One person’s trash is another person’s treasure…

 

Materials that would ordinarily be dumped in landfill have found new life thanks to the U.S. Materials Marketplace, which matches one business’s industrial waste with other businesses that can use it for profit. The companies benefit from finding the resources they need and waste is reduced.

The U.S. Materials Marketplace is a cloud-based digital platform that scales up business-to-business materials to be reused across the U.S. Users post details about waste materials they have, or are looking for,  and work out mutually acceptable transactions. They can then reuse or ‘upcycle’. The Marketplace is supported by the US Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the Corporate Eco Forum.

The company won the 2016 award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor, one of the “Circulars” awards given at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.  The Circulars awards recognize companies whose ‘growth doesn’t depend on the use of scarce natural resources’.

Andy Mangan, co-founder and executive director of the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, upon collecting the award and said there are several reasons that now is a good time for this approach: “These include the growing corporate buy-in, the evolving sophistication of intelligent software and the momentum of climate change solutions coming out of the Paris agreement.

In October 2015, 150 products were available which equaled to  2.4million tons of materials that could be reused and not taken to landfill. Chemicals, metals and packaging are the tope products that are being reused through the scheme. The companies involve are responsible for a combined revenue of $600 billion and 600 facilities across the U.S. This pilot project will now be taken globally.

Business has a critical role in making the transition to a sustainable and thriving economy,” said Peter Bakker, head of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Creating value from waste products is one way to do this.

Read more about the project here.