SDG
UNLEASH

Solution catalogue

GreenWings

GreenWings provides comprehensive solutions to reduce single-use plastic usage on premium short-haul commercial airlines in Europe. Our solutions focus on providing technology and network solutions for the adoption of reusable (washable) meal trays, changing consumer behavior by enabling them to opt-out of airline meals for a reward (Carbon offsetting/ monetary), and providing branding opportunities to our customers through our certification.

Problem

Single-use plastic is extensively used to package foods & beverages globally. Low cost and great physical properties make it an ideal product, however its robustness and chemical inertness make it difficult to break down and recycle. Waste management systems in both developed and developing countries are facing huge challenges as current plastic recycling is less than 10%, leading to pollution of natural environment, harm to animals, and intoxication of water streams. Estimates indicate that by 2050, we will have more plastic than fishes in the oceans (EMAF).

One of the industries generating high amount of single-use plastic is the Airlines industry. In 2018, Airlines generated 6.1 million tons globally, a number expected t rise to 10 million by 2030 (IATA). Each passenger produces on average, 1.43kg of waste per trip.

Consumers, governments, and companies have become more aware of the problem. We are already seeing taxes and bans on disposable plastic elements. Customers are demanding change, and the entire industry needs to revamp operations to comply with regulatory and customer demands.

Solution

Our users are premium airlines that operate flights in Europe and serve meals to customers during those flights. Green Wings is an innovative solution provider that helps Airlines accelerate the decoupling from single-use plastic packaging. We provide them with an integrated three-fold actionable solution.

We leverage technology developments to curate the best forms of packaging and use them to create the perfect waste-free meal tray, where everything is reusable while being lightweight, fit for purpose, and safe. We offer the tray as a service, which eliminates the risk and costs the airline would face by having to research and test the individual components. Green Wings gets the bet products while establishing stable relationships with the suppliers. We then manage the network, against a small brokerage fee on the transactions.

We also act on the consumer behavior, and conceptualize reward systems to be implemented by airlines, in which customers have the option to opt out of meals at check-in, in exchange for a reward which can be either contribution to carbon-offsetting, or cashback. This reward decreases the overall amount of packaged food needed on flights and increases customer loyalty and stickiness.

We also want to provide best-practices certifications to airlines: those that use our solutions will be labelled with our GreenWings certificate, and can position themselves as first-movers in the reuse space. As the reputation of GreenWings grows over time, our branded stamp with be increasingly valuable.

Innovation

Our solution is unique because it is low risk, eliminates the issues associated with single use plastics and integrates several stakeholders and dimensions of impacts.
It eliminates status quo bias, and accelerates further solutions for a growing problem across several use-cases and industries
Our competitors are design studios and public multi-lateral organizations focusing on zero waste efforts
The solution has not been implemented before due to
– Prevalent status quo bias
– Airlines focusing on recycling, rather than reusing materials

Impact

Our impact will be a reduction in single-use plastic waste ending up in recycling plants (high energy requirements), landfills (high volume requirement), or untreated (high environmental costs). The solution will also allow airlines to reduce the amount of food carried, resulting in lower fuel costs and carbon-dioxide emissions.

We will also impact customers’ engagement in environmental efforts by providing them flexibility, rewards and recognition. The mix of increased customer satisfaction and branding will lead to customer retention and growth.

We will measure this impact through the change in waste and carbon-dioxide produced in airlines, and customer growth figures post solution implementation. The economic impact will be directly measured by the Airline Groups.

Next Steps

We plan to develop and refine our solutions and find the right technological and product partners to advise us on the type of materials we can use, and the specifications of meal trays. We also plan to speak to Airlines and understand the flexibility that they currently have in adopting this, and potential barriers specific to the Airline Group.

Understanding a potential replacement to single use plastic will then allow us to understand and work with airport logistics, and find/ develop the right infrastructure for adoption.

Engaging the right partners will allow us to share existing knowledge, and accelerate adoption of reusable trays. In this time, we also intend to work on integrating consumer rewards on airline-owned booking websites, and develop effective marketing/PR tools.

Our close interaction and communication with Airline Groups, and understanding of their problems will allow us to convert them as customers.

Immediate Requests

We request mentoring, financial and network support to allow us to engage the right stakeholders, develop our solution, and position ourselves in the market that we want to target. We would appreciate connections to Airline companies in Europe, materials manufacturers, design studios and R&D teams. We would also benefit from conversations with airport and regulatory authorities.