The Second Life of Waste Materials

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action 15. Life on Land

Overview

'Chistoe delo' is a sustainable business that utilizes high tech system of waste collection, separation, and recycling. Nikita Nikishkin is the founder of this business, who suggested a usage of recycled materials in production of goods for different needs and sharing the information about responsible consumption among local residents. All educational projects of 'Chistoe delo' aimed to create a cautious attitude towards environment.

Authors

Alesia Zaporozhchuk

Alesia Zaporozhchuk

Tatyana Baza

Tatyana Baza

Anastasiia Shikina

Anastasiia Shikina

Nataliia Berdikova

Nataliia Berdikova

School

National Research University Higher School of Economics

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Professor

Ekaterina Ivanova

Ekaterina Ivanova

Innovation

‘Chistoe delo’ (‘Zero Waste Business’) is a set of for-profit projects with an overarching aim of creating a positive environmental impact in recycling. This business type is innovative for the Russian market, due to its sustainable operational structure, which consists of the following elements:

1. ‘Chistoe delo’ (‘Zero Waste Business’) project

Collection and separation of recyclable materials (including paper, plastic and batteries). For this project a network of receiving points around Moscow region were set up, so everyone can bring materials for recycling.

2. ‘The second life of materials’ project

Delivery of construction supplies made from recycled materials to B2B and B2C customers. This high quality supplies successfully compete on the market. In addition to reliable construction materials, every customer gets a certificate proving the fact that he/she saved a certain amount of materials from disposal by choosing 'The second life of materials’ goods.

3. ‘Dobraya shkola’ (‘Good Deeds School’) project

Educating residents of Moscow region about responsible and eco-friendly behavior by means of organizing social events. Launching educational programs at schools on collection of recyclable paper.

The Second Life of Waste Materials

Inspiration

The idea to create this business has evolved from the recyclable paper collection project at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, where Nikita did his degree.

"At the very beginning of our existence, we provided one-time actions for paper collection at the Institute and did it mostly for fun. After a certain period of time, we received positive feedback on our actions and decided to create something permanent – so we opened our first recyclable paper collection point where not only students, but other residents of the local community could have brought their recyclable paper", said Nikita, the CEO of 'Chistoe delo'.

Later on, Nikita got interested in setting up other environmentally-driven initiatives. In this way the pilot version of 'Chistoe delo' was developed.

Nowadays this for-profit project is quite stable and well-known. 'Chistoe delo' team not only collects positive feedback from local residents, but it also receives financial support. Not so long ago the team has bought a special press for plastic bottles. The press was financed through the money collected via crowd funding platform planeta.ru.

“I was really impressed by growing public attention to our project. More than 300 people supported our idea. It was a clear sign for us that we are doing a great job, which presents high value for society. Therefore, we must be on a right track. Thinking along these lines helps us move forward every time, when the work gets hard”.

'Chistoe delo' takes an active part in different competitions aimed at supporting social entrepreneurship in Russia. One of the greatest achievements of 'Chistoe delo' team was winning an award at the international social entrepreneurship projects contest - Sap Up 2016, where participants from the CIS (The Commonwealth of Independent States) countries take part. The team was granted an educational trip to Europe as an award.

Link to the Sap Up website: http://sap-up.org/en

“This trip has acted as a considerable incentive for our further development and helped to work out a vision for the project for the next 5 years. I have also noticed how significant the gap between Russia and Europe is in the field of social entrepreneurship. Being aware of this gap made me think of taking real actions for change. I think that Russian social entrepreneurship is in its infancy yet, that is why, the future of this field is in our hands, in the hands of our generation”, Nikita stated.

Overall impact

During almost 3 years of operations of 'Chistoe delo' the following results have been reached:

  • 50 collection points for plastic set up in the local community
  • 100 tons of plastic collected and sent to the recycling factory
  • 100 tons of recyclable paper collected and sent to the recycling factory
  • 30 social educational events held by the team in the local community
  • 30% of targeted audience are using the plastic collection points
  • 1 permanent paper point at MIPT

Business benefit

This business has overcome its break-even point and already generates profit. By the August 2017 the project “The second life of materials” generated a revenue of 1 000 000 Rubles. One year ago this figure reached only 50 000 Rubles. Thus, the growth rate of revenue is equal to 1900%.

Now active participation of 'Chistoe delo' in a wide range of competitions for social entrepreneurs and money collection via crowd-funding platforms for the implementation of new initiatives’ allows them to generate additional income for further business growth. For instance, the latest fund-raising activity allowed 'Chistoe delo' team to gather 300 000 Rubles via planet.ru for buying a press for plastic bottles.

Social and environmental benefit

Waste utilization is one of the most pressing issues in for the residents of modern big cities. According to statistics, only 7-8% of waste is recycled in Russia in contrast to some of the leading European countries where waste is recyclable to 80-99% (https://rb.ru/opinion/recycle). At present, Russia is taking first steps in the process of establishing a culture of waste separation.

Nevertheless, all ecological projects, which 'Chistoe delo' is creating and launching fulfill two main criteria: measurable benefits for the environment and financial sustainability.

As Nikita mentioned “It is very easy to estimate the environmental benefits of our work. For example, the number of tons of waste we saved from disposal or number of people that learned about environmental friendliness through our activities”. By personal example 'Chistoe delo' team shows that company which focuses not only on getting profit but also on solving ecological issues can be profitable and rapidly growing.

“We would like draw attention of young and ambitious people to what we are doing and prove the fact that it is possible to create initiatives and be useful for society even being an ordinary student”, states Nikita.

Interview

Nikita Nikishkin, CEO

Nikita Nikishkin, CEO

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Zero Waste Business (Chistoe delo/Чистое дело)

Zero Waste Business (Chistoe delo/Чистое дело)

Dolgoprudnyy, Московская область, Россия

Business Website: http://www.chistoedelo.org/

Year Founded: 2014

Number of Employees: 2-10

'Chistoe delo' is a set of entrepreneurial ecological projects focused on collection, separation and recycling of paper, plastic, and battaries in Moscow region of Dolgoprudnyy. This sustainable business model has grown up from a ordinary university based project uniting the most responsible student with global mindsed moivated to create a long-term environmental impact for the society. Step by step, they implemented the idea of social enterprenership business launching more new environmental initatives and expanding the geography of projects across Moscow region.