United Kingdom

Steven Jackson OBE DL, Founder, Recycling Lives

As a young man working in his father’s scrap metal yards, Steven Jackson met people living hand-to-mouth trading scrap for cash. It inspired him as an adult to find a way to use business as a catalyst for social change. He created Recycling Lives, a unique business that combines a profitable waste management company with charitable work.

Today, Recycling Lives consists of two parts that work hand in hand. A nationwide waste management business recycles metals, plastics and cars and exports materials worldwide, and a charitable arm rehabilitates offenders, supports the homeless and redistributes food to communities. Recycling Lives runs programs for offenders in 12 prisons across the United Kingdom, supporting 250 men and women at a time. After leaving prison, they move to a halfway house and are given a job with the company. 

The company also recruits in residential centers for the homeless and has diverted thousands of tons of surplus food from landfill by delivering 13,000 meals a week to 180 community groups. Steven hopes his business will demonstrate to other entrepreneurs that both profit and purpose can grow together.

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