Mar. 10, 2020

Santiago Cadena


Santiago Cadena

General Manager, GRUENtec

“We are focused on providing services for the mining industry.”


Santiago Cadena is a chemical engineer with 20 years of experience working for GRUENtec. His passion for environmental services led him to work for GRUENtec. He has completed numerous important projects for Ecuador in all industrial sectors, such as petroleum, mining, and other large industries. His degrees in chemistry are complemented by his managing skills and strong environmental knowledge.

How are GRUENtec's services helping companies meet increasingly higher environmental standards?

All our clients seek to meet environmental regulations and prove to the regulatory bodies that they are doing things right. Our main goal is to help them achieve that. We also want to ensure we provide high-quality services at a technical level and therefore have the ISO 17025 certification and other certifications like ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 by Bureau Veritas. GRUENtec is an Ecuadorian company but its founders are German. That German DNA makes us make different compared to other laboratories. Our advanced technological equipment and a wonderful professional team of more than 100 people are our competitive advantages. We have state-of-the-art laboratories, and many of our processes are automatized. This makes us one of the few and perhaps the only laboratory with such level of automatization in Ecuador, and we can be easily compared with high performance laboratories around the world. GRUENtec has the only environmental and commercial lab with certain special equipment in Ecuador. In addition to our headquarters in Quito, we own a network of three more labs in Ecuador. Ecuador is a small yet diverse country, which is why we need to have the capacity to quickly adapt to the needs of different industries. On top of that, we work to promote the benefits of being a green company. There are not many companies in Ecuador that value the benefits that being green can bring to them. For example, a metallic mining company does not need to evaluate the impact that plastics residues can generate, although monitoring that could generate a huge benefit for society. It is necessary to consider that all of us live in the same environment and our actions affect everybody in some way.

How are you adapting to the new demands posed by the booming mining sector in Ecuador?

GRUENtec has high expectations because mining is one of the industries that require many resources. The company is currently investing to meet future demand in three strategic fields: infrastructure, personnel, and technology. The expectations are extremely high. However, there has been a great deal of political instability in the country in recent years, which has concerned foreign investors. Nevertheless, we like working closely with our clients and growing alongside them. As the sector consolidates, we are seeking to implement feedback from our clients to learn and promote best practices in the sector, and that includes the social and economic aspects of their activity. Local communities will see changes in their environment, and the challenge is to find ways to mitigate the harmful effects. That said, mining is extremely crucial to the country's development.

What is your assessment of the different services you provide as a laboratory?

We are the most comprehensive lab in the market conducting analysis on water, soil, waste, noise, air quality, gas emissions, solids, liquid, vibrations, and all different kinds of environmental samples. We are not just specialized in one area but in several. We also have many different chemical parameters that are certified. The company has 23 years of experience and a great responsibility in terms of innovation. We train our staff and provide them with different materials to become innovative. Of more than 100 employees, nearly 30% of them work on new ideas. We have a program to develop new ideas, make them real, and enable collaboration and cooperation across the company. We are focused on providing services for the mining industry. We permanently invest in personnel, communications, infrastructure, technology, and other areas, planning CAPEX investments to cover the needs of the industry.