Each of the Group’s four divisions – Collection, Food, Recycling and Mining – marked the milestone by declaring a collective mission for the future to “transform how we all obtain, use and reuse the planet’s resources to enable a world without waste.”
Tove Andersen, TOMRA’s president and chief executive officer, explained: “We live in a world that needs big transformation. We urgently need to improve sustainability, develop the circular economy, and make more efficient use of resources – challenges which TOMRA’s solutions can help address.
“Fifty years after its humble beginnings, TOMRA can be proud of the fact that it is a highly respected global market leader. This is living proof of our ability to adapt, innovate, and provide the solutions our customers really need. This is also a time to look forward because we are now opening the chapter in TOMRA’s story where we step up our role leading the resource revolution.”
TOMRA was founded in Norway on April 1, 1972 by brothers Petter and Tore Planke. After seeing a local grocer struggle with the manual collection of empty bottles in their store, the brothers developed the first fully-automated reverse vending machine (RVM) in their family’s garage.
This invention was quickly embraced by retailers and spawned an entire industry for efficiently handling the return and recycling of deposit beverage containers.
TOMRA’s pioneering and transformative approach led to its continuing development over the years, from designing and manufacturing RVMs to providing advanced sorting solutions for the food, recycling, and mining industries.
These technology-led, customer-tailored solutions optimize resource recovery and minimize waste – benefits that are in ever-greater demand as sustainability gains importance with businesses, governments and consumers.
Tove added: “Transformation is at the heart of everything TOMRA does. TOMRA transforms ideas and technology to create intelligent and pioneering tools. We transform companies into more profitable, sustainable businesses and transform how the world’s resources are obtained, used, and reused, which also helps transform people’s everyday lives.”
Today, TOMRA employs more than 4,600 people worldwide and has annual sales of €1bn.
20 percent of the Group’s workforce and eight percent of its revenues are dedicated to research and development.
Michel Picandet, executive vice president and head of TOMRA Food, said: “We are proud to participating in celebrating 50 years of TOMRA. TOMRA Food is a fairly new division compared to others but has a strong sense of belonging to ‘One TOMRA’, with a shared company culture and purpose.
“Looking to the future, TOMRA is committed to leading the resource revolution in a world where Every Resource Counts. We are on a mission to transform and help our customers feed the world, improve yield, minimize waste, and create sustainable value.
“Focusing on sorting and grading, TOMRA is working with its customers to maximize value across the food chain, end to end. Our solutions improve the value of food from harvesting to processing and packing, and even to distribution and consumption, considering the great value of the digital tools and data we provide. This can also help the world’s sustainability agenda, as we all work to meet the challenges of climate change, loss of nature, and mounting inequalities.”