The matchmaking and pitch session SmartUp Accelerator Meetup was held on February 14th in a new coworking and creative space Lines. The venue was specially chosen for the event: the idea of coworking is smart itself, the Lines share the key values of the SmartUp Accelerator project, provide sustainable services to citizens and take care of the environment.
Among the participants of the Smartup Accelerator Meetup were smartups, sustainable SMEs, business support infrastructure, as well as international experts and media representatives from St. Petersburg. The participants discussed the main trends and current challenges in the field of sustainable consumption and got acquainted with innovative smartups that develop solutions in the field of sustainable consumption.
Smart Consumption: why is it extremely important?
Smart consumption is the use of products and services that cause minimal harm to the environment in relation to other alternatives. Sustainable consumption solutions enable consumers to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing their consumption of natural and energy resources, as well as optimize the costs. Smartups make a sustainable lifestyle affordable for the population and also affect the efficiency of the market in general. For example, the value of thrown away food worldwide is estimated at more than $ 1 trillion, smartups, which solutions prevent food waste or “save” food, help to reduce the burden on the environment and take advantage of business opportunities that were not mastered earlier.
Trends & challenges of smart consumption: Bushe case.
Ekaterina Aksenova, project manager for the environmentally friendly solutions of the Bushe company, discussed trends and challenges in the field of sustainable consumption with the participants at the event. Bushe was one of the first companies in St. Petersburg to apply sustainable development solutions in its activities in the HORECA sector. The company has reduced its negative environmental impact in the following ways: they purify stock water, use energy efficient solutions, sort and recycle waste and reduce the use of disposable plastic goods in their restaurants.
Speaking about trends in reasonable consumption, Ekaterina Aksenova noted that Russians are increasingly changing their consumer habits and prefer sustainable products and services. At the same time, Elena noted that sometimes Bushe and its’ environmental initiatives are sometimes viewed with skepticism by clients, which indicates that it is necessary to increase the level of awareness of the population about the rational consumption.
What solutions can contribute to the development of smart consumption in the Baltic Sea Region?
Within the framework of the event, 9 smartup teams presented their solutions that can be distributed to the Baltic Sea Region Market.
- Ergosmart energy is a manufacturer of pedal-power stations that generate electricity from pedaling. Thus, you can charge a variety of devices and burn calories.
- Smart Sreda produces benches and other small architectural elements from recycled plastic.
- The PRO Waste Museum will be a venue for presenting best practices of recycling, as well as products made from recycled and biodegradable materials.
- Integrity Farm is a compact vertical farm located in the city center that delivers fresh food to restaurants without any environmental impact. The company was able to achieve this by reducing emissions from product transportation and the rational use of resources.
- Eco-Hub is an application that helps users to separate garbage and develop other conscious habits.
- The Clean Games project raises public awareness of environmental issues through a competitive format. Teams compete among themselves in collecting garbage in natural territories.
- Eco-Olympic Games is a platform that allows its users to share their conscious habits and talk about their environmental benefits and receive bonuses for this.
- Nyam Cup produces edible drink cups, an eco-friendly alternative to disposable plastic cups.
Problems such as increasing of accumulated garbage and misallocation of valuable resources affects the countries of the Baltic Sea Region both individually and as a whole, as they negatively affect the environment and the well-being of the population. To solve current challenges, we need to change the dominant patterns of consumer behavior and provide consumers with more environmentally friendly products and services. In turn, smartups make a conscious lifestyle more accessible and understandable to consumers. That is why it is so important to identify the best decisions and practices in the field of reasonable consumption, which can be further scaled to all countries in the region.