December 10, 2021
Yara Bakker

Green heroes: 7 game-changing sustainable initiatives

Some companies are true drivers of positive change. They are contributing to a greener society, one customer at a time. We will discuss seven innovative sustainable initiatives who will restore your faith in humanity – and whose success will hopefully inspire you to make your own dreams come true.

Starting your own business is scary, and it will not always be easy. But if you never take a chance, you will never make a change. As it has been announced that most countries will not fulfil their duties toward the 2030 climate goals, it has become time for companies and consumers to take matters into their own hands. And what better way to do so than by creating the job of your dreams? The entrepreneurs who set up the businesses in this article did exactly so, and they are successfully changing the world.

We will introduce you to the following companies:

  1. Too Good To Go & No Food Wasted
  2. Pieter Pot
  3. Renoon
  4. Kitche
  5. Vibers
  6. Quicargo
  7. FairPhone

1. Too Good to Go & No Food Wasted

Food waste is one of the most persistent problems in modern society. Therefore, Too Good to Go and No Food Wasted are fighting to reduce the amount of food that is wasted on a daily basis. Moreover, they help consumers save some money on their groceries: a win-win situation.

Too Good to Go has been around for a while (the company was founded in 2015), but the company keeps expanding its business to new markets every year. This innovative mobile application enables restaurants and stores to sell the leftover products that they are stuck with at the end of the day in a so-called ‘Magic Box’. The offer changes daily, and it is always a surprise what you come home with.

In the Netherlands, the company is now accompanied by No Food Wasted. This mobile application provides users with an overview of all the food that is approaching its expiration date in the vicinity, giving them the opportunity to buy these products at a lower price. It does pay off to download both applications, as the offer is usually different, and the affiliated sellers vary.

Food containers

2. Pieter Pot

We all know that plastic products are causing considerable harm to our planet. However, when you get your groceries from a regular grocery store, it is almost unavoidable that you come home with lots of excess packaging. The founders of Pieter Pot recognised this problem, after which they set up their package-free delivery service. The company delivers your groceries at home in fancy glass containers, for an average price that is similar to that of normal supermarkets.

Its endless waiting list (currently thousands of people are waiting to be served) indicates the unparalleled success of Pieter Pot. We can only hope that the company will expand internationally or that similar initiatives arise in other markets in order to promote a circular economy at an even larger scale.

3. Renoon

Iris Skrami, the founder of Renoon, once tried to find a sustainably-produced little black dress. This simple task took her over a week, due to the widely dispersed nature of information on the different brands in the fashion industry. This made the search process unnecessarily complicated, requiring her to browse multiple websites to find the perfect match.

To solve this issue, she teamed up with several others and launched Renoon: a search platform for sustainable fashion. The goal of the company is to be 100% transparent, making the life of consumers easier by collecting all of the available offers in one place while providing the necessary information to make a conscious choice. With over 300 brands already on the platform, it is likely that Renoon will only keep growing in the future.

Clothes on a rack

4. Kitche

Kitche is another mobile application that is fighting food waste, but is approaching the issue from a completely different angle. This company is not trying to sell, but helps you to make use of what you already have.

It does not only enable you to keep track of the food you have at home while being on the move, but it also tracks your food waste habits and comes up with smart recipes making use of your leftovers and scraps. Using the app is not only a good choice budget-wise, but it will also save you some trips to the organic waste container.

The company is still in its infancy, but it was already featured by the BBC, ITV, Metro and the Daily Mail. Thepositive reception in the media is reason to believe that a bright future awaits Kitche, so stay tuned.

Food produce

5. Vibers

According to Jan-Govert van Gils (founder of Vibers), elephant grass is the solution to unsustainable packaging. Viber aims to replace plastic, paper and even concrete with a more sustainable material made from this low-maintenance crop. A clear benefit is that the plant filters four times as much CO2 from the air as trees. It also grows fast, does not require a lot of water and can be planted almost anywhere — ideal!

Some products that are made by the company are already for sale at WAAR, including (but not limited to) greeting cards, lunch boxes and notebooks. Over time, the company aims to contribute to a greener society by convincing companies to include the value of sustainability in their company strategy and product design. To help them succeed in this mission, Vibers offers several free resources on their website.

Plastic bottles

6. Quicargo

Right now, most trucks do not optimally make use of their capacity by returning from their end destination without cargo. Quicargo aims to reorganise the transportation and logistics industry by filling up these (partly) empty trucks.

The company additionally promises more flexibility, lower costs and a better service. Shipper or carriers only have to sign up on the website of the company to start making use of their service.

This company has sparked considerable interest of the general public and it has been included in multiple media outlets such as Business Insider, De Telegraaf and Nieuwsblad Transport.

A truck on the road

7. Fairphone

We often forget that one of our most often used tools comes at a high price. The smartphone industry is characterized by severe pollution and up until recently, there were no sustainable alternatives. That all changed in 2013 with the launch of FairPhone, the award-winning phone made of sustainable recycled materials.

Due to the possibility to replace individual parts of the phone it is possible to repair and upgrade the phone, contrary to other popular models that usually last you about two years of moderate use. And if that is not enough, the company additionally ensures fair pay for factory workers

There currently exist several options to fit your specific needs, and the phones are increasingly offered by bigger retailers. The most recent model is the Fairphone 4, which is now available for pre-order.

Someone using a smartphone