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Happy Porch Radio
26 minutes | 4 months ago
S5E20: Our Highlights From Season 5 of HPR
Hello everyone, and welcome to the final show of Happy Porch Radio Season 5. Today, we look at this past season, highlighting each of our guests, how they’re changing the world, and some of the pertinent details about them. A few of the main topics and themes we covered in this season were keeping things in use, reuse, and services. One overriding theme, though, was how holistic the circular economy is, and why we need a combination of many solutions to create a better world. To finish off the episode, we talk about some of the biggest takeaways from this season, as well as our hopes for our listeners. See you next season!
40 minutes | 4 months ago
S5E19: Building Digital Infrastructure for the Circular Economy with Claire Rampen and Emily Rogers
Reath is on a mission to build the digital infrastructure required for businesses to shift to the circular economy. They specialise in the tagging and tracking of reusable assets, and building the “digital passports” they need – think Google Analytics for the circular economy! Co-founders, Claire Rampen and Emily Rogers combined their professional backgrounds in operations and commercial strategy in technology businesses to help other companies adopt and improve their reuse business models. The Reath platform helps businesses do this while staying compliant, generating insights, creating new revenue opportunities, and identifying savings. Learn from Claire and Emily how they discovered the challenges brands had in reusing their packaging effectively and legally, and how they joined forces to tackle those challenges and become actively involved in the solution. Hear about how the Reath team have had to jump off multiple cliffs, apply for multiple grants, and solve multiple problems, as well as how their collaborative approach contributes to systemic change. The future of the circular economy is never having to throw anything away again. This is Reath’s vision and, by creating a reuse ecosystem using digital products, they are striving to achieve it! Tune in to find out more.
45 minutes | 4 months ago
S5E18: Introducing Circular Innovations with Tom Harper
The pandemic has given us the time to redesign our business processes and move us toward a circular economy. As today’s guest, Unusual Rigging Managing Director Tom Harper explains, our industries are having a “Phoenix in the flame moment.” Our conversation with Tom focuses on his passion for the circular economy, how he introduced sustainable innovations into his company, and the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID. Early in the episode, we explore Tom’s career and how he transitioned from being an actor to studying an MBA on the circular economy — and then finally joining Unusual Rigging. After touching on why his MBA was such an incredible program, we dive into how he introduced sustainable practices into Unusual Rigging’s asset tracking procedure. Tom shares specific details on how digitising their products allowed them to offer their products-as-a-service, leading to longer product life cycles and material reusability. We reflect on the power of one-on-one conversations and involving your employees in company changes before Tom highlights the business benefits of embracing the circular economy. Near the end of the episode, we discuss how the pandemic has inspired Tom to create more ethical and circular business structures, including four-day work weeks and electrifying his old fleet. Tom’s story is an ideal model for implementing change within a business. Tune in to hear more of his insights!
45 minutes | 5 months ago
S5E17:Fashion Forward with Aisling Byrne
Bright colours might be in, but fashion and glamour have a dark side, with textiles and accessories being a major contributor to environmental damage. Today we speak with Aisling Byrne, co-founder of Nuw, a clothes-swapping app built on community ideals. We open the conversation by taking a look at Nuw’s inception, as Aisling details the characteristics of fast fashion and why it’s so important to adopt a new model of fashion. Aisling then rips the sheet off and exposes a problem which hides in many of our cupboards. She goes on to explain the toxic creation process that goes into creating the 100 billion new pieces of fashion and glamour that are made every year, before touching on the broader impacts of this industry. You’ll learn about the production methods behind cotton, silk and polyester, and how each has a consequence on water consumption as well as on chemical and plastic pollution. We then look at the end of fashion and glamour’s lifecycle, as Aisling touches on landfills and supplies us with startling facts about donations and clothing charities. Yet, the future is bright, and it looks fabulous as well! Aisling shares simple solutions to this fashion crisis and forecasts what’s next for Nuw. To hear more from Aisling, be sure to tune in with us today.
36 minutes | 5 months ago
S5E16: A Zero-Waste Solution, with Stephen Clarke
Did you know that 99% of the things we buy are thrown away within 12 months of purchase? When it comes to pollution, the world is in a post-crisis state, and recycling alone won’t be enough to bring us out of it. Yet, Stephen Clarke says that we can start taking achievable and cost-effective measures to reverse our damage. As the Head of Communications at TerraCycle and Loop Europe, Stephen argues that a zero-waste concept is the answer to pollution. In this episode, we talk with Stephen about TerraCycle and how it’s able to recycle virtually anything, as well as its new shopping platform, Loop. We open the conversation by taking a look at the current pollution problem before diving into detail about Loop’s great effort to not only reduce waste but to eradicate it. You’ll hear about how the Loop ecosystem works, with Stephen touching on big-name companies they’ve partnered up with, what kinds of packaging materials they use, and how their delivery system operates. Stay tuned as Stephen talks about how Loop uses a deposit cycle to keep clients and brands accountable, and why you shouldn’t be shocked if you see plastic in your Loop basket. To find out about smart bins, how plastic isn’t the villain it’s made out to be, and why you never ask your dentist if his utensils are clean, be sure to tune in to this episode!
38 minutes | 5 months ago
S5E15:Making Waste Visible, Verifiable, and Valuable with Michael Groves
The vast majority of material resources are lost into landfill or leaked into the environment after consumption. Some companies see a real opportunity to bring together the biggest global brands across a variety of industries, using insights and data intelligence to understand the impact of materials throughout their lifecycle and create a more sustainable future. Welcome back to Season 5 of Happy Porch Radio, which is concerned with digital solutions in the circular economy. Today’s guest is Michael Groves, CEO and Founder of Topolytics, a leading data insights business that uses machine learning and geospatial analytics to make the world’s waste visible, verifiable, and valuable. In this episode, Michael addresses why data is a waste problem and the opportunity that Topolytics has seen in the waste industry to use data in a better and more sustainable way in the future. Michael shares how his company plans to do this, from the tools they use to aggregate, clean, and analyse data, to the industries they address to tackle the waste problem, and the types of waste they deal with. He also explains why he doesn’t believe that environmental benefit and profit are mutually exclusive, why the future of waste involves reducing the volume of material that enters the system first, and he shares his vision for the future of Topolytics, and how others can contribute to that vision. All this and more, so make sure to tune in today!
37 minutes | 5 months ago
S5E14: Circular Stories with Ellekari Klaasse and Mariëlle van Hemert
Continuing our exciting exploration of the circular economy, we are joined by Ellekari Klaasse and Mariëlle van Hemert, the brains behind Circular Stories. The organisation is a magazine and online platform for the sharing of inspiring stories of companies and individuals in the circular space. Our guests see their role as connectors in the greater picture of circularity and by promoting these examples, they can help both the brands they work with and others who connect with their content. They have a strong focus on the human aspect of what they do, aiming to show the person behind the story and their work has an emphasis on aiding the entrepreneurs they work with, creating media that can be used for funding or growth in other areas. We have a fascinating chat with Ellekari and Mariëlle, covering their personal backgrounds, perspectives on the circular economy at present, and the lessons they have learned in the time since starting their exciting project. What began as a journey of exploration, two new friends road-tripping across Europe, has evolved into a platform with amazing potential for impact and connection, be sure not to miss this wonderful conversation!
44 minutes | 6 months ago
S5E13: Pollution Into Profit with Stephanie Benedetto, Co-Founder of Queen of Raw
Along with some of the other big problems with the fast fashion industry, the incredibly high volume of textile waste is a major one. These materials end up burned or buried, but there is one company here to rescue them, resurrecting an age-old model to try and solve it in a brand new way. Today’s guest is Stephanie Benedetto, a corporate attorney turned fashion tech and sustainability entrepreneur. Stephanie is the Co-Founder of Queen of Raw, a marketplace to buy and sell unused textiles, keeping them out of landfills, and turning pollution into profit. Prior to starting Queen of Raw, Stephanie worked as a lawyer in the fashion, media and entertainment, startup, and technology industries, and co-founded a sustainable textile manufacturing facility. In this episode, Stephanie describes the two-sided marketplace they use to buy and sell dead stock, and the additional background technology that allows businesses to understand where their waste is and what it is, in real-time. She also talks about the digitisation of inventory management and stock systems to understand that information, sell and to use waste, make sure it stays in circulation, and to actually reduce waste longer term. Stephanie shares her passion for reducing the waste in fast fashion, acknowledging the challenges that businesses face, and the opportunity to be found in that challenge. Tune in to find out more!
39 minutes | 6 months ago
S5E12: The Complex Processes for Measuring Circularity with Roy Vercoulen
In this episode of Happy Porch Radio, we speak with a circular economy pioneer and the co-founder of Circular IQ, Roy Vercoulen. Circular IQ helps their customers to transition towards a restorative and regenerative circular economy through their digital platform and circularity programs. One of their many successes includes having developed the CTI Tool for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, allowing businesses to measure their circuit performance using a framework that is globally recognised. Roy explains why measuring circularity is imperative and what components they look for in pursuit of this objective, and gives his perspective on the extent to which governments, businesses, and consumers are responsible for sustainability. On the topic of their biggest challenges, Roy talks about the financial implications of circularity, why many companies are still reluctant to transition, and what cultural barriers they have to overcome to get their clients’ buy-in. Listeners will learn more about their consulting processes with clients, the questions they ask them, how they help them to define what success looks like, and how they go about translating theoretical ideas into actionable steps. Tuning in, listeners will also hear what Roy envisions for the future of the circular economy and how measuring circular performance will have to be a globally recognised framework that still accommodates for the unique values of each company.
39 minutes | 6 months ago
S5E11: Tech and the Circular Economy with Craig Melson
The impact that the circular economy would have is so broad that no single conversation can quite cover its reach. Today’s conversation with Craig Melson, Program Manager at techUK, touches on many topics, proving an excellent overview of how technology is moving us towards the circular economy. We open by talking about Craig’s role and what techUK is doing to help the tech industry embrace more sustainable practices. Craig then shares examples of innovative tech companies that are driving material reusability, or even basing their entire model on circular economy practices. From data privacy concerns to the dangers of dealing with pollutants, we discuss the biggest challenges blocking our progress to a circular economy. After touching on the Material Focus project, Craig provides insight into how government regulation and Brexit affect circular economy practices. Following this, he expresses his optimism about how companies are heading in the right direction along with his hope that the circular economy will eventually become our default economic model. Near the end of the episode, we touch on the benefits of learning from international perspectives and what techUK is doing to advocate for greater diversity before Craig gives listeners some final advice on what they can do to push for a sustainable economy. Tune in to hear more about tech and the circular economy.
41 minutes | 6 months ago
S5E10: Driving Industry Transparency with Joerg Walden
Achieving sustainability requires that companies know what’s in their product, know their suppliers, and understand their direct and indirect environmental impact. By digitising the life cycles of products and supply chains, iPoint is driving industry transparency and empowering business to achieve sustainability. T Today we speak with iPoint CEO Joerg Walden about how digitising processes is a key step towards the circular economy. Early in our conversation, Joerg highlights how expanding knowledge around digitising life cycles can drive new business models. A significant theme this episode, Joerg shares how a mindset shift, and not only tech, is critical in fostering sustainable practices. We then discuss the challenges presented by innovation-based product cycles before diving into the intersectional nature of product design, and how only a shared information system can ensure product compliance. A tricky subject for many organisations, Jorge explains the strategic benefits of becoming more transparent and how this can generate solutions to many issues that plague different sectors. Near the end of the episode, we touch on the opportunities created through digitisation, and how sustainability is affected when companies are responsible for providing a service usage to consumers, instead of selling products. Tune in to hear more about what iPoint is doing to drive transparency through digitisation.
43 minutes | 6 months ago
S5E9: Air Conditioning As-A-Service with Dave Mackerness.
As-a-service business models align the priorities of the vendor and the customer, while also having the potential to drive sustainability and the circular economy. Today’s guest is Dave Mackerness, Customer Success Lead at Kaer, a firm based in Singapore that sells air conditioning as-a-service throughout Asia. We talk to Dave about how Kaer has shifted to the as-a-service rubric and in so doing has baked sustainability and circularity into their business model while driving their profits higher at the same time! Dave talks about the history of the firm and the different models they have adopted over the decades, and how they decided to put all the data they have gathered to a different use after drawing inspiration from the world of SaaS. Dave discusses what this looks like in real terms, explaining how Kaer installs air cooling systems in the buildings of their clients and sells them cool air, rather than the systems themselves. This approach has allowed Kaer to use data to build more efficient systems, saving them money to invest in technology that further optimizes their infrastructure. It also shifts the burden of sustainability onto Kaer’s shoulders rather than those of the client. This drives higher profit while saving a huge amount of energy too. We also talk to Dave about incorporating data science and machine learning into their cooling systems and the benefits this presents as well as concerns it raises. Another big takeaway is about the possibilities the as-a-service business model presents to companies becoming more disruptive. Tune in for this fascinating conversation about circularity and the world of as-a-service today!
46 minutes | 7 months ago
S5E8: Reimagining Reverse Logistics with Paul McSweeney
In circular economy terms, reverse logistics involves the collection of goods, transportation to a given location, and sorting prior to remanufacturing, refurbishing, reusing or recycling or failing that, disposal. Today, we are joined by Paul McSweeney, who is the Founder and CEO of the ZeroNet, an app that allows households to simply and quickly donate unwanted items and have them collected right from their front door. In this episode, Paul shares his long-story-short with us, getting to the point of having launched a pilot in Stirling, Scotland, and an upcoming project in Brighton in the UK. We also discuss what the platform looks like, recycling versus reuse, data recovery when it comes to e-waste, and the surprising householder enthusiasm for a collections service like this, as well as what has kept Paul motivated throughout the development and whether or not he thinks ZeroNet could encourage excess consumption. For all this and more, make sure to tune in today!
42 minutes | 7 months ago
S5E7: Circularity in the built environment with Pablo van den Bosch from Madaster
When many people think of the word ‘waste,’ something formless and brown springs to mind. Part of the struggle to eliminate waste is that the materials it consists of don’t have an identity. Today we speak with Pablo van den Bosch, the co-founder of Madaster, a company that shows how valuable waste is by identifying its material components in the built environment. After explaining Madaster’s role in advocating for the circular economy, Pablo describes how they catalogue all the materials used to create a new building, giving each material its own ‘digital passport.’ We chat about how his biggest challenge is to get people to recognize the importance of registering their materials and how this benefits both the public and investors. We then ask Pablo about Madaster’s philosophy. His answer highlights his view that Earth is a closed system — it’s up to us to make the most of the resources we have. We discuss Madaster’s data-driven model, why they operate as a platform, and how everyday home-owners can use Madaster to ID the materials in their buildings. A key concept in this episode, Pablo emphasises that we need to shift from the idea of ownership to the idea of usership, where no materials are owned. They’re simply used for the time being. We touch on the limits to this approach, how creativity is critical in selling the idea of the circular economy, and issues surrounding data security and privacy. Near the end of our discussion, we explore more on how Madaster can be used on a day-to-day basis and how it makes material transfers an easy and profitable pursuit. With tools like Madaster, we can start seeing waste as a treasure trove of resources. Tune in to hear how Pablo is helping make this a reality.
38 minutes | 7 months ago
S5E6: Shifting Waste Management Paradigms with Maayke Damen, Excess Materials Exchange.
Understanding waste as something valuable not only requires new systems but massive paradigm shifts too. Today we talk to Maayke Damen about the work she is doing in this regard with her company, Excess Materials Exchange, a digital marketplace with the core goal of matching waste with its highest reuse assignation. Maayke tells us about the research she began to do about taxing resources rather than labour and the potential this shift would present in the way products are purchased and disposed of. To tax in this new way, we would need a system to correctly identify the materials that make up products, and the work Maayke did to create this system was what led her to found EME. From there, we dive into the inner workings of the EME marketplace platform and how it functions to identify waste and match it with its highest reuse destination. Along with all this, we talk to Maayke about the challenges to implementing more circular waste management processes, highlighting the paradigm shift required for these shifts to occur, and the effectiveness EME presents toward this end being an impact rather than a profit-led company. At the end of the day though, reusing waste does not just save the planet, but money too, and Maayke talks about how she has had to present her case from an economic rather than environmental perspective to actually get companies on board. For all this and more about exciting developments in the narratives and technologies surrounding waste reuse, be sure to tune in.
39 minutes | 7 months ago
S5E5: Toward a Circular Supply Chain with Jordi de Vos, Circularise
The move toward a more circular economy is contingent on many things – transparent supply chains being one of them. Here to talk about how he is using technology such as blockchain to bring transparency and trusted data sharing to global supply chains is Jordi de Vos, Co-Founder of Circularise. We kick things off with Jordi talking about the research that Circularise was born from before getting into the challenges of moving from local pilot projects to tracing supply chains globally. We talk about resolving the seemingly contradictory aims of bringing transparency to supply chains while keeping information private as well as the issue of trust and how easy it is for companies to lie about the origins of a given product. Next up, we take a dive into how Circularise works, hearing Jordi describe how it uses blockchain technology to create an information highway where a ‘digital twin’ of a product is created at its conception and then updated as it makes its way from one point to another. Jordi also explains how collaboration and open standards are vital for their vision. Toward the end of our conversation, we explore how third party validators can enhance trustability along the information highway, how different tracers can ensure products are what their digital twins say they are, and the value of open source technology in achieving the Circularise vision. For all this and more on transparent supply chains and the circular economy, tune in!
52 minutes | 8 months ago
S5E4: Not Wasting Waste with Dsposal
The ultimate ‘out of sight, out of mind problem,’ when we throw something away, it seems to disappear into a magical space that sits apart from us and our responsibility. Tom Passmore and Sophie Walker, founders of Dsposal, are using data to bridge this knowledge gap by showing people what happens to waste once we throw it away. On this episode, We speak to Tom and Sophie about their journey in building Dsposal and their mission in innovating waste management for the greater good. After talking about how waste is part of a value-chain of resources within the circular economy, we explore the ‘duty of care.’ A key concept, this duty affirms our responsibility to properly manage our waste. On the topic of the circular economy, they explain their focus on compliance and regulation as using non-licensed contractors increases the likelihood that material ends up in a landfill — and therefore, out of the loop. Near the end of the episode, we talk about the state’s role in creating infrastructure and how it’s up to the public to innovate systems. A fascinating and energetic conversation about a pressing issue, tune in to hear about how Tom and Sophie are changing how we see waste.
42 minutes | 8 months ago
S5E3 : Shifting Mindsets So the Systems Will Follow with Lieke Van Kerkhoven
Carrying on our exploration of the circular economy, we are joined today by Lieke van Kerkhoven, the co-founder of FLOOW2, a sharing platform for healthcare and beyond. Lieke had experience in the healthcare sector leading up to her work with FLOOW2, having worked across the Netherlands in different managerial positions after studying medicine. In our conversation, we get the low down from Lieke about the last decade with FLOOW2, the difference between FLOOW2 and FLOOW2 Healthcare, and how she initially linked up with the other founders. She talks about the central importance of communication in the sharing and circular economies and unpacks the varied nature of the platform they have created. Lieke lays out their position as the global leader in their market, explaining this in the context of the small market they are serving. The conversation also covers the way they serve their clients, the different sectors of the business besides healthcare, and the important shifts in mindset that precede meaningful change.
46 minutes | 8 months ago
S5E2 - Less Waste and More Sustainability From Us All with Catherine Weetman
In this season we explore the role that our industry plays in the Circular Economy. And here to jumpstart this conversation and prime us for the forthcoming episodes is Catherine Weetman, who literally wrote the book on the subject! A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains details the lessons that Catherine has learned over the last ten years in the field and we get to hear all about her work, from the role of software and digital to examples of companies doing their part to move things forward. Apart from being an author, Catherine is an international speaker, workshop facilitator, coach, and the host of The Circular Economy Podcast! She helps businesses, social enterprises and community groups to use circular economy approaches to work towards a better world and has a vast knowledge of the subject, which she unpacks clearly and concisely in our wonderful chat today. We are sure you will find this an extremely helpful exploration of the topic and one that sets up the rest of the season brilliantly, setting the scene for more in-depth conversations and learning. Catherine helps us find a way to describe exactly what the circular economy is, the reasons for its existence, and why it goes far beyond recycling. Listeners can expect to leave with a firm grasp of the topic as well as some renewed hope for sustainability and what can be done to propel this project. Be sure to join us and stay tuned for the rest of this fascinating season, on Happy Porch Radio!
18 minutes | 8 months ago
S5E1 : Digital in the Circular Economy, a Season 5 Into
In this season we explore the role that our industry plays in the Circular Economy. We hear from multiple experts and inspiring people actually working on solutions to our biggest global environmental and social challenges. This episode serves as an introduction to the season, a glossary of terms, and a chance for us to prepare for what is to come. The circular economy describes an approach to production and consumption that is less linear than the dominant contemporary economic model. We weigh-in on the areas that stand out for us; thinking about waste as well as product, and outcomes beyond the immediate consumables and the short-term value. So for all this, join us today and we look forward to having you join us for this exciting season of the podcast.
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