Circular economy start-up overcomes destructive tornado, Rui Peng
Rui Peng joins Purposely to share his founder story with circular economy start- up Critical.
This New Zealand start up is focused on achieving environmental sustainability through waste reduction - repurposing plastic even if it has been contaminated. Rui shares his vision for the future of Critical and how he and his co-founder Adam Ransfield overcame some incredible challenges to stay the course. Incredibly they lost their brand new factory to a tornado in 2021 - as reported in The Spin-off. That followed a reshaping of their business model from pure social enterprise to a ‘for purpose’ business focused on sustainability.
Photo courtesy of the The Spin-off
We talk about Rui’s heritage, the son of Chinese immigrants - a first generation New Zealander. He talks about his parents in glowing terms describing them as hard working, determined people doing their best to make a new life for their family. Rui is passionate about his roots and mindful of his responsibility to protect Aotearoa's environment, reduce plastic waste, and help other nations around the world follow suit.
Peng maintains ‘Our life's work is to care for the environment by developing technologies and circular solutions.’ Rui is a family man... 'Besides serving the 4 rangatira of our household including my wife and our three tamariki, I'm obsessed by the challenge to end plastic pollution - starting with the 252K tonnes NZ sends to landfill each year, and building pathways towards meaningful work for the 183K New Zealanders who are unemployed or underemployed.'