John van Leeuwen (BSc ’81) holds a strong personal commitment to environmental sustainability and is a life-long entrepreneur with a passion for building great companies that are powered by outstanding teams. He is the co-founder, director and past CEO of EcoSynthetix, a renewable chemicals company that leverages renewable technology to commercialize a broad spectrum of bio-based products across a number of industries. In 2013, EcoSynthetix was named the third-fastest growing company in Canada by PROFIT 500 magazine.
Prior to co-founding EcoSynthetix, John led a venture capital organization, started up the North American operations of a European software company and helped positions in the agricultural biotechnology and petrochemical industries. In 2011, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Clean Technology from Ernst & Young; an award recognizing individuals making the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada. He was also named Innovator of the Year by Price Waterhouse in 2011.