The future is here
Developing a sustainable production and business model will undoubtedly strengthen the quest to move the world to a more viable and green way of living. Various initiatives have been created to promote these themes and support individuals and businesses willing to champion this noble cause. The Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Awards (M.C.B.A.) is one of them. The award is an incentive for sustainability pioneers, inspired by the legacy of Marc Cornelissen (1968-2015), a Dutch adventurer and polar researcher who died on an expedition in the Canadian arctic. In 2020, Stamicarbon announced a multi-year sponsor partnership with the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award. As an innovation company, we know that the road to innovation can often be bumpy or subject to deviations. Stamicarbon is proud to support this award, which accelerates breakthrough ideas and the talented people behind them.
Cooloo is the winner of the 2022 edition of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands award. It’s a radical startup at the forefront of creating innovations from recyclable materials and products. Their approach focuses on unique ways to turn Europe’s 11 billion annual waste into material used to manufacture furniture. Cooloo’s vision is that art, design, and industrial solutions can be created within a sustainable and circular economy. Their product lines are divided into Classic and Cooloo. The classic product uses up to 75% waste in a conventional refurbishment, while the Cooloo endless life product comprises 60% recycled materials.
The production process starts with researching waste materials, process and application technologies, and product development. The materials gathered go through a painstaking process to be transformed into new coating products. Shaping the products comes next, and the process is finalized when the coating is applied. It is essential to note that Cooloo considers circularity, retaining value, and product as a service possibility. Leather waste, recycled jeans, recycled wine corks, and industrial waste are some coating materials used in the production process. All the materials are solvent and VOC-free, non-toxic waterproof, and can be applied to any surface.
Ricco Fiorito, the commercial circular officer of Cooloo, was at the headquarters of Stamicarbon to meet with our leadership team and discuss points of mutual interest. He presented his idea to Stamicarbon staff and spoke about the similarities between Stamicarbon’s business model and Cooloo.
“If I would describe our company and what the pillars are, we have sustainability, innovation, and entrepreneurship at its core. So it's the same as that of Stamicarbon. I believe and know that if you have a company with innovation and entrepreneurship without a sustainability idea, you will go out of
business in a few years. If you don't have a sustainability vision or idea as a company now, then I think you are not in tune with where the world is heading. Companies that already have the ideas, are doing the work now, and are getting ready for a sustainable future are the companies of the future. Stamicarbon and Cooloo are two such companies.’’
The nexus between profitability and sustainability is a much-debated topic. The latter is the goal, but the former should also be a factor. Ricco thinks the two are not mutually exclusive. The more sustainable the business is, the more profitable it will be. He highlighted the uniqueness of their production model, which entails using recycled material that nobody wants.
‘‘It's a cheap material for us to buy, and we can make beautiful products out of it with our technology, and this cheap waste material which you make into a high-end product improves your profitability.’’
The Brightlands award is a timely initiative helping oil the wheels of innovations in the drive for more sustainability. Cooloo sees the 35,000 euros prizemoney as a fortuitous injection needed to help acquire more machines and ramp up their production. The company also plans to license its technology. Stamicarbon is a world leader in licensing technology, and Cooloo sees much potential in tapping from this knowledge. Ricco met with the CEO, Pejman Djavdan, and the VP of licensing, Stephen Zwart.
‘‘We had an excellent discussion with the V.P. of licensing, and with the C.E.O. They have given us great insights and tips on what we need to think of, whom we need to discuss with, and people that can help us define how our licensing model should look like. I am grateful for that.’’
The 9th pillar of the U.N. Sustainable Goal index is industry, innovation, and infrastructure. Stamicarbon is a world leader in creating innovative technology and solutions that seek to redefine the agricultural space. Our sponsorship of the Marc Cornelissen Brightlands Award further lends credence to this. The opportunity to support startups like Cooloo defines our efforts to promote sustainability and encourage technological innovation. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.