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  • Writer's pictureShe Business Time

"Meet Maria Laura Rojas Muñoz: Leading Mexico's Green Revolution as CEO of CRDC, Pioneering Plastic Waste Solutions."

Updated: May 6

In the heart of Mexico's sustainability movement, Maria Laura Rojas Muñoz stands tall as the driving force behind CRDC, the Center for Regeneration, Design, and Collaboration. As CEO, Muñoz is at the forefront of groundbreaking efforts to combat plastic pollution, redefine design paradigms, and foster collaboration for a greener future. In this illuminating interview, we explore Muñoz's profound insights, her innovative strategies at CRDC, and her unwavering commitment to reshaping Mexico's environmental landscape through holistic regeneration and sustainable design practices.

1.Can you share with our readers your journey into the circular economy space and what inspired your interest in this area?

"My journey on the circular economy space begins with a problem that for years generated internal conflicts in me, which is plastic waste. I saw that there were more and more videos where the sea was spitting out plastic and the problem was increasing in many aspects, so I understood that just complaining and posting on social networks was not making me part of the solution.

I started to look for solutions that would address this problem and one day I saw a news in Costa Rica, my native country, where they processed all plastic waste, even those that are very difficult to process, and converted them into an aggregate for construction. That day I started with this process in my mind until I was able to bring it to Mexico, my country of residence for 18 years and today lead CRDC Mexico, a company for transformation of tragic plastic waste that becomes a high value addition for the Construction Industry."

2. As a woman leader in the circular economy field, what unique perspectives or approaches do you bring to the table?

"As a female leader in the field of the circular economy, my perspective is enriched by a combination of skills, experiences and values ​​that contribute to my approach in this important area. I bring sensitivity to inclusion and diversity, which allows me to consider a broader range of voices and perspectives in decision-making. This inclusive mindset is essential to promote sustainable and equitable solutions in the circular economy.

Additionally, my experience as a leader has taught me the importance of collaboration and building strong relationships. In the context of the circular economy, this translates into working closely with diverse actors, from businesses and governments to nonprofits and local communities, to drive innovation and the adoption of more sustainable practices.

I also believe that my focus on resilience and adaptability is essential in a field as dynamic as the circular economy. The solutions we seek must be flexible and prepared to meet changing challenges, such as changes in government policies, fluctuations in global markets and technological advances.

In short, as a female leader in the field of circular economy, my unique perspective is based on inclusivity, collaboration and resilience, and I believe these qualities are fundamental to addressing the environmental and economic challenges of our time effectively and sustainable."

3.What are some of the key challenges you've faced as a woman leader in this industry, and how have you overcome them?

"One of the key challenges has been overcoming gender biases and stereotypes that still persist in male-dominated industries such as these.

I have focused on consistently delivering high-quality work and demonstrating my expertise through tangible results. By showcasing my knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities, I have been able to gain respect and credibility within the industry. Additionally, I have actively sought out mentoring and networking opportunities to connect with other women leaders and allies who can provide support and guidance. These efforts not only benefit me personally but also contribute to creating a more equitable and prosperous workplace for everyone."

4.Could you highlight some of your notable contributions or initiatives within the circular economy space that have made a positive impact?

In the field of circular economy, I have lead several initiatives that had a significant positive impact.

One of my most notable achievements has been the introduction of Resin 8 in the construction industry. This sustainable material offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials and helped reduce the carbon footprint in construction projects. Additionally, we collaborate closely with Habitat for Humanity on social programs promoting sustainable and accessible housing. These programs provide housing solutions to vulnerable communities, utilizing innovative technologies like Resin 8 to enhance the durability and energy efficiency of homes.

Furthermore, I forged strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the construction industry to technically validate the use of Resin 8 in construction projects. This technical validation has been crucial in demonstrating the viability and effectiveness of Resin 8 in various construction applications, facilitating its adoption and expanding its positive impact in the sector.

In summary, my contributions in the circular economy space have focused on promoting sustainable solutions in construction and collaborating with organizations to drive change towards more circular and environmentally respectful practices. I am committed to continuing to lead initiatives that generate positive impact and contribute to building a more sustainable and equitable future

5.How do you see the role of women entrepreneurs evolving in shaping the future of the circular economy?

Women entrepreneurs are set to have a profound impact on shaping the future of the circular economy. Our unique blend of perspectives, collaborative spirit, social consciousness, resilience, and advocacy will be instrumental in driving innovation, fostering inclusive growth, and accelerating the transition to a more sustainable economic model. Through their leadership and influential networks, women entrepreneurs can catalyze collective action, inspire change, and shape policies that promote sustainability and circularity. As pioneers in this field, they have the opportunity to empower marginalized communities, promote equitable access to resources, and address systemic inequalities, driving positive social and environmental outcomes in the process.

6.In your opinion, what are some of the most promising opportunities for women-led businesses within the circular economy framework?

Within the framework of the circular economy, women-led businesses have significant opportunities for growth and impact. One key opportunity lies in innovative product design and development. Women entrepreneurs can leverage their creativity to design eco-friendly alternatives and sustainable packaging solutions.

Additionally, we can excel in optimizing supply chains for circularity. This may involve sourcing materials from ethical suppliers, implementing reverse logistics, or establishing closed-loop systems.

Pioneering circular business models is another promising opportunity. Women entrepreneurs can explore product-as-a-service models, sharing platforms, or integrating circular design principles into their offerings.

Lastly, we can play a crucial role in education and advocacy. Providing training, engaging in public outreach, and advocating for supportive policies are all avenues through which they can promote circular practices.

We have the potential to drive innovation, foster collaboration, and lead the transition to a more sustainable and circular economy, contributing to positive social and environmental impact."

7.How can businesses, governments, and society at large better support and encourage women's participation and leadership in advancing the circular economy agenda?

"Women have significant opportunities for growth and impact. Research indicates that businesses led by women are on the rise globally, with a notable increase in recent years. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, companies with gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability.

One key opportunity lies in innovative product design and development, where women entrepreneurs can leverage their creativity to design eco-friendly alternatives and sustainable packaging solutions. Additionally, women can excel in optimizing supply chains for circularity, sourcing materials from ethical suppliers, implementing reverse logistics, and establishing closed-loop systems.

Pioneering circular business models, such as product-as-a-service and sharing platforms, are also promising avenues. Leveraging technology and innovation, such as digital platforms and data analytics, can further drive circularity.

Furthermore, women have shown resilience and adaptability, with studies indicating that they often outperform than male during times of economic uncertainty. This adaptability is particularly valuable in navigating the complexities of the circular economy transition."

8.What advice would you give to aspiring women leaders who are interested in pursuing a career or business venture in the circular economy sector?

For aspiring women leaders interested in the circular economy: Make research and understand the circular economy and its opportunities. Identify your strengths and areas of interest within the sector. Build a strong network of contacts and mentors in the industry. Seek out opportunities to gain practical experience in sector-related companies. Prepare to face challenges and maintain a perseverant attitude. Foster collaboration and teamwork with other professionals. Stay updated on the latest trends and adapt your approach as needed. Be bold and creative in seeking innovative solutions. Advocate for inclusion and diversity in the field of the circular economy. Maintain your core values and commit to sustainability every step of the way.

Remember also to prioritize your mental health and address impostor syndrome, reminding yourself that you deserve to be where you are and that your achievements are genuine

9.Can you share any personal experiences or anecdotes that have shaped your understanding of the importance of sustainability and circularity in business?

I strongly believe that we can no longer afford to live within linear economic models. We're witnessing increasing environmental impacts, rapid depletion of natural resources, and alarming waste management issues, particularly in regions like Latin America. There's an urgent need for a mindset shift towards reusing and regenerating resources to combat climate change.

It's imperative that we transition towards a more sustainable and circular approach. We must explore ways to repurpose and regenerate natural resources instead of depleting them and discarding them as waste. Not only will this help mitigate the effects of climate change, but it will also contribute to preserving the environment for future generations. It's time for tangible and responsible actions to build a more sustainable future for all

10. Looking ahead, what do you envision as the future of the circular economy movement, and how do you see women playing a pivotal role in driving its growth and innovation?

I envision the circular economy movement gaining even more traction globally. As societies become increasingly aware of the urgent need to address environmental challenges, the circular economy will become a central framework for sustainable development. This shift will be driven by a combination of regulatory pressures, consumer demand for eco-friendly products and services, and the recognition of the economic benefits of circular business models.

Women entrepreneurs and leaders bring diverse perspectives and innovative approaches to business, which can lead to the development of new circular business models and technologies. Empowering women to participate fully in the circular economy movement, whether as entrepreneurs, policymakers, or thought leaders, will be crucial for unlocking its full potential and ensuring that it benefits all members of society.

Published By She Business Time


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