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Marty Metro  

Founder & CEO of UsedCardboardBoxes and UCBZeroWaste

Marty Metro is an eco-entrepreneur and successful CEO with an “if at first you don’t succeed” attitude… and a track record to prove it! After earning an MBA and being known as an early-expert in SAP (mid 90s), Metro risked it all to be an eco-entrepreneur… and failed miserably. He then tried a bigger and better approach, which succeeded!

Metro educates and inspires audiences of all sizes that environmental initiatives don’t have to be expensive. Implemented properly, they can actually make money. Metro and his team call it “Sustainable Sustainability” and he shares his passion for both thinking about and implementing sustainable sustainability programs.

In 2002, well before the environmental movement took off as we know it, Metro launched Boomerang Boxes, a chain of eco-friendly retail stores that bought/sold USED moving boxes. After 3 long years of massive losses, no profit and no income, Metro was forced to cease all operations, leaving himself (and his supportive wife) with not just an empty bank account, but $300,000+ of personal debt!

Devastated but not discouraged, Metro took a “day job” as a technology consultant (leveraging his then-outdated knowledge of SAP) and spent nights and weekends rehashing his mistakes. His relentless entrepreneurial drive lead him to revise the business plan, raise a capital and re-launch a scalable, tech-centric model to buy and sell MILLIONS of used boxes, just one year later.

That revised plan was renamed UsedCardboardBoxes and grew to a national reuse logistics firm, now working with some of the largest, most well known companies in the country (Bayer, Best Buy, Dole, Family Dollar/Dollar Tree, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Keurig, McCormick Spice, Nestle, Pepsi, Taylor Farms, TJMaxx/Marshalls, Walgreen’s, Walmart and more). Metro’s rough journey to success has been covered by most major news outlets throughout the years. Entrepreneur Magazine featured Metro and in an article entitled “From Business Failure to Multimillion-Dollar 'Green' Niche.”

Metro’s nack for applying sophisticated technology a traditionally low-tech industry was just the beginning. Seeing first hand, all of other “waste” that UsedCardboardBoxes’ clients where paying to process drove Metro and his team mad! They saw so many major US manufacturers mismanaging and undervaluing perfectly recyclable and/or reusable commodities by simply throwing them away! This meant unnecessarily high waste bills and missed revenue opportunities from recycling and reuse. So Metro and his team leveraged the knowledge, experience and technology they had created over the years, to tackle all solid waste, via UCBZeroWaste. This new asset-light company is a waste reduction firm that helps it clients manage all commodities, all vendors, all logistics, all monthly invoicing and all reporting, using its own proprietary software called WATER (Waste Analytics & Tracking for Environmental Reporting).

UCBZeroWaste’s program and software are now used by some of the largest, most recognizable brands in the country, including McCormick Spice (#14 Most Sustainable Corporation and #1 in Food).

Speech Topics

Teach a Man to Fish and he MIGHT save the whales.

A successful green business must help itself, before it helps others. Green businesses shouldn’t focus too much on saving the whales until they can pay for their own boat!

Business Planning from Top to Bottom, Left to Right

No business plan is ever “right”. However, a good format will help you see what you need to make, and when, so you know how wrong you are!

Business is as Easy as 1, 2, 3. Yeah, RIGHT!

Components of a successful startup are: Idea, Execution, Profit and Cash Flow. If you can’t generate cash, don’t waste your time on the first three!

Times are Changin’, Are you Getting’ Yours?

People, businesses, organizations and the environment are in constant change. Change creates opportunity, but only if you look for it AND act on it!

Why "Green Businesses" Fail (but businesses that go green, THRIVE!)

After failing at the first attempt, innovation and determination led the second attempt to become a multi-million dollar, green niche. Looking back, there are at least 10 things NOT to do.

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