Making Sustainability Awesome af
Over the last five years Chimpy got well known for our power bank rental service. We have been helping millions of people who run out of smartphone battery power. Our service is instant and probably the most convenient solution for people on the go. But some of our customers and partners do not know that our long term plan is not only to rent power banks.
We believe that 100% renewable energy, a non-waste, circular, carbon neutral, climate positive economy must be achieved fast. And it can be done on a global scale. The purpose of Chimpy (and the reason we work hard) is to contribute to this transition. In the past five years we have built a flourishing business based on solar power, circular products and carbon reduction. We have successfully scaled it to Switzerland. Now, we want to scale it further afield.
You are right to ask whether power bank rental actually does bring humanity closer to a sustainable future. My answer is “not necessarily” unless you understand Chimpy’s long-term plan.
There is one crucial element to making the transition to sustainability happen on a global scale: it is having sustainable products and services with no disadvantages. These circular products and services need to be designed to crush their non-sustainable counterparts in a direct comparison. If you make it fun, awesome and convenient for consumers to live a sustainable lifestyle you will make them reduce their footprint. These lifestyle options should have much more perceived value than traditional wasteful non-renewable behaviours. If they are available, consumers won’t have to give up something they value highly.
Three Remarkable Things
Chimpy has mastered this. We have achieved three remarkable things that can be scaled, and help accelerating the transition to a sustainable future:
First, we were able to make solar power convenient for smartphone users: we made the mass market actually enjoy solar. And it is even ready to pay a premium for it. Storing solar power in our widely distributed batteries contributes to solving the storage issue for renewables. By giving easy access to solar power to consumers, we suddenly enabled a large number of people to reduce their individual carbon footprint. On an individual scale the reduction is limited. But aggregating the effect, carbon emissions reduction is massive.
Second, we were the first company to establish a waste-reducing rental system for free floating physical products in retail stores: using our rental platform, a retail chain can now avoid selling linear disposable products (in our case powerbanks/batteries). Instead they sell access to circular and re-usable products. They can be returned, refurbished and re-used for many other customers. One rental powerbank can replace dozens of disposable powerbanks or batteries, and by the end of its lifetime be recycled, while turning the same profit for retailers. This increases economic value per product and reduces waste by an order of magnitude. For consumers, it means getting easy and low-cost access to state-of-the art products instead of buying them – while still reducing their personal carbon footprint.
Third, we demonstrate that it is possible to run a whole company on the same principles of being renewable, circular and carbon negative. We have been aggressively avoiding company behaviour that creates emissions. We are also building a program to capture the remaining carbon emissions that our company produces, by starting local projects with focus on land use and forestry. This includes the emissions from the production of our batteries, logistics, purchased energy, office space, battery recycling, business trips and material usage. Added to the effects of our solar energy distribution and waste-reduction business, this will further neutralize our emissions and contribute to our goal of being the first carbon-negative energy distributor in the world.
Road-map towards sustainability: Become category leader for instant battery
The not so secret ingredient to our sustainable business is convenience: This is how we want to beat less sustainable products. Our solar powered rental power banks are an instant solution for people who run out of power when they are on the go. Our services reduce your 30 minutes waiting time to 30 seconds. That’s the average time it takes you to rent a powerbank at our partner retailers. Our power bank does not charge your phone faster, but it solves your problem 60 times quicker and you don’t have to wait stationary. If you rent a Chimpy Powerbank you are instantly free to move; you charge on the go while using the phone.
This massive increase in convenience helped us to make our sustainable service popular. And this will also be the value that we offer to our customers in the future. We aim to become the most convenient and instant solution for any power issue on the go. We call this category instant battery and we want to be its leader.
So what is our grand plan to a sustainable future?
- Roll out our powerbank rental service internationally. We want to massively scale our distribution. Unexpectedly running out of battery on the go is a universal problem. People around the globe experience it regularly. This is why we have started to roll out our service to new metropolitan areas in Europe. We want to supply people anywhere with convenient solar power.
- Build instant battery services for devices other than smartphones, and other charging standards. The usage of smartwatches, headsets, laptops, e-bikes, e-scooters, e-cars, and drones is on the rise. Whenever Chimpy can offer better convenience for recharging one of these devices on the go with solar power, we will introduce a new charging service. Using current technology standards, rental power banks are the most convenient way for users to charge a battery while on the go. But technology is evolving. Whenever new charging standards (i.e. wireless charging, fast charging, long-distance wireless charging) reach a critical mass of user adaptation, we will extend our service to these technologies.
- Open our rental platform to enable other brands to rent their re-usable products in retail stores instead of selling them. While growing our solar power business, we want to open up our rental platform to other brands to rent circular products instead of selling linear products, giving more brands access to a waste reducing rental distribution.
- Become category leader for instant battery and a fully carbon emission negative power distributor. By investing in making our service the most convenient to consumers, we want to lead the instant battery category in every market we operate, always with our goal of being a fully carbon emission negative power distributor.
Become part of this transition
In order to support this transition to a circular, renewable and carbon negative future we are looking for partners who share our values. If you work with retail brands, in convenience store networks, food chains, festival organizers, power production & distribution companies, telecom operators, mobility operators, innovative battery companies, and consumer brands, whether you are a motivated job applicant or investor, please reach out to us and become part of this journey.
Andreas Braendle, Co-Founder & CEO Chimpy, Summer 2019