We recently caught up with Dan Fitzgerald, product sustainability lead at Stanley Black & Decker, to discuss what drives his work in sustainability and his desire to collaborate with fellow members.
Keep reading to learn about Stanley Black & Decker’s commitment to the new plastics economy, how more cooperation across industries can help everyone’s circular economy goals, Dan’s aspirations for travel, and more.
SB: What project are you most excited about right now?
Dan: I’m most excited about our recent Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to ensure 100 percent of our plastic packaging can easily and safely be reused, recycled or composted by 2025.
To support that commitment, we’ve partnered with Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, to work with five startups. We’re focused of finding companies that are developing innovative solutions in additive manufacturing or eco-friendly sustainable packaging and have software, hardware or material solutions. The deadline for applications is April 7, 2019.
SB: How is social or environmental innovation driving value for your business?
Dan: At Stanley Black & Decker, we are for those who make the world. Our company has identified three strategic imperatives that allow us to deliver on this purpose:
- Continuing to deliver top-quartile financial performance
- Becoming recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies
- Elevating our commitment to corporate social responsibility
Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are two of our three strategic business imperatives, and we believe they will be key drivers of our business success.
Furthermore, we’ve set a goal for Stanley Black & Decker projects that “Deliver Innovation with Purpose” to improve the lives of 500 million people and contribute to 10 percent of our company’s revenue by 2030.
SB: What inspires and drives you to work on sustainability?
Dan: I’m driven by the challenge of maximizing our current population’s quality of life within the biological constraints that allow for future generations to do the same.
Within this role, I’ve been inspired by how innovative my colleagues are when asked to rethink a problem through a sustainable lens (e.g., when asked to exclude a specific material from their product).
I’m optimistic that we are innovative enough as a species to solve the critical environmental and social challenges ahead.
SB: Can you share something about yourself that would surprise us?
Dan: It’s something I’m hoping to change, but I’ve never traveled outside of North America for work or pleasure.
SB: If you had unlimited time and resources, on what type of work would you want to collaborate with fellow SB Members?
Dan: I would love to dig deeper into end-of-life and circular economy topics with other members. A particular focus would be the improvement of recycling infrastructure at both curbside and retail outlets with the ultimate goal to close the loop on everything we place into the market.
Additionally, I always enjoy learning about new business models that decouple revenue from resource use.
SB: Why is your participation in the SB Member Network important?
Dan: We want to be on the leading edge in our industry when it comes to sustainability. The SB Member Network provides direct connections to the world’s best leaders across many industries for learning and collaboration.
I have seen firsthand that radical innovation can come from taking ideas from other fields and applying them to your own, and I hope the SB Member Network will help us do that. And in turn, we can provide that same inspiration for other companies as well.
SB: Anything else you'd like to share with fellow SB Members?
Dan: Sustainability is too large of a topic to handle alone and we are always looking for partnership opportunities to create new solutions that meet global societal needs.
I encourage anyone with opportunities or ideas for collaboration to reach out to me [Daniel.Fitzgerald@sbdinc.com]. Looking forward to working with all of you!