Michele Bartolini, Marketing Director at Rolland, sat down with us recently to share how efficiencies and a new method of operating significantly reduced their product footprint and the need she sees for more tools that can help employees translate sustainability theory into their day-to-day functions.
Read on to learn how Michele capitalized on her creative acting skills to tell Rolland’s story and what she’s learned from other SB Corporate Members.
What project are you most excited about right now?
MB: The project I’m most excited about at Rolland is the work we've been doing in marketing – highlighting how we embed sustainability in the paper business.
Since I started at Rolland eighteen months ago, my work has focused on bringing to the forefront the incredible sustainability initiatives already established at Rolland. This seems like a no-brainer, but we weren’t publicly sharing our sustainability work until fairly recently.
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The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) we recently completed was a very exciting project and continues to affect our work today. During the process, we had to analyze every step of our product, from sourcing raw materials, supply chain transparency and even end-of-life use.
In striving to improve efficiencies at every step of our production, we developed a method to use 30x less water than the industry standard and derive 93% of our energy from thermal energy (biogas), a landfill byproduct.
It’s exciting to tout Rolland’s sustainability initiatives and have something as strong as an LCA to support our marketing materials.
What inspires and drives you to work on sustainability?
MB: Rolland’s office is in St. Jerome and sits on a river. Being surrounded by trees every day constantly puts you in touch with your environment and reminds you of your impact on it. This constant reminder influences everything we do at Rolland that extends beyond our product sustainability initiatives, like creating more efficient transportation for our product.
In the office, we’ve banned Styrofoam products and have an advanced recycling and reuse system. Even if someone at Rolland isn’t a “green champion” in their own life, or doesn’t come to us with a strong passion for sustainability, it’s inspiring to work in a place that educates all employees on the importance of sustainability.
Can you share something about yourself that would surprise us? Any hidden talents?
MB: I was drawn to marketing because it was an outlet for my strong creative streak. Before I began my career, I went to the Academy of Dramatic Arts in LA for a few months, thinking I wanted a career in acting.
I didn’t end up pursuing acting, but applied that artistic creativity to the business world. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with companies where the marketing strategy was really embedded in the business.
If you had unlimited time and resources, on what type of work would you want to collaborate with fellow SB Members?
MB: If I had unlimited time and resources, I’d like to spend time figuring out how to help people apply sustainability to their job. Many people want to adopt sustainability into their business, but don’t know how to go about doing that. We need more tools that translate sustainability theory into day-to-day functions and enable individuals who are passionate about sustainability to truly influence their companies from within.
Why is your participation in the SB Member Network important?
MB: It’s incredibly valuable to be able to network with organizations and peers who face similar challenges. Being in this community allows me to gather and share information, learn new ideas and stay at the forefront of leading best practices.
We joined the network because we recognized the immense knowledge embodied by the SB Members and wanted to participate in those discussions, to be able to ask how they overcame their challenges, what steps they took and how they were successful.
What do you work on in your free time?
MB: I have a six-year-old son and spend my free time with him exploring hiking trails in Canada. We also have a farm nearby where we harvest our own food and participate in their educational programs.
Anything else you'd like to share with fellow SB Members?
MB: We need to continue to support each other. We have a strong community and should continue to learn from each other so that we can all continue to improve.