At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how leaders of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.
Meet Chicko Sousa
It has been said that Chico Sousa is a Mechanical Engineer by choice, but a specialist in the acceleration of clean production by nature aptly sums up his journey to entrepreneurship. Starting as a mechanical engineer working for Volvo, Chicko was assigned to projects that produced scrap materials needing to be recycled or reimagined. He left Volvo after successfully managing those projects to start a company that built recycling plants in Brazil, creating 13 new plants over 11 years before selling his company in 2013. He then came to Sao Paulo to help the municipality with public projects, generating environmental improvements in the fight against CO2 emissions and plastic use.
From there, Chicko created a YouTube series where he did interviews inside garbage trucks, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, to raise recycling awareness. The wild success of this web series helped increase the municipality’s recycling rates significantly but created new issues. They started to see problems with permits as they began selling the recycled materials. At this time, Chicko realized a need to control and manage information to produce the proper flow of materials for licensed recycling and founded the company GreenPlat in 2016.
Working with recycling technologies for over 20 years and with software for almost ten years, Chicko created GreenPlat, a clean production SaaS, which today has more than 690,000 companies registered on the platform. Since 2018, GreenPlat has been a part of the World Economic Forum in the Pioneering Technology category, as they were the first company to use blockchain technology for waste traceability. So far, 1 million tons of waste have been managed through their software; all disposed of correctly without polluting the environment. This means a cleaner and healthier environment for all and for businesses, increased visibility into recycling, compliance, and traceability.
“I think this is a worldwide situation where people are done talking and ready to act. We can see this movement, and it is encouraging. We are ready for action; there is no time for waste.”