Talking about ‘Sustainability’ is easy, actually doing something about it is harder. With the help of their Sustainability Management Platform (SMP), Luxembourg-based startup WAVES not only wants to talk about it, they also want to help companies reduce the carbon footprint in their supply chains.
Founded in 2019, by co-founders Armin Neises and Matthias Brinkert, WAVES was born out of Neises’ frustrations with companies’ reluctance to become more sustainable. Realising that many companies lack the right tools or knowledge to understand how they might decrease their emissions, the two co-founders set out to “make sustainability visible” in a B2B context.
Starting out with the main culprit behind climate change – carbon dioxide emissions – the co-founders of WAVES set out to create the first Sustainable Management Platform (SMP) that would give business managers a clear overview of their emissions.
“I know a lot of the managers in the industry who don’t know anything about sustainability and or the impact of their daily decisions. That is the point where I personally see the biggest impact,” says Armin.
“As a vision, we want to integrate all sustainability aspects into our SMP: social, environmental, and economic aspects.”
A Circular Economy
Built with Amazon Web Services (AWS), their SMP currently calculates the carbon footprint of transports down to the shipment level. Their platform does all of this in accordance with the industry’s latest standards and regulations.
By calculating their transportation carbon footprint, WAVES hopes to provide a certain level of transparency that for most companies does not yet exist. With its current modules and easy-to-use dashboard, WAVES gives managers an overview of how much their transportation services emit and how they can decrease them.
The modules, called “Sustainable Transport” and “Sustainable Tendering”, are easy to use and customizable and the dashboards provide a strong level of transparency. For the first time, managers can get a full overview of their companies’ emission sources and their magnitude and can start working on ways to act more sustainably.
For WAVES, these two products are just the beginning. Indeed, they have big plans for the future of their SMP and hope to make an impact that goes beyond companies’ transportation emissions.
“The ideal is to help create a circular economy,” says Armin. “As a vision, we want to integrate all sustainability aspects into our SMP: social, environmental, and economic aspects.”
“The truth is that [especially transport and logistics] companies are not willing to pay until now, that is very clear.”
While integrating sustainability and ESG related one-liners into their company’s mission statement has become common practice, most companies are still reluctant to put their money where their mouth is.
“The truth is that [especially transport and logistics] companies are not willing to pay until now, that is very clear. In our discussions, we have to set up a lot of meetings and we need to bring a lot of benefits for the customers,” says Armin.
Part of the problem is related to the industry they are currently tackling. As of yet, logistics and transportation are still exempt from political pressures to reduce their emissions, despite being the second most polluting industry on the planet. Furthermore, there is little pressure from the end-consumer who feels quite detached from this industry.
However, Armin and his team are convinced that the tide is going to change soon. While the current regulations are making it easy for the logistic and transportation sector to continue business-as-usual, their days of unmitigated pollution are numbered.
“At the latest when in Germany the supply chain law comes into action on the first of January 2023, that will be the deadline for any company to really start thinking about their sustainability,” says Armin.
Closely working with Luxembourgish and German logistics players as well as with Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy, WAVES also offers a free demo of their services to anyone interested in knowing more about their platform, work and services.