Thomas Philipon

Chief Executive Officer


Thomas is the CEO of Total Corbion PLA bv that manufactures and sells Poly Lactic Acid, one of the leading and fast growing bioplastics on the market and a true enabler for the circular economy journey. Having lived and worked in 3 continents, Thomas is a true global senior business leader with more than 20 years of extensive experience in the material, agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. Over the past 15 years of his career, he has been innovating and growing specialty businesses in the polymer industries across the globe with a passion for sustainability. Thomas is based in Gorinchem, The Netherlands and holds a Chemical Engineering Degree from CPE Lyon (France), a Chemistry Master Degree from University of Houston (USA) and a MBA from IESE (Spain).

Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

Through my career, I’ve had a passion for sustainability with an innovation focus and a bias toward bioplastics. Thanks to these passions, I have been able to help drive change and impact across organizations and within the industry when I have held leadership and influential roles. I would like to continue this high level work as an Executive Committee member because I want to be able to help leave a legacy that is better than the one we have inherited. PLA, for example, is such an elegant solution that fits right into the circular economy. On one hand it enables innovative solutions with same performance as petrochemical based products while proposing sustainable end of life solutions. However, it could be a potential challenge from an implementation perspective, if not handled with care. I want to serve on the executive committee in order to drive change and impact industry in the places that need it most. I understand that there is no silver bullet when it comes to end of life solutions, but examples where there are immense opportunities are in composting and chemical recycling. That is why Total Corbion PLA supports scaling up composting infrastructure throughout world. Additionally, that is why we are launching a product line which includes chemically recycled PLA. We are doing all we are able to innovate for a better tomorrow, and I want to influence this at scale for society.

What do you think you would contribute as an Executive Committee representative?

I would contribute as an Executive Committee member by bringing a global industry awareness with an EU perspective to the committee. Having worked for more than 15 years for Dupont, a US based company, I have a great appreciation for the US industry & culture. Recently, I have been involved in a stakeholder engagement project in France where we are going to build our next PLA plant. To influence this dialogue and gain buy-in from the multiple interests involved is key so as to be successful in a very politically charged environment. Also, I want to help influence the international discussion while enabling the local dialogues which are also necessary to effect change. Experienced in specialty polymer growth I understand that the industry can be very nuanced and I would like to lead those deep dive discussions that are necessary in order to solve complex problems that we face in all aspects of sustainable packaging. Finally I believe strongly in the collaboration power : like in the Joint Venture I run for two rather large parents (TotalEnergies and Corbion), I believe we can collaborate together through the SPC to continue advancing the circular economy agenda. I believe I’m a level headed person who will be able to help lead the Sustainable Packaging coalition to a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.