Closing the ‘Ambition Gap’ in 2023: How We’re Helping Corporates Achieve Their Sustainability Goals Powered By Startups

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Blog Post | 0 comments

Just 100 companies have been the source of 75% of the world’s global emissions over the last 30 years and currently, all of those companies are falling short of their climate pledges. Collaborating with startups who already have the solutions, then scaling those solutions at speed through corporate partnerships, is how the companies of the future are being built. 

Our world is in desperate need of sustainable innovation. At Co:cubed, we’re on a mission to help the world’s biggest companies solve the world’s biggest problems. 

Since our inception, Co:cubed has worked with 50 of the FTSE 100 to source and foster transformational partnerships with startups. Today, 80% of the briefs we receive are connected to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and our ambition is to see that continue to make up a disproportionate share of our work. Common client challenges include the eradication of plastic, reducing their carbon footprint and decarbonising the supply chain.

Why we exist isn’t just a tagline, we’re already delivering on this for our clients. 

When Asda set their ambition to halve food waste, it was Co:cubed that searched the globe for a world-class solution. The result was WhyWaste, a solution which is now being deployed in every Asda store across the UK.

When Coca Cola wanted to eradicate plastic bottles, we searched our global network and one of many solutions we found ‘Pour my Beverage’, a self-dispensing solution that allows people to select, tap & pay for drinks which are then dispensed into reusable glasses. 

When Givaudan wanted innovation that was good for consumers and the planet, we helped them engage and partner with Kaffe Bueno. The result has been the launch of a new upcycled active ingredient that is bringing breakthrough innovation to the beauty industry, underpinned by a great story around provenance, without costing the planet. 

Our ambition reflects our ability to help companies to not just innovate, but to innovate with impact – delivering immediate growth, improved profitability and a measurable improvement for our planet.

“Every self-respecting corporate has set their sustainability targets, but there is a huge ‘ambition gap’ between what they are promising and what they are able to deliver. Co:cubed has that solution. In our network we have over 12 million startups who already have the answers, they just haven’t been scaled. That’s why we exist, to connect the dots. It’s a unique capability of ours, it’s also a responsibility.” Jeremy Basset, founder and CEO of Co:cubed.

“The thing that we’re really passionate about is innovation with impact. A common misconception is that cost reduction and sustainability are at odds. Innovation scales when it delivers profit, not just for the planet. Generally if you’re taking carbon out of a system you’re saving costs. Most of the briefs we’re working on are either about creating new revenues for the client or taking costs out of operations and doing that in a more sustainable way. Working with start-ups can leapfrog 6-7 years of development. It increases speed to market, requires a smaller investment and is less risky due to the solution being implemented having already been proven.” Denise McQuaid, head of scouting, Co:cubed 

Finding possible partners for a brief, helping corporates and startups to collaborate, and launching solutions into the market requires a global network of possible partners, it takes a lot of heavy lifting, and an understanding of how corporations innovate. That is why the world’s best companies come to Co:cubed to innovate with impact. 

Co:cubed was set up by Jeremy Basset in 2017. Prior to launching Co:cubed, Jeremy was responsible for initiating and leading the Unilever Foundry. Through the Foundry, Unilever partnered with over 100 startups around the world, with almost half being scaled across the business. If you’re looking at your sustainability ambitions and wondering where to start, then talk to Co:cubed. The solutions to your challenges already exist, we’ll help you find them, connect and collaborate to bring immediate results to your business and our planet.


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