In our latest edition of “The Green Scene” – the series that showcases our Environmental Coordinators (ECs) and Green Teams at each of our plants – I caught up with Gerard Spicer, the EC at our Denver plant. A 17-year veteran of Frito-Lay, Gerard has spent the last 10 years as Denver’s EC. Before that, he held roles on the production and quality teams.
As the EC, Gerard is responsible for ensuring his plant stays in compliance with numerous state and federal environmental regulations, supporting environmental sustainability projects within the plant and leading Denver’s Green Team. Find out more below.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the sustainability field?
In my spare time, I really enjoy hiking, biking and nature photography, so when the position of Environmental Coordinator became available, it seemed like a natural fit for me. Maintaining the quality of air, land and water is something I have always strongly believed in, and this position gives me the opportunity to live it on a daily basis.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in your role as environmental coordinator?
The one thing that I am most proud of is our significant reduction in landfill waste as part of our company’s "zero landfill" goal, which means we’re aiming to send less than 1 percent of the waste we generate to landfill. Also, we were the first Frito-Lay plant to collect food waste from our cafeteria and employee break room to reuse for composting.
What are the top three skills an environmental coordinator needs to have?
A person must have strong leadership and team-building skills, as well as a strong attention to detail. A big part of my role requires leadership skills and the ability to develop a strong team – like our Green Team. And since our environmental program is constantly adjusting to new rules, regulations and company policies, being detail-oriented and staying on top of these changes is a top priority.
If you could share one tip with our readers who want to live more sustainable lives at home, what would it be?
My advice is to educate your family and live it out. We can all talk about leading more sustainable lives, but what really matters is actually making a difference -- regardless of how small it may be -- on a daily basis.
What’s your favorite Frito-Lay snack?