Careers at 3R: Steve Nichols
Steve Nichols has been with 3R for five years – first as Operations Manager and later as Innovation Project Lead. He and his team play a vital role exploring and developing commercial opportunities from things we typically think of as waste. For them, one person’s trash really can be another’s treasure. Before joining 3R, Steve worked as a Supply Chain Manager for a lSteve Nichols has been with 3R for five years – first as Operations Manager and later as Innovation Project Lead. He and his team play a vital role exploring and developing commercial opportunities from things we typically think of as waste. For them, one person’s trash really can be another’s treasure. Before joining 3R, Steve worked as a Supply Chain Manager for a local agriculture machinery company. He’s also a former physical therapist and a highly competitive cyclist.ocal agriculture machinery company. He’s also a former physical therapist and a highly competitive cyclist.
What attracted you to 3R when considering job options?
What drew me to 3R were primarily the sustainability focus of the business, the community engagement and atmosphere within the office. It’s a nice and casual environment where people are friendly, and there is flexibility. I appreciate that everyone doesn’t fit into the same box, and there’s an innovative approach to the workspace. Sustainability has always been a personal focus for me, from relying on my push bike for transport to maintaining a home compost.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day involves checking urgent matters, then looking into the most recent research on topics ranging from health to construction to paint. Depending on ongoing projects, I prioritise and address tasks. Occasionally, I’m fortunate to mentor a young intern, providing guidance throughout the day.
What are some of your notable accomplishments or highlights with 3R?
In my initial role as Operations Manager for three years it was great to see some of the people that have started their roles in 3R still here and making a big contribution. In the past year, transitioning to the innovation role, I’ve celebrated successes on individual projects in terms of some of the outflows for materials such as plaints or plastics that we have managed achieve.
What sets 3R apart from other companies in the industry?
3R is unique in the industry in that we are still a small, almost local business in terms of our footprint, but we have a very broad horizon in terms of what we look at both from a product scope and industry scope. It’s quite nice to have that freedom and small business feel whilst still working across a really large scope of products, people, and industries across the Aotearoa New Zealand.
How would you describe the company culture at 3R?
At 3R we have got a pretty cool culture – we are pretty casual, but we also like to get the work done. We work with a lot of different people so it’s very much encouraging collaboration which can be a challenge Having a balance between collaboration and providing each other the freedom to pursue their own initiatives is key to our culture. And then on top of that we align our work to some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Have you encountered opportunities for career advancement and personal development within 3R?
One of the things I have really enjoyed at 3R is it’s always been an opportunity to continue my education both professionally and for personal development. I’ve continued my education through industry-specific courses, university papers at Massey, and various conferences and online courses. It’s an essential aspect of the innovation role to stay updated on trends.
Is there any additional insight you’d like to share with potential team members based on your experience working at 3R?
For those considering joining 3R, I think it’s great the feeling of going home at the end of the day with a sense of contributing to society on a large scale. Many people talk about the importance of a ‘why’ for why they go to work, and at 3R, we genuinely achieve that. We really have a purpose in our work in terms of sustainability or general environmental outcomes and that’s something the makes me feel better when I get home at the end of the day.