Creating a recycle certification market to connect producers with SMEs in the recycling chain with the goal of increasing recycling in Brazil and stimulating employment and formalisation in the sector.

Luciana Oliveira

Growing up in Brazil, Luciana was exposed to waste pickers’ reality at an early age. She became aware that although waste pickers perform a task that saves the planet, they are not treated with respect and remain stuck in the poverty trap. With an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and a desire to tackle the structural problems of the recycling industry, Luciana and her team came up with the idea for New Hope Ecotech as a methodology to improve the working conditions and revenues in the recycling chain and, as a consequence, increase recycling rates in Brazil.

Luciana took part in SE Forum’s SE Outreach Accelerator in 2016.

New Hope Ecotech

New Hope Ecotech

In November 2014, Brazil implemented a regulatory policy placing the burden of recycling on the manufacturers, who are now required to recycle the packaging materials or electronic and batteries they have inserted in the market. New Hope Ecotech (NHE) is a social enterprise that leverages the workforce of independent collectors of recyclable materials to satisfy the new regulatory recycling obligation of producers. As in European countries, producers calculate how much products they inserted in the market and invest the value needed in order to support the recycling of a percentage of those products. With this information, NHE identifies independent enterprises who collect the recyclable materials and sell it to processors. Their cloud-based platform allows these enterprises to prove they meet certain requirements (such as fair working conditions and formalization according to Brazilian laws) and report the information of the volumes collected and sold to a recyclers (type of material, tonnage, price and auditable proof of sale of materials to a processor). Using the gathered data and computerized matching, NHE creates an auditable, electronic paper trail certifying recycling – a Recycling Credit, similar to Carbon Credits but for recyclables. These Recycling Credits are sold directly to manufacturers as a solution that allows them to meet their recycling targets defined by new policy. Revenues from certificates are then shared back with the SMEs as a payment for their recycling services. These securities solve manufacturers’ recycling obligations and enable the recycling chain to benefit from the new regulation, as they generate additional stable income to collectors who have been working in hard conditions. Just as in Europe, producers making payments for recycling can use a certification label which can be used in all forms of branding communication. As environmental certifications are very new in Brazil, NHE believe the recycling certification certificate will have a great impact in consumers’ perception about the producers’ brands.