South African waste tech Kudoti wins Nestlé’s recycling championing competition

SOUTH AFRICA – Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, has crowned South Africa based digital recycling platform Kudoti, as one of the five winners of its 2021 Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, for their innovative recycling impact through technology. 

The CSV Prize has been running for over 10 years and has identified multiple initiatives for some of today’s most critical environmental and social issues around the world.

This year’s competition, conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization, Ashoka, was entitled ‘How do we create a waste-free future?’ 

It aimed to identify and award innovative solutions with a system-change approach and a strong growth potential, or a replicable model for other social, cultural or geographical settings.

Kudoti (meaning trash in Zulu), bagged the price courtesy of its digital approach of tracking recyclable waste in real-time and matching it to demand.

The use of technology improves market conditions for waste materials, which drives up recycling behaviour.

“When people speak of the future, a world of hover crafts or holograms may come to mind. But at Nestlé, we are seeking a more environmentally futuristic landscape.”

Saint-Francis Tohlang – Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR)

“Businesses and individuals have a concept of waste as waste, when we should have a concept of waste as a resource.  With new business models, we can change the way that waste is viewed,” said Matthieu de Gaudemar, one of the founders of Kudoti.

De Gaudemar added that their platform’s success was collective team effort.  “It truly takes everyone to address systemic environmental issues. Through this financial investment and technical resources, we will amplify our impact by scaling up our solution in South Africa.”

As one of the winners, Kudoti will receive a cash prize of US$40 000 and will benefit from Ashoka’s online resources and workshops to explore potential collaboration with Nestlé and a mentoring programme.

“When people speak of the future, a world of hover crafts or holograms may come to mind. But at Nestlé, we are seeking a more environmentally futuristic landscape.

“Through these Awards, we are on a mission to identify and empower market disruptors in the hope of accelerating a waste-free future,” says Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

Nestle and Ashoka named Mexico’s social enterprise focusing on the education of youth to combat the global waste challenge, Promesa, as the overall winner of the prize.

With its network of 168,000 active students in 500 schools, Promesa has recycled over 3,000 metric tons of waste in the last two years, preventing the release of over 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 that would have come from landfills.

Nestlé Mexico will now partner with Promesa to include it in its coffee capsule collection strategy and amplify its capsule recycling campaign from Promesa’s web portal.

The other special winners of the challenge include: DreamRider of Canada, a digital education platform for kids to learn about protecting the environment from superheroes; RecyGlo of Singapore, a business-to-business closed loop platform that facilitates refill stations, door-to-door delivery and waste collection services; and Ricron of India, a manufacturing start-up converting hard-to-recycle plastic waste into sustainable building materials.

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