DOB Equity-backed Mr Green Africa becomes first recycling company in Africa to achieve B Corporation certification
Mr Green Africa has become the first waste management and recycling company in Africa achieve certification as a B Corporation. The company is backed by DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor.
Mr Green Africa collects waste plastic from local communities and recycles it into a “new” high-quality raw material which can be used by manufacturers in their packaging for products. Through DOB Equity’s investments, Mr Green Africa has been able to replace virgin plastic packaging with up to 100 per cent recyclable plastic for multinational companies such as Unilever.
The B-Corp certification establishes Mr Green Africa as a pioneer in the recycling sector. It has enabled the company to start measuring its social and environmental impact and gain access to a community of like-minded companies, who are all working towards improving that impact. As a B-Corp, Mr Green Africa’s end goal is to create a sustainable economy, while having a positive imprint on its employees, the wider community and overall environment.
Mr Green Africa is one of only 20 companies in Kenya that have achieved B Corp certification.
Saskia van der Mast, Co-CEO of DOB Equity, says: “Mr Green Africa has built a ground-breaking model for recycling which many businesses in Western countries are struggling to develop. We believe what Mr Green has built in Kenya can be a blueprint for scaling up in other emerging markets.”
“Becoming a Certified B Corp is a great accomplishment and a validation of their unique business model.”
A big part of Mr Green Africa’s growth plans is the involvement of the local community by encouraging consumers to trade in their plastics to benefit the environment. Currently Mr Green Africa is undertaking a pilot with 100-plus consumers who can start contributing to the recycling process. These pilot consumers are rewarded with “Green points” which can be used for discounts and purchasing goods in local grocery stores or on online platforms.
The efficient collection process is largely due to leveraging existing technology for a new use case and creating robust logistical networks, this enables plastics to be streamed through the entire value chain in an effective, fair, inclusive and traceable way. Mr Green Africa’s technology aims to close the loop between consumers and manufacturers by allowing plastics to be fully traceable and making the informal waste collection sector part of a predictable and functional value chain.
Keiran Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Mr Green Africa, says: “We believe our business model has the potential to change the future of plastic recycling in the global South. Since our introduction in 2015, we’ve made a significant amount of progress and have proved that our recycled material can now act as a substitute for imported virgin plastics.”
“We strive for a circular economy and convert approximately 75-85 per cent of our plastics into fully recycled plastics. In cases where plastics are not compatible with our recycling process, our mission is to constantly explore alternative methods to bring value to these materials.”
“The investments we are receiving from partners such as DOB Equity make a huge difference towards our goal of improving our tech-enabled platform and expanding our model across the whole of Africa.”