Business in Brief - 24/10/19

Winnow raises $20 billion for food waste reduction technology

Tech company Winnow has completed a round of funding totaling $12 million (£9.3 million), enabling the business to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) tool which helps chefs reduce food waste.

Winnow Vision in use in a restaurant

The series B round, which included investment from Ingka Group and Mustard Seed, follows a recent $8-million (£6.2-million) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), bringing the total combined investment to $20 billion (£15.5 million).

Winnow’s AI tool Winnow Vision works by taking photos of wasted food and using the images to train itself to recognise and record what food has been discarded. This allows restaurants to utilise data to monitor and control their food waste.

Winnow Co-founder and CEO Marc Zornes said: “We are very excited about driving the business forward in our global fight against food waste and we are grateful for the continuous support of our investors.

“This year, we launched our ground-breaking AI product Winnow Vision, and chefs using Winnow around the world are saving $33 million worth of food from going to waste annually. We have set a target to save our customers $1 billion of food waste by 2025, and this investment will accelerate our technology development and business development approach to help achieve this ambition.”

You can find more information about Winnow on the company’s website.

Collard Group acquires Raymond Brown Waste Solutions

Waste management company Collard Group has announced the acquisition of Raymond Brown Waste Solutions (RBWS).

Expanding its reach across the south of England, Collard will now operate from RBWS’ three waste transfer stations at Chilton (Didcot), Nursling (Southampton) and Andover on the A303. This means that Collard now operates from nine recycling centres across five counties.

Rob Collard (founder of Collard Group) with Adam Murnieks (Managing Director of Raymond Brown Waste Solutions)
Rob Collard (founder of Collard Group) with Adam Murnieks (Managing Director of Raymond Brown Waste Solutions)

Rob Collard, Founder and Owner of Collard Group, said: “The deal brings together two successful businesses and strong brands, creating greater capacity for R Collard and expanding the services available to RBWS’ existing customers.

“We felt there was a great synergy between the two companies in terms of service profile as well as approach to recycling and sustainability.

“The integration of RBWS’ facilities, fleet, equipment and – most importantly – its people including the existing management team will enable us to achieve a seamless transition of service for existing customers.

“The two brands will continue to exist alongside each other as we work to merge RBWS into Collard Group.”

Don Coates, RBWS CEO, added: “RBWS has been a key part of the group’s overall development but will now have more opportunities for growth as part of a focussed waste business. I thank my colleagues for their hard work and dedication to Raymond Brown Group over the years and with them all the best in what I am sure will be a prospering waste company.

Find out more about Collard Group on the company’s website.

Novamont and Saes Group partner to launch compostable solutions

Bioplastics company Novamont and research and technology company Saes Group have joined forces to develop a range of innovative compostable alternatives to non-recyclable plastic packaging.

The companies have launched a range of compostable solutions that are UNI EN 13432 standard compliant, with lower environmental impacts compared to non-recyclable plastic packaging.

The new packaging products, which are produced using raw materials of plant origin, have unique gas barrier properties and can be recycled together with organic waste in industrial composting plants.

The new developments have been showcased at Novamont’s stand at the K 2019 trade fair for plastics and rubber in Düsseldorf.

To find out more about Novamont, visit the company’s website.

Beverage carton industry forms recycling alliance

The Alliance for Beverage Companies and the Environment (ACE) has created GRACE – the Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment.

GRACE, founded by the CEOs of ACE member companies BillerudKorsnäs, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Stora Enso and Tetra Pak, will aim to support the industry in strengthening the recyclability of beverage cartons.

The CEOs and senior representatives of ACE’s member companies
The CEOs and senior representatives of ACE’s member companies

Petra Gerber, Manager of Global Environmental Affairs and Product Related Sustainability at SIG Combibloc and President of ACE, said: “Beverage cartons have unique attributes such as being able to safely transport and store food and beverages, have a low carbon footprint and are recyclable.

“Launching GRACE is another key step for our industry to collaborate on climate action and towards efficient collection and recycling solutions worldwide.”

You can find out more about ACE on the alliance’s website.

Yorkshire app developer to create app for WasteCare

App development company Pocketworks will be working with Yorkshire-based waste management company WasteCare on a new app.

The app will allow WasteCare to digitise its processes, enabling staff and drivers to manage their daily jobs via mobile devices. Pocketworks claims that this will save the waste management provider hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

WasteCare is designing a new waste management app

Tobin Harris, Managing Director of Pocketworks, said: “We’re delighted to be working with WasteCare on its new app. More companies are moving to a digital-first approach to business processes to become more efficient, save time and money and eliminate any wasted resources.

“We’re excited to help WasteCare achieve results and integrate their green business ethos by reducing unnecessary paperwork.”

Kyle Beachill, Senior Business Analyst at WasteCare, said: “WasteCare prides itself on being a national recycling management company that is local to customers. We have an outstanding customer service record and want to build on this by making our business practices smooth, quick and informative.

“In this digital age, moving across to an app-based management service was a no-brainer and Pocketworks was the obvious choice for us. It is a fellow Yorkshire business that operates nationally, and with experience of complex app builds across a number of industries with technical elements, we know the team will deliver a great product which is simple to use, to help us drive forward our business.”

You can find out more about WasteCare on the company’s website.