Journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education that led Trent A. Romer to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and himself.
Journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education that led Trent A. Romer to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and himself.
What if the foundation of your family business were threatened by something out of your control? What if the livelihood of 70 employees and their families were at stake, as the license to operate your business became called into question? What if 57 years of family history, grown through generations of hard work and sacrifice, were at risk of being lost? What if the reasons were actually one with which you fundamentally agreed?
Journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education and adventures that led Trent A. Romer to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and himself.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A Fascinating read. This is a thought-provoking book and shows why it's vital that more of us understand what a circular economy is and why we all need to play our part to adopt this system across the globe. This is one business owners open and honest journey to learn more and find sustainable ways to ensure his business can adopt, change and survive in an anti-plastic world. The author travels around the world talking to industry leaders, scholars and experts as he searches for solutions and alternative resources, materials and processes. This non-fiction book is very relevant to all business owners. As well as sharing his learning the author's writing is motivational as he and his staff experiment and adopt new ways of working. They soon see quick wins, real business progress and customer encouragement as they embark on a more sustainable business model for the future. ~ Michelle Lamude (Reviewer), NetGalley
Finding Sustainability: The Personal and Professional Journey of a Plastic Bag Manufacturer, by Trent A. Romer, is an eye-opening discourse about something that is critical to our lives and to the lives of future generations. The author, also the owner of a packaging company that uses plastics, describes his journey, a very recent one, as he delved into a subject that both defined his family's company, and held its fate - the future of plastics. Romer takes us on a journey as he investigates, without bias, the effects of the plastic industry on the environment, the alternatives to fuel-based plastics and the reality of shifting a global platform to one that uses bio-based "plastics" which are recyclable or biodegradable, and not harmful to our planet. He introduces us to the concept of a "circular economy" vs a "linear one". For decades, we have operated on the "linear economy" - the idea that resources were unlimited and with no concerns for the environmental impact of our waste. Today, as people get more educated on the environmental downside of plastics, for instance, the "circular economy" becomes the obvious choice for companies, for government regulations and for consumers, one where we all must operate the same way that Nature does - that is, everything that grows can be consumed and then can be integrated for use again. As the author stresses, education on sustainability is a vital part of changing our ways, and this includes redefining such terms as "garbage", which in the "circular economy" is not seen as waste, but as a "resource". An important read for anyone. https://writersinspiringchange.wordpress.com/2021/08/27/finding-sustainability-by-trent-a-romer/ ~ International Writers Inspiring Change, Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This was an interesting perspective from an "insider" within the plastic bag manufacturing business. It's good to know things are changing. This was an easy and informative read. ~ Megan Watson (Reviewer), NetGalley
I really appreciate the author's offering here, as the book goes beyond just taking readers through having to make a tough decision. It is also educative on what our roles are in preserving our planet and offers a lot of pointers to help readers develop their small businesses in the best possible way to ensure long-term survival. The author's account here comes across as thoroughly honest, and his devotion to always strive to improve his knowledge on better practices that focus on reusable, recyclable, and compostable products is contagious and a highlight for me I found Finding Sustainability engaging and educative. There are also thoughtful guides and questions in the "Appendix" section to aid in designing and utilizing sustainable packages and also influence important discussions toward such beneficial packaging materials. I rate this book a well-deserved four out of four stars. I would recommend Finding Sustainability to readers interested in improving the health of the planet. Small business owners will also find this book beneficial. LINK: https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=190623 ~ Online book club, Review
Synopsis: What if the foundation of your family business were threatened by something out of your control? What if the livelihood of 70 employees and their families were at stake, as the license to operate your business became called into question? What if 57 years of family history, grown through generations of hard work and sacrifice, were at risk of being lost? What if the reasons were actually one with which you fundamentally agreed? Readers will be fascinated when reading "Finding Sustainability: The Personal and Professional Journey of a Plastic Bag Manufacturer" as author Trent Romer (who is the 3rd generation co-owner of his family's business custom plastic bag manufacturing business for over 25 years and which was founded in 1961 by his grandfather) takes them on a journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education and adventures that led him to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and for himself. Critique: An inherently interesting read that will have special appeal for environmental activists, "Finding Sustainability: The Personal and Professional Journey of a Plastic Bag Manufacturer" is an impressively informative and exceptionally well-presented account that will prove to be a welcome and timely addition to personal reading lists, as well as community, college and university library Environmental and 'Green Business' collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists. Midwest book reviews ~ Midwest book reviews, Review
It’s not a long read, but there is a lot to digest with it. The journey to a more sustainable life is not easy for anyone, but Trent Romer was determined to start that journey. However he had a bigger hurdle than most, he owns a plastic bag manufacturing company. Finding Sustainability is his story of the journey he took. There is a lot of educational aspects to the book, which Romer says is one critical need in order to make a sustainability shift. I am an eco-nerd. I try to live as sustainably as I am able to, so I was instantly drawn to this book. And after reading it I am reassured in my efforts to take care of the earth as a whole and my immediate community. ~ Kimberly Tierney (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. The blurb for Finding Sustainability is exceptionally good. It starts with three questions that are of interest to many business owners. Then it adds a kicker which is about who you are and what you personally believe in. The great thing about it is that it wraps a ‘how to’ book in a great narrative. Mr Romer took a step by step approach to researching the problems and solutions. Then he educated himself to do something about it. Then he describes the process in making changes in his organisation–these are all patterns for use by others. At first I found his anecdotes (which start each chapter) a little homespun. He describes holidays in the wilderness, travels with his wife and family, the beauty of the world. As the book developed I realised they were illustrations of what Mr Romer wants to keep for future generations. Connecting his own experiences to the evidence of what we are doing to the planet makes a personal document. It becomes something most of us will relate to, even if we don’t run a business. Mr Romer is not a professional writer, sometimes the phrasing or arrangement might be a little unusual. But it’s a very readable book. And it has led me to a question: If people like Mr Romer want to sell more sustainable products (not damaging ones), he needs consumers to demand them. How can I do that? Like Mr Romer, I want future generations to enjoy the planet. As a result of this book, I have an action plan. I will work out what plastic I am using, and how it fits within the categories Mr Romer describes. Then: how am I going to change from non-recyclable to something better? Buy this book: act on it: save the planet. ~ Jemima Pett (Reviewer), NetGalley
A plastic bag manufacturer embarks on an enlightening environmental journey in this debut book. Romer, who co-owns a small family business that manufactures custom plastic bags for the retail market, describes sustainability as “a place where business meets faith” in this insightful account. Recognizing a “growing anti-plastic public sentiment” in 2018, he was struck by a National Geographic magazine cover highlighting plastic pollution of the ocean. He vowed to make a personal commitment to change his own company’s practices and embrace sustainability, beginning with self-education. Research, conferences, and an executive education program gave Romer the working knowledge and tools to create a “systems map” to analyze his company’s operations. This helped him implement sustainability-oriented modifications while recognizing that it was “more about a thousand small things and less about one big thing.” Romer charted a path that resulted in a new vision for his business, which he termed “Healthy Planet, Healthy People and Healthy Company”; this became the driving force behind six key initiatives, among them stocking sustainable materials, creating a design guide for sustainable packaging, and communicating sustainability goals to clients. In this book, Romer details 10 steps that he and his business took to reach their “stretch goal” of a 25% waste reduction. Just as important, he tells of how he engaged his clients in his journey, educating them about how sustainability ultimately benefits everyone. He generously shares what he learned with readers so they can adapt his methodology as well. Romer is an astute narrator, observing his own growing awareness of the importance of environmental awareness as the story unfolds. He writes with honesty and humility, unafraid to expose his own vulnerabilities as he took on a daunting challenge. Especially compelling is the example he sets as a visionary leader of a small company that can have a surprisingly big environmental impact. Along the way, he effectively relates how his effort is just one piece of a larger whole: “Our thread in the sustainability fabric is a thread in the sustainability tapestry…knowing that we may never fully see the full tapestry we are helping to create.” A perceptive, instructive, and inspiring business memoir. ~ Kirkus Reviews, Review
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in sustainability. The journey Trent and his company is taking is relevant to all industries and companies. In this book, Trent speaks to all of the challenges his company has faced in positioning it as a leader in implementing sustainable practices. With those challenges come many successes as well as organizational clarity of purpose that is guiding the future. ~ John Bolton, Managing Director at Amerex Energy Services
Finding Sustainability opens readers' eyes to what business owner Trent A. Romer has done to lead a company and live a life that honors his values and respects the planet. As owner of a third-generation plastics company, his journey toward making his company and its products sustainable and profitable is inspirational. Romer found ways to produce plastic bags that do not add refuse to the mountains of debris in landfills or to the floating plastic islands in our oceans. Romer studied, he learned, he kept at it, and he became empowered. He obtained the tools to lead his company to new ways of sourcing materials, making plastic bags, and disposing of them so that they become resources with use beyond the plastic bag. Finding Sustainability is beautifully written and makes use of biking and boating analogies that tie Romer’s life interests to his business interests. Romer has written a book that conveys what one person can do to make a difference in his own life and the life of his company. He cares about and cares for the legacy we are leaving future generations on this planet we share. -------------------- Thank you very much for submitting your book to the Nonfiction Book Awards. Our reviewers have completed the evaluation process and I’m happy to report that Finding Sustainability: The Personal and Professional Journey of a Plastic Bag Manufacturer earned a Gold award. Congratulations!! ~ Nonfiction Authors Association Book Awards Program, Nonfiction Authors Association Book Awards Program
A perceptive, instructive, and inspiring business memoir. Kirkus Reviews ~ Kirkus Reviews , Review
While Trent set out to write a personal memoir he also created a brilliant business best practices book. Finding Sustainability is a road map for any small business that is feeling the pressure of changing forces out of their control. It’s an antidote to Clayton Christiansen’s Innovator’s Dilemma, proving that real change in a mature company is not just possible but can strengthen the business and its employees. Small (and particularly family) business owners in any industry can apply these lessons to changes forced on them from technological, secular or environmental changes. That is not meant to put down the personal nature of this transformation, however. Trent’s ownership of the company’s contribution to an ecological problem is sincere and motivates the journey for far more than just financial reasons. It is rare today to see public displays of faith in corporate life without feeling like there’s an ulterior motive. Trent is unabashedly proud of connecting family and faith in his business. That pride translates to a sense of responsibility for all the stakeholders in Clear View Bag - not just the immediate family but the employees and customers as well. Who would not want to work for this leader? He values the people he employs, their input and has a real appreciation for family time and the true reason people come to work everyday. Even including a simple paragraph about the impact of vacation time on the company goals shows where Trent’s heart and head are focused. I hope to see updates on the impact Trent's journey has on this company, the industry and the author himself. (5 stars) ~ Jay Kirsch, Goodreads Review
I was thrilled to win a copy of Finding Sustainability last week. In this book, Trent Romer writes about his experience running a family owned plastic bag manufacturing company and the ways he learns about sustainability and tries to incorporate sustainable practices in his business. Beautiful descriptions of time spent in nature with friends and family, from Yosemite to the Adirondacks, and all the way to Amsterdam, are interspersed throughout the story. These stories provide a glimpse at some of the people, places, and experiences that have inspired Romer on his journey to sustainability. I feel like any small business owner ready to tackle the challenge of moving toward sustainability can learn from this book. However, the lessons offered throughout this book and focus on nature, faith, and family can apply to any reader. We must all do our part if we want to steer toward a more sustainable society. As Romer writes, “...one thread, if pulled, potentially affects the larger fabric.” Throughout the book, he acknowledges the business’s responsibility to offer sustainable options and provide education to their consumers about their use. We all must take responsibility and appreciate the fact that our actions affect our neighbors, the world, and future generations. (5 out of 5 stars) ~ Kassie Edinger, Goodreads Review
I thoroughly enjoyed every word. The content was spot on. I’m suggesting to our management team that we order copies for our sales and technical staff. I look forward to future Trent Romer books. ~ Fredy Steng, Fredy Steng, Berry Global Inc. Director Strategic Sales
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars...........There has to be a way to reign in plastics in our world. I like the ideas Mr. Romer came up with in this book. I also liked learning about the history of the plastic bag. Who knew it was meant to be used over and over again to save the trees?! Interesting read from inside the industry. ~ Catherine Hankins (Reviewer), NetGalley
In the USA 30+ million small businesses employ 47+% of the private workforce. This means, there is no sustainable future without small business. That is to say, future generations will not enjoy a stable climate, a viable biosphere, an equitable and opportunity rich economy, global peace, justice and inclusion, without small business making all of those things part of their core mission and business. So what does it take to turn a small business into a sustainability leadership lighthouse? For one thing, it’s not the same journey as a global corporation or a forward-thinking government organization. Small business is edgier. There’s less room for error, less buffer in the face of external threats. Small business has a more intimate interdependence with its employees, local community, suppliers, customers. Small business takes a lot of heart. It’s more personal. In this book, you hear the rare and important voice of a small business owner taken by surprise as the world around him starts signaling that his company’s core product is out of sync with a sustainable future. We are talking about the iconic plastic bag. This is an important book because it tells a very personal story with enormous honesty and humility. Why didn’t this business owner do what most small business owners choose to do and just tune out these signals in order to get through another quarter? How could he take on the unimaginable risks of pivoting his entire business, when so much was at stake, the market wasn't demanding it yet and the risks and challenges of pivoting ahead of the market were so enormous? And what did his co-owner, employees and family make of all this? This is the anatomy of 21st century leadership. It is personal, vulnerable, honest and it happens in the humble arena of one day at a time. I’m so glad Trent has written this for us and about us. ~ Leith Sharp, Director & Lead Faculty Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Finding Sustainability offers a compass for family-owned businesses to navigate uncertain waters that threaten the very backbone of the company. The quest for in-depth understanding of environmental sustainability provides a compelling road map to uncovering creative solutions that are not obvious. I highly recommend Finding Sustainability to businesses of any size who are searching how to navigate a purpose-driven transformation rooted in sustainability, faith and the quest for meaning. ~ Patrick Lindner, Senior Executive for Fortune 500 and family-owned corporations
Finding Sustainability takes the reader on a true journey. As the author journeys through nature with his family, he realizes that he must also embark on a sustainability journey with his organization. Throughout his journey, his faith and commitment to his family, his company, his employees and his community lead him to learn what sustainability means and how to embrace it in order to ensure the long-term viability of his company. But sustainability in a family-owned, petroleum-based, packaging company presents real challenges. The reader learns about these challenges along with steps for overcoming them that can be applied to any organization. Ultimately, Finding Sustainability provides the motivation and rationale for bringing sustainability into our personal and professional lives. ~ Linda Krzykowski, Associate Vice Provost, University at Albany
I spent 33 years as an educator and coach, working hard to help develop young minds. In reading Finding Sustainability, I became the student. I learned to an extent I didn't imagine prior. I have started to put into action small steps toward sustainability. I have the author to thank for that education. The author's dedication toward educating the reader is outstanding. ~ Timothy Lange, Teacher, coach, administrator, superintendent secondary education