Scottish sustainability pioneer named country's best entrepreneur

A Scottish sustainable packaging pioneer has clinched the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022, UK Transformational Leader title.

Glasgow-based David MacDonald, owner of Cullen Eco-Friendly Packaging, won the hotly-contested national award at the recent EY Awards ceremony in Manchester. A panel of entrepreneurial peers judged MacDonald the winner from over 30 semi-finalists and 19 finalists of the UK’s brightest and best entrepreneurs who are driving economic growth and job creation.

David has been a force in the sustainable packaging movement, producing over 1 billion eco-friendly packaging products since 2020, announcing the creation of 120 new jobs this year and driving a £15 million expansion plan to make the UK a sustainable products and packaging manufacturing leader.

Additionally, he spearheaded the launch of the innovative Fibre Bottle, a patented biodegradable paper bottle that can, uniquely, remove 300 million plastic bottles, pouches or glass per year from our shelves, which has earned an endorsement from one of the world’s foremost environmental campaigners, Sian Sutherland of A Plastic Planet. 

Under David’s leadership, Cullen has become a global company, growing from one export country to 34 destinations, with the skill and capacity to replace most single use plastic packaging with moulded fibre alternatives within one month. David is also recognised for transforming the whole culture of Cullen, with the company now united in supporting and driving his mission of helping the world achieve its sustainability goals.

David MacDonald, Cullen ECO-Friendly Packaging’s Owner, said: “I’m so proud to be named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 UK Transformational Leader Winner.  I am delighted and humbled to be recognised for my achievements in growing the business, generating jobs and creating sustainable, market-disrupting products and packaging that are viable replacements for single-use plastics.

"Sustainability is my passion and I’m driven by innovation and finding solutions to our clients' challenges, solutions that will bring about real change.” 

Gregor Angus, EY regional judge commented: "Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates leaders with inspirational stories – those who are creating long term value, reframing our future, and contributing purpose beyond profits.

"Entrepreneurship can be demanding and isolating, so the programme goes beyond a competition and enables leaders to reflect on their successes and share their most pressing challenges with like-minded peers in this outstanding entrepreneurial community.

“It has been a privilege hearing the stories of our inspiring Scottish cohort as they demonstrate the talent, passion and entrepreneurial flare we have throughout the country, and the value they create within their business, across local and international markets and for their communities.”