In April, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s collaboration with the anti-waste start-up Phenix – which was part of the third acceleration season at URW Link in 2017 – reached a new milestone: it is now responsible for the management and revaluation of the waste at the French shopping centre Rosny 2.
Phenix: an ambitious start-up aiming to put an end to wastage
Founded in 2014 by Jean Moreau and Baptiste Corval, Phenix’s mission is to reduce waste by supporting professionals towards “zero waste” thanks to recycling and donations. For instance, to fight food waste, Phenix collects and redistributes unsold food items to charities, or resells them at a lower price to consumers on an application, instead of throwing them away. Today, their circular approach is mainly aimed at the tertiary sector: mass distribution, wholesalers and now shopping centres, thanks to URW Link. In 2018, Phenix raised €15M to accelerate the roll-out of its ambitions.
Back in 2017, URW Link, the Group’s open innovation platform, decided to investigate how to make waste management of shopping centres more circular with Phenix. To do so, Phenix carried out an audit on the nature and volume of waste from Les Quatre Temps and Aéroville shopping centres. The audit confirmed the potential of Phenix to work within the Group on diverse types of waste. After this audit, Phenix and URW Link then led the first operational tests in 2018 in Aéroville shopping centre.
The fight against waste at the heart of the Group’s objectives
After this phase of study and adaptation of their process to shopping centres, Phenix was selected by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield to take over the management of all waste at Rosny 2 in April 2019, based on the principles of circular economy and with a key goal: recycling or revaluing 100% of the produced waste within the next 5 years, in line with the ambitions of the Better Places 2030 CSR strategy developed by the Group. While it offers high quality services to retailers and visitors, Phenix is especially beneficial from an economic and an environmental perspective: the solution enables a more efficient treatment of waste and ensures a better traceability while making considerable savings thanks to source sorting.
This first deployment at Rosny 2 is the result of joint work between Phenix and URW Link: Phenix took time to develop a business model adapted to the needs of the Group’s shopping centres, which in turn gave increasingly important missions to the start-up. The partnership also enabled a skills transfer for Phenix thanks to the tests at Les Quatre Temps and Aéroville.
Obviously, as is always the case regarding collaborations initiated with start-ups, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield hopes to roll out the solution in other assets depending on the results of the ongoing collaboration at Rosny 2.
Along with URW Link, we are showing that we can create a new model, a more circular and more efficient one, to manage waste.Jean Moreau
We are very proud of this collaboration with Phenix, which offers a concrete solution to answer needs in line with the Better Places 2030 strategy, especially reducing our carbon impact by 50%. This long-lasting partnership with Phenix is very meaningful and called to grow in the coming years!Jean Collet