26 May 2021

Blonk crosses the borders, becoming operational in the US and welcomes Marty Heller to the team

Expansion of Team Blonk in United States and Canada

Team Blonk continues to expand, and this time we are crossing borders and welcome Marty Heller, who will represent Blonk in the US and Canada. We worked with Marty before in LCA projects on food and agriculture in the US, so tightening our cooperation was a logical next step. With this cooperation, we aim to expand our LCA business in the US and Canada. Moreover, we want to serve North American clients better by having a local and operational expert team available. Marty is our first agent and consultant working from the US; our intention is to expand the US/Canada team in the coming years.

Welcome Marty, we are very happy to have you on board!

Marty Heller

Consultant United States and Canada

I grew up on a traditional livestock farm in southeast Michigan and received degrees in chemical engineering from Michigan State University (B.S.) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (PhD). After a stint of NGO activism in India and Nepal, I returned to Michigan to try my hand at human-scale vegetable farming. While learning that skill/art, I also started a post-doctoral research position at the Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS) at University of Michigan, where I learned life cycle assessment. The decades that followed have been a not-so-elegant dance between farming and academia that eventually landed me on a farm in Traverse City, Michigan and in a (remote) research specialist position back at CSS. I’ve conducted life cycle assessment studies of short rotation woody biomass energy crops, Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, a large-scale vertically integrated US organic dairy, and as part of an international team, a spatially-explicit study of US dairy production. I’ve also done extensive work on the environmental impact of dietary choices, including linking food environmental impacts to individual, self-selected diets in the US. In 2015, I was awarded the Senior Author Best Paper in Journal of Industrial Ecology, and in 2018, the Best Article Award in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

I’m no longer a farmer, but love to garden with my two kids, as well as hike, bike and cross-country ski in the beautiful Traverse City area. I’m also a passionate music collector and producer.

Joining the Blonk team has been an absolute delight! I feel blessed to have such a strong support team to work with, and know that together with the good people of the North American food and agribusiness sector, we can make a difference in our future’s sustainability!