Canadian Biomass Magazine

Lifetime Achievement Award: Rob McCurdy lauded for career dedicated to reducing world’s carbon footprint

May 1, 2024
By Canadian Biomass Staff

Rob McCurdy

From the busy urban landscapes of Singapore to the rugged natural beauty of British Columbia, Rob McCurdy has shaped an industry and helped spearhead the biomass movement.

This year, he was named one of three recipients of the Canadian Biomass Lifetime Achievement Award. As a visionary whose career has spanned continents and cultures, McCurdy’s story is not just about professional success but a sustained commitment to environmental stewardship.

He began his career with a simple mission: to influence climate change positively through sustainable industrial practices.

His leadership at Pinnacle Renewable Resources from 2012 to 2020 was transformational, as he grew the organization from a relatively modest operation into the world’s third-largest producer of industrial wood pellets.


“We took a small two-plant operation in British Columbia and built the company into one of the largest biomass producers in the world,” he said.

Under his guidance, Pinnacle not only expanded its production capacity but also cemented its status as a key player on the global stage, particularly in the Asian markets.

“I saw it as an opportunity in a very ‘new’ industry to build a world-class company that would significantly impact Climate Change,” he said.

Throughout his tenure, McCurdy’s vision led Pinnacle through significant global expansions, including into demanding markets like Japan and Korea, making it a leading supplier and a powerhouse in the biomass industry. His commitment to safety, efficiency, and sustainability drove Pinnacle to achieve noteworthy improvements in production processes and environmental stewardship.

Strategic partnerships also played a key role in his success. Under his leadership, Pinnacle established four joint venture plants with major fibre suppliers such as Tolko, Canfor, and Westervelt. These collaborations not only spurred growth in the biomass market but also enhanced its supply chain resilience and opened new avenues for innovation.

Since stepping down as CEO, McCurdy has not slowed down. As the principal consultant at McCurdy Consulting, he continues to play a role in the industry, offering advice on everything from site selection to corporate restructuring. His role on the advisory board of Hughes Energy Group, for example, shows his ongoing commitment to carbon reduction and sustainability.

Reflecting on his journey, McCurdy offered this advice to the next generation of professionals: “In this industry, know that you are doing something each day to help our planet combat climate change. Surround yourself with the best people you can find and take on the world.”

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