WOMAN OF THE FUTURE
PATRICIA SCHRODER RECLITE SA (PTY) LTD reclite.co.za
‘We need to be responsible earth citizens and protect the planet for future generations,’ says Patricia Schroder, whose passion for protecting the environment and protecting communities from pollution inspired her to start Reclite SA. The company helps offset global warming through the recycling of e-waste. Reclite SA collects, transports and recycles all lighting, battery and electronic waste – all classified hazardous – and has developed award-winning solutions in managing these waste streams. Patricia says her goal is also ‘to divert the current linear business economic culture (buy, use, throw away) to circular economy practices (buy, use, re-use and recycle)’. She applied for funding to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and was asked to present a business plan and deliver presentations on the concept. ‘Of course, there was no reference point for this kind of business – it was the first of its kind in South Africa. So together with the IDC we established a comprehensive due diligence process which had to meet strict criteria and project a sustainable profitable outcome,’ says Patricia. In August 2016, this powerhouse
I see the business being the state of the art African “hub” for all lighting, electronic and electrical equipment waste.
successfully lobbied the government to amend regulations to ban toxic e-waste from landfill. Next she drove changes within the lighting and electronic industries, making them implement extended producer responsibility programs. Astonishingly, she’s also created new raw materials and products that replace imported products, as well as developed the process for the management of waste types – for which she’s won environmental and innovation awards.
Despite these amazing accomplishments, Patricia still has big dreams for Reclite SA and won’t rest until the business has a global footprint (they currently manage e-waste from neighbouring countries Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia).
‘I see the business being the state of the art African “hub” for all lighting, electronic and electrical equipment waste. It will grow and expand to cater for other challenging waste streams that currently end up in landfill,’ she promises.
Winning the 2018 FAIRLADY Women of the Future award, says Patricia, is recognition for all the hard work she and her team have done, and a reminder that hard work does pay off in the end.
‘It would also serve as an inspiration for other women to chase their dreams, chase their passions, because you CAN be successful.’