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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,



Redeeming Itself


It’s near impossible to dodge plastic in our lives. From medicine to packaging, food to electronics, plastic has firmly entrenched itself in many fundamental aspects of our lives. Every year, about one trillion plastic bags are consumed globally. When you take into consideration all sizes of plastic bags, that number could rise fivefold. The bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, and images of unsightly plastic in dumps and in the ocean choking wildlife are regular scenes that have pushed the issue to a global scale. While the usefulness of plastic is hard to deny, the damage it wreaks as a result of its long lifespan is giving it some major bad press. This is something Indonesian engineer turned businessman Sugianto Tandio has been working hard at to redress.

Taking over the packaging business his father-in-law started, Sugianto invested a decade of time and money in research and development at Tirta Marta (, to produce a biodegradable alternative from tapioca that makes plastic products which can break down in two years. Cultivation of this non-genetically modified tapioca provides opportunities for farmers to earn a fair trade income from a crop that otherwise offers meagre economic return.

The two main patent-pending products, ECOPLAS and OXIUM, are available as an additive or resin and are being used in the manufacture of shopping bags, packaging, coat hangers, among other products. It costs about 5% more than conventional plastic, but the benefit of much-reduced longevity. Tirta Marta’s products are already in a dozen countries, and enjoy strong penetration in its home market, Indonesia, where it has around 30 manufacturing partners. It has five in China, 10 in Vietnam, a couple in Malaysia and one in Singapore.

Sugianto speaks to STORM about how plastic could redeem itself.

STORM: How did the idea of giving plastic a good reputation come about? SUGIANTO TANDIO: Tirta Marta is a secondgeneration family business that has been dealing with packaging and plastic for over 40 years. We’ve provided packaging for Unilever and other MNCs in Indonesia. I took over the business in 1995 and expanded it. But in 2000 I felt it was important to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to see what we should do next.

The world uses around 275 million tons of plastic annually. Its growth almost tracks gross domestic product (GDP) figures — China’s GDP is about 8%, Indonesia’s 6-7%, and plastic use follows that. If you think about it, everything that man uses has some form of plastic. Today, there are more than 1,000 types of plastics and millions of applications.

It’s a miracle product. Imagine what we would use if we didn’t have plastic?

Prior to the invention of plastic, everything that needed to be preserved had to be bottled or put in aluminium cans. Those are bulky and expensive. For today’s global population of seven billion, how do you package the food?

It’s too bad the degradation time for plastic is too long.

After the SWOT analysis, we decided to embark upon something unusual for an Asian company. It took us 10 years to find a solution, and we hit the market in 2010. Since then we’ve penetrated lots of markets and won a lot of awards.

We started with shopping bags, which can be divided into modern (branded stores) and traditional (mom and pop shops) markets. We captured 90% of the modern market in Indonesia. Today, all the modern supermarkets in Indonesia are using our biodegradable bags.

STORM: What is the cost of your bag versus previous plastic bags? SUGIANTO: OXIUM is degradable plastic priced almost the same as regular plastic. ECOPLAS is 50% more expensive. Biodegradable plastic is not new. It’s been around for 30–40 years, but is mostly made from corn, which is a staple food in many countries and is probably 300% more expensive to use while disturbing the food chain.

Tapioca, which is what we use, is not a staple diet. It’s a tropical plant grown by many farmers. We picked it for a reason. Besides greening the environment, we are also able to help socially. We get the tapioca from the farmers, and we are the first plastic to have “Fair For Life” certification.

Plastic is made from petroleum, which comes from plankton. By origin, therefore, plastic is organic. If you compare the molecular structure of plastic with that of starch, the molecules combine hydrocarbon chains. Food, which has a polymer chain length less than 100,000 daltons (Da), is easy for microbes to consume. Plastic, however, has chain lengths that are seven million Da long — too long for the microbes to consume. That’s why it will last for hundreds of years. It takes that long for the chain to be broken down.

OXIUM is a catalyst that jump-starts the degradation process. We can tailor the degradation to suit the lifecycle of the product. The checkout bag, for instance, was invented in 1970, and today the world uses about one million a minute. We found out that 90% of people would reuse it as a garbage bag. And then it gets thrown away. So we look at that lifecycle, and figure two years is optimum for that bag to be reused and recycled. We put this two-year degradable period into the bag. This technology is not perfect but it’s better than 500 or 1,000 years. And we can do it at the same price as regular plastic.

STORM: When would you require longer degradation? SUGIANTO: In the modern market, the logistics is fairly straightforward — from the factory directly to the retailer. For the mom-and-pop shops it’s from the factory to the big distributors, then on to smaller distributors. There could be five to six layers involved. Our philosophy is to try and build some safety. Hence, we need a longer timeframe. Meanwhile, we will continue to interview stakeholders, and we will incorporate this information into the manufacturing process.

STORM: How do the plastics manufacturers view what you do? SUGIANTO: We tell them the writing is on the wall, so they need to do something about their business model.

In the last 50 years, manufacturers have become aware that plastic would be a public 60 enemy. Demand is high, but degradation time too long. So, 50 years ago they came up with the 3R strategy — reduce, reuse, recycle. Plastic?is not like steel or glass, which you reheat to 300°C and all the impurities separate naturally. Plastic is organic so you can’t recycle it forever. You?re-melt the plastic around 200°C and all the impurities are still in there. By the third time, it would be very smelly and the strength wouldn’t?be there. Recycling postpones the problem.

We look at ourselves not as a technology company but as a solutions provider. The manufacturers we partner like what we are offering. There are millions of applications, and we can’t get into all of them. After we created the technology we could process it downstream with existing plastic manufacturers, for instance those who create shopping bags, food trays, fork and spoons. To create retail hangers, we?impregnated tapioca resin with rice husk, as the fibre would make it stronger. We could have used different kinds of fibre — like wood fibre — but from a marketing standpoint you are disturbing the forest. Rice husk is natural and people just burn it after a harvest.


There’s plenty of it in Indonesia after the harvest.

STORM: How long does it take to develop a product-specific application? ?SUGIANTO: It takes three to six months to develop the specific technology. We also need to source partners. We could go into production within a year.

STORM: How versatile is it?? SUGIANTO: Our application is for disposable products. Bioplastics are made from renewable resources that are not degradable. For electronics, you want something permanent.

STORM: Do most people care about the impact of plastic on the Earth, or is it just a noisy few?? SUGIANTO: They care a lot...if it’s the same price. There’s a survey done that says 80% will use it if it’s the same price. 10% will use it if it’s 10–20% more expensive. I used to think that in Europe they would be willing to pay more because they are environmentally aware. But I found out that while the technology is there the price is three times more. So it’s not moving.

My European friend pointed out an example of an American company with a slogan championing low prices daily. He said: “Don’t think Americans are willing to pay more. And Europeans are cheaper than Americans.”

STORM: So, what’s your next strategy? SUGIANTO: We are still barely scratching the surface. If we can make all plastic biodegradable, that would be extremely useful. What differentiates soil in the garden from soil in the dessert is the amount of microbes in the soil. So if you can turn all this plastic into food for microbes, it will help to green the planet.




OXIUM : Plastik ramah lingkungan

Kantong plastik kerap dituding sebagai salah satu perusak lingkungan. pasalnya, plastik tersebut tidak mudah terurai atau tidak cepat hancur, melainkan harus menunggu 1.000 tahun untuk melenyapkannya.