Five in Ten: Ron Gonen, CEO Closed Loop Partners

Our latest Five in Ten guest is Ron Gonen, founder and CEO of Closed Loop Partners, a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. Ron is also the author of a new book, Waste Free World: How the Circular Economy Will Take Less, Make More, and Save the Planet, published this spring by Penguin Random House.

"The most we should expect from a company is for them to be transparent about the materials they're using and where they come from; the type of labor they're using and how they are treated and paid; the impact of their product on the environment and what happens to their product at the end of its life. If the expectation is that companies are transparent about that, then customers can make informed choices." - Ron Gonen, CEO, Closed Loop Partners

Drawing on past experience as Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability in New York City in the Bloomberg Administration, where he oversaw the collection and processing of NYC’s paper, metal, glass, plastic, textile waste, electronic waste, organics, and hazardous waste as well as public policy, Ron joins us to discuss what it will take to bridge the gap between the vision and reality of a circular economy -- and how circular business models can generate the most value for companies, investors and customers.

Ron was named Ron as the Public Official of the Year in New York City by the NRDC and Earth Day New York in 2013. He has also been recognized with a number of business and environmental awards including recognition as a ‘Champion of the Earth’ by the United Nations Environment Program which is the highest distinction for environmental protection given by the United Nations and recognizes outstanding visionaries and leaders in the fields of policy, science and entrepreneurship and the Medal of Excellence from Columbia University which recognizes alumnus under the age of 45 for excellence in scholarship, public service and professional life.

The companies Ron has led have been recognized as innovators in sustainable business practices. Recognitions include The Conference of Mayors – Public/Private Partnership of the Year, Technology Pioneer from the World Economic Forum and the Wall Street Journal’s #1 Venture Backed Cleantech Company Of The Year. 

Earlier in his career, Ron was also the Co-Founder and CEO of RecycleBank from 2003-2010. He started his career at Deloitte Consulting. Ron was a Henry Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute and past term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a number of technology and business method patents in the recycling industry. 

He received an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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