New platform for SMEs launched to support the circular economy and offer industrial symbiosis solutions
The Surpluss, a new global platform recently launched and developed in the UAE, offers a digital ecosystem where businesses can share their surplus resources to enhance sustainability and innovation, and become more competitive. It has successfully completed its beta testing phase with 100 companies across the UAE.
To accelerate climate-intelligence, businesses need to work with what they have now to change their trajectory and meet global goals. There are many resources businesses can share, including surplus materials, production waste, knowledge, and time.
During the testing phase, 44 percent of the companies were manufacturers within resource-intensive/heavy industry, 13 percent service providers, 13 percent general and scrap trading, 13 percent textile companies, 11 percent FMCG, and 8 percent miscellaneous. Listings included 23 percent by-product listings, 32 percent waste listings, 26 percent surplus listings and 19 percent knowledge listings. Waste listings covered recyclables from factories, and common packaging waste provided upcycling opportunities. During a two-month period, a total of 11,500 kilograms of waste was diverted from landfill and given a secondary purpose.
The Surpluss Founder, Rana Hajirasouli used nature’s blueprints to design the framework, integrating artificial and collective intelligence into a unique biomimetic platform. According to a statement from the company, rather than standardising an entire ecosystem, the platform recognises there is no one size fits all approach for companies with varying challenges and needs. It celebrates incompatibility so that every participant can establish their own journey to becoming more climate intelligent.
The Surpluss is designed to democratise access for organisations large and small. Currently, there is a lack of widespread adoption of industrial symbiosis and circular economy solutions due to the high barriers to entry, whether technical, technological, financial, or a lack of physical infrastructure.
Hajirasouli explained, “When developing the platform, we initially focused on resource-intensive manufacturing supply chains. However, during the pilot we recognised we could leverage the learnings across a wide range of industries. We also saw that SMEs have fundamentally different requirements regarding sustainability-related action compared to larger companies.”
“We were very impressed by the outcome of waste to value practices, and we also received pleasing interest from the service sector, which we plan to develop by involving expert sustainability consultants to support businesses in our ecosystem. Plus, we will welcome knowledge partnerships from world-leading universities. By providing a robust ecosystem for knowledge sharing, we hope to empower our members to make an increased commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, creating a forum for exchange of best practices and thought leadership through peer learning.”
The Surpluss is based on an annual tiered membership model, where smaller companies, pay a lower cost, reducing the barriers to entry, particularly for SMEs.