19th episode of the ThinkBamboo Podcast, we talk with Eric Rupert, the CEO of altPlus. Hailing from Canada and now residing in China, Eric is at the forefront of a bamboo revolution. We discuss engineered bamboo solutions, industry standards, and standardizing bamboo for wider use. Previously we had a ThinkBamboo Podcast with a Renuteq in USA who also focuses on engineered structural bamboo made in USA.
Welcome to the ThinkBamboo Podcast! In this episode, we sit down with Eric Rupert, the CEO of altPlus, a company specializing in engineered bamboo solutions. Eric sheds light on the fascinating world of bamboo, its potential, challenges, and how they are revolutionizing the industry. altPlus is at the forefront of a revolution in the bamboo industry, showcasing the incredible potential of this sustainable resource.
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Video Quick Links
[00:00] Alt Plus CEO focuses on engineered bamboo solutions
[05:40] Creating an e-commerce platform and later transitioning into the bamboo industry
[11:10] The goal is to bring the price point down and make engineered products competitive
[16:44] Mechanically separated fiber from bamboo has low energy impact
[21:33] Bamboo is a key material with challenges in production and standardization
[26:23] The bamboo industry faces challenges in marketing and consumer trust
[31:11] The company is focused on developing markets and wood products
[36:14] Growing industry with huge potential.
Engineered Bamboo: Beyond the Ordinary
Eric takes us on a visual tour of their manufacturing facility, where they produce structural composite lumber made from engineered bamboo. These single-pressed, large beams are six meters long, and they exemplify the dedication to quality and standards that altPlus holds dear. The company’s commitment to adhering to industry standards ensures that their products are not only innovative but also reliable.
Bamboo’s Abundance in China
altPlus is strategically located in Fujian Province, China, where bamboo is abundant. Eric explains that this region has a rich history of exporting bamboo products to global giants like IKEA and Home Depot. The combination of raw materials, expertise, and support makes it the Silicon Valley of bamboo, driving the industry’s growth.
The Journey of altPlus
Eric shares the inspiring journey that led him to the world of bamboo. After university, he was drawn to the potential of bamboo as a sustainable alternative to traditional wood products. He embarked on a transformative journey to China, where he immersed himself in understanding the bamboo supply chain and production processes.
The Role of Standardization
In our conversation, Eric emphasizes the importance of standardization in the bamboo industry. Standardization not only ensures quality but also accelerates the adoption of bamboo as a construction material. Eric believes that as bamboo becomes more standardized, its cost will decrease, making it accessible to a broader market.
Challenges and Opportunities
Eric highlights some challenges the bamboo industry faces, particularly in scaling up production and standardizing processes. However, he also sees tremendous opportunities, especially in the construction sector, where bamboo’s stability and sustainability can make it a preferred choice.
Bamboo: A Sustainable Alternative
We touch upon the sustainable aspects of bamboo, comparing it to traditional wood products. Eric believes that bamboo has the potential to become a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative, especially in an era of fluctuating wood prices.
The Future of Bamboo
Looking ahead, Eric envisions bamboo’s continued growth, not only as a construction material but also in areas like healthcare, education, and transportation. He sees bamboo as a versatile resource that can transform various industries.
As our conversation nears its end, Eric Rupert shares his excitement about the future of bamboo. He believes that altPlus, with its unique position and expertise, can play a pivotal role in driving innovation and sustainability in the bamboo industry. With that optimistic vision, we conclude this insightful episode of the ThinkBamboo Podcast.
In the world of bamboo, altPlus is leading the way, demonstrating how this remarkable material can be engineered to create sustainable solutions for the modern world. As bamboo continues to gain recognition for its versatility and eco-friendliness, companies like altPlus are at the forefront of a green revolution that promises a brighter and more sustainable future.