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Credit: Vitaly Taranov

 Fresh support for six sustainable start-ups  

Bupa has provided funding to six selected start-ups from Australia and New Zealand as part of its Eco Disruptive program.

This initiative allows Bupa’s personnel to collaborate with start-ups and social enterprises on innovative solutions spanning various industries to enhance both human health and environmental well-being.

In the initial competition phase, these start-ups secured approximately AUD$280,000 collectively, with an additional AUD$380,000 potentially available to the winning team through a global finals popular vote.

The November Pitch-Fest features six finalists:

  1. XFrame: Developed a modular construction system that reduces waste, utilizing natural, renewable materials that seamlessly interlock, eliminating the need for fasteners or adhesives.
  2. Office of Planetary Observations: Utilizes urban data to identify areas requiring greening and those prone to extreme weather exposure.
  3. DiaperRecycle: Diverts used diapers from landfills, recycling them into other products.
  4. ClimateClever: Created an innovative dashboard enabling businesses to achieve ESG goals by managing their direct and indirect carbon footprint.
  5. CoolSan: Developers of ChillSafe, a product placed in cool rooms or fridges that absorbs water vapor, extending the freshness of food.
  6. Medsalv: A New Zealand-based start-up aiming to reduce healthcare waste by producing safe, reusable medical devices.

The Eco-Disruptive program, a key component of Bupa’s sustainability strategy, is a global talent and innovation initiative under Mission Accelerate. It unites Bupa employees, entrepreneurs, and start-ups to address sustainability challenges within the business and the health sector, with a focus on scalable solutions.

Launched in 2021, the program is now in its third year, running from May to December 2023 across five countries or regions: Australia, Spain, UK, Hong Kong SAR, and New Zealand.

What support do the winner and finalists receive?

The winning start-up will receive GBP 200,000 (or local currency equivalent) to scale up their sustainable product or service. Each start-up finalist will receive GBP 25,000 (or local currency equivalent) to support the development of their minimum viable product for the programme.

We first launched eco-Disruptive in 2021 and the programme is now in its third year running from May to December 2023. The programme runs across five countries or regions where we operate: Australia, Spain, UK, Hong Kong SAR and New Zealand.

Roger Sharp, Bupa APAC Chief Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Officer said the eco-Disruptive  program has empowered its people to innovate and collaborate to create new solutions that will help  make a healthier planet for healthy people. 

“eco-Disruptive is a vital program for us at Bupa because the healthcare sector has a significant  environmental impact due to energy-hungry settings like hospitals, dental clinics and retail stores. 

“We are extremely excited by the amazing ideas that our teams have come up with to solve complex  environmental issues and we look forward to them competing against our global Bupa counterparts in  December where an eventual winner will be crowned,” Roger said.  

Along with funding, the winning start-up will also be given the opportunity to embed its solution within  Bupa’s operations. Cassava Bags Australia, winner of the 2022 eco-Disruptive competition, is now in the  process of rolling out its products across Bupa’s operations. 

“We are in a hurry with our journey towards Net-Zero because our planet cannot afford decades of  more complacency. Moving forward, we believe our relationship with the start-up community will  grow even further to help us meet this challenge,” Roger said. 

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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