Omar Asali, CEO of Ranpak, speaks as part of Ethics Week
April 5, 2021
“My personal view is in the upcoming decade the most important theme is going to be about climate and sustainability,” said Omar Asali, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors of Ranpak Holdings. Sustainability was one of the chief topics of discussion for Asali in an online lecture and interactive dialogue with students and faculty hosted by Dean Robert Sumichrast, on Wednesday, April 7.
The Sustainability Leadership lecture was a part of Ethics Week at Virginia Tech, held March 29 through April 8. To watch the lecture in its entirety, including his recommendation for future business leaders and entrepreneurs to read “The Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, please visit the Pamplin College of Business YouTube channel.
Headquartered in Concord, Ohio with over 30,000 end-users across 50 countries, Ranpak is a global leader of environmentally sustainable, paper-based solutions for e-commerce and industrial supply chains, manufactures machines and paper products used in protective paper-based packing for shipping goods and merchandise. In his role as Chairman and CEO, Asali is focused on the ongoing evolution of Ranpak's commitment to lead the market in sustainable systems‐based packaging solutions.
In March 2021, Ranpak obtained a Chain of Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council and that going forward, packaging products produced by Ranpak for the European, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific markets will be FSC certified. The designation further solidifies the company’s mission to Deliver a Better World™.
In 2020, Asali signed a pledge to increase the diversity of the Ranpak board of directors. He is emerging as an influencer within the CEO community, advocating about working conditions of the manufacturing assembly line workers, promoting safe working conditions under COVID, and is seeking other CEOs to adopt such universal principles. Asali is focused on the manufacturing sector within the United States and published an OpEd on cnn.com in November 2020.
Asali has donated the use of Ranpak's packaging equipment to the Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources Thomas M. Brooks Forest Products Center, which houses faculty and students in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials. This has helped scale the packaging program and is yielding great student interest to match the growing demand for graduates.
He has served on the Virginia Tech Foundation Board since 2018 and with his wife, Rula, and has a family foundation. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asali ensured donations were made to local food pantries near Ranpak headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Netherlands, as well as to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. These funds cover onsite meals, comfort stations, and lodging for hospital staff treating COVID-19 patients, as well as delivery of meals to hospital staff who have become infected with the virus.
In times like these, we all need to come together as a global community and help where we can,” Mr. Asali told Ranpak shareholders. “I'm proud to say Ranpak is doing its part.”