Circular Economy Sprint took place in Helsinki Think Company’s coworking space in Viikki. While the themes of circular economy and sustainability are quite wide, each team managed to come up with concrete solutions to concrete problems.
Circular economy and green entrepreneurship - what now?
The circular economy model strives for environmentally sustainable economic growth, in which natural resources are used wisely. Green entrepreneurship aims to take the environment's well-being into consideration. The core idea behind the Circular Economy Sprint was that new circular economy business ideas, created in collaboration with research and innovation sectors, are needed in order to build a more environmentally and socially sustainable society. And new ideas are what we got!
Introducing the five teams of Circular Economy Sprint:
Team: Liselotte Karulf, Aino Kuusimäki, Sukanya Koner, Tuomo Kamula
Problem: Public spaces lack efficient waste segregation systems
Solution: Research-based service that investigates what type of waste is produced in a specific location, and then recommends adequate recycling bins.
In private properties and households people often recycle quite well, but in public spaces, such as bus stations and parks, there is usually only one garbage bin and often it’s overfilled. This prevents efficient collection of recycled materials. Last's service will complete a research concerning the amount and type of waste produced in a specific location, and then collaborating with recycling logistic companies, provides the most efficient waste segregation system.
Team: Arnav Joshi, Jose Roberto Valdivia
Problem: The lack of appropriate data management chain and tracking system concerning materials and products at End-of-Life stages
Solution: A service-based platform emphasizing B2B segments responsible for appropriate material disposal chains.
Resycling came to exist to answer a global problem in waste treatment and disposal: one third of global waste ends up in open dumps and a quarter in landfills. Recycling offers a platform that tracks, manages and establishes a circularity in material flow systems. Resycling helps to unveil use and impact of recycled materials in order to manufacture new products and services.
Team: Rafeul Hasan, Nino Chkhartishvili, Samira Mokhtari, Miri Jung
Problem: A large amount of natural resources are needed in the production of new clothes or other products.
Solution: A platform that offers information about the nearest second hand stores and events, and provides tools and tips to shop more eco-friendly.
The exploitation of natural resources is one of the core sustainability problems. Buying second hand products, such as clothes, technology and furniture saves a significant amount of natural resources, yet knowing where to find them is not always easy. Greenfo’s online platform collects second hand stores and eco-services to one place and helps consumers to make nature-friendly decisions in everyday life in an effortless way. To motivate its users, Greenfo includes a social credit points system, in which the customer gathers points for each eco-friendly decision.
The Clothing Library
Team: Ehsan Gale gafi, Wilma Grönqvist, Ilaria Di Filippo
Problem: Every year 92 million tons of textile waste is produced. At the same time the clothing industry produces 10% of global CO2 emissions.
Solution: Rent more and buy less with the help of a clothing rent service that offers both trendy and casual clothing for many types of users.
Textile waste, as well as CO2 emissions the clothing industry produces, are major environmental problems. Consumers often use a piece of clothing for a relatively short period of time. The Clothing Library offers its users an opportunity to rent both fashionable clothes and more basic pieces depending on the needs of the user. The service is completely online, which makes it consumer friendly, and it differs from existing services by offering a variety of different service options to reach multiple customer groups.
Team: Karri Lehtonen, Anusuya Krishnaswamy, Nathan Rebiai, Roy Ricaldi
Problem: Overconsumption of products people often need only a few times.
Solution: An online platform that helps to make the decision between renting, buying second-hand, and buying new.
Oftentimes people make a decision to buy a product even if they only need it a couple of times, mainly because it is usually the easiest and the most practical option. Sensume’s online platform helps a consumer to know if it is really necessary to buy a certain product. The customer answers questions about his/her needs and habits concerning the use of the product in question, and with that data the platform suggests if it is more sensible to buy or rent the product. Sensume also offers information on rental and second hand businesses, this way endorsing collaboration with local entrepreneurs.
Each team made an impressive effort to create a circular economy based business idea that could be a part of solving sustainability problems. After a long consideration, the judges decided to choose The Clothing Library as a winner! The Clothing Library was praised especially for their logistic planning that could decrease emissions caused by transportation and packaging processes, as well as the service’s ability to stand out of the market.
A big thank you to all of our participants, judges, guest speakers and our partner Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council!
Photos: Tareque Mahmud