The Meaningful Business 100 (MB100) Award recognizes and celebrates global leaders who are combining profit and purpose to help achieve the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The award celebrates individuals working across different sectors, roles, geographies, and causes. Recipients include outstanding and purpose-driven corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, impact investors, and sustainability experts who are deemed to be solving the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues.
UBQ’s co-founder and Israel CEO, Tato Bigio, was recently honored as an MB100 leader for 2020 for his work redefining the concept and value of everything we as humans discard. Drawing on his over two decades of experience in the industrial and renewable energy sectors, Tato is leading UBQ’s Israeli Research and Development team in a comprehensive vertical expansion to push the limits and widen the scope of UBQ™ Material’s applicability.
Envisioned as a roadmap for creating consistent, system-wide social, financial, and environmental value, the 17 SDGs are designed to achieve global sustainable development by the year 2030. Covering everything from poverty to sustainable cities and communities and industry, innovation and infrastructure, the goals are an urgent call for developed and developing countries to come together to solve global challenges that affect us all. Climate change and working to preserve the earth’s oceans and forests are also key sustainable development goals.
Each initiative UBQ Materials undertakes is in pursuit of a singular vision: a world where waste is no longer wasted. The UBQ process converts landfill-destined waste into a sustainable and infinitely reusable raw material. The thermoplastic product has been embraced by a diverse group of manufacturers and brands including Daimler-Mercedes (car parts) and McDonalds (climate-positive food trays) and has been used in producing a wide range of products such as municipal waste carts, designer furniture, tiles and flooring, and sewer pipes.
To maximize UBQ’s impact, Tato is embarking on a full-scale expansion that reflects his belief that “the more UBQ Materials we produce, the more waste we divert from landfills, the more we offset GHG emissions and toxic leakages.” Until recently, UBQ Materials has operated from a small-scale, 7000 ton per year, Israel-based production facility. In September of this year, the company announced its plan to establish its first full-scale production facility in the Netherlands. This will allow UBQ to be more easily sold across Europe and exported to countries around the world. This new initiative multiplies production of UBQ by 20x and addresses key goals in the 17 SDGs by reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation and directly employing over 300 people.
On presenting the MB 100 award to Tato, Tom Lytton-Dickie, Founder and CEO of Meaningful Business said, “We are delighted to recognize Tato Bigio as part of the Meaningful Business 100 for 2020. In what has been a challenging year for everyone, the MB100 provides an inspiring reminder of the brilliant work being done around the world to solve the biggest issues we are facing today.”
As a rule, innovators face a lot of skepticism and naysaying. Since 2012 when Tato first co-founded UBQ, he has worked tirelessly to achieve his and the company’s vision. From raising funds to reviewing waste streams, he has been unafraid to “get his hands dirty” and eagerly aligned his name, face, and reputation with the company. Over the years he has worked tirelessly to accrue material and process patents, recruit world experts and thought leaders in science and sustainability, and amass credentials, awards, and certifications from neutral, third-party industry leaders.
Today, there are fewer skeptics about UBQ, but challenges remain, including those associated with raising capital for expansion. Tato continues to seek out investors who are as committed to the 17 SDGS as UBQ is, embracing solid sustainability values, corporate transparency, and what Tato calls the “intangible element of good vibes” that run through UBQ.
Environmental sustainability is UBQ Material’s core value proposition. UBQ Material is designed to support a more circular economy by using waste traditionally sent to landfills. The company itself is committed to reimagining and reinventing the relationship between sustainability and the health of our people, planet, and profits. To that end, it will continue to work to develop economically feasible solutions that advance the 17 SDGs and support all who inhabit the planet.