Former rugby ace Andy Gomarsall MBE admits he never expected to be giving interviews on the ins and outs of hiring scientists as he opened up on his recycling firm's expansion plans.
Having swapped his rugby boots for a career in IT lifecycle services, Gomarsall is the latest judge to join the CRN Tech Impact judging panel.
His Bury St Edmunds-based firm, N2S, has increased headcount from 60 to 83 during lockdown and is now on the hunt for scientists to help accelerate its bio-tech strategy.
Using bioleaching techniques, N2S is breeding bacteria to extract gold and other rare metals from printed circuit boards, which Gomarsall said make up to 70 to 90 per cent of the embodied carbon in technology. CRN visited its facility last Spring.
Having recently taken on two new investors, Gomarsall said N2S is close to reaching its goal of proving the technique end to end.
"We need more scientists, which is exciting," he said.
"Playing rugby, and then being sat here talking about hiring scientists really wasn't on my roadmap, but we just announced a £500,000 investment into having the full end-to-end capability to use the bacteria to break down the rare-earth and precious metals in the technology and making sure it is 100 per cent green.
"There's a lot of work to do, and my staff are flat out. ITAD and recycling still have a long way to go, so it's exciting times."
Gomarsall joins a Tech Impact judging panel that already includes representatives from Tech Data, Jigsaw24, HP and Computacenter.
He urged channel firms to use the awards as a platform to share what they have been doing on sustainability and ESG during a "lost year" of remote working.
"The channel does so much good, it's incredible. Can we ramp it up? 100 per cent yes. But it does so much good and now's your chance to show what good you are doing for your community, for your staff," he said.
"There are some fantastic programmes and practices that are happening, so please don't be frightened. We as judges are excited to see the standard and what people are doing."
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