10 Questions with…Jonathan Oldfield

Jonathan Oldfield recycling advice

Riverside Waste Machinery’s MD Jonathan Oldfield recently appeared in the ‘10 Questions With…’ feature in facilities management journal Tomorrow’s FM. Tackling questions regarding his life and career, as well as the Facilities Management Industry itself, it makes for an interesting read. If you missed the profile, you can read it in full, here…

1. What was your first job?

I began my career as an apprentice mechanic, combining my love for motors with my practical, problem-solving mindset.

2. How did you get into the Facilities Management industry?

I came into our family business at a grassroots level, and soon began to enjoy devising recycling solutions for the FM industry. Now I spend my days helping make facilities’ big waste worries small.

3. Who, in any other industry, do you most admire?

I think Charles Dyson’s journey is an admirable one. He showed great determination as an inventor – he had thousands of failed projects before the one that made it big, but he kept going back to the drawing board and re-engineering his designs. He’s a fantastic example of the need to persevere. Very few industry greats have had it easy!

4. If money was no object, what car would you buy?

That’s a very difficult question to ask a car person! In truth, if I had enough money, I’d be like Chris Evans – I’d have garages full of both classics and supercars. But, if I had to pick one, I’d go for the Bugatti Veyron.

5. How would you improve the Facilities Management industry?

I’d encourage those throughout the industry to view waste management and recycling as an opportunity, not a necessary evil. With some savvy thinking – and not too much effort – waste management can reap vast commercial and environmental benefits for FM businesses and the sites they look after.

6. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Believe it or not, a bin man! It’s actually one of my earliest memories, watching our bin men through the living room window, swinging the bags of rubbish into the vast truck to be crushed. It’s funny now, given I have gone on to specialise in waste!

7. What do you do to unwind?

I’m still working on that one! Once upon a time I’d have gone out for a long ride on my Aprilia to de-stress. But the pace of my life has changed since having a family, so now weekends and evenings are all about spending quality time with them! We’ve got some fantastic Yorkshire countryside on our doorstep so, weather permitting, we love to get outdoors.

8. If you could host a dinner party with any three guests, dead or alive, with a fourth cooking and a fifth providing the music, who would they be and why?

I’m a foodie so I’d sacrifice two of the famous guests if I could have Tom Kerridge, Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty – all in charge of the cooking!

9. What do you think is the future of the Facilities Management industry?

It would be naïve to think there aren’t challenges coming up, and no doubt we’ll encounter newfound cost pressures too. However, when the industry has experienced tough economic conditions before, businesses have, on the whole thought outside the box and become more robust for it. We just need to be equipped to change.

10. Deanne Le Gresley, Channel Islands Managing Director from G4S asks:

What initiatives would you put in place to raise the standard of service delivery within the FM industry?

I think it all boils down to education. I’d shake up the curriculum to make a career in FM more appealing from a young age, then I’d drill into the facets of learning that would help to improve standard delivery when the time comes to start working.