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Greenhope Selected for Unreasonable Goals Program for Dedication to Addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

Greenhope Selected for Unreasonable Goals Program for Dedication to Addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

December 4, 2018 – After a rigorous selection process involving hundreds of world-class companies from across the world, Tommy Tjiptadjaja from Greenhope, Indonesia was chosen to join fifteen other ventures in the second annual Unreasonable Goals program that ran in November 2018.

On September 25, 2015, leaders from 193 countries came together at the United Nations and adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that include ending hunger, conserving the oceans, ensuring gender equality, and providing access to clean energy for all. Unreasonable Goals is a partnership between governments, multinationals, and Unreasonable Group with the singular focus of accelerating our ability to achieve these noteworthy goals by leveraging market forces.

The two-week program is designed to bring together 16 highly scalable entrepreneurial solutions, each uniquely positioned to solve at least one of the SDGs. The 17 th goal represents the importance of public-private partnerships to achieve the UN’s agenda, with the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State as the founding partner of this initiative in 2017. The cornerstone partners this year include Johnson & Johnson and

Greenhope is a technology social enterprise with the mission to help the world convert toward more sustainable consumption and production through technologies in sustainable plastics and agriculture. Ecoplas, its patented cassava/tapioca-based degradable bioplastic, is sourced from farmer cooperatives across Indonesia who receive a ‘Fair for Life’ certified trade price for their work. Ecoplas has been used to make shopping bags, landfill covers, garbage bags, dog waste bags, packaging, and more. Oxium is a US-patented additive that speeds up the oxidation and biodegradation of plastic, rapidly shortening its molecular and chemical chains and making ordinary plastics degrade within two years into CO2, H2O, and biomass.

Greenhope’s 100% organic product, Komposku, rejuvenates contaminated soil and brings back its natural fertility to ensure better and sustainable yields and income for farmers. Greenhope actively collaborates with various parties across local and national governments, the private sector (manufacturers, brand owners), and NGOs in ten countries around the world (and expanding rapidly) to deliver systemic changes for a better and more sustainable world.

During the intensive program, Greenhope received mentorship and advice from business experts and serial entrepreneurs, including Tom Chi, former head of experience at Google X; Betty Hudson, President at Hudson & Associates and former Chief Communications Officer at National Geographic; and Hunter Lovins, TIME Magazine Hero of the Planet and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions.

The program took place in Connecticut and included a curated funder’s gathering, where Greenhope showcased our innovation. “As an idealistic company trying to solve one of the world’s most challenging problems, it can feel lonely at times. Through Unreasonable Goals community of leaders and mentors, I learnt so much, gained many new friends, was energized and inspired, introduced to many new networks, and also contributed my expertise as part of the community. It was one of the life changing experience in my life, personally and professionally. Going forward, I fully expect to deliver greater positive impact together, enabled to a large extent by this program”, Tommy reflected.

Hosted by a different country every year, the partnership will run annually until 2030. “After running the initiative for 13 years, we will have worked with over 200 of the fastest growing and most promising global entrepreneurs of our time,” says Daniel Epstein, the founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group. “We will have partnered with several national governments and dozens of multinational corporations and organizations. It’s this collective global network that will direct billions of dollars to the world’s most pressing problems and impact billions of lives.”

Cumulatively, the 16 companies that participated in last year’s inaugural Unreasonable Goals program have raised over $174M USD, generated revenue of over $143M, and are already positively impacting the lives of nearly 95 million people in over 75 countries.

To learn more about this initiative and the ventures, visit

About the Companies

First Access (Goal #1: No Poverty) is creating the smart data platform with configurable mobile apps for lenders to digitize, automate, and reach any customer, anywhere.

ALGAMA (Goal #2: Zero Hunger) is harnessing the unique potential of micro-algae to make food that is sustainable and nutritious for a rapidly growing global population.

Copper3D (Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being) is setting a new standard in the 3D printing industry by developing antibacterial nanocomposites that fight bacteria for printed prosthetics.

BRCK (Goal #4: Quality Education) is building the tools for connectivity to bring Africans online for free, securing over 250,000 users of its public WiFi platform in just a few months.

Bloomlife (Goal #5: Gender Equality) is designing the future of prenatal care with the most advanced combination of technology, science, and medical expertise, serving over 4,000 moms to date.

Cambridge Industries (Goal #6: Clean Water and Sanitation & Goal #7: Affordable and Clean Energy) is designing, constructing, and operating extremely cost-competitive and scalable waste-to-energy facilities customized for Sub-Saharan Africa.

LabourNet (Goal #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth) is improving worker skills and productivity in the informal sector through its vocational training programs, skilling over 700,000 people in India.

Ambercycle (Goal #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) is transforming millions of tons of waste apparel into raw material for textile production, contributing to a fully circular supply chain for clothing by 2030.

Lidya (Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities) is building the financial services platform of the future for Africans worldwide, with over 100,000 businesses signed up for their service.

Roots Studio (Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities) is digitizing the endangered work and stories of traditional artists from remote regions around the world into an online library for licensing, with over 2,000 artists to date.

Greenhope (Goal #12: Responsible Production and Consumption) is making plastics green by using agritechnology to make bio-based and degradable plastic alternatives, with its products in over ten countries and counting.

Veerhouse Voda (Goal #13: Climate Action) is providing environmentally sustainable and disaster resistant buildings to the Caribbean 5x faster than traditional methods.

Catalina Sea Ranch (Goal #14: Life Below Water) is creating the first aquaculture facility in U.S. federal waters to deliver fresh, sustainable, regenerative protein to feed the world.

Lingrove (Goal #15: Life on Land) is making wood without trees and creating high-performance and eco-friendly natural fiber materials to bring lighter, stronger, and better products to market.

IN-Code Technologies (Goal #16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions) is countering illicit trade and creating a safer world by eliminating counterfeit markets with proven, invisible, anti- counterfeit marker technology.

Hala Systems (Goal #16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions) is developing innovative technology solutions to reduce harm, increase security, and stabilize communities in some of the toughest places on Earth.


About Unreasonable Group

Unreasonable’s mission is to drive resources to and breakdown barriers for entrepreneurs solving key global challenges (i.e. ensuring renewable energy reaches the 1.3 billion people currently without electricity, reimagining the future of healthcare, or addressing the global unemployment crisis). Through running worldwide accelerator programs, a globally oriented private equity fund, an extensive network of serial business leaders as mentors, and advanced storytelling and media activities, Unreasonable is designed to exclusively support entrepreneurs positioned to solve society's toughest problems. For further information about Unreasonable, please visit our website,


Manioc to the Rescue in the Fight Against Plastic Pollution

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Manioc to the Rescue in the Fight Against Plastic Pollution

Plastic trash increasingly pollutes rivers and fills landfills. In Jakarta, two men are on a mission to offer alternatives that could have an impact on the environment and the economy, not just in Indonesia.

The stench is unbearable. The midday heat is beating down on the landfill near the Indonesian town of Tangerang in the greater Jakarta area. Huge cockroaches scurry across the 35-hectare (86.4-acre) site and new trucks arrive every minute, bringing tons of new garbage. Excavators pile it higher and higher. Between them, several hundred trash collectors toil under the merciless blazing sun. They look for plastic bags and plastic parts they can resell.

Sugianto Tandio shakes his head as he looks at the huge amount of plastic trash. "Each day, about 1,500 tons of solid waste comes here and 15 to 20 percent of it is plastic", says the engineer.

But conventional plastic takes an estimated 500 to 1,000 years to decompose. The plastic trash being piled up here in Tangerang will remain an environmental problem for many generations to come.

Plastic in fish

"Even today, a third of the fish in the ocean contains microplastics. Just imagine: every time you eat seafood it's like you have three fish in front of you and you have to decide, which fish you want to eat and which one you should avoid." It is not a problem we can leave to our children to solve, Tommy Tjiptadjaja thinks. "It is really all up to us. Our generation is the generation that has to take action."

Indonesians collect garbage in Tangerang as the nation's environmental problems are bound to affect many generations

Together with Tandio, the economist, who got his education in Chicago, has founded Greenhope, a company that develops alternatives to conventional plastic. One of their products is called "Ecoplas." It looks like plastic, but won't take 500 years to decompose. "It is a biodegradable polymer made from tapioca," Tandio explains.

He has spent years developing this product and holds many patents associated with it. He proudly presents a plastic bag, plastic cutlery and even a bag developed specifically for the United States. It's meant for collecting your dog poop. All of it biodegradable.

Together, the two entrepreneurs won the Schwab Foundation's "Social Entrepreneur Award" in 2013, bringing international recognition to their work. Tapioka is made from dried manioc root, also known as cassava. The plant is particularly popular in many tropical countries. Nigeria, Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia and Ghana are among the biggest producers. Tandio is convinced that using it for a plastic replacement could also be an opportunity for additional income for many small-scale farmers.

Paying with plastic takes on a new meaning in Indonesia

Plastic bag ban

As more and more countries are banning plastic bags or putting fees on their use, the interest in possible alternatives has grown significantly. Tjiptadjaja and Tandio are being invited to conferences and background talks worldwide. One of them just attended the big Our Ocean Conference in Bali, the other met for talks with the government of Malaysia. Kenya and some Latin American countries have voiced an interest as well.

Indonesia wants to ban plastic bags made from oil no later than 2020. Even now, Greehope's biodegradable alternatives are available in many Indonesian supermarkets and stores. "Ecoplas — Cassava-based degradable plastic" is printed on the bags, which, at first glance, are almost indistinguishable from conventional plastic bags. Greenhope already has a staff of 50 and everything points towards continued growth.

However, production is comparatively expensive. A biodegradable plastic bag costs almost twice as much to produce as a conventional one. As a result, consumers think twice before shelling out more for such a plastic bag.

Cheap alternatives

Tjiptadjaja and Tandio work on reducing the cost as much as possible and are expanding their small research and development department. One of their solutions is an additive they call  "OXIUM." Adding it to conventional plastic has the effect that the material breaks down after only 2 years.

The plastic is still made from oil instead of renewable organic raw materials but is biodegradable and the cost of plastic that contains OXIUM is only about 2 to 5 percent higher than that of conventional plastic. It's not an ideal solution but an improvement. Especially in poorer countries, the use of OXIUM could be a cheap alternative, say the entrepreneurs. Greenhope already sells it to South Africa, Malaysia and other countries.

Stability and safety

For landfills like the one in Tangerang, Greenhope offers large plastic tarps made with OXIUM. They could stem the horrible smells the people in surrounding towns and villages are exposed to and stabilize the growing mountain of trash at the same time. That is important because the high piles collapse occasionally.

But so far, Greenhope hasn't been able to sell TPA, the company that runs the landfill, more than two tarps a year. Tandio shakes his head and looks at the tall, shaky mountain of trash. The new trash should really be covered with tarps every day, he says, but TPA just can't afford to spend so much money.

Date: 05 November 2018

Author: Manuela Kasper-Claridge

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