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Newly Certified B Corp Tackles Global Food Waste
By Mette Lykke
In 2020, business is different, and it is being felt globally. The planet can no longer sustain our rate of consumption and waste, and practices traditionally accepted in the business world can no longer fly. We are all responsible for our future.
I began my entrepreneurial journey when I co-founded fitness app Endomondo. I wanted to give people the drive and confidence to exercise while exploring the great outdoors.
Now, as CEO of Too Good To Go, I am proud to have been part of building a team working relentlessly to fight the issue of food waste and help protect our planet.
When I first heard of Too Good To Go and what it does, I wasn’t aware that food waste was such a big problem, let alone the massive impact it has on the climate crisis. Like a lot of us I thought that any food thrown away at home decomposed innocently in a field somewhere. But it’s not that simple.
All food that goes to landfill or into an incinerator emits harmful CO2 and methane gases as it decomposes. So not only have the vast amounts of land and water that it took to produce the food gone to waste, it then starts emitting its own harmful gases.
When you consider that a third of all food produced globally goes to waste, jumping to a massive 40% in the United States, it puts things into perspective. If global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest CO2 emitter after China and the U.S.
Leading a business that aims to solve such an immense world problem involves taking a different approach. From the moment that Too Good To Go came to be, the ethos that it is possible to do good through business was at its core. We have started there — with the mission — and built a model around what we need to achieve.
Yes, we are lucky enough to have a group of investors who understand the value of impact over immediate return and who have allowed us to direct our income into expansion, education projects, and partnership building. Their understanding has given us the freedom and resources to push policymakers for changes to date labeling and to build education partnerships with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations so that school children will be educated on the impact of food waste and how to avoid it. It is also a lot about reinstilling that respect for food that we seem to have lost in the last decade or two.
It has to go further, though. Leading a company from a point of purpose involves ensuring that our mission and vision are reflected in everything we do and be felt by every member of the team, every day. It can sound cheesy, but it really is the only way to stay true to the original vision, when the business is growing at the rate we are.
Four years after its founding, Too Good To Go has more than 500 workers in 14 European countries and soon will have operations in New York! During the B Corp certification process, we created an employee share programme to great success.
We will always be free-to-use and continue to work tirelessly to inspire and empower individuals, businesses, and governments alike to create as much positive change in the world as their influence allows.
At Too Good To Go, we feel absolutely no conflict with the idea that business should use its power for good. In fact, it has led us to redefine our position in the market as a social impact company. Young as we are, we wanted more ways to make this as official a part of who we are as possible.
So we are beyond excited to kick off 2020 standing tall alongside the 2,500+ like-minded Certified B Corporations doing things differently all over the world, and I personally cannot wait to learn from, share with, and inspire each other.
This year we are looking ahead to making an impact in the United States. By the end of 2024, we want to have saved a total of 1 billion meals and built further on our strong partnerships across education, government and nonprofit to make our vision a reality: We dream of a planet with no food waste.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
Solving the World’s Biggest Issues Involves Keeping Your Purpose Close was originally published in B The Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.