Meet Sabrina Viitasaari, Co-Founder at Nu Cycle, an organization that enables waste negative technology solutions around the world through a simple, transparent waste offset service.
A technology business professional, an international law graduate, and a marine biologist walk into a room and devise a viable solution to the world’s waste problem that has been plaguing the planet for decades. Sabrina Viitasaari, the Co-founder of Nu Cycle, has a background in global business, and she has worked for a range of companies in the digital and software space. She has founded startups and also worked in a few. She has now invaded the clean tech space and environmental development. Viitasaari is passionate about designing and developing waste value systems to create zero waste communities in problematic regions with no waste management infrastructure.
Waste is produced in whatever we do, and a lot of it is shipped to the parts of the world that have the least ability to deal with it. For instance, she notes that places like Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, and different parts of Africa are ending up basically with waste from Europe and North Americans, which is very problematic. With her siblings, Natasha and Solomon, Sabrina started Nusa Sentara over five years ago. As a marine biologist, Solomon had been working in marine restoration and sustainable fisheries in Indonesia. When Sabrina and her family visited him, they came face to face with the plastic problem even before it hit the news. She wrote a thesis on recycling and waste policy in waste management and realized that there are incredible technologies that can help tackle the problem. It finally led to the launch of Nusa Sentara. They are currently working to bring the “state of the art technology in the waste to the energy sector to Indonesian communities that are suffering from both a waste management crisis and are also lacking clean and reliable energy sources to power their communities.”
Along the same lines is their other company called Nu cycle that they started over a year ago. Nu Cycle has a waste-to-value process where it utilizes a “decentralised network of waste conversion partner technologies that take in different kinds of waste and produce something of value.” They have designed a system that analyses different waste streams coming from either a company, community or an individual. They build a zero-waste infrastructure based on the type of waste coming to a certain area. They charge the waste producers based on how much waste they are generating. Then, based on their convergent partner network, Nu Cycle breaks that down to a price per kilo, allowing everyone to become responsible for their waste impact, and the amount per kilo is very low. However, brands can share the costs with their customers so that they do not have to bear the entire burden. It has enabled them to democratize the payment for waste disposal that is not only sustainable but also regenerative.
Sabrina likes to work on out-of-the-box models and has always carved her own way throughout her career. Her ventures have faced internal failures as well as external ones, which included her projects being destroyed by an earthquake. But did she ever back down? Looking at the success of her current startup, that is a big no. When she started in tech a long time ago, there weren’t many female founders. She is done with the start-up burn out, and now she doesn’t want the company to compete with her life. She believes that a way your company can have an impact on the world is not only by what you do but also by how you do it. She is a hard worker who knows how to make things work, and nothing can stop her from achieving her goals once she sets her mind to it.
Her current venture has environmental welfare and protection at its core, an idea that not many have in today’s fast-paced and capitalistic world. It’s a step towards holding people accountable for the waste they generate and asking them to contribute their part in its management. Sabrina wishes to create female-friendly models where women don’t have to behave in a masculine way to command authority. It’s going to be better both for women and the world, and we will get unique and innovative ideas, companies, financial models, and social structures to navigate the challenging times we are in.