Bert Verstappen, Sr. Expert Environment and sustainability, worked all over the world to eventually return to his home birthplace. During his travels, he quickly found out that we are all responsible for the world we live in. This is one of the reasons why he works at Janssen. At Janssen Bert is mainly responsible for making production processes more sustainable, with a focus on circular economy. Every day Bert asks himself; "How can I make Janssen a little bit more sustainable?"
A citizen of the world
Bert talks passionately about his adventures abroad. Prior to Janssen, Bert worked in India, Indonesia and Nigeria as a project manager. He was responsible for the construction of large infrastructure projects. A unique experience according to Bert, because during his stay he came in contact with a wide range of cultures. He uses this unique experience also in his job at Janssen.
Circular Economy is more than a trend word according to Bert. It is a smarter way to use raw materials. At his department they are researching how residual flows from production processes can be reused. Within Janssen we have a successful circular example, the 'Plant on a Truck' project. Janssen was even rewarded with the 'Belgian Business Award for the environment' from the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium. In the 'Plant on a Truck' project, solvents from water are purified and recycled using a mobile purification plant. "Less waste, cheaper and better for the environment. A win-win situation for everyone" says Bert. This innovation was developed together with InOpSys, a start up from the Catholic University Leuven. Improvements in production processes in the pharmaceutical industry is real challenging according to Bert, because of the strict requirements.
"It shows the character of Janssen. She is taking her responsibility and gives us the possibility to implement these projects."
Spread the word
The impact of the 'Plant on a Truck' project can be huge, when more locations participate. Therefore it’s Bert’s mission to actively promote this concept to other production locations within Johnson & Johnson. But also outside his network Bert shares his experience to motivate other organizations to produce more sustainably. According to Bert sharing knowledge and information is essential.
Future of Circular
The concept of circular economy is changing according to Bert. More companies see the value. In the future he expects there will be more focus on a regional approach. Companies will not only make use of their own production process, but especially look for cooperation on regional level. This will provide an enormous advantage to scale and eventually increase impact.
"I believe in cooperation, because the impact that you can have together is much greater."
Passion for health
Because of his experience abroad, Bert knows that health and health care are not self-evident. "Our access to healthcare is a merit of society, but also the industry," says Bert. Because of this experience he also consciously deals with his own health. Bert has an active life, but certainly also takes time to relax.
"I have a passion for health during and after work."