PHENIX is a French start-up in the circular economy that reduces loss, waste and CO2 emissions by managing companies unsold articles (food, furniture, etc.). An initiative rewarded in 2015 with the SUEZ Happy City award for players who help improve citizens well-being and harness innovation for the greatest common good. A three-way meeting with its founders, Jean Moreau and Baptiste Corval.
What prompted you to go into business in the circular economy?
Jean. First, we wanted to do a job that means something, that is a form of personal accomplishment and is socially useful. I am convinced that the circular economy is following the natural course of history, and that one man s waste is another man s raw material.
Baptiste. By creating a business in this sector, we are also trying to show that we are creating value, and that being virtuous and having a positive impact can also make economic sense.
Especially since waste is such a huge issue
Baptiste. If food waste were a State, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, just behind China and the United States. The global issue of unsold goods (not just food, but furniture, supplies, etc.)
is decisive. It is our job to reduce the volume of waste in businesses in order to protect resources, but also to minimise, when there is no other solution, incineration and the corresponding emissions.
Jean. It is not normal that the only solution opened to, for example, retailers, is to throw away products. It is of course a moral and an environmental question, but it does not make any industrial or economic sense either.
What is your ambition in the years to come?
Jean. To put digital technology at the heart of our activity, because it is the only way to really change scale and deploy platforms with a broad impact, without detracting from the wealth of human interactions. This is essential for us, because we work a lot with associations.
Baptiste. In a word, we want to become the Amazon of unsold articles that connects the resources with the needs, but also a Meetic that creates ties, affinities and exchanges between retailers, producers and NGOs.
© P H EN