Meet Jim Purves: Jim has worked at Celtic Renewables for over 7 years now as our Compliance & Operations Director. Learn more about his experience in the company and what he dreams for our future.
How did you begin working at Celtic Renewables?
JP: I was originally working at Edinburgh Napier University on knowledge transfer programmes, where academics are encouraged to work with businesses. However, the funding for the programme I was working on was running out. At that time, Celtic Renewables was a start-up based out of the University, which is how I learned that our founder and president, Martin was looking for a Project Manager for a programme involving biofuels. I was actually very unsure about this job because I had never worked with biofuels before, but I did have experience in running similar programmes. My background is in manufacturing engineering development, so I also had experience in the scientific sector.
Luckily, Martin is very good at looking at capability within people rather than focusing too much on their background and recognised that I would be suited to the role.
Right before this programme ended, Celtic Renewables were looking for someone to handle operations and at this time there were only about 7 people working for Celtic Renewables. Our CEO, Mark was practically doing everything operations-wise. I knew him through working in the same office at the University and of course Martin through the programme. They saw my breadth of experience and asked if I wanted to move across to Celtic Renewables. I then started working for Celtic Renewables in 2015.
What made you want to work at Celtic Renewables?
JP: I already knew Martin and Mark and I could see that they were doing great things. They were getting recognition from highest forms of government, Scottish enterprise and this was only at the beginning when they were a very small company. You could see the determination and dedication in every single person that was working there. The opportunity to get involved is what truly attracted me to the company.
In the past, I had never really worked in a big corporate environment. I personally enjoyed being a big fish in a small pond, rather than being siloed in a big corporation. To me, it’s all about having the opportunity to make a real difference. I’ve worked for a variety of businesses across my career and they’ve always been innovative, so this was also something that really made me want to join the CRL team. I had also never worked in the chemical process sector before, so learning about the new technology that was just entering the market really resonated with me. Ultimately, it was the opportunity to come along and make a big contribution while at the same time doing something really exciting that persuaded me to move to Celtic Renewables.
What is your favourite part about working at Celtic Renewables?
JP: I enjoy working in a small team with people with a variety of backgrounds and personalities but united under the same vision. This vision of getting the plant up and running, essentially launching a new industry. Off the back of that, then taking this vision global will be something to be very proud of. So, a combination of working with a great team to do something big but also actually achieving this big shared vision is what I love most about working at Celtic.
What are you looking forward to seeing in the future of the industry?
JP: We’re hoping to achieve full-scale plants across Scotland but also internationally. Getting the company to a stage where that can happen, is ultimately the goal. What will make Celtic successful is building the team and capability to support this international development. This can only occur however if we’ve made Grangemouth a success and are on a path to continually improve the technology. There is also the additional goal of making Grangemouth a true zero-waste biorefinery, we need a great team to make this happen. Building CRL to a stage where we have the capability to support a global industry would be incredible. `
What is one thing you do in your day-to-day life to be more sustainable?
JP: My family and I strive to limit international travel, long before COVID my wife and I decided that we don’t want to travel via plane very often. A conscious decision, even though we might have wanted to travel more as we have family in California.
I’m also a big believer in public transport. Additionally, my wife has trained me to turn the lights off every time I leave the room, sometimes I forget but she always reminds me. I also have a younger daughter, so witnessing how aware that generation are of their impact on the environment is amazing.