In 1995, Jean-Luc Petithuguenin went from managing a staff of 15,000 people at France’s national water company Générale des Eaux, to running a small paper-recycling company with 45 employees and a €3.5 million turnover. To an outsider, this might seem like a step backwards, but for Jean-Luc this was the first step on his journey towards building a billion-euro enterprise.

“I graduated from ESSEC business school in 1979. Since then, I have always worked for industrial companies, and in 1990 I joined Générale des Eaux. After this experience, I decided to take over and run my own company, and that’s how the adventure of Paprec started.”

Today, Paprec Group has grown to be the French leader in recycling, with 4,000 employees and a €1 billion turnover. The company processes 6 million tonnes of recycling annually, producing more than 5 million tonnes of raw material from recycling for re-use. By driving innovation, Paprec Group has refined and improved its techniques for recycling plastics, batteries, industrial waste, and electronic waste.