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Voices of Sustainability: Resourcify

Resourcify is a technology company, based in Hamburg, that provides companies around Europe with digital waste management solutions to support the entire recycling process—from ordering services to waste treatment documentation to invoice management.

We sat down with Co-founder and CCO Felix Heinricy to better understand how Resourcify is contributing to the sustainability movement and how their novel approach to waste management could change the way we think about recycling—and the impact of digitization on the push for a more sustainable world.

How is Resourcify contributing to the sustainability movement?

Overall, our software gives organizations total transparency of key waste management values. For example, how much waste the company has and how much they are recycling. We also look at where their resources are going and at the cost and revenue that we can acquire with the waste. By providing this software, we are transforming waste management into a circular economy and hopefully enabling those we work with to become zero-waste.

Why is sustainability becoming an important part of many companies' growth strategies?

I believe that companies are motivated to do better. They have a mission and vision to support sustainability. Of course, there is also the cost pressure. When you recycle better, you actually make more money because you can sell these resources, decreasing the total cost of your waste management.

We also have to consider the undeniable social pressure. As a society, we are developing a greener vision of our future, which companies have to adapt to stay competitive.

What kinds of clients does Resourcify serve?

We serve companies with complex recycling situations, including retailers and various production facilities that handle hazardous waste. Typically, this means we work with companies with waste dispersed in either one large facility or many different locations.

Our software helps to centralize and coordinate the management of our clients' waste and enables them to gain transparency over their waste data. We have worked with many interesting customers, like McDonald's, who use us for their entire waste management process.

As a society, we are developing a greener vision of our future, which companies have to adapt to stay competitive.

Is there a client success story you're especially proud of?

Our work with Hornbach Baumarkt AG is a prime example of a company that saw great results after working with Resourcify to improve its waste management processes. Four years ago, we helped them to revolutionize their waste management software.

This included optimizing their overall strategy—from waste to resource management—after they realized that their waste was an asset that could be resold in the circular economy. These changes transformed their 1M EUR cost center into a 2M EUR profit center. In the end, they had an improved understanding of their whole waste management process, implementing this new system in each of their 200 stores in Europe.

Where do you see Resourcify five years from now? How will corporate sustainability have changed by then?

We are aiming to become the number one recycling platform in Europe within the next five years—helping companies to optimize their waste management processes. It's difficult to say how corporate sustainability will have changed by then, but companies will likely focus more on their internal waste management. They will see this as part of their overall sustainability strategy. I also think that companies will use more secondary resources from the circular economy for production, encouraging companies to transition from a take-make-waste linear model to a more regenerative one.

Do you plan to expand outside of Europe?

At the moment, we have a lot of work to do, which we are really happy about. We currently have a greater presence in Northern Europe and therefore plan on first expanding within Europe. If this is successful, then we would look for places to expand outside of this region.

Does waste management look the same in each country?

No, it is quite different in each country because the development of the recycling network differs greatly. For example, in Nordic countries, the recycling network is pretty developed, so they have a lot of recycling partners and waste treatment facilities. In other countries like Italy or the Baltic states, they are still developing their waste management processes. In fact, there are a lot of areas in certain European countries where recycling treatment is not possible at all. Some changes are on the horizon though, as European laws around sustainability come into effect.

What role will digitalization play in the future of sustainability?

I think that digitalization encourages more transparency, especially in regard to data. This encourages sustainability because companies can access a lot more information about different topics including recycling processes. I think digitalization is a factor of extreme importance for the future of sustainability.

What makes you optimistic about businesses' ability to rise to the sustainability challenge?

The rise of digitalization means companies have increased information and transparency about their processes. This makes identifying opportunities about where to increase sustainability more visible and leads to more companies focusing on opportunities to increase recycling.

Ultimately, this allows them to forward the circular economy—which is vital to the sustainability movement—and this makes me extremely optimistic.