Sustainability is Vladislav Voron’s world. The Product Manager for Leisure & Smart Solutions set anew focus on sustainability when he realized that there was a growing demand for experts in that field in the airline industry. So, he made his passion his job and now works on products that help reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
Silently, effortlessly, he cuts through the air. Beneath him the passing forests, fields, and towns look just like tiny models. He lightly tilts the control stick and his glider tips to one side. Through the window on his right, he can now see the ground below him getting closer. Through the one to his left, a couple of sun rays shine on his face and make him squint. He smiles when he realizes that those are exactly the same rays that are absorbed by the solar panels covering the top of the wings of his glider. They produce enough energy to perform the maneuvers that otherwise would be powered by a gasoline engine. This is Vladislav Voron’s passion: finding environmentally friendly alternatives for activities and products we enjoy, just like the glider he loves to fly.
Rethink, replace, reuse
Voron works according to the circular economy approach. Just like in nature, it is based on the idea that a product is part of a closed cycle. This helps to conserve resources as well as reduce waste, emissions and the use of energy. Voron doesn’t only ensure that customers think about sustainability, but that they also understand it and apply that value and knowledge in their own work. His approach to finding sustainable alternatives is: rethink, replace and reuse.
“Because of the wave of sustainability, new regulations, competition and mindset shift in our society, a genuine interest for sustainable products has developed,” Voron explains. “That was my chance to refocus my work more on my passion for sustainability.”
One example of a sustainable alternative would be Voron’s hero among all sustainable alternatives: PaperWise. “We worked with the Dutch company PaperWise to develop a product portfolio that is exclusive in the airline-catering industry and is made from agricultural waste,” explains Voron. The resources needed to produce PaperWise products, such as rice leaves, grains, sweet corn and sugar cane, would usually be burnt as the left-over byproduct. “But we use them instead for new products. This way the material gets a second life” explains Voron. The environmental impact of the CO2-neutral, paper-like material produced is 47 percent lower than that of paper made from wood fiber and 29 percent lower than recycled paper. Products made from PaperWise can be re-used, replacing those made with plastic. So that at some airports, travelers can now buy a variety of to-go products in packaging, wrappers, cups and bags – all made from PaperWise.
Doing good for others
When speaking to Voron, you can truly feel his passion and pride for such alternative materials and the development of new products. But he says that “the best thing about my job is the international collaboration and the chance to do something good for others.” He believes that when he develops product-and- concept solutions he doesn’t only improve the user experience with the catering equipment, he is helping conserve natural resources, which will slow down global warming and reduce waste in the short and long term. “I am in the lucky position to travel across the globe supporting other companies on their journey and finding more alternatives. But I am also aware of the irony of me trying to decrease the impact our industry has on the environment whilst flying frequently.” You cannot make up for something like that. But Voron does his best to make smart and sustainable lifestyle choices.
About Vladislav Voron
- Product Manager for Leisure & Smart Solutions at SPIRIANT
- Works full-time on finding sustainable solutions for packaging since the spring of 2018
- Typically the first person to be contacted by clients and colleagues with questions about sustainability at SPIRIANT.
- More than 10 airlines have been in touch with Voron in the past year for consultation on related issues.
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