BLYDE WAKE-UP CALLS

5 BURNING QUESTIONS TO LIANNE KAPPERT, HEAD OF PEOPLE & CULTURE AT TOO GOOD TO GO

 

The past years have laid bare many truths about our current model of capitalism — the severe income inequality and the belief that improving human lives and taking care of the environment are expendable for better profit margins. The changemakers in the growing Certified B Corporation community are demanding an end to the myth that profits must come at the expense of purpose, and environmental and social care. It’s time to wake up, it’s time for action.

At Blyde we believe in questioning the status quo. We believe in the power of the collective, in taking a stand and inspiring people by showing what can and must be changed. In our weekly Wake Up Calls, Blyde stirs up hunger for positive change. We listen to several B Corp voices who talk about their call to action for companies around the globe today. By letting people from different perspectives and businesses speak, we would like to underline the important role of business in this decade of action. ‘On stage’ today: changemaker Lianne Kappert, Head of People & Culture at Too Good To Go. The company was originally founded to save food that became waste at the end of buffets. Whilst developing the concept, the founders soon discovered that it could also be extended to all kinds of food services and providers. A serious wake-up call that led to saving 60 million meals already. 

From a personal perspective, what would you say was your wake-up call for contributing to a better world? 

I graduated on the topic of international development aid and organisational change. After graduating, I worked in Kenya to teach young people in entrepreneurship and micro credits. This was a valuable experience where I learned a lot about supporting people in making conscious choices. I strongly believe in empowering people to connect with each other and their environment to be able to make decisions that benefit all and contribute towards a better way of living and working together. This experience heavily affected my choice of work afterwards and also the type of employers I choose to commit to. 

In that sense, Too Good To Go seems to be a perfect match. Not all companies are as eager to contribute to a better world. What is your call to action for other companies around the globe?

Purpose and profit are two words that are not often associated with each other. But I am convinced that as a business you do not have to choose one over the other. Luckily, there is a rise in organisations embracing ‘business for good’, who are not afraid to combine purpose and profit. This next generation of businesses is setting a whole new standard. More and more strong business models, independent from government aid, make a positive impact on important issues. In all sectors, the status quo needs to be challenged by trying new models on scalability. This way we can show the market – the people – that a better business model does work. 

The Sustainable Development Goals are a useful tool in setting that ‘new standard’. Which of these goals calls you most and why?

I can be really short on this one: End hunger (#2). It is terrible to know that there is still so much hunger, while at the same time, in my daily work, I see how much good food is thrown away – 1/3 of all food is wasted! How is this still possible in the innovative and modern world we live in today? Of course, the Sustainable Development Goals are all interrelated, let’s not forget about that. So, #12 (responsible consumption and production) and #13 (climate action) are topics that I love to contribute to in my daily work at Too Good To Go as well.

 

Let’s fast forward to Too Good To Go in 2030. What do you envision for the company by then?

Too Good To Go is on a mission to inspire and empower everyone around the globe to take action against food waste. So far, we are known primarily for our app that connects local restaurants, hotels and retail businesses that have unsold, surplus food with local consumers. But we are more than an app, we want to become the leading global player in the fight against food waste. This means that we also aim for impact on the policies and regulations in all countries (15 and counting) we currently operate in and educate our next generation about sustainable resources and protecting our planet. We have saved over 60 million meals from the bin since our launch. By 2024 we want to save 1 billion meals and make sure that 250 million people are aware of the fight against food waste as part of our movement. 

The B Corp certification that Too Good To Go received in 2020, underlines the great role you play in fighting food waste globally. We would love to see more companies play an active role in this fight.  If you could invite one company to join the B Corp community, which company would that be and why? 

If you ask me, B Corps need to become mainstream. It is the only way to go. To get there, some big Dutch well-known players need to raise the bar! Companies like Unilever and Albert Heijn are on their way to taking greater responsibility when it comes to becoming more environmentally conscious. While I am aware that – certainly for large organisations – it is a step-by-step process, I would like to challenge them to take the next step and show how to lead by example.

Hungry for more changemaker’s stories? Read other Wake-up Calls here.
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