Greentech startup Spare-it makes waste reduction a top priority for Property Developers & Companies
Laurent MEUNIER, Co-Founder and CTO
“My everyday motivation is to deliver technology that can help our planet! At Spare-it, we use live data intelligence to help companies reach their sustainability goals and employees become actors of the environmental solution.”
Laurent MEUNIER, Co-Founder and CTO
Founded in Boston in 2018, Spare-it is the first workplace sustainability platform focused on data for people. The cleantech startup offers real-time tracking of daily waste production in the workplace, using the data it collects to raise awareness about sustainable practices, engaging employees and students through challenges and events, and supporting waste reduction initiatives. Its patent-pending technology that collects live data from waste sensors running on SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform provides corporates an innovative way to place their employees into action and enable Corporate Social Responsibility reporting.
Shifting strategy to target corporates
Initially, the business plan for Spare-it was to focus on B2C solutions that helped individuals track how much waste they were collecting at home. Then, in 2019, realising that the corporate world had an appetite for sustainability projects that involved a large number of employees, the startup pivoted to a B2B strategy. Soon after, Spare-it won its first corporate project with biotech company Moderna, which started an 8 month smart waste reduction challenge with 350 employees, and demonstrated it could reduce its waste to landfill by half. The company also started to work with top universities in the US.
However, when it transitioned to targeting enterprises, the startup experienced new challenges. It took Spare-it some time to adjust its new value proposition in the market, and find the best point of contact within the targeted corporations,. The startup endured and developed a solution that would help companies co-create a tailor-made waste reduction strategies that drive behavioural changes in employees, with an aim to fostering a culture of sustainability within the workplace.
How challenges led to opportunities in Hong Kong
Just as things were starting to move in the right direction for Spare-it, Covid-19 hit. As offices and universities suddenly closed doors across the US, Spare-it’s projects came to a halt and its employees were in a tight race to find new ways to engage with partners. The startup turned this challenge into an opportunity to expand its business beyond the US, searching for locations where there were no large-scale lockdowns and people were beginning to return to the office, such as Asia.
From there, Spare-it secured its first client in Hong Kong: leading property developer Swire Properties. The startup is now collaborating with Swire Properties for its new Smart Waste Reduction Pilot Programme – a waste reduction competition running between 15 tenant teams and more than 3 thousand employees across its buildings to move employee engagement on sustainability to the next level while simultaneously supporting the community. Using its technology platform, Spare-it provides live data insights on each tenant’s waste disposal and offers a digital engagement platform to gamify collective sustainability efforts.
Participating teams are given tailored tips to support them in their waste reduction efforts, while a regular forum for tenant teams encourages the sharing of waste management ideas and insights on how to overcome specific challenges.
Going forward, Spare-it hopes to run more programmes like this in the US, Hong Kong and Asia where more and more corporates are keen to adopt innovative solutions to drive decarbonisation and bring about behavioural change that can contribute to a carbon net-zero and sustainable future.
Team photo of Spare-it
Spare-it at Greentown Labs Conference in US