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Our Story

Over the past 25 years, Irish company VivaGreen have been pioneers
in sustainable practices and products that protect both
the planet and its inhabitants. By formulating products
from natural origins and sustainable sources we produce
a wide range of Biodegradable, Plastic-Free and
Chemical-Free products.

Our Commitment

VivaGreen is a knowledge-based company that is driven by the
founders’ engineering backgrounds to bring fresh, innovative products
made from renewable resources to the marketplace. VivaGreen is
a world leader in the research and development of Biodegradable,
Chemical and Plastic-Free materials and we are committed to
producing products that are not only the greenest,
but are also of the highest quality.

Our Team

Russell Walsh
Head of Product Development
Russell Walsh

Head of Product Development

Describe your job role in VivaGreen and year you started?
My brother Garrett and I started working together back in 1992 when we started a business in Ireland designing and building bespoke automation machines for electronic & medical device companies which took us up to 1999 when we started VivaGreen.

I’m not sure how to describe my role in a ‘nutshell’ as my day involves so many different strands from R&D of new products, considering new distribution arrangements, financial management through to assessing new market/product opportunities and everything in between, all of which makes up the ‘joy’ of running a small business.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I don’t take things too seriously other than issues surrounding the environment. I suppose that’s the driver for Garrett and I to start VivaGreen in the 1990’s when issues of climate health were not as high up the popular or political agenda as they are today. We wanted to put our engineering backgrounds to work to make a difference and love using our skills to develop the next breakthrough product to substitute many of the harmful products used in our homes, gardens & workplaces every day.

I completely love working for myself and as the saying goes I never worked a day in my life. Like any business there are many challenges and stresses, but the highs you get from launching a new eco-product, seeing a customer pick up your product in a supermarket and put it in their basket or hitting on the next breakthrough technology, makes it all worthwhile.

Hobbies
Driving as I’m the official courtesy car driver to my 3 teenage daughters. On the odd time I’m not doing that I do enjoy tinkering with my classic car, a 25 year old E-220 convertible Mercedes. I wish more products had the same build quality to stand the test of time and help us move away from being a ‘take-make-waste’ society. Another hobby is windsurfing; I used to do a lot of that before my kids came along and am starting to get back into it again, anyway some days I Feel I do a need an extra bit of wind in my sails!

Favourite VivaGreen Product and why?
I think it’s got to be our first product, the GreenStake, which we launched over 20 years ago. The beauty about this product is its simplicity, but hidden behind that is a clever design that minimises the amount of materials used, maximises mechanical properties of strength and toughness and a profile to provide impressive anchoring function to beat any competitor stake.
I also love it because it has taken us around the world including to Glastonbury Festival with its use as a camping peg, to Real Madrid FC as a turf stake, to Niagara Falls Parks as a weed barrier pin, to Suncorp Stadium in Australia as a sod stake, among many other places.

What is your pet hate?
Not surprising as an engineer, I love efficiency. One of my pet hates is when my kids don’t fill the dish-washer efficiently and to its maximum capacity. They laugh at me when I try to give them a 3-minute ‘How-To’ lecture on the matter.

Who is someone you admire, and why?
I’m going to go big on this one; Ernest Shackleton, an Irishman who led an expedition during 1914-17 to attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. The expedition failed to accomplish this objective but became recognised instead as an epic feat of endurance. He is a character that exemplifies courage, resilience and leadership as he led his crew of 28 men through a two year struggle for survival, without chance of rescue, on a journey across pack ice, drifting ice floes and through the most treacherous waters in the world to safety without losing a single man. I love the advert for crew in a London paper at the time which reflected the true risks and uncertainty of survival involved: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success." Sounds sometimes a bit like our journey in VivaGreen!

Garrett Walsh
Head of Manufacturing
Garrett Walsh

Head of Manufacturing

Describe your job role in VivaGreen and year you started?
As a small business one has to be multi-tasking so my roles include management, product and market development. Russell and I started working together in 1992 designing machines and following on from that we designed our first “green” in 1998 and from this has grown into the range we have today.

Tell us about yourself?
Mechanical Engineer studied in Ireland and a Masters Degree in the US. Enjoyed the cultural experience associated with studying in the US as people at the university were from every corner of the globe. My first job was in a start-up small company near Boston which offered the next best thing to starting one’s own business. My plan was always to return to Ireland and start a business and I am happy to say we started over 20 years ago. Having experience living and working in the US was put to good use later as we explored that market not long after we developed our first product and has been growing ever since.

Hobbies
I enjoy motorbiking. I found that motorbiking takes me to a different world as it requires 100% concentration. For me, the great thing about biking (as opposed to a car journey) is the journey and not the destination is an end in itself. I’ve toured 40k miles throughout Europe, great fun. Also most maintenance jobs on my motorbike I can undertake myself, so when I’m not riding it I’m usually tinkering with it.

Favourite VivaGreen Product and why?
I like the fact that our products do the job and then disappear (assimilating back into the soil) but if I had to choose one it is the GreenStake® mostly because it was our first product and showed us we could have a viable business promoting products that are better for people and the earth.

What is your pet hate?
Poor car drivers.

Who is someone you admire, and why?
I admire the early engineers of the 18th & 19th century and using very basis design/surveying equipment and manufacturing tools they built the wonderful canal systems we have in Ireland and other countries and also the magnificent railway systems with their beautiful bridge designs etc.

I also admire my parents for encouraging and supporting us to pursue our dreams in life, without their encouragement my brother and I may not have set up this business.

Dr Anne Marie Mahon
Lead Research Scientist
Dr Anne Marie Mahon

Lead Research Scientist

Describe what your job role in VivaGreen?

I carry out research before we get going on product development which informs what we want to achieve in terms of eco-standards and efficacy.  I am also engaged heavily in the formulation of the products, which means time in the lab testing. When we have our formulations finalised, I am mostly liaising with suppliers and coordinating with the manufacturing team to get into production.  I’m constantly looking for ways of developing and improving our existing products to improve the customer experience

 Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m an ecologist and environmental scientist with a passion to help reduce the human impact on our natural world. Inspired by the loss of biodiversity in coastal habitats, evident during her years as a marine biologist, I leverage from my strong research background and knowledge of habitats to share her experience ideas through community engagement by facilitating workshops and projects.

Aside from my research background, I have been an invited speaker at numerous events a broad range of events pertaining to our relationship to plastics and ways of driving bottom-up consumer-driven change in our everyday lives. I’ve been recently nominated as a finalist in the Ten Outstanding Young Person awards in the moral and environmental leadership category Junior Chamber International (JCI).

What are your Hobbies?

Growing my own food, looking after my hens, hillwalking, camping, and spending time with My friends and Family

Favourite VivaGreen Product and why?

I really like some in development currently.  Having worked on the development of Moss-Off chemical Free, I am very fond of its eco-friendliness with such neutral ingredients working on a physical barrier approach rather than chemical action.  It’s very tough on Moss but otherwise, it’s gentle to the environment and pets.  Then again, I absolutely love the Tru Eco all-purpose cleaner because it works so week and has very good eco-credentials.

 What is your pet hate?

Cling-film; totally unrecyclable and totally unnecessary!

Who is someone you admire, and why?

There are so many, but I’ll have to say a woman in science I’d have to say Hedy Lemar.  She had an amazing mind and invented frequency hopping among other things which at the time she wasn’t given credit for.  This was because she was mostly known for beauty and acting career, but this wasn’t her true passion; it was the bread and butter. I admire her for fulfilling her potential as an inventor, laughing in the face of social norms at the time, and showing you can behave great minds, even work in a male-dominated environment while not having to hide your femininity.

 

David Kelly
Head of Business Development & Sales
David Kelly

Head of Business Development & Sales

Describe your job role in VivaGreen and the year you started?
Joined the team in VivaGreen during 2016. Mainly responsible for Sales & Business Development but also supporting our New Product Development Team by utilising my print and packaging expertise.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
A Business Development professional who has experience in servicing consumer demands across multiple markets including Eco-Friendly products, Print & Packaging, plus Incentive & Gifting. Currently studying MSc in International business with Ulster University and recently completed a Post-Graduate in Creativity, Innovation, & Leadership which included Design Thinking in UCD.

Hobbies
A Regular Hill Walker who attempts DIY about the home, when not trekking in the mountains

Favourite VivaGreen Product and why?
MossOff Chemical-Free as it is an innovative disruptive technology that has upset the traditional biocide industry.

What is your pet hate?
Long drawn-out meetings that don’t get to the point, as I start thinking of all the other things I could be doing instead of sitting there.

Who is someone you admire, and why?
My very first Sales Manager who is now a life-long friend, with whom I still regularly meet for coffee and business advice. We also try to sort out the problems of the world …. but not as much success there!

Sean O’Haire
Head of Marketing
Sean O’Haire

Head of Marketing

Describe what your job role in VivaGreen and year you started here?
I have been working with VivaGreen since 2016. My role in VivaGreen is exciting and fast-paced, I am responsible for creating and implementing strategies to build communications and implement marketing tactics to grow demand, market awareness, and loyalty for VivaGreen’s innovative products.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
After completing my degree, I took a year out and traveled to China to teach English, I lived in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. This was a real eye-opener and I enjoyed every minute of it. I returned home in 2015 to complete my Masters in Digital Marketing and joined VivaGreen the following year.

What are your Hobbies?
I would consider myself a very active person and enjoy anything sports-related. A typical weekend would consist of walking my dog Ted, watching/playing sport, and topped off with good food and a quiet pint.

Favourite VivaGreen Product and why?
For me its MossOff Chemical-Free, the product is completely unique and the fact there is no other product like it is a marketer’s dream. GreenSax Compostable bags are a close second…great having an endless supply of dog poo bags.

What is your pet hate?
Without going on a rant my pet hate is littering. I can’t understand how people can just throw something on the ground and walk away, these people have absolutely no respect for the environment or the local community.

Who is someone you admire, and why?
A tricky question but I would have to say David Attenborough, 94 years of age and still writing and presenting documentaries to educate people on the environment and climate change.

Ted
Product Tester & Social Media Model
Ted

Product Tester & Social Media Model

Describe what your job role in VivaGreen and year you started here?
I started with the guys in VivaGreen in early 2020, I have been put to use product testing and I can confirm GreenSax Compostable Bags are extremely useful on my daily walks. I have done rigorous testing on GreenStake Biodegradable Staples and I can confirm they are super tough. Social media model is my specialty just see some examples on our social media pages.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
Typical Irish story, I was born on a spud farm down in Wexford and Sean decided to recruit me when I was only 3 months old, I'd like to say it was my linked in profile, but it was word of mouth.

What are your Hobbies?
Absolutely love walks, people watching, and chewing anything I can get my paws on.

Favourite VivaGreen product and why?
It’s a tough one between the GreenSax compostable bags and the GreenStake, as the GreenSax is more for business Id have to say GreenStake.

What is your pet hate?
That’s easy CATS!

Who is someone you admire, and why?
I should say Sean but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction, I would have to say the ‘Dulux dog’ I like to think I can star on as many TV adverts when I'm older.

Our Journey

1999- McDivot – Our first product was a 2-inch biodegradable divot anchor for golf courses. McDivots are used in leading courses worldwide such as St. Andrews & Augusta National.
 
2000- GreenStake Biodegradable Staples – A Biodegradable Plastic-Free anchoring stake used in Landscaping, Forestry, Golf and Amenities sectors. To date GreenStake® have replaced over 100 million metal and plastic pins going into the environment. Customers include John Deere California Parks and Glastonbury Festival.

Research & Product Development
 
2006 – GreenSax Compostable Bags – A range of compostable biodegradable bin liner bags (with extra strength and tear resistance). These were the first compostable bag on the Irish market

Research & Development
 
2016 MossOff Chemical-Free – The first of its kind on the market, MossOff works anywhere on hard surfaces or lawns. MossOff® Chemical Free has substituted over 150,000 litres of chemicals going into the environment. Customers include Waterways Ireland, Blarney Castle and Gardens, Ballygallon Stud and the UK National Trust.

2017 Ecommerce Store – in 2017 we rolled out our ecommerce store to make our eco products available worldwide.

 

2018 ReMade from plastic waste bags – A heavy duty refuse sack, made from 100% Post-Consumer Waste Plastic. Ideal for around the house or in the garden. ReMade has prevented over 100 tons of plastic waste going to landfill, incinerators or worse the ocean.

 

2019 DeOdour, SnackSax, Scrapack –  In 2019 we launched 3 new products, all products are designed as eco alternatives to everyday problems. Including DeOdour Chemical-Free, SnackSax Paper Sandwich Bags and Scrapack Countertop Waste Tidy’s.

 

2020 TruEco – A range of eco-friendly household cleaners made from plant-based ingredients. The Tru Eco range is a circular economy product as all bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic and are all refillable.

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