By: Luciana Oliveira, SE Entrepreneur – SE Outreach 2016
Looking back at the three months that passed since I rejoined my team in São Paulo after the life-changing three weeks with SE Forum in Stockholm, I cannot help but feeling proud of what we achieved in such a short period of time. It’s impressive what a small team can do when there is such a beautiful transformation to be made, which is counting on our efforts!
Of course, I should remind you again of this beautiful transformation. I invite you to think about a developing country such as Brazil (where I am writing from) five years from now – the lives of millions of people working in the recycing chain will have been transformed. They will no longer work in unsustainable conditions because recycling will be a sector that receives revenues not only through the sales of materials, but also though the payment for the recycling service they provide. This payment is made by producers of packaged goods. Sound familiar? That is what has been happening in European countries for the last two decades.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Coming back to the present, here are some of the small victories we had in the last three months, which will take us closer and closer to the dream:
Our platform for recyclers to report their amounts recycled has just moved to a whole new level: a new home page (click here) with new animations to promote it among recyclers (click here to watch) and, of course, an entirely new platform! Our team spent four months rebuilding the platform in-house, from scratch, thinking about usability from the recycler’s point of view and about connectivity through APIs (ok, let’s not get so nerdy here or you might give up on reading the post altogether). The good news is that more and more recyclers are using the platform and learning to manage their business better.
But this is not New Hope Ecotech’s one and only goal. Our reason to exist it really to create a new source of financial sustainability to the recycling chain in Brazil. And we plan to do so by attracting payments from producers of consumer goods who need to support recycling of the packaging they put into the market. We are convincing more and more companies of their decisive role in this change.
As a result, very soon, Brazilians will go to supermarkets and see products with an adorable happy smily label pointing out that this specific brand contributes to recycling with social responsability. After coming back from Sweden I thought this was such a crazy dream to have, but we were actually able to convince a great branding and advertising agency (www.one.com.br) to help us… Just because they are eager to see this transformation themselves! And we have been getting many consumer goods companies excited about supporting recycling and carrying the label!
Not such a crazy dream after all, huh?
And this makes me think… Our dream about what Brazil’s recycling future will look like in five years might not be such a crazy dream either.
EDIT: Just after writing this post, Luciana and her team found out that they were selected as one of the 15 (out of 857) startups to join the Google Campus Brazil Residents’ program! More crazy dreams coming true! Read Google’s blog post here (in Portuguese).