We recently spoke with Jay Hunsberger, vice president of marketing and sales at new SB Corporate Member company, Sustana. He shared why sustainability is critical to their work as a producer of premium recycled fibers for packaging, printing and more.
Read below to learn how Jay’s previous experience as an engineer has informed his view of sustainability, how a strongly customer-centric perspective guides Sustana’s work, and why he advocates for new solutions, rather than stalling for fear of imperfection or the unknown.
What project are you most excited about right now?
Currently, closed-loop possibilities excite me the most. I’m interested in seeing how we can maximize value chains, not just by supplying recycled materials into it, but also recovering even more of the byproducts and side streams for reuse.
This is a clear example of real-world sustainability, where there is financial relevance and true value visible to end users, communities and the environment.
What inspires and drives you to work on sustainability?
Envisioning the role of consumption in a just, regenerative economy
Join us, along with Forum for the Future and Target, as we use future scenarios to identify potential shifts in consumption that would enable a just, regenerative economy in 2040 at Brand-Led Culture Change — May 22-24 in Minneapolis.
My education as an engineer means I look at the beauty of making things simpler, to conserve more, reduce cost and minimize the effect on the surrounding environment.
Because of that, I feel good about doing something to minimize waste and create something new from discarded materials. I also find great pleasure in how we are able to do this while making our greater communities better and creating value for our business partners.
Can you share something about yourself that would surprise us?
If the engineer answer above didn’t expose my inner nerd, then this should. I am a huge sci-fi fan and would say that most of my media consumption comes from sci-fi movies or cartoons.
If you had unlimited time and resources, on what type of work would you want to collaborate with fellow SB Members?
I would work on a more complete recovery system for our nation’s use of paper, plastic and glass goods.
I recognize that there are many hurdles in achieving the best reuse and collection of our nation’s waste, but it is a largely untapped resource that could provide jobs and value, while reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.
Why is your participation in the SB Member Network important?
We appreciate the diverse makeup of companies and industries in the SB network, since no single company or industry can address global issues, such as waste, in a silo. The opportunities to interact directly with peers and have frank conversations will be valuable to our work at Sustana and enable us to better provide solutions to reduce the environmental footprint of packaged goods.
Anything else you'd like to share with fellow SB Members?
Often we get mired in a solution not being perfect, afraid to make a change that looks to have positive impact because we fear the unknown. We should focus more on how we can all lead change by challenging ourselves and our companies to do more, take good, calculated risks and forgive ourselves for not solving everything at once the first time!