In this episode I talk to Michiel, the founder and CTO of Coco Pallet, a company that produces pallets from used coconuts in Asia and Latin America. Michiel came up with the concept when he realized there was a problem concerning the huge amount of waste of wood that goes into producing pallets. Coco Pallet's vision is to ship 400 million pallets per year, and their plan is to build 5 factories by 2022 to help with that goal.
Coco Pallet offers a lot of benefits to the different entities in the supply chain industry. The coconut pallets are single use and one way, and they follow compliance for export regulations. They are mostly used for dry products such as books. The coconuts are bought from farmiculture waste. Since the coconuts have no value for the farmers, the coconuts are extremely cheap to buy, which in turn makes coco pallets cheaper than the wooden alternative. Coco Pallet uses in house glue and their own tools to build the pallets, making them 100% biodegradable and therefore allowing farmers to use the pallets to improve soil quality.
Coco Pallet is part of a circular economy; they solve several problems at once and leave no waste. Farmers are provided with an extra income, importers get to lower their CO2 consumption and don’t have to pay extra fees for wood, and best of all, fewer trees are cut down. In fact, Michiel says that every factory they build saves 500,000 trees per year. Their success has led them to build a large factory in the Philippines and they will be opening 4 to 5 more factories in Asia in the next few years. Their ethical and profitable business model means there is a huge opportunity for impact investment.
In this episode we discuss:
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