Dick Kramer Freher

Chief Operations Officer Vroomshoop plant - The Netherlands
Published in the dossier of October 2018

Dick Kramer Freher took up his duties at Veolia in 2017. Although he has worked in recycling for thirty years, this Dutch recycling enthusiast willingly admits that his vocation was a coincidence. While Dick was a law student in the late 1980s, he needed a part-time job.

“I worked for a small company that was developing solutions to wash and sort plastic,” he reminisces.

But, this short experience was decisive for him. After his degree and a brief stint in a law firm, Dick’s new passion caught up with him.

“A plastic recycling center offered me a job, and I immediately accepted...”

Driven by the issue, Dick later created his own company to design and sell recycling plants and he would provide his extensive expertise, acquired all over the world, to large groups as a consultant. For fifteen years, he strived to make businesses more eco-responsible by raising awareness about recycling.

Throughout his career, Dick worked with AKG Kunststof Groep, a company based in Vroomshoop in the north of the Netherlands, taken over by Veolia in 2015.

“At the time, it was the largest customer to which we could sell our raw material,” he recalls.

As such, he had already had the opportunity to see the quality requirements and the innovative methods implemented on the site. All these factors prompted Dick to accept the position of COO a year ago.

With the support of his five-strong management team, Dick maintains daily exchanges with the 70 plant employees to optimize production, purchases, and sales. When he is not on site, he is looking for new technological and commercial solutions to enhance the plant’s performance. Since Dick’s arrival, the Vroomshoop site has been awarded ISO 9001 certification for the quality of its organization and management.

Today, Dick confidently performs his duties at Veolia. “My keywords are clear, direct, fast, and open communication. I wanted to develop a new way of working, challenging ourselves, and understanding our activity. We make very good compounds [Ed: secondary raw materials] but we need even better, different, and more profitable ones. The goal is to continually seek improvement and performance.”

A very resourceful man...