After consulting with key stakeholders at Encorp Pacific (Canada), the following opportunities and challenges were identified for the new President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO):
Master the unique business model for Encorp Pacific in British Columbia, including the legislation, regulations and contracts: Encorp Pacific (Encorp) operates pursuant to a legislative and regulatory framework and has deliberately chosen a business model that relies on outside contractors for transportation and processing of materials collected from a province-wide network of recycling depots, almost all of which are operated under license by independent businesses. The organization works in concert with other product stewardship organizations in the same geographies. The new CEO will be expected to quickly develop an understanding of the nuances of this model in order to maximize its effectiveness.
Enhance relationships with a broad variety of stakeholders: Encorp Pacific’s stakeholders are broad and diverse – from the members who represent beverage manufacturers as well as retailers, to other stewardship organizations handling various products, to all three levels of government. There is also an emphasis on improving relationships with the independent business owners who run the depots, ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership continues while looking out for the best interests of the organization. The new CEO will need to provide leadership, demonstrate model behaviour, and balance often competing interests in order to navigate a way for the organization that ensures it remains true to its vision and mission and is seen to be what many consider BC’s flagship stewardship agency.
Manage the “positive dynamic tensions” that exist within the competing interests: All Encorp’s stakeholders have the same broad objective in terms of environmental stewardship, however there are sometimes different visions for the best way to accomplish protection of our environment. The new CEO will need to be a consummate relationship builder in order to ensure that discussions take place in a positive and constructive environment, as interested parties will look to the leadership of Encorp (and its CEO) to play a central role in the ongoing dialogue.
Increase Recovery Rate: Recovery rates for Encorp have historically been counter-cyclical with the economy and are affected by many internal and external factors. Higher deposit rates and the introduction of the Express system contributed to an upward trend in recovery rates reaching 78.1% in 2019. However, the COVID era and extreme weather events in BC brought about new uncertainty and another decline in the rates. The strength of the current economy has resulted in Encorp’s recovery rate dropping continuously in recent years and moving close to its 75% legislated minimum. The new CEO’s primary objective will be to look at innovative, cost-effective strategies to increase the recovery rate for the organization, with automation and technology being a focal point in order to streamline collection, transport, compaction, and counting at the facilities.
Innovation: In the face of changes in product stewardship, consumer preferences, economic conditions, and financial pressures, among other factors, automation will be a key to improving Encorp’s collection system, including expanding its Express Return service, to serve unserved and underserved areas of the province. There are likely other areas in which automation will be critical, as with most industries, so the new CEO will need to provide visionary leadership to determine how the agency can enhance its efficiencies, geographic reach and overall recovery rate.
Evolve the stewardship landscape broadly: Encorp has long been an industry leader. Over the recent years, the business has partnered with other stewardship organizations to reduce costs, harmonize functions and/or increase efficiencies either geographically or functionally. The new CEO will want to continue to engage with other stewardship organizational leaders to identify where synergistic opportunities exist, analyze potential savings/efficiencies and execute on those that make sense.
Continue to motivate a dedicated staff: Encorp operates with a small, dedicated staff of around 40 individuals in Head Office, and 13 staff in the new Quality Assurance Facility, who will look to the new CEO for continued motivation and vision in ensuring the company is an employer of choice.