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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Troy Swope

Co-Founder & CEO

Footprint

Location: Gilbert, AZ

Founded: 2014

Industry: Manufacturing Technology

Troy Swope refers to himself as an accidental environmentalist. Footprint co-founders Swope and Yoke Chung met while at Intel. While there, they noticed that plastic residue in packaging was damaging computer wafers during shipping. They wondered if that was also happening with food coming home from the grocery store wrapped in plastic.

Concerned about the health of their families, they tested their groceries for traces of plastic in their food, and their suspicions were confirmed. Testing showed chemicals from plastic packaging were seeping into food.

That was the impetus to form Footprint, a global materials science technology company focused on creating a healthy planet. It designs, develops and manufactures plant-based alternatives to single- and short-term use plastic, working with some of the world’s largest food producers, consumer products and retail brands.

“Footprint is a climate technology company and will be the most environmentally impactful company on the planet by delivering the technologies that get plastic out of food, drastically cut CO2 emissions and eliminate greenhouse gases,” Swope said. “I’ll do everything I can to ensure fulfillment of the mission, remaining relevant, innovating and adapting to create a healthier planet.”

Under Swope’s guidance as co-founder and CEO, Footprint has grown to 3,000 employees, with operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia. It works with global customers like Conagra, Beyond Meat, Tyson Foods, Kraft, General Mills, P&G and more.

In July 2021, Footprint took naming rights to Footprint Center, a sports and entertainment venue in Phoenix, Arizona, and home of the NBA and WNBA finalists Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. Through that long-term agreement, Footprint has been helping the venue become more sustainable by getting rid of plastic, educating fans and conducting testing on-site to learn more about consumer preferences in packaging.

In March 2022, Footprint won an award from the Flexographic Technical Association for its print-to-fiber technology, which allows printing of labels directly onto plant-based fiber packaging, eliminating the plastic labeling that typically gets added to containers after production and renders those containers nonrecyclable. That means brands don’t have to sacrifice the look and feel of their product design to get more sustainable materials.

Footprint was named to the inaugural list for Sport for Good by Laureus, alongside Nike, Nissan, Patagonia and Microsoft, among others. The Sport for Good index celebrates 29 global brands that “through collaboration, innovation and creativity, are making significant contributions across the 17 sustainable development goals as laid out by the United Nations.”

 

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Did you know?

Troy Swope has four kids, and is an avid coach of youth football. He is also a Francophile who is trying to learn French.

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