The Green Alley Award finalists help your business overcome three sustainability challenges


You might already work for companies that have identified sustainability and circularity as an important factor for long-term business success. Still, there are many obstacles on our way to a truly circular economy.


Here are our insights on the three most important sustainability challenges your business should be aware of – and how you can overcome them with the help of the latest startup innovations.


Resource Scarcity


The linear production model of take – make – dispose consumes more resources than our earth can provide. This inevitably leads to scarcity of some resources, resulting in fluctuations in raw material prices, as well as uncertainties in the availability and flow of raw materials.


A circular economy can increase the security and price stability of your supply chain, simply by using alternative materials and recycled content. Various young and thriving companies have developed a new generation of materials, which are as good as conventional ones, but are more sustainable and eco-friendly.


Green Alley Award winner traceless materials, for example, produces an alternative to plastics and bioplastics that is completely made of agricultural industry by-products with no mined resources required.


The Berlin-based startup Kleiderly also gives you the chance to opt for secondary raw material made from recycled clothing that is applicable for various industries. How this works was demonstrated by Kleiderly’s own collection of sunglasses produced from their recycled material.


Consumer Awareness


With the environmental effects of our production system becoming more visible, consumers demand more information about the products they buy and how they are produced. In this context, sustainability becomes an important buying criterion.


A business model supporting sustainability and circularity – from your supply chain to your finished product – helps to satisfy these customer expectations.


Green Alley Award finalist TrusTrace can help companies to achieve that with a digital platform for product traceability and supply chain transparency.


Another example is the German startup Flustix which invented differently coloured consumer trustmarks, indicating whether products and/or packaging are free of plastics and microplastics or are made of recyclates. In this way, producers can account for their product and consumers can be sure of what they buy.


Government Regulations


Another challenge for companies is coping with more and more government regulations necessary to protect the environment. In particular, the polluter pays principle aims to incentivise companies to produce less waste.


Adopting innovative circular economy solutions can help you exceed these government regulations and stay ahead of new requirements.


Producing less waste, for example, is always a good choice for producers who want to do more than what is obliged by the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.


With the help of a return service for reusable shipping bags offered by Green Alley Award winner Repack from Finland, online retailers can significantly reduce packaging waste from online shopping.


Also, from Finland comes an alternative to the conventional plastic straws banned by the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive: Green Alley Award winner Sulapac developed a sustainable straw that biodegrades without leaving permanent microplastics behind.


These examples show that adopting circular economy principles – and developing your own circular strategy – is key when coping with challenges like resource scarcity, consumer awareness or government regulations.


Working with circular startups from various industries can help you to be more agile, test innovative solutions and get closer to consumer feedback!


If you want to find out the many advantages of working with the startups promoted by the Green Alley Award, contact us at or find out more here.


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