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Snowboarder Maurizio helps give innovation the full 360

09 Oct, 2020 | published at 09:07 CET

PRS regional manager Maurizio Mondellini knows a lot about the circular economy and how to make this 360 degree sustainable business process of retrieving, repatriating, recycling and reusing pallets truly fly.

As an experienced snowboarder with more than 20 years’ experience, Maurizio, who looks after Italy, Greece and the Balkan regions for PRS, understands the fundamental difference between fresh powder virginal snow that powers the board on a perfect slalom and the compacted ice moguls that can bring a rider down to earth with a bump.

Understanding the demands and nuances of the circular economy, and the commercial pressures in the polymer industry that PRS serves across this vast region, is all about carefully navigating the corporate slopes while executing the right moves in terms of driving business efficiency while at the same time reducing its environmental impact.

In snowboarding parlance, this means avoiding the ‘chatter’, or rough terrain to achieve the perfect ‘stomp’ or landing. In business-speak, it’s also avoiding distracting chatter to focus on the right 360 degree outcomes in the circular economy.

The same analogy works for start-up business ideas and innovation, and Maurizio uses his spare time as a board member for InnoVits, a not-for-profit organisation that helps business innovation to take off – an ideas test bed enabling entrepreneurs to see their commercial propositions not only fly, but perform their own 360 in mid-air.

Business innovation

Maurizio, who lives near Milan, not too far from his beloved Italian Alps, said: “I became aware of this organisation through LinkedIn about seven years ago. It really appealed to me as a smart environment as it has more than 50 managers like me from different industries all giving their ideas and support.

“I am now part of the board of what is a really strong network that also helps me in my day-to-day role also in terms of useful contacts.”

Working with PRS head office in Eindhoven, Maurizio and his team co-ordinate the pooling of pallets across a diverse regions of southern Europe, a management role which includes business development, supplier liaison, finance and taxation trouble-shooting as well as customer service management, quality assurance and the perennial everyday challenges of the collection repair and reuse of hundreds of thousands of pallets.

“I am very lucky at PRS. I travel a lot but I get a lot of support from the business and am able to be flexible with my time – it’s not eight hours a day sitting in front of a laptop. I am free to manage my time so, I can devote some to InnoVits which also helps the business because it also supports the circular economy.”

There is also the call of the mountains and the need for speed when he has time to satisfy that craving. Over the years Maurizio has learned that in business, as in life, there are summits to conquer before the downhill thrill with the wind at your back and supporting others on that climb is just as rewarding.