Brown Living aims to make plastic-free living a reality
In a resolute effort to curb plastic pollution, India has imposed a ban on single-use plastic products from July 1, 2022, a move that synchronizes with Plastic Free July, an influential global campaign empowering people to cut down on plastic and make the planet more sustainable.
A breakthrough in this direction is Brown Living, India’s first and only plastic-free marketplace that consciously curates an array of everyday sustainable products – from apparel to home accessories, self-care and wellness – supporting sustainable, vegan, chemical-free and zero-waste lifestyles. Launched in 2019, Brown Living is the brainchild of Chaitsi Ahuja, a marketer and earth advocate, who has been living a plastic-free life for the past 5 years. Chaitsi, Founder and CEO of Brown Living, states, “Going plastic-free is a journey. It won’t happen overnight. I started with ‘use what you have first’ to ensure nothing goes to waste.”
Her mission to create awareness about conscious consumption is amplified by environmentalist and film producer Pragya Kapoor. “All of us have a role to play in conserving the earth and I believe we must make sustainable and kinder choices every day,” says Pragya, Business Partner and Investor at Brown Living.
Every year, India alone produces 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste, of which 43% is single-use plastic. By 2050, global use of plastic could emit upto 56 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, aggravating the climate crisis. These alarming numbers require immediate action. Pragya adds, “If we stop single-use plastics completely, we would be able to delay the effects of climate change by a few years and also start managing our waste much better, reducing global temperatures, improving air quality and living conditions.”
At Brown Living, each product is made in India and selected through The Brown Lens, a proprietary framework that evaluates its environmental impact, fair trade, ethical sourcing and production. All orders are packaged and shipped plastic-free in biodegradable, plastic-free and recycled containers and shipped in 100% post-consumer boxes with plastic-free paper tapes. A share of profits is directed towards tree plantation drives. Labels and artisans who respect the people and planet feature exclusively on this platform. Till date, the aggregator hosts over 300 sellers with over 10,000 products from across India, with 72% women entrepreneurs.
Brown Living’s vision is to shift mindsets, make sustainable living mainstream and bust the myth that zero-plastic lifestyle is expensive or niche. “A lot of options for affordable plastic-free products are easily accessible now. Even if you go back to the traditional ways of shopping from kirana stores or buy produce by weight, in small batches, you will have fresher, healthier products both for you as well as the planet, while supporting local businesses. So, it’s an absolute win-win and completely guilt-free,“ Chaitsi adds.
Commenting on the plastic ban, she says, “The ban should have a tax-on-the-polluter component where manufacturers are held accountable for responsibly recovering and recycling the plastic they have put out in the market so far and changing packaging materials to be environment-friendly. Government funding and subsidies for companies producing biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastics could also prove to be a game-changer at the grassroot level.”
Overall, Chaitsi is optimistic about living plastic-free but added, “We need a systemic shift in our consumption habits, ask questions before we buy, and drastically reduce the amount of single-use plastic that we already create, consume and discard each year, while also finding intelligent ways to repurpose the plastic that already exists.”
WiTricity and ABT e-Line to Bring Wireless EV Charging to the Streets of Europe
- ABT e-Line plans for commercial introduction of wireless charging, starting with the Volkswagen ID.4 in 2024
- The companies will work together to accelerate the adoption of wireless charging for EVs by deploying the first aftermarket solutions in Europe
KEMPTEN, Germany and WATERTOWN, Mass., March 23, 2023 — ABT e-Line, a technology driver and one of the leading companies in aftermarket automotive solutions, and WiTricity, the leader in wireless electric vehicle charging, announced plans to deliver aftermarket wireless EV charging in Europe. With extensive experience working with the Volkswagen Group (VW), ABT e-Line will initially upgrade the VW ID.4 to support wireless charging from WiTricity, with availability targeted for early 2024. The company plans to expand to additional EV models thereafter.
“ABT e-Line’s strong track record in customizing vehicles to meet the stringent demands of discerning customers fits perfectly with the leading wireless charging technology from WiTricity”, says Eric Plekkepoel, CEO of ABT e-Line.
ABT e-Line plans to extend wireless charging capability to additional vehicles, including the Audi e-Tron GT and Porsche Taycan as well as the Volkswagen ID. Buzz – an iconic lifestyle vehicle that fits perfectly to the ABT brand. The added feature of wireless charging will not only appeal to their tech-savvy customer bases but also provide further differentiation in their respective classes.
“We’re thrilled to see the simplicity and convenience of wireless charging expand to vehicles in Europe through this partnership with one of the leading companies in automotive upgrade and aftermarket solutions,” said Alex Gruzen, CEO, WiTricity. “Our proven, automotive-grade charging solutions will help address many of the electrification challenges by making charging as easy as parking.”
WiTricity’s magnetic resonance technology allows drivers to charge their EV simply by parking over a charging pad – all with the same speed and efficiency as plugging into Level 2 equipment. The global automotive standard for wireless charging for EVs was ratified by the Society of Automotive Engineers in 2020, based in large part on WiTricity’s designs, and ensures that both the ABT e-Line vehicles and WiTricity’s chargers will interoperate with other manufacturers.
Meeting consumer demand with a simplified charging experience
Consumers have indicated a strong desire for wireless EV charging. In several studies, 96 percent of EV consumers have expressed an interest in wireless charging1, ranking it significantly higher in desirability than such other options as assisted parking or autonomous driving features2. ABT e-Line plans to meet this demand with new EVs that are equally desirable to promote the convenience, safety and accessibility of wireless charging across Europe.
“EV owners tend to count charging as the key drawback to ownership, and potential owners may see it as a reason to delay purchase. Charging with a cord or cable is inconvenient, as they can be heavy, bulky or trip hazards,” explained Gruzen. “And that’s before you add arms full of kids or backpacks, rainy weather or snowbanks. Wireless charging removes those inconveniences, so owners can simply park and charge.”
About ABT e-Line
As a traditionally innovative company, ABT Sportsline has been conducting research in the field of e-mobility since 2009. In 2013, the first VW Caddy converted to electric drive by ABT appeared on the road. Since then, the electric vehicles have driven several million kilometers on delivery journeys. The experiences gathered during tough everyday use were a valuable contribution to the development of the next vehicle generation. The 2018 founded ABT e-Line GmbH, which is fully focused on e-mobility and alternative drive trains, is responsible for this field of work.
The spectrum of tasks ranges from the development and programming of control units, lithium batteries and complete drive trains to the construction of ready-to-run prototypes and small series production. As a premium partner of VW Commercial Vehicles, the company converted the T6.1 and the Caddy into electric vehicles. Together with major automotive groups, leading global suppliers and research institutes, ABT e-Line also carries out important development work in the areas of hydrogen drives and batteries.
WiTricity is the pioneer in wireless charging for electric vehicles, leading the development and implementation of magnetic resonance technology across passenger and commercial vehicles alike. The company’s products are backed by an extensive patent portfolio critical to ratified global EV wireless charging standards including SAE, ISO, and GB. Automakers and Tier 1 suppliers rely on WiTricity to help accelerate the adoption of EVs by eliminating the hassle of plug-in charging and setting the stage for future autonomy. Beyond EVs, WiTricity technology is indispensable to the wireless charging of all products, from consumer electronics to micro-mobility to robotics.
Bitpanda Technology Solutions now available to financial institutions via Visa's Fintech Partner Connect programme
- Austrian fintech unicorn Bitpanda has partnered with Visa, a world leader in digital payments, to empower crypto trading and custody services for banks and FinTechs.
- Bitpanda Technology Solutions, Bitpanda’s Software-as-a-Service solution, empowers banks, brokers, fintechs and online platforms to rapidly offer trading and investment services for asset classes such as Crypto, Stocks/ETFs, Precious metals & Commodities to their end customers.
- Beyond this partnership Bitpanda Technology Solutions will now start their expansion outside Europe.
VIENNA, March 23, 2023 — In partnership with Austrian fintech unicorn Bitpanda, Visa’s partners will gain the opportunity to access Bitpanda’s comprehensive investment infrastructure solutions. This enables financial institutions, banks and fintechs to rapidly offer trading and investment services for asset classes such as Crypto, Stocks/ETFs, Precious metals & Commodities to their end customers. Next to this partnership Bitpanda Technology Solutions will begin expanding their investment infrastructure outside of Europe.
Due to increasing user demand many banks & FinTechs from around the globe have started to work on their crypto use-cases, which range from offering investing to retail customers, private banking High Net Worth individuals even to corporates for their treasury activities. This rise in focus can be seen in the string of collaborations recently launched by Bitpanda, which include the largest challenger bank in Continental Europe, N26. Driven by market competition, Bitpanda expects adoption to continue to grow exponentially in the years forward as, in parallel, regulatory bodies are providing clearer frameworks for banks to safely engage with the industry.
LUKAS ENZERSDORFER-KONRAD, CEO of Bitpanda Technology Solutions, says:
“As the demand for cryptocurrencies continues to rise, banks must take proactive steps to meet the changing needs of their customers. Bitpanda Technology’s SaaS solution provides financial institutions around the world with the infrastructure they need to deploy the most scalable and secure way to build all relevant crypto use cases. We are thrilled to partner with Visa and to be able to offer our solution to their outstanding networks of financial institutions around the world.”
Ute König-Stemmler, Central Europe Head of Business Development Visa, comments: “We are excited to welcome Bitpanda to Visa´s Fintech Partner Connect Program. The partnership will assist banks to integrate an asset trading platform for crypto and other assets within their banking app.”
How Bitpanda Technology Solutions is bringing crypto to the financial service industry
Bitpanda, already well known for providing digital trading services to several European banks including European Neobank N26, announced the expansion of its B2B offer with the launch of Bitpanda Technology Solutions earlier this year. By being part of Visa’s Fintech Partner Connect program their clients can connect with digital-first, next-generation solutions and open up new possibilities. The unicorn already provides over 20 million European customers access to crypto trading via its infrastructure, Partners can build their own user experiences on an ISO 27001 certified and battle-proofed infrastructure.
Additionally, Bitpanda’s infrastructure is set up as a modular system to enable our partners to pick and choose from our features such as savings plans, asset-to-asset swaps, crypto staking, fractionalised Stocks, full blockchain service, and many more via one simple API integration. Custody for cryptocurrencies is provided by Bitpanda Custody, an institutional grade custody provider regulated by the FCA.
Bitpanda is offering its services on a global level, enabling Banks and FinTechs from around the world to build a crypto trading offering in less than three months. This, combined with Bitpanda’s more than 8 years in the investing and crypto industry, makes it a unique product that can educate and empower financial institutions to offer tailor-made crypto trading and investment experiences.
Current partners include German digital bank N26, French money app Lydia, UK fintech Plum and Italian open banking provider Fabrick, among others.
Bitpanda simplifies wealth creation. Founded in 2014 in Vienna, Austria by Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek and Christian Trummer, Bitpanda exists to help people trust themselves enough to build financial freedom for their future. The user-friendly, trade-everything platform empowers both first-time investors and seasoned experts to invest in the cryptocurrencies, crypto indices, stocks, precious metals and commodities they want — 24/7. With more than 700 team members and steadily approaching 4 million customers, the company is one of Europe’s most successful fintechs.
EQT Growth invests EUR 100 million in IntegrityNext, a sustainability software platform dedicated to making supply chains more transparent and compliant
- Munich-based IntegrityNext empowers businesses to meet regulatory ESG requirements, manage ESG risks and improve supply chain sustainability.
- The Company operates in a rapidly growing market that will likely benefit from the introduction of several major regulatory frameworks around climate protection and human rights, as ESG compliance and risk assessment becomes a “license to operate” issue
- Its cloud-based software platform is used by more than 200 customers, including Siemens Gamesa, Infineon, SwissRe, Kion and Hilti. To date, the company monitors almost 1 million suppliers in more than 190 countries
- EQT Growth will support the Company as its first institutional investor, leveraging its experience of investing throughout the tech value-chain, global network of sustainability and technology advisors, and in-house teams of digitization and sustainability experts
STOCKHOLM, March 23, 2023 — The EQT Growth fund (“EQT Growth”) has today announced a EUR 100 million investment in IntegrityNext (“the Company”), a sustainability software platform dedicated to enabling supply chain transparency and regulatory compliance. Co-founders Martin Berr-Sorokin (CEO), Simon Jaehnig (CRO) and Nick Heine (COO), who have grown the business whilst bootstrapped to date, will continue to lead the Company.
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Munich, Germany, IntegrityNext has grown to serve more than 200 customers and monitoring almost one million suppliers, making it one of the leading environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) Certification software solutions in Europe. Its cloud-based platform enables enterprises – such as Siemens Gamesa, Infineon, SwissRe, Kion and Hilti – to assess risk and monitor a large portion of their supply chain for ESG metrics and compliance, allowing them to meet stakeholder demands and regulatory requirements. IntegrityNext has also partnered and integrated with leading enterprise software tools, including Celonis, Coupa and SAP, allowing it to offer supply chain assessments across numerous major industries.
The penetrated market in Europe for sustainability supply chain software solutions is expected to see strong growth over the next years. According to market estimates, the penetrated market is growing by more than 50 percent annually1 with an expected market volume of around EUR two billion in the medium term2. This development is driven by the introduction of several major regulatory frameworks across Europe. Most notably, these include the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (“LkSG”), the EU’s Green Deal and Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD”). At the same, increasing stakeholder pressure is also expected to drive market expansion, as ESG compliance and risk assessment becomes a “license to operate” issue for companies worldwide.
EQT Growth will partner with IntegrityNext on the next phase of its growth journey as it looks to further cement its leading position within Germany, while expanding its core product to serve upcoming European regulations. EQT Growth will bring its experience of investing throughout the tech value-chain, supported by EQT’s dedicated in-house teams of digital and sustainability experts and network of 600 advisors. Together, EQT Growth and IntegrityNext will further invest in the tech platform to support the acceleration of the product offering, and position it for long-term success.
Martin Berr-Sorokin, CEO and co-founder of IntegrityNext, said: “The critical importance of ESG is not a new concept to modern businesses. However, as a raft of regulatory frameworks – like Germany’s LkSG or the EU’s CSRD – begin to take effect, supply chain transparency and sustainability is evolving from a nice-to-have to a must-have. As more clients entrust us and we embark on our next stage of growth, we’re excited to be partnering with an experienced and hands-on investor with European roots and global scale like EQT Growth.”
Dominik Stein, Partner in the EQT Growth Investment advisory team who will join IntegrityNext’s Advisory Board, said: “IntegrityNext’s technology provides a streamlined and automated way for customers to easily monitor and certify their supply chain for ESG risks. Their cutting-edge product and large footprint in their home market of Germany positions them well to expand across Europe, as they have already built a significant proprietary supplier database. We look forward to working with Martin and the entire IntegrityNext team as they accelerate on their journey to making supply chains more transparent.”
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