Ecoware recognised as one of the top 10 Green, Sustainable Companies to watch
We’ve been here for over a decade, harnessing innovative technologies and developing industry-leading, compostable packaging that works towards accelerating the circular economy in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The problems caused by petroleum-based conventional plastics are evident—high resource consumption, environmental pollution and climate change acceleration.
We are proud to stand alongside other great companies and people who, like us, are trying to create and bring value to this world—recognised by Insights Success Magazine as one of the top 10 Green, Sustainable Companies to watch. Read on for the full feature article, originally published in volume 12, issue 6 of Insights Success Magazine.
The success story
A decade ago, Alex Magaraggia and James Calver, two young entrepreneurs, commenced on a journey by founding Ecoware — a dynamic and innovative packaging brand that is purpose lead.
"We are on a mission to change how the world views packaging by removing virgin plastics from supply chains and reducing waste to landfills. We have done this by using the world's most innovative plant-based raw materials to design and develop elegant, low-emission packaging designed to be composted for post-consumer use."
Being first to market, some 11-12 years back, with advanced raw material technology that challenged the well-established plastic industry, was no small task for the co-founders. With a small team around them, Alex and James spent years knocking on doors explaining to prospects that this was indeed the industry's future. They were laughed out of board rooms, told to 'get real' and said no to for the first five or so years.
It was challenging for the co-founders, who kept turning up and refining their product and brand. It took approximately five years for the tide to turn. Ecoware went from only certified compostable hot cups and lids to a comprehensive range of raw materials.
Ecoware now has over 500 SKUs and provides an environmental solution for any takeaway (food and beverage) environment. Its range enables the clients to make their customers proud. "It's not just the packaging that the clients change. It's their full brand story and marketing strategy - after all, sustainability is now ingrained in every corporate decision moving forward," the co-founders expressed.
The past couple of years has seen exponential growth and a shift of attention towards a global market. Ecoware believes that its brand and product offering should and will be recognised as a true global leader in the coming years. The company's products are currently available in 12 countries. Some exciting projects will be deployed in 2023 to target global growth.
Going green through technology
Alex and James were keen to leverage emerging technology as a strategic approach. Having a mutual understanding, they thought instead of thinking, let's hire another person to implement technology and systems. Every company in today's climate should have a minimum investment of $1 in technology for every $1 they invest in people. "It's what we believe is required to remain competitive and, more importantly, become more efficient at a lower cost," said James.
The green industry is yet to be entirely disrupted by artificial intelligence, but it can play a crucial role in the near future. If leaders can teach their staff to think this way, they can have a compelling offering moving into the next decade as real opportunities start to present themselves as the market matures.
Facing the pandemic
There is this quote in the business world, "expect the unexpected." And that said, the unexpected continues to develop, and the challenges one would never dream about continue to press companies globally. Considering this, problems can also be viewed as opportunities — that is how the duo view problems at Ecoware.
What is the opportunity for solving this problem? No one denies that global supply chains are under cost and delivery pressures. Ecoware was no exception to this. Throughout the past 18 months, the company has been hit with international sea freights increasing over 500%, along with delays and missed connections.
James said. "It is essential as a leader during times like this. You put yourself in your customers' shoes - when you do, you realise that customers are your priority. We have done everything we can, sacrificing profits to put our people first." He believes that when the pandemic comes to an end, Ecoware will be somewhat future-proofed.
Envisaging a Green Future
While Ecoware services over 4000+ domestic customers and has replaced approximately 1.4 billion units with low-emission, sustainable solutions in Aotearoa, New Zealand, the company is set on global expansion. "We will continue to grow the global territories that we operate organically as the world craves sustainable solutions and also with some investment into those countries that are already taking off," explained James.
Having done extensive market research with third-party government assistance, team Ecoware is focused on the North American and the European markets as key growth areas. Innovation is the catalyst for growth in a world that is moving and changing rapidly. Ecoware's growth strategy will be the continuous development and deployment of unique and specialised compostable food packaging being brought to market. "There is no such thing as finished or standing still. One must keep moving and moving because the best is yet to come!" says the leadership team.
View original article. "Saving the World One Product at a Time." Insights Success, 2021, Volume 12. Issue 6.