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For Feiys Impact Series our writer in residence Nika Dulevich is talking to entrepreneurs who pursue a path greater than just profit and strive to contribute to the greater good with their products and services. 

 

在这次的 Feiy’s 冲击系列,作家 Nika Dulevich 会与不仅仅追求盈利道路并努力通过其产品和服务为更大的利益做出贡献的企业家们

 

The business owner she talked to this time is Teck Tin Wong, the founder and CEO of RenewMaterial (www.renewmaterial.com), an international company focused on research and development of renewable, sustainable and green alternatives to wood.

 

她这次与企业老板交谈的是"更新材料"www.renewmaterial.com)的创始人兼首席执行官,该公司是一家专注于开发可再生、可持续和绿色木材替代品的国际公司。

 

In this interview TT talks about his struggle with creating and promoting innovative products, shares his insight into the dangers of formaldehyde and PVC, and opens up about the legacy he wants to leave behind.

 

在这次采访中,TT谈到了他在创造和推广创新产品方面的斗争,分享了他对甲醛和聚氯乙烯危害的见解,并开启了他想要留下的遗产。

 

This is the second part of a two-part interview, where TT talks about succeeding as an impact-driven company, shares his insight into the dangers of formaldehyde and PVC, and opens up about the legacy he wants to leave behind. You can read the first part of the interview here

 

 

这是由两部分采访的第二部分,TT谈到成功成为一家影响驱动型公司,分享他对甲醛和聚氯乙烯危险性的认识,并公开他想留下的遗产。您可以在此处阅读面试的第一部分

 

 

Interviewer: What advice would you give to entrepreneurial individuals who would like to make a positive impact in the world?  

 

采访者:你会给那些想在世界上产生积极影响的创业者提供什么建议

 

 

TT Wong: You must be persistent and believe in what you’re doing. More importantly, have the determination and the will to do what you think is right. I’ve seen a lot of people give up. Just imagine, I launched a product and it took me 3-4 years to put it on the market. Every time we had to test our products in front of a customer, we could have failed, and we did, at times.

 

王:你必须坚持不懈,相信你正在做的事情。更重要的是,有决心和决心去做你认为正确的事。我见过很多人放弃。试想一下,我推出了一个产品,我花了3-4年的时间把它推向市场。每次我们不得不在客户面前测试我们的产品时,我们有时都会失败,而且我们做到了。

 

 

At such times it is easy to give up, but we didn’t. You must have a strong heart to do things that you believe matter.

 

在这样的时刻,很容易放弃,但我们没有。你必须有一颗坚强的心去做你认为重要的事情。

 

 

Interviewer: How did you build your team? And what advice would you give people who are starting their ventures in terms of building a team?

 

采访者:您是如何建立您的团队的?在建立团队方面,你会给创业的人什么建议?

 

 

TT Wong: Even if your business is good for the environment, but isn’t economically viable, you will not stay in the market for long. I strongly believe that we can build this to be a profitable business. I promised my staff that if we are successful, if there are companies interested in taking over or we go for IPO, I will share the profit with all of them so at least they are guaranteed. Guaranteed to walk out of this place and become their own boss if they wish to, instead of working for someone else. I have also given good shareholder options to my key staff.

 

王:即使你的生意有利于环境,但如果在经济上不可行,你也不会在市场上呆太久。我坚信,我们可以建立这是一个有利可图的业务。我答应我的员工,如果我们成功,如果有公司有兴趣接管或我们去IPO,我会与他们分享利润,所以至少他们得到保证。我也保证他们能走出这个地方,成为自己的老板,如果他们愿意,而不是为别人工作。我还给我的主要员工提供了良好的股东选择。

 

 

Interviewer: RenewMaterial was born in 2010 in Singapore since then you have received multiple awards and worked with clients around Asia and the world. How do you scale your impact? And what advice would you give to those who want to scale their sustainable ventures?  

 

采访者:RenewMaterial 出生于2010年在新加坡,从那时起,你获得了多个奖项,并在亚洲和世界各地的客户工作。您如何扩大影响你会给那些想要扩大可持续投资的人什么建议?

 

 

TT Wong: Yes, as a matter of fact, we recently have been awarded German Design 2020 Award for Material & Surfaces, and the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label in both Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure and Responsible Consumption & Production. 

 

王:是的,事实上,我们最近获得了德国设计2020年材料和表面奖,以及工业、创新与基础设施和负责任的消费与生产中的太阳能动力高效解决方案标签

 

 

As for the advice to those who want to scale their sustainable ventures, I can only say this: Always make sure you have enough resources, both people and financial. You need to understand the market before you go for it.

 

至于那些想要扩大可持续创业规模的人的建议,我只能说:永远确保你有足够的资源,包括人和财力。在进入市场之前,你需要了解市场。

 

One of the reasons why RenewMaterial hasn’t expanded into other areas is that I strongly believe we don’t have the bandwidth. We don’t have the resources, especially the staff, to do it. I did a lot of turnkey projects in the past as well, so I think these are the key factors that we have to put into consideration before we scale up.

 

RenewMaterial 没有扩展到其他领域的原因之一是,我坚信我们没有带宽。我们没有资源,尤其是员工。我过去也做了很多交钥匙项目,所以我认为这些是我们在扩大规模之前必须考虑的关键因素。

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

 

采访者:如果你有机会重新再来过,你会采取什么不同的做法吗?

 

 

TT Wong: I would say I would spend more time looking for a better location. Make sure your location is sustainable for a long time. I’m talking about at least 10-20 years. 

 

王:我会说我会花更多的时间寻找一个更好的位置。确保您的位置在很长一段时间里是可持续的。我说的是至少 10 - 20 年。

 

 

Interviewer: How can we as consumers encourage companies to have more sustainable products and practices?

 

采访者: 作为消费者,我们该如何鼓励公司拥有更可持续的产品和实践

 

 

TT Wong: Use and help to promote the products that are good for health and the environment. That is the way. For example, I would not encourage anyone who has children to use PVC flooring. So instead of using PVC, I would use natural fiber flooring that is proven to be safe. We have tested the product and have the certificates to prove that it’s much healthier than any other man-made flooring in the world.

 

使用和帮助推广对健康和环境有好处的产品。这是路。例如,我不会鼓励有孩子的人使用PVC地板。因此,我会使用被证明是安全的天然纤维地板,而不是使用PVC。我们已经测试了该产品,并拥有证书,以证明它比世界上任何其他人制造地板健康得多。

 

 

Today, people are more conscious of their purchases. I remember 10-20 years ago in China, when you wanted to sell something, the first question people would ask was “How much is it?” Today the mentality has changed. Most Chinese will now ask “Does it contain formaldehyde?” Everyone knows and worries about formaldehyde. The practice in China is to not move into a new or renovated house for 6 to 9 months after the work is done, to make sure the toxins have evaporated. They know formaldehyde is carcinogenic. 

 

如今,人们更加意识到他们的购买。我记得10-20年前在中国,当你想卖东西的时候,人们会问的第一个问题是"多少钱?今天心态变了。现在大多数中国人都会问"它含有甲醛吗?每个人都知道和担心甲醛。中国的做法是在工作完成69个月内不搬进新房子或翻新的房子,以确保毒素蒸发。他们都知道甲醛是致癌的。

 

 

Interviewer: I didn’t know that. Can they look for more environmentally material? What is the problem there?

 

采访者:他们能否寻找更多的环保材料?有什么问题吗?

 

 

TT Wong: A lot of the material in the market claim that they don’t contain formaldehyde, when in fact they do. There are “smart” businessmen, who come up with ways to camouflage formaldehyde. It works temporarily, maybe for a year, but formaldehyde takes about 30 years to off-gas from the product.

(Interesting read on it https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19220507 and https://www.quora.com/For-how-long-does-formaldehyde-off-gas-from-MDF-furniture) 

 

王:市场上很多材料声称它们不含甲醛,而事实上它们含有甲醛。有"聪明"的商人,他们想出伪装甲醛的方法。它暂时工作,也许一年,但甲醛需要大约30年,从产品关闭气体。

(类似的精彩文章 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19220507 和 https://www.quora.com/For-how-long-does-formaldehyde-off-gas-from-MDF-furniture)  

 

 

Interviewer: As a consumer, how would I know?

 

采访者:身为消费者,我会怎么知道呢?

 

 

TT Wong: You wouldn’t know. For example, most MDF board uses melamine-formaldehyde or urea-formaldehyde (UF). Even this flooring (points at the floor in the room, where the interview was conducted), the top skin is paper, but this paper is soaked in formaldehyde liquid, taken out and pasted on top. So if someone were to tell me this flooring contains no formaldehyde, I wouldn’t believe them.

 

王:你不会知道的。例如,大多数 MDF 板使用三聚氰胺甲醛或尿素甲醛 UF)。甚至这个地板(点在房间的地板上,在那里进行采访),顶部的皮肤是纸,但这份文件浸泡在甲醛液体,拿出来,并粘贴在上面。所以,如果有人告诉我,这个地板不含甲醛,我不会相信他们。

 

 

Interviewer: So, there isn’t a lot of trust in the market?

 

采访者:所以可以说市场上彼此的信任很微少吗

 

 

TT Wong: Correct. You look at data and see that the top 10 furniture manufacturers in China use materials containing the level of formaldehyde that exceeds the limit. About two months ago, there was an article about a famous Chinese furniture company (http://english.tubaobao.com/about.php) and their products having high levels of formaldehyde.

 

王:正确。您查看数据,可以看到中国排名前十的家具制造商使用的材料含有超过限值的甲醛水平。大约两个月前,有一篇文章说,一家著名的中国家具公司(http://english.tubaobao.com/about.php及其产品甲醛含量很高。

 

I mean, there are businesses like it everywhere, I’m not talking only about China. It is especially true in less developed countries. When they send new material for testing, it is different from the one they actually produce and sell. That’s the reality we have to face. 

 

我的意思是,到处都有这样的企业,我并不是只说中国。在较不发达国家尤其如此。当他们发送新材料进行测试时,它不同于他们实际生产和销售的材料。这是我们必须面对的现实。 

 

 

Interviewer: How should we as consumers go about it? If I want to have a renovation, what do I do? Is there no other option?

 

采访者:作为消费者,我们应该如何?如果我想装修,我该怎么办没有其他选择吗

 

 

TT Wong: There are. You have to ask for a certificate. Honestly, on average, most man-made materials you get in China have formaldehyde. They claim that its content is around E0. E0, E1, E2 are different emission classes. E0 is supposed to be the best with the lowest content. 0.5 PPM, is still higher than the American new standard. The average is about 1.5-2 PPM and it is about 30 to 40 times higher than the new standard. If you feel tired in a room, there are probably materials with high formaldehyde content.

 

王:有。你必须要求一个证书。老实说,在中国,你得到的制造材料平均有甲醛。他们声称其内容在 E0 左右。E0E1E2 是不同的发射类别。E0 应该是内容最低的最好。0.5 PPM,仍高于美国新标准。平均值约为 1.5-2 PPM,比新标准高出约 30  40 倍。如果你在房间里感到疲倦,可能有高甲醛含量的材料。

 

For example, carpet contains formaldehyde. Carpet is one of the least environmentally friendly materials because the central layer is PVC. So, we don’t encourage people to use carpet.

 

例如,地毯含有甲醛。地毯是最不环保的材料之一,因为中央层是PVC所以说,我们不鼓励人们使用地毯

 

 

Interviewer: What do you use then?

 

采访者:那你用什么呢

 

 

TT Wong: Natural fiber flooring (smiles)! That’s what I’m coming up with. (Editor’s note: you can read more about PVC and its dangers here).

 

天然纤维地板!这就是我要设计的。(编者注:您可以在此处阅读有关 PVC 及其危险性内容的更多内容)。

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: How do you as a consumer individual contribute to environmental and social wellbeing?

 

采访者:作为消费者,您如何为环境和社会福利做出贡献

 

 

TT Wong: I will not use any environmentally unfriendly material, such as plastic. I also encourage my family members and friends to transition to environmentally friendly alternatives. Not many people know about formaldehyde or PVC. So I always explain how harmful they are and advise not to go for a low price.

 

王:我不会使用任何不环保的材料,如塑料。我还鼓励我的家人和朋友过渡到环保型的替代方案。没有多少人知道甲醛或PVC。所以我总是解释它们是多么有害, 并建议不要去买低价格的。

 

It is not because I want to sell my products. I will send them the information from independent sources to judge for themselves. At the end of the day, you want to be both environmentally friendly and cost-competitive. That’s why we are successful. Our products are cost-competitive with all the conventional flooring and furniture.

 

这不是因为我想卖我的产品。我会把来自独立来源的信息寄给他们,供自己判断。在一天结束的时候,您希望既环保又具有成本竞争力。这就是为什么我们成功。我们的产品与所有传统地板和家具相比具有成本竞争力。

 

 

Interviewer: Who do you think has a bigger role in driving sustainable change, government, businesses, or consumers?

 

采访者:您认为谁在推动可持续变革、政府、企业或消费者方面发挥更大的作用?

 

 

TT Wong: I think it depends on the location. For example, in Europe, Switzerland, and Sweden in particular, you don’t need much help to promote sustainable material. In China, however, you need help and strong government support. Without governmental support it is difficult to grow, unless you have very strong financial support. 

 

王:我想这取决于位置。例如,特别是在欧洲、瑞士和瑞典,您不需要太多的帮助来推广可持续材料。然而,在中国,你需要帮助和政府强有力的支持。没有政府的支持,很难发展,除非你有非常强大的财政支持。 

 

 

At the end of the day, whatever you produce, you need consumers to buy your products. So, the government can play a very strong role in promoting the products. We sponsor a lot of exhibition materials in China as well as do a lot of governmental projects. In return, they promote us. For example, we built a four-story laboratory at Nanjing Forestry University.

 

到最后,无论你生产什么,你都需要消费者来购买你的产品。因此,政府可以在产品推广方面发挥非常重要的作用。我们赞助了很多在中国的展览材料,以及做大量的政府项目。作为回报,他们提拔了我们。一个例如是,我们在南京林业大学建了一个四层的实验室。

 

 

We provided all the materials for the flooring, the walls, and everything else for free. In turn, they have set up a new R&D center there. They have been trying to develop similar materials for years. So we volunteered to display our products there. And I am happy to discuss how we can work together to make it better. I’m always open to new ideas.

 

我们免费提供地板、墙壁和其他所有材料。反过来,他们在那里建立了一个新的研发中心。多年来,他们一直在尝试开发类似的材料。因此,我们自愿在那里展示我们的产品。我很高兴地讨论我们如何共同努力,使它变得更好。我总是对新想法持开放态度。

 

 

Interviewer: What does success mean to you?

 

采访者:成功,对您来说,是什么意思

 

 

TT Wong: I’m 60 years old. I have 3 beautiful daughters. My eldest has graduated, she is a lawyer. The second and third ones are doing medicine. I can retire very comfortably, but I choose to do this work. This is a very meaningful project and I’m willing to spend the time. When we talk about success, we can talk about monetary success or success in terms of satisfaction. I choose the second one. Everything you do, you must be interested in. If you only work for money, you won’t be successful.

 

王:我今年已六十岁了。我有3个漂亮的女儿。我的大女儿已经毕业了,她是一名律师。第二个和第三个是读医学的。我可以非常舒适地退休,但我选择做这项工作。这是一个很有意义的项目,而我很愿意付出时间与心思。当我们谈论成功时,我们可以谈论金钱上的成功或满意的程度。我选择第二个。你做的每件事都,你一定很感兴趣。如果你只为钱而工作,你就不会成功的。

 

 

Interviewer: What impact do you want to make in the world and how far are you into it?

 

采访者:你想在世界上产生什么影响而你离你的目标有多远

 

 

TT Wong: I have spent half of my life developing new products, new applications. I want to create something to replace plywood and MDF board that is better, more sustainable, and healthier for the younger generation. 

 

王:我花了半辈子的时间开发新产品、新应用。我想创造一些东西来取代胶合板和MDF板,一定更好,更可持续,预期健康的物品给我们年轻的一代。

 

 

Interviewer: How would you like to be remembered?

 

采访者:你想怎么被人们记住

 

 

I don’t need people to remember me. I would rather people know that there are more sustainable materials that they can use. So I want people to remember the material I create rather than me personally.

 

王:我不需要别人记住我我宁愿人们知道,有更可持续的材料可以让人使用。所以,我希望人们记住我创造的材料, 而不是我个人。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. 有关于PVC可造成的危害,以及更多信息和统计信息:

 

https://www.ecocenter.org/healthy-stuff/reports/vinyl-floor-tiles/press_release

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/vinyl-floors-expose-children-to-harmful-chemicals

https://medium.com/treeusable/floored-the-shocking-concerns-about-vinyl-flooring-93bf9509429a

https://olyconstructionservices.com/blog/pvc-flooring

https://www.thespruce.com/environmental-impact-of-vinyl-flooring-1314956

https://www.laminate-flooring.com.sg/news/is-vinyl-tiles-harmful-to-your-health.html

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