Closed Loop for Everyday Items – a Venture Between Kesko, Unilever, Paperinkeräys and Orthex

Closed Loop for Everyday Items - a Venture Between Kesko, Unilever, Paperinkeräys and Orthex

Kesko, Unilever Finland, Paperinkeräys and Orthex have formed a LOOP Venture. The venture builds a monthly subscription model for sustainable detergents including a deposit model for taking back empty bottles to be used for new plastics. We all need to do our laundry and clean the dishes. But washing and cleansing comes with a few nuisances: buying these big bottles of detergent is cumbersome. The huge plastic packages take up a lot of space and recycling of the empty bottles is hard: can I recycle this? Will it fit my plastics bin? Who even knows how safe the products we are using are for the environment? And will they really clean properly? Kesko, Unilever, Paperinkeräys and Orthex are teaming up as a LOOP venture in search of the perfect Washing Cycle. An end-to-end service for getting your powerful yet sustainable detergents when you need them and recycling them with proper manners to create new plastic material – all of this with no extra thought or effort.   In the first phase, we introduce the new detergent brand Seventh Generation, a market leader in responsible detergents in the US. The brand value is simple: create products that support the life of seven generations to come. To live the promise, the products are plant-based, with no extra ingredients (such as colour dye) and packaged in recycled plastics. Our goal is to create a monthly subscription model, where the consumer can order just the right amount and frequency for getting new products. Based on real consumer data, we can help in finding the right cycle for you. We deliver the products home and take back any empty bottles at the same time. For each returned bottle, the consumer gets a refund that can be used to new products. At the end of the cycle, we create new plastic material / products from the material collected. The big vision of the Cycle is to find more products we could deliver on a continuous subscription model to create a predictable, sustainable delivery model. In the long run, this could include many other household products – also your daily grocery shopping. Customer value:
  • Forget about detergent shopping – they will be there when needed
  • Access to high-quality, sustainable products
  • Full service to support me in recycling and purchasing sustainably
  • No extra charge for delivery
  • Trying out something new
The Circular Economy goals for the venture:
  • Help and teach consumers to recycle plastics, supporting the transition to everyday recycling
  • Find a market for sustainable products
  • Increase e-commerce in grocer trade to decrease individual visit to stores
Partners involved:
  • K-Group / commerce & data
  • Unilever Finland / products
  • Paperinkeräys Oy / delivery and returns
  • Orthex / new plastic products out of returned bottles

Q&A about LOOP

Q&A about LOOP

Why was LOOP created, who can join the ecosystem and what kind of challenges are solved within LOOP? This article tries to answer these questions, among others.

What is LOOP about?

LOOP is an ecosystem that brings together Nordic businesses looking to embrace the opportunities that the circular economy provides, while also creating significant business impact. With LOOP, we want businesses to find circular solutions and to build real ventures that can be taken to market. By using lean startup methods, in a short period of time (about 3-6 months) we validate business concepts that contribute to a transition into a circular economy.

Is LOOP an accelerator program?

No, LOOP is not an accelerator program. LOOP is an ecosystem where you are equipped with all the tools, know-how and networks needed to move forward on your circular economy venture. In LOOP, it’s not always about collaboration between growth companies and corporations. We also work on cases where two corporations have joined forces to tackle a specific challenge involving the circular economy. It’s worth highlighting that these ventures are built using lean startup methods with the final aim of bringing them to market as soon as possible.

There are so many ecosystems in the world, why do we need another one?

Because we want to go from words to actions. The circular economy has been on the agenda for some time now, yet there are few concrete results. We’ve now reached a point where something needs to be done. We need models for how ideas can be turned into concrete business solutions, ready to be taken to market in a short period of time. LOOP is here to facilitate that.

Who can join?

We are looking for corporations, growth companies and other ecosystem partners that want to be involved in projects that have a real and measurable positive impact on the world. The transition to a circular economy requires that all partners in different stages of the value chain get involved. To do this, we gather different partners, both big and small, around the same table. For corporations, the objective is often to scale new ventures while for growth companies LOOP presents promising co-operation opportunities and a chance to scale their own products or services. Other ecosystem partners (for example universities and institutions) might contribute by bringing know-how and resources for piloting the ventures or ideas for new projects.

As a corporation, do I need to be facing some sort of challenge to join?

No. You can join LOOP without a set challenge or venture in mind. As long as the Circular Economy and growth business is on your agenda, you can (and should!) be a partner in LOOP. Our database contains over 400 growth companies involved in the circular economy that are growing every day, which you will get access to as a corporate partner. If you don’t have a certain venture idea in mind, we can help you to screen the global market for possible ventures and partners.

As a growth company, why should I be in LOOP?

As a growth company, you benefit from visibility through our platform, which is available to all corporate partners on board LOOP. We continuously screen the market to find solutions for particular corporate challenges. Your solution might be just the one we need! To make sure your company gets onto our long list, leave your contact information here. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

What kind of business challenges are solved within LOOP?

The main themes for LOOP 2018-2019 are food, plastics, packaging and textiles. However, if your challenge or solution does not fall into any of those categories, don’t worry –  we are able to help you on a large scale and are always ready to investigate new concepts. As long as it has to do with business model innovation, it’s suitable for LOOP. The main themes for LOOP change regularly, and we are already researching future themes for the coming years. Currently we are working on ventures that aim to minimize food waste in grocery stores and in fine-dining restaurants, decreasing used plastics in retail and finding new circular solutions for the dairy industry.

When does LOOP end?

LOOP does not have an expiry date. Partners, both big and small, can join LOOP whenever they want.

How can I join?

Click here to start, we would love to hear from you! You can always drop us an email if you have a question or suggestion regarding LOOP.

Bringing the Nordics Into a Circular Economy

Bringing the Nordics Into a Circular Economy

The Nordics are outperforming the rest of the world when it comes to the Global Sustainability Goals (SDGs). The region enjoys low poverty rates, a healthy and educated population and leads gender-equality rankings year-on-year. However, high living standards leaves the region as a laggard when it comes to responsible consumption and production.
There is a dire need for new smart business models that reduce both waste and emissions.
Nordic Innovation’s vision is for the region to be a pioneer in sustainable solutions. We work closely with businesses and research institutions to enable innovation, encourage entrepreneurship and enhance competitiveness in the Nordics. Each of the Nordic countries have unique strengths and weaknesses. We know that through cooperation on a regional level, synergies and solutions that otherwise would not have come to life are born. We therefore believe that the way to a circular economy will be faster through Nordic cooperation.

LOOP and Nordic Circular Solutions

Nordic Innovation has initiated a new programme that will promote and increase circular solutions. Named Nordic Sustainable Business Transformation, it targets business in particular as we believe they are key in solving the issues at hand. We believe the LOOP accelerator is the perfect tool to create a Nordic ecosystem for businesses wanting to contribute to a circular economy.
As companies bring forward their challenges and  are matched with possible solutions and ideas from dynamic Nordic start-ups and other actors in the ecosystem, we expect to see real impact.
It’s great to cooperate with SITRA and Avanto Ventures, as well as the other partners. It’s no secret that Finland is ahead of other Nordic countries when it comes to the circular economy.  We hope this collaboration will further strengthen the Nordics as a sustainable and competitive region. This is Team Nordic Innovation: