Speed and scale: the combination to achieve the regenerative economy

Category: Sustainability, corporates, startups, technology, experience design

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The planet is suffering a major environmental emergency with two key protagonists: greenhouse gas emissions and the generation of material waste. These aspects are intrinsic to most industries, which is why it is necessary for the economic fabric to assume a differential commitment and proactively activate initiatives focused on reducing these effects and promoting positive impacts at scale.

All of this requires a collective effort at the technological, scientific, business and social levels. But the emergence of new, natively sustainable players is a source of inspiration when it comes to promoting a regenerative economy. It is therefore essential to generate a connected ecosystem in which large companies and startups are co-protagonists of this transformation.

This need was palpable in The Zero Circle, the space for reflection on sustainability, promoted by Seaya Andromeda and The Cocktail, which was held on Tuesday, 18 April at WPP's La Matriz. The event brought together corporates and startups with a common purpose: to decarbonise and circularise the economy. 

Alberto Knapp, founder of The Cocktail, opened the session by highlighting the levers of sustainability acceleration: technology and experiential change. He also stressed that the only way to tackle the climate crisis is by combining speed and scale. 

"We firmly believe that the main vector of transformation will be sustainability. Our bet will be bigger in this area and, moreover, with a technological base.” Alberto Knapp, founder of The Cocktail

In this sense, with the aim of paving the way towards the regenerative economy, The Cocktail presented 'Neture Impact', an impact consultancy spin-off, in which it will invest 2 million euros and expects this line to account for 20% of its turnover in the next three years. It currently has specialists in the area in Spain, the UK, Colombia and Mexico. 

Carlota Pi, co-founder and CEO of Holaluz, was in charge of opening the discussion by focusing on impact initiatives such as the commitment to convert the more than 10 million roofs in Spain into green energy, generating a new production agent. She also spoke of the need to electrify the demand side of the economy, something that allows us to move towards a decentralised, decarbonised and more democratic system, with sustainable and economic energy for the coming decades.

 Following the focus on circularity:

- Laurence Fontinoy, Global Head of Circularity at Decathlon, gave an overview of the more than 100 initiatives they have in terms of circular economy with which they seek a tangible climate impact through entrepreneurship and innovation.

- Cristina Domecq, Head of Impact and Sustainability at Crowdfarming, explained the model of this startup that promotes the production of sustainable food that goes directly from producers to households, eliminating intermediaries in the chain as a tool for empowering farmers and eliminating food waste.

- Efficiency and effectiveness were other terms highlighted at the conference. An example of this was BeCorp, the Biome Makers solution for optimising agricultural practices and reversing the degradation of arable soils. Adrián Ferrero, co-founder and CEO of the startup, highlighted the importance of integrating soil microbiology into farmers' decision-making to achieve this goal, something that has already been carried out by more than 15,000 professionals.

- María Herranz, Insight Manager at The Cocktail Analysis, spoke of the need to incorporate the consumer into the centre of companies' impact strategies, as they need to perceive that sustainability permeates all areas of a company, from the generation of resources to the application of ecosystems of "ecofriendly" solutions.

- Maria Romero and Estefanía Venegas, from Freshly Cosmetics, were in charge of closing this block, conveying a clear message: we must make intelligent use of plastic. In an interview conducted by Xavi Vallés, Managing Director of Nature Impact by The Cocktail, they pointed out that the company has developed a refill system for its products which, thanks to eco-design, has saved 91 kg of plastic and 196 kg of aluminium, resulting in a reduction of 2.2 tonnes of CO2. They also promote sustainability among their customers with a loyalty programme based on rewards according to their degree of commitment to the environment. 

Regarding the decarbonisation block:

- Eva Pagán, Corporate Director of Sustainability and Studies at Redeia, and Víctor Gimeno, General Manager of Sustainability and Digitalization at Capital Energy, took over the stage in a round table on energy transformation led by Alberto Suárez, Managing Director of The Cocktail. 

- Ivan Cabezuela, co-founder of Samara, reviewed the advantages of using solar energy in homes to meet the challenges of decarbonisation. He also pointed out that Spain is one of the European countries with the greatest opportunity for solar self-consumption.

"Spain is one of the countries with the greatest opportunity for solar self-consumption in Europe in the coming years.” Iván Cabezuela, co-founder of Samara

- Lucas Carné, co-founder of 011h, highlighted the importance of decarbonising the construction sector, which is currently responsible for 40% of global emissions. This startup's mission is to create carbon neutral buildings based on three pillars: a system based on pre-designed components, a network of partners and digital applications.

Carlos Fisch and Pablo Pedrejón, partners of Seaya Andromeda, were in charge of closing the event by providing the conclusions of the event, among which they said that the opportunity to generate returns and impact at scale through investment in Climate Tech has never been greater.

Both Seaya Andromeda and The Cocktail are playing a key role in the sustainable transformation of the Spanish economy. Both agree that Spain represents a real business opportunity with the capacity to generate new sustainable spaces, something that was reflected in The Zero Circle. This space was the perfect combination for sharing solutions capable of giving scale and speed to sustainability, because the time for change towards a circular economy is now.