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Pitch

In a local loop of smart use for green energy, waste fryer oil from restaurants and hotels become liquid soaps, detergents, candles & more.


Description

Summary

Clean Circle, a product suite of biodiesel glycerin lifestyle goods for both commercial and residential markets. Created in a full circle loop of smart use for green energy, waste fryer oil from restaurants and hotels become liquid soaps, detergents, and consumer lifestyle goods. The first phase starts in New Orleans, recycling waste from French Quarter restaurants and hotels. Clean Circle will expand to the residential market with a full body care line, toothpaste, candles, and household detergents to be sold by both online and brick & mortar retailers.

The environmental and community benefits are: creation of green collar jobs, changing the waste cycle of service industry, and replacement of environmentally toxic soaps for those that aren't unhealthy for our wastewater systems. Locally, a portion of proceeds will also be donated for wetland restoration.

Our goal is to create a scalable, repeatable model that can be exported to other food centric cities.  Each new location replicates this clean circle loop befitting per their community. Each location produces in their city, with a unique product label design and donation partner relevant to their community’s needs.

Currently there is not a competitor in the biodiesel glycerin soap, detergent, body care, & household consumer goods (e.g., candles, toothpaste, etc.) market either commercially or residentially. A community based competitor also does not yet exist in my research. Green detergent and/or bodycare competitors are: method (recently purchased by Belgian company ecover), Burt’s Bee’s, and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day.

Essentially, this is taking waste fryer oil to create an alternate fuel (New Orleans' buses also run on it), then taking one of its natural by-products to create daily use cleaners and bodycare which don’t harm the environment and are naturally moisturizing and anti-bacterial. Win, win, win!
 


Key actor

Grassroots neighborhood organizations


What actions do you propose?

Operations:

Currently biodiesel manufacturers and waste cooking oil collectors do already exist in New Orleans. What's missing is the distillation of the biodiesel glycerin (a natural byproduct of biodiesel manufacturing) to a pharmaceutical grade for safe use on skin and fabrics. We are actively seeking funding and partnerships to create this section of the Full Circle loop in New Orleans.  We would also locally produce these glycerin-based soaps, cleaners, and household goods: liquid hand soaps, dish & laundry detergents, toothpaste, and candles.

Additionally, we intend to further examine the waste cycle of restaurants and hotels to see where other opportunities exist. Collaboration with the BioInnovation center in finding the appropriate chemists for the project has also begun. Because of the surrounding oil industry there are many chemical engineers in the area; the distillation of the glycerin by-product to a pharmaceutical grade is a more environmentally friendly task.

Donations and Distribution:

Clean Circle Soaps is a for-profit/for-benefit business donating a portion of projects to causes aligned with company values. Our mission is to launch two consumer based products and two commercial products in 2013. We will develop an overall media outreach strategy to plan media (e.g., social, online, press, etc.) campaigns target specific products at specific markets during specific times of the year. These campaigns will exponentially expand the Clean Circle community while growing sales. Our first sales will be targeted toward the current Matter community and distribution partners (~40 international, national, and local stores). We develop new sales channels based on partners, sales figures, and market research. Our general distribution channels for sales are online and commercial direct. 


Costs, Standup, & Funding:

The costs for producing Clean Circle products are classified into two categories: cost of goods sold and operational costs. The costs for manufacturing will be roughly 25% of product price. We expect manufacturing costs to lower as we optimize our production processes. The costs of goods sold cover money spent on manufacturing and packaging products. Operations costs cover salaries, rent, and other miscellaneous operational costs. We do have a goal of creating green collar jobs in depressed economic communities. But we will not hire unless there is a clear need for additional resources. 
Clean Circle is currently being funded through profits created by Matter. 
Our plan for launching Clean Circle is to raise $50K of seed funding to move forward with the refinement process and fund the three month initial stand up period. We are also seeking supplement seed funding and may also pursue crowdfunding campaigns.
 


Who will take these actions?

Initially Matter, Inc. and our current development and community partners. To date, we have a restaurant partner in the Lifestyle Revolution Group, Robert LeBlanc’s parent company for his famed New Orleans restaurants: Sylvain, Capdeville, and Sainte Marie. As we round out prototypes we will continue building partnerships with local restaurants and hotels as well retailers, building upon Matter’s current retail partners in both local & national markets.

We have also begun discussions for biodiesel glycerin distillation needs with Refresh Environmental, based in the BioInnovation center in downtown New Orleans. Refresh is also one of the current waste oil collectors for the cities.

Additional restaurant, hotel, scientific, manufacturing, and production partner submissions are welcomed.

As mentioned previously, it is also our mission to replicate this model in other food centric cities which would include new groups taking these similar actions.
 


Where will these actions be taken?

At first in New Orleans, the project’s birthplace, development, testing, and standup grounds. As this model is replicated, it will take place in new locations. New target locales include: Austin, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and Sydney. If you believe your community to be an ideal candidate for replication of this Clean Circle Loop, we would love to hear from you!
 


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Emissions will be reduced both in air, water, and landfill. The bolstering of biodiesel production (and helping tackle the glut of its natural by-product glycerin) helps air emission levels. Water is healthier due to the lowering of toxic detergents, toothpastes, and soaps being emptied into them both commerically and residentially. Third, the landfill emissions are reduced due to less waste oil and glycerin being dumped into them.


What are other key benefits?

Initially this project targets communities in New Orleans including: restaurants and hotels (and their waste streams); the environment with improved wastewater and donations for wetland restoration; green collar job creation in production, fulfillment, and distribution; and alternative fuel industries.

The success and learnings from Matter Inc.’s first product, which has now donated close to $20,000 to date to our partner groups (Gulf Restoration Network & International Bird Rescue is the inspiration for this new suite of products. These donations to wetland restoration will be key not only to New Orleans but also to the rest of the nation.

In following years as this model is duplicated in other food centric cities it is tailored appropriately. As these new cities select the donation partner most appropriate for their community, the benefits grow larger nationally.

Additionally, as we scale, we intend to analyze other hotel and restaurant waste streams for further opportunities.
 


What are the proposal’s costs?

The costs for producing Clean Circle products are classified into two categories: cost of goods sold and operational costs. The costs for manufacturing will be roughly 25% of product price. We expect manufacturing costs to lower as we optimize our production processes. The costs of goods sold cover money spent on manufacturing and packaging products. Operations costs cover utilities, rent, salaries, and other miscellaneous operational costs. We also aim and value new job creation for aid to our depressed economic communities. Hiring will occur only as there is a clear need for additional resources.

Clean Circle is initally being funded through some of Matter, Inc.‘s profits. Our plan for sustaining Full Circle Living is to raise $50K of seed funding to move forward with the refinement process and fund the three month stand up period. We are also seeking additional seed funding and possibly a crowdfunding campaign.


Time line

In 2013, we will secure 15 Restaurants/Hotels and 10 retailers in New Orleans for the liquid handsoap and dish detergent. Robert LeBlanc is already a project partner - owning 3 of New Orleans’ widely popular restaurants Sylvain, Sainte Marie, and Capdeville. Boutique retail locations which currently stock Matter products have also expressed interest in select items of the product suite. Local grocers, Rouse’s Supermarkets are a target retailer, as well as Whole Foods. With two years of wholesale experience in place these connections are more easily made.
Five months of startup time and refinement of products is allotted, with the creation of four new jobs this year. With conservative projections first year, profits are 35K and donations 5K. In 2014, those numbers are doubled and 2015 quadrupled - again with conservative projections.

In two years Clean Circle will be in existence in two cities. Within three years, three cities will have Clean Circle ecosystems in place. The intent is to not grow too quickly in new locations as growing spurts can be painful especially when creating multiple jobs. We want to best provide people with direction and guidance, with consideration for each city’s culture.

With the creation of a Clean Circle ecosystem in each new location: jobs are created in a sustainable field, wastewater is healthier, production of alternative fuels is bolstered, and people are using less toxic products in their daily lives both commercially and residentially. These community based products create better health for people and the environment, all the while also raising donations for communities’ most pressing needs. In order to accomplish this vision, funding is required to get Clean Circle into action.
 


Related proposals

I see several proposals which we could potentially partner or collaborate with, including: Social Governance Securities Exchange, Gasification Biomass Power Plant, Takachar: turning organic waste into safe and affordable charcoal briquettes, & Closing the Green Loop: Climate-Friendly Cities.
 


References

LA waste cooking grease recycler: http://refreshenvironmental.com/

Distilling biodiesel glycerin: http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/7662/the-pure-potential-of-glycerin

New Orleans’ growth in tourism (more production in restaurants of often fried foods):
http://www.wwltv.com/news/Last-years-tourism-numbers-record-breaking-for-New-Orleans-144297845.html

Currently 1340 restaurants in New Orleans & counting: http://www.neworleanscvb.com/visit/faq/

Market size for green detergents:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/eco-friendly-soaps-method-ecover_n_3419867.html