On March 10, 2021, Understory hosted the 'Startups Driving Sustainability' Showcase highlighting the startup innovators making our world more sustainable.
A recording of the event is available below.
Our featured speakers include:
- Tanguy Frécon, CEO & Co-founder of Lizee
- Garr Punnett, Chief of Staff & Sustainability at Rheaply
- Amber Haukedahl, Founder of Tare Market
- Rudy Krehbiel, Head of Operations at Cloverly
Each lightning talk highlighted innovative products and business models across circularity, retail, carbon credits, packaging, and waste innovation.
There were a number of key insights that arose from the presentations which we summarize below:
- The shift to the circular economy is accelerating. We see various applications across retail, corporate, government, and research institutions. There are new efforts to extend the useful life of assets and inventory as a way to cut costs and drive new revenue streams.
- Data driven circularity. Granular data about consumer preferences, product information, and unit economics enhances the power of the circularity business model. It's important to understand which products are reusable and/or rentable and the impact of reuse vs. buying.
- Rental models can be both profitable and sustainable. The rental model helps clear inventory and can be very successful. Employing the right customer experience and logistics is key, but also very challenging to implement.
- Consumers are embracing sustainable behaviors. Whether embracing a zero waste lifestyle or purchasing carbon offsets to reduce the impact of their e-commerce purchases, consumers are making changes. Consumer education and simplified experiences (both online and in person) are critical to accelerate adoption.
- Change can start small. In driving consumer behavior change, it starts with one single swap. Embracing a zero waste or sustainable lifestyle doesn't require a complete overhaul of your lifestyle. Instead, commit to one change that fits into your individual style and lifestyle.
- Sustainable business models can be successful business models. You can do good and make money at the same time.
For more information about innovators driving sustainable change, check out Understory's 'Startups Driving Sustainability - 2020 Report'.