Viridor snaps up Nestle's Inder Poonaji to drive sustainability strategy

Waste management firm Viridor has recruited Nestle's former head of sustainability, Inder Poonaji, to direct its own sustainability, safety, health environment and quality divisions.

Inder Poonaji will join Viridor on 1 September

Inder Poonaji will join Viridor on 1 September

Poonaji will join the Somerset-based company in September, where he will lead “a major change management programme” and “ensure sustainability is at the forefront of all business decisions”.

Poonaji said: “I am excited to be joining Viridor and believe my knowledge and skills will complement the industry-leading work the team is already doing in areas such as the circular economy, recognising the value in material and resources and fulfilling the company’s purpose of giving the world’s resources new life.”

Big achiever

Poonaji joins Viridor following seven years working with Nestlé, where he led 8,000 staff across 18 UK sites. Notable achievements during his time at Nestle included developing the blueprint for sustainable manufacturing at the Nestlé Fawdon site; achieving zero waste to landfill; and significant reductions in energy and water use across the business.

He holds a Masters in International HR; BA HONS Political Economy; Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainability, Certificate in Education, Post Graduate in Training Strategy as well as a number of additional professional qualifications.

In his new role at Viridor, Poonaji will be responsible for driving sustainability, safety, environment and quality across the business employing 3,000 staff over 329 sites. In addition to his main job, he will continue to guest lecture Surrey University, other universities and maintain his voluntary work.

Zero waste

Viridor’s HR and regulatory director Simon Catford said: “The knowledge and experience Inder brings to the business, together with the talent and skills we already have within the company, will confirm Viridor’s position as one of the UK’s leading recycling, renewable energy and waste management companies.”

In April, two of Viridor’s major landfill sites were closed down thanks to the increasing amount of non-recyclable waste that is being converted to energy rather than simply being disposed of. Viridor hailed the closures as an “important milestone in the ongoing efforts to drive value from our waste hierarchy”. As such, the firm last month took a major step towards becoming zero waste to landfill in its energy recovery facilities, thanks to a new recycling deal with a carbon-negative aggregate specialist.

Viridor will welcome Inder Poonaji on 1 September, 2015 when he officially takes up his position as director of sustainability and safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ).

Luke Nicholls


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