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Navakara’s focus goes way before the “Usage” stage. From Navakara’s “Ways to Zero Waste” point of view, recycle means to prevent and reduce the waste in the first place. So instead of just recycling the waste, they also prevent the establishment of waste itself.
Navakara sells homeware products and restaurant ware that are made from renewable resources and harvested sustainably. Navakara will look for the right manufacturer to make the product they design or think and become a distributor or supplier. However, in the future, they have plans to become producers as well. The markets that Navakara tries to reach are business owners in the food and beverage industry such as hotels, catering, and cafes.
Besides products, Navakara offers services in the form of consultants if a organizations or businesses want to develop environmentally friendly products or are interested in reducing and responsibly managing their wastes. Actually, Navakara does not like to call themselves "consultants", they prefer to be called "advisors". This is because they think that the words of a consultant seem expensive and exclusive to Indonesians.
Navakara also strongly believes in creating further awareness through education. The company realized that their products are expensive considering the special materials needed, so they do not sell those products in retail or just focus on product sales in early times. In the first year, 75% of their activity is more focused on how to educate the public or their prospective market. Navakara had determined “Creating awareness” as a part of its community service activity and also as a way to promote their products and services.
The four founders of Mitra Solusi Navakara company are members of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) at Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS). JIS is a really green thinking school, as a result, many programs from the PTA of Jakarta Intercultural School that involve natural and environmental concerns. These four founders have the same ideas and mindset after some projects or works that they do at JIS. In the end, they think for doing something more and bigger by starting to establish Mitra Na Avakara.
Before joining PTA of JIS, basically, the founders already have similarities. They all have experience living abroad and love traveling. When going abroad they understand that advanced countries have better waste management than Indonesia. They learn and observe it. Then, sometimes when they are traveling to other areas of Indonesia, like to go to a beach in another island, they often find waste. Actually, the waste is not coming from the surrounding population but it is coming from the sea, which means that the waste was carried away very far from other islands. These things then alerted the four women to make a change, that is by setting up a company.
The overall impact of Navakara's business does not just help to reduce the use of plastic but also to give knowledge about conscious-living. The education that they've given throughout school visits, seminars and other programs that collaborate with green companies help to change people's mindset to have a conscious-living lifestyle and for businesses, it's not just about making a profit but also gaining trust such as when Navakara's founders implemented the conscious-living lifestyle themselves.
Furthermore, as a zero waste advisor, Navakara also helps the community to have a job. For example, as a company advisory for ways to have zero waste, Navakara helped a small soap company with making eco-friendly packaging. So, Navakara got a third-party from street kids that have the skills for handcrafting and Navakara helps to educate the kids to make the perfect green box packaging for the soap. In the end, the small soap company was satisfied with the result.
Navakara proves that they are able to build a business with sustainable purpose. A different approach by making presentations or workshops on waste to the public encourages the growth of their business. Navakara thinks if people's knowledge and awareness about environmental degradation issues increases then their products and services will also have many enthusiasts.
In addition, since the beginning, Navakara does have a principal to seek profit but not to be a mercenary. They will work on products or perform services that match their tagline, "ways to zero waste". The company thinks that the one who will win in the business is the one who performed well. Therefore they try to be the best by providing clear information about the products and services. Navakara also has a good administrative and legal system to provide detailed terms of contract to customers.
By providing knowledge (through presentations, seminars, workshops and services as advisor or consultant), Navakara's approach serves as an effort to raise public and business awareness of the importance of living consciously. They give knowledge that change can be made through daily living activities and business procedure activities. In conclusion, what Navakara does has an impact on humans (public health, free from pollution) and other living things such as flora and fauna.
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Maureen Simatupang, S.E.
According to the Indonesia Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia produces 200,000 tons of waste per day and about 38.5 million tons per year goes to landfills. Excessive amounts of landfills produce a bad odor, explosive greenhouse gas methane and pollutants into land and water. Responding to that problem, Navakara puts forth a zero waste solution by providing products and services, and combining them with education.