A Letter from Felix Böck
“The story of the humble chopstick resonates with people and I believe we have the responsibility to set an example towards a more resource-efficient thinking as a new norm.”
Why I care about chopsticks.
I am fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, surrounded by mountains, the ocean, and my favorite place, which I like to call an escape with our dog, Müsli: our forests. I couldn’t be more grateful to work on urban harvesting resources that others see as waste in our city. In my role as Founder and CEO at ChopValue, I do this day in and day out with incredible people around the world: one chopstick at a time.
ChopValue was born out of the need to create a viable example of a circular economy concept. As a wood engineer who understands scale, I decided to develop and commercialize it with the help of a humble, neglected item we all see right in front of us - the chopstick (which can often be found in my wife's drawer from all our takeout meals). After more than 15 years in the wood and bamboo manufacturing industry, I can honestly say that nothing has fulfilled me as much as my current work does, and I owe that to my team. I am surrounded by a group of professionals who have dedicated their careers to realizing the potential and massive opportunity for scale in our global network of Microfactories.
The World Economic Forum describes ChopValue’s Microfactory concept as “the blueprint for a circular future”, and BBC included us in their Age of Change Series as an example for the “future of manufacturing”. I’m not pretending we can have a scientifically calculable impact on climate change recycling chopsticks.I understand scale, and despite taking a moment celebrating with everyone the milestone of recycling of our 100 millionth chopstick, my responsibility to scale and share our technology know-how is growing.
It’s this feeling of wanting to do the right thing.
We absolutely want to stay true to our “made local” approach, but on a global scale while continuously evaluating the most carbon-efficient philosophy for expansion. No shipping of raw materials and end products, that is our near term goal that we are achieving today through franchising. And once we’ve tackled the 0.015% of the world’s total waste (chopsticks), we are ready, proven, and motivated to expand our Microfactory technology to other resource streams successfully.
We work hard to create this unique, circular community of hard working franchise partners. Our corporate team in Vancouver is determined to build a global product strategy that connects the immense volumes of waste streams with future product demand, thanks to strategic growth partners in 9 countries to date. In the next 3 years we will expand our “waste” to “resource” vision across more than 150 locations with the goal of operating truly local - wherever our clients and partners are.
A genuine thank you to the impact investment funds, visionary investors, and institutions who support our innovation in manufacturing and resource efficiency. Your investment in us is a testament to your trust, and we are committed to expanding responsibly as a concept to a multi-level manufacturing cluster.
Welcome to this adventure: 100 million chopsticks and counting.
Felix Böck | Founder & CEO