders, the urgency around better solutions has never been more important.
Footprint enters the European market as EU regulations banning the use of several single-use plastics impact quick-service restaurants, food manufacturers and retailers and accelerate the move to plastic-free alternatives. Footprint is building a team that will engage closely with these organizations as they look to follow regulations, embrace more recycling and composting options, as well as address consumer demands for environmentally friendly and healthier materials touching their food.
Also announced today is the addition of key new Footprint Europe leaders:
Cary Newton, SVP Business Development
Mr. Newton has led Footprint’s commercial sales since the company’s inception and will relocate to Europe to help the team establish its local presence. Mr. Newton began his career at Intel and earned a degree in supply chain management from Arizona State University.
Joost Bakx, VP Sales, Footprint EMEA
Mr. Bakx will lead customer engagement in Europe and comes to Footprint from HL Display where he was country manager and commercial director for Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands. He has a variety of marketing and commercial director experience working across Europe with Tetra Pak, BIC, Coca-Cola Company and more. Bakx earned a master’s degree in business economics from University of Limburg/Maastricht and completed MBA programs at Lund University and Stockholm School of Business.
Marian van Wijck, VP Human Resources, EMEA
Ms. van Wijck leads talent in Europe and comes to Footprint with experience as a strategic human resources and organizational consultant and HR leader specifically in international environments with a strong focus on environment and sustainability. Most recently she was head of HR at Utrecht University/Faculty of Geoscience including the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in HR and an MBA from the NCOI University Utrecht.
Ken Van de Velde, SVP Manufacturing EMEA
Mr. Van de Velde leads manufacturing site selection and development. He joins Footprint with more than 30 years of experience in R&D, operations and general management at Monsanto, Emerson Electric, Jaga and Alberts Industries. He received his MsC in Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and an MBA from the Vlerick Academy at the Universities of Leuven and Ghent.
Footprint has a clear vision to create a healthier planet and healthier people. Phase one of our mission is to provide solutions that eliminate single-use and short-term use plastics in our food chain. Footprint’s team of engineers use plant-based fiber technology to design, develop and manufacture biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable products that compete with plastic’s cost and exceed its performance, keeping harmful chemicals away from consumers in materials digestible by the earth. Footprint is rapidly expanding into new categories with unique and patented solutions for customers. Footprint’s products have already led to a global redirection of 61 million pounds of plastic waste from entering the air, earth, and water working with leading global consumer brands.
Footprint was founded in 2014 by former Intel engineers, Troy Swope and Yoke Chung. The company employs more than 1,500 employees, with operations in the U.S., Mexicali, Europe, and Asia. Footprint was named to the 2020 Fortune “Change the World” list in 2020, is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators Community and was named a CNBC Disruptor 50 company in 2021.
For more information on Footprint’s sustainable solutions visit www.footprintus.com.