by ERP Italia

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The Green Alley Award is entering the next round: Right now, circular economy entrepreneurs and start-ups have the opportunity to present their business ideas. ERP – European Recycling Platform and Landbell Group, originator of the Founder’s Award, encourages young companies to compete with their technology, service or product by July 1, 2018.

Milan, 10th april 2018 –  Erp Italia, among the main non-profit Collective Systems in Italy in terms of collection of waste electrical equipment (WEEE) and waste batteries and accumulators (RPA), is Italian partner of the Green Alley Award 2018, the European competition for startups that are interested in circular economy.

The Green Alley Award 2018 is aimed at all start-ups and young entrepreneurs who have developed a business model in the areas of digital circular economy, recycling and waste prevention.

We are looking for companies that are about to launch with their products or services or are already in the growth phase. We also welcome start-ups who want to expand into other European markets. The sole condition is that the business idea must help recycle resources.

The Green Alley Award was created in 2014 by Landbell Group with the purpose of enhancing and boosting the transition to a circular economy. Now founders and start-ups have a chance to present their innovative projects. No later than July 1, 2018, they can submit their application for the GAA 2018 online via the website www.green-alley-award.com. The winner will be determined at the finals in October as part of a live pitch.

From many ideas comes a common goal: a circular economy

‘We are delighted that the Green Alley Award is entering its fifth round this year,’ said Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group. The globally active company based in Mainz (Germany) is one of the leading providers of service and consulting for international environmental and chemical compliance.

“In recent years, we have come to know many exciting and innovative business ideas that all show in a special way how we can gradually establish a circular economy in Europe.” In a circular economy, the value of products, materials and resources should be conserved in the economic cycle for as long as possible while, at the same time, generating as little waste as possible. “In our current linear economy, not all products are recycled at the end of their lifecycle, wasting valuable materials.”

“We are proud to be able to provide our contribution to the development of a European recycling culture, widespread and shared with local communities, bodies, associations”, adds Umberto Raiteri, CEO of ERP – European Recycling Platform. “Being part of an important European platform allows us not only to transfer to the Producers the benefits of experience and know-how widely validated internationally, but also to contribute to raising awareness among citizens and institutions towards broader issues interest such as environmental protection and the importance of the circular economy”.

Whether it’s the avoidance of plastics, the development of sustainable materials or the multiple use of products – the circular economy holds enormous business potential for young entrepreneurs and start-ups. This can be seen in the diversity of ideas from GAA winners over the past years. In 2017, the Finnish start-up Sulapac convinced the jury with a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging. The two scientists, Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen, had developed a packaging material made of wood that is biodegradable while still maintaining the waterproof and impermeable advantages of plastic. The packaging is currently being used primarily in the cosmetics industry. Other honoured innovations from previous years were the ‘Breathaboard’ from Adaptavate, a breathable and recyclable alternative to conventional plasterboard as well as the Finnish start-up RePack with their reusable shipping packaging.

The goal of the Green Alley Award is to bring together the pioneers of the circular economy, to work with them on their business model and, ideally, to network them with potential customers. ‘We want to give the founders a platform to present their ideas and develop them together with us,’ says Schulz. ‘The finalists have the opportunity to have an intensive exchange of ideas with our experts in workshops.’

What are the next steps?

Interested founders and start-ups from all of Europe can submit their ideas by July 1, 2018.
From the incoming applications, six finalists will be selected to take part in GAA and will be notified in early September. The finalists are then invited to Berlin on October 18th, where they will work on their business models in individual rounds of talks with LBG professionals as well as external experts on the circular economy and start-up industry. At the end of the day, the finalists present their projects on stage in front of an expert jury and an international audience in a five-minute pitch. The jury is made up of representatives from the Landbell Group as well as external experts including Alexis Figeac, originator of the EU project R2Pi on Circular Economy Business Models, and Suvi Haimi, CEO and co-founder of the start-up Sulapac which won the 2017 Green Alley Award.

The winner of the 2018 Green Alley Award can look forward to €25,000 in prize money.