Marcus Hill (MSc Environmental Technology 2001) envisages a world without plastic waste, and was pleased to meet many like-minded people while studying at Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP).

Now Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Bower Collective, a company delivering award-winning household and personal care products in reusable packaging, Marcus gets to spend every day combining his passions of the environment and business, whilst helping others to create a sustainable home.

What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?

I learnt about the importance of sustainability and how I enjoy spending time with people who care about the environment.

Can you tell us about your studies at Imperial?

The MSc Environmental Technology was an exciting programme, we all felt like we were going to change the world!

Who did you find inspiring at Imperial and why?

John Elkington, who coined the term ‘triple bottom line’, was a visiting lecturer and I found him highly inspirational. He was a visionary who was well ahead of his time in terms of his thinking about how to harness business as a force for good.

What is your fondest memory of your time here?

Some very fun dinners at Ognisko in South Kensington, as part of the MSc Environmental Technology business module. (Read more about the available modules on the course page). 

Tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now.

I am Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Bower Collective, where we deliver sustainable household and personal care products direct to customers in reuse and refill packaging.

After my degree at Imperial, I worked for an environmental consultancy before founding a business making compostable packaging for the food industry. I went on to sell the business to a Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 (FTSE100) company.

I founded Bower Collective with an old friend, with whom I share a vision for tackling plastic waste. It is shocking that only ten percent of plastic you would put in your recycling bin actually gets recycled, so we are building a sustainable consumer goods business that delivers products direct to customers with a close loop packaging system. We make it easy for customers to send back their empty packaging for us to then reuse or recycle.

How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?

It set me on a path of combining my passions of sustainability and business. It was at Imperial that I learnt how these two fields intersect and can complement each other.

What have been your career highlights and lowlights?

Highlights include supplying 120 million pieces of compostable packaging to the London 2012 Olympics and launching Bower Collective.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about climate change and global warming?

The mindset that a) ‘it’s not going to impact me’, and b) ‘I can’t do anything about it’.

What recent developments or innovations in your sector give you hope for the future of climate action?

At Bower Collective we are building a circular economic model for consumer goods. We are developing digital tracking so that customers will be able to see how many times our packaging has been reused. It is exciting to see how consumers are passionate about sustainability and the circular economy model and that gives me hope for the future.

What does a typical day look like for you now?

A lot of Zoom calls! I focus on strategy across the business, hiring, supporting our team and fundraising.

What are your plans for the future?

My vision is a world without plastic waste, in which everyone can consume goods sustainably. We want to help achieve this by building the world’s leading digital-first sustainable consumer goods company.

Bower Collective is helping people create a sustainable home by delivering award-winning household and personal care products in reusable packaging. We hope to continue to build a community of conscious consumers that share our passion to leave the world better than we found it.

What would be your advice for current students?

Start ups are a great way to tackle social and environmental problems. We live in a time of unprecedented opportunity for start ups, so give it a go - start your own business!

What makes you proud to be an Imperial alumnus?

The work that The Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP) does.

What one word or phrase would you use to describe Imperial alumni?

Innovative and friendly!

Do you have a favourite quote or saying?

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character, but if you have to do without one, do without the strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

Follow Bower Collective on Instagram! @bowercollective.