What is The Matcha Initiative?
Many of us work for companies who could be more sustainable, but it is difficult to know where to start. Often, time is the main constraint. I was recently talking to my good friend, Anne Langourieux, who created a fantastic platform, that guides companies to the right path to be more sustainable.
There are a lot of important things to be discussed, so let’s get right into it.
> First off, who is Anne Langourieux?
Anne Langourieux is the co-leader of The Matcha Initiative, a Not-for-Profit Organisation that helps companies accelerate their sustainability transformation.
Anne is also the host for ShiokFarm’s Collection Point in Serangoon. ????
> What is your background?
I’m an “Overseas French”. I was born in Reunion Island, I lived in Paris for my studies and built my family life in Asia. We settled in Shanghai in 1997 and we moved to Singapore in 2018. In Shanghai, I had a “career life” leading subsidiaries of cosmetics and apparels brands. After that, I adopted an “NGO life” leading a 2nd hand recycling NGO (a small Emmaus / Salvation Army type of NGO) redistributing 2nd hand goods & production samples to Chinese orphanages, rural schools, Homeless Centres….
> Why did you start The Matcha Initiative?
It is the result of impactful encounters with a group of CEOs and a group of pals from the French Tech for Good network. It started as a ground-up initiative of individuals who wanted to take their part in accelerating the sustainability agenda and were at a loss sometimes to see how slow it was (it was before COVID, when sustainability was not such a trendy word).
We decided to focus on the “HOW” and the solutions to move all of us from the “Oh my God, we need to do something – awareness stage” to the “I’m doing something- activated stage”.
From there, we built a platform, started a community of do-gooders, worked on listing best practices to make one’s office greener, digital footprint, waste management, carbon management, sustainable HR practices, sustainable accounting, circularity. We are now a registered NPO in Singapore and our aim is to cover the full spectrum of sustainability in companies.
> How do you help SMEs to become more sustainable?
We help individuals and teams by providing:
1- Basic knowledge (understand the sustainability concepts, the externalities they must face, the risks and opportunities, sharing checklists and templates).
2 – Lists of solutions to act. We believe in the snowball effect and these 2 facts: 1) we should not wait for the perfect solution to act and 2) every little step counts.
3 – Matching (thus our name) with providers, do-gooders, buddies who have accepted to share their experience with TMI Community.
4 – Community space where they can share their roadblocks & challenges, and the community helps them to overcome those blockages.
We are between the “awareness call” to the “full speed stage”. We help to initiate the first steps.
> Are you planning to provide a service to help SMEs roll out their sustainability plan?
We already do. We help teams through resources sharing, network connections, training & workshops, leadership team conversations, one-to-one meetings and mentoring.
We can help you calculate your CO2 emissions, the first essential step to build a roadmap to carbon neutrality.
Sustainability implies a systemic change and even if you know the solutions, it is not always easy to keep going. Our one-to-one meetings and our community are here to overcome this roadblock.
Our community meets once a month to learn from each other and from experts. Our last talk was about B-corps and legal status such as the French status “Enterprise with a mission”. We then discussed in small groups how to add sustainability to companies’ missions.
> How can we help you get the word out?
Three things! ????
1. Introduce us to your Managing Director in Singapore so that we can start a conversation with him/her. Here is our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Become do-gooders and join the community by sharing what you are doing in your own scope of work in terms of sustainability.
To go fast and go far, we must put our collective intelligence into action and share to inspire others & find collective solutions.
Anne and the Matcha Initiative team are working on an important and meaningful mission. Do feel free to share her contact with your company, she will be very happy to come and discuss possible paths for your company to be more sustainable.
Have a fantastic day,