Identifying Important Sustainability Partnerships for the Startup Ecosystem

“Identifying Important Sustainability Partnerships for the Startup Ecosystem” by Giuseppe Milazzo, Founder of Contapp

Businesses across all industries are working on becoming more sustainable in business. It is equally crucial in the startup world, and it should be part of your growth strategy. One way—an effective one—is building sustainability partnerships.

Whether you’re pre-launch, bootstrapping or have paying customers, you should expect to address social and environmental issues from the start with your strategy. As a result, a growing number of larger companies are taking the challenge of sustainability seriously for many reasons. 

In this article, we outline the importance of building partnerships for an eco-friendly ecosystem from a startups point of view. Plus, examples of how startups have taken on partnerships to tackle sustainability together.

What’s a Sustainability Partnership?

It’s two or more businesses working with each other for mutual benefits relating to a shared sustainability goal(s). It can be a corporate brand or a non-profit organisation pairing up, but entities from multiple sectors sometimes team up and share their resources to meet the same objective.

A successful partnership (mentioned below) will see both parties engaging and benefiting from improving sustainability as the primary goal.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Partnerships are highly underrated. In the world of startups, they need all the help they can get. Partnerships are a powerful, cost-efficient way of getting your name in front of a new audience whilst building key relationships with businesses that share similar interests.

It’s an effective way of tackling issues and working together on a shared goal for both parties. Having a partner to tackle the environmental problems in business means that the process is halved, and the effort is doubled. 

Battling sustainability issues together comes with many key benefits, as opposed to doing it alone. For example, it helps reduce environmental footprint, improves your reputation as an environmentally conscious business, builds relationships and also improves operations & financial performance.

Iva Rajovic / Unsplash

How to Find a Sustainability Partnership for Your Startup

The key to finding the best partnerships suited to your startup is to research. First, identify what you want to get out of the partnership on a first basis. 

Once you’ve understood the end goal, you can start approaching the relevant organisations. Then, figure out the perfect fit for your startup regarding the target audience and the business for collaboration.

These are critical factors for success when it comes to starting a solid partnership.

Remember, partnerships are a two-way process, and you both have to be committed to the shared goal. If commitment is weak, it will result in poor collaboration. However, when there’s total commitment from both parties, the results will benefit all parties.

Examples of Sustainability Collaborations for Startups

Contapp & Klyk

Contapp operates in the tech industry for business professionals, and our sustainability goal is to reduce paper waste.

Our sustainability partners, Klyk are a perfect example of how a partnership can be successful for both parties and the planet. Klyk helps modern businesses avoid the environmental impact of buying new technology by providing smarter and greener ways to hardware, such as laptops and smartphones. 

Find out more about Contapp’s partnership with Klyk here.

Formula One & Aerofoil Energy

Did you know, supermarkets account for almost 10% of the UK’s total energy usage. So working on developing new technologies to reduce the concern of cold energy is crucial for reducing the UK’s energy use in the long term.

Williams Advanced Engineering has been working with an energy startup to solve this growing issue for supermarkets. The sustainability partnership with Aerofoil Energy aims to develop innovative devices to reduce fridge energy consumption by more than 40 per cent.

Contapp & Legacy Club

Contapp was built to make networking streamlined, easy and eco-friendly. Thanks to the networking partners, we’ve come together to make this happen. 

When you see a ‘Powered by Contapp’ networking event, it means 100% paperless, zero-waste networking. Attendees don’t need to bring any printed business cards to the event. All they’ll need is the free Contapp app which works as a digital business card and a business card manager for the event and beyond. It makes the event contactless, managing and sharing connections much easier, all saved directly to your Contapp library. Easy and sustainable! You can find out more here.

Timberland & Omni United

What do a shoe brand and a tyre manufacturer have in common? Sustainability. It is how an unlikely partnership between two completely different businesses can form a successful sustainability partnership.

The tyre and footwear industries are the largest users of virgin rubber. However, the new range of tyres Omni United manufacturers would ensure no rubber goes to waste. Instead, they would set it aside for Timberland to reuse under their new brand ‘Timberland Tires.’

Timberland president has said: “Our shared values have given birth to tyres that express a lifestyle, deliver performance and safety, and prove that sustainability can be so much more than a theory.”

Interface & Shark Solutions

Interface is a floor manufacturer, and it’s on a 10-year journey to having a zero negative environmental impact. So it’s fair to say that it was never going to be easy. However, thanks to a sustainability partnership with Shark Solution, they’ve made heads turn with their latest green innovation.

They’ve created the world’s first recycled latex substitute for carpets using laminate found in car windows. In addition, by working with waste and recycling partners Shark Solutions, they’ve identified sustainable raw materials for their carpets.

Katie McBroom / Unsplash

Making Sustainability Partnerships Part of Your Growth

Contapp is a perfect example of how a bootstrapped startup can form successful sustainability partnerships in the early stages. Sustainability has been ingrained in its mission statement from the very start, helping it identify a clear plan for partnerships.

Since launching as a bootstrapped tech startup, partnerships have played an essential role in the growth of the journey so far. Contapp’s vision has always been to reduce paper waste in business through effective business card management.

How Contapp Identified Sustainability as the Issue & Solution

Contapp has been building a streamlined business tool that positively affects business professionals and the planet simultaneously.

It identified how much paper waste is being generated in the business. Pair it with the inconveniences of printed business cards in today’s digital world; Contapp was built.

Did you know, 7.2 million trees are destroyed to make business cards alone? So reducing paper waste is part of Contapp’s growth strategy, and the sustainability partnerships have helped support the cause.


Partnerships should never be overlooked in a business sense, especially when collaborating towards something as serious as sustainability. The same goal can be achieved a lot quicker, and business relationships can be achieved in the process.

The earlier you make sustainability partnerships part of your company ethos, the easier it will be to demonstrate it as you grow, which makes sustainability partnerships so important for the startup ecosystem.

It’s essential to research and identify the best businesses/individuals to partner with to get the most out of the collaboration. Your goals must be aligned, and both parties must give effort.

Looking for a Sustainability Collaboration?

Contapp is on a mission to streamline and improve business card management in today’s digital world whilst reducing paper waste globally. Experience this now by downloading Contapp on iOS & Android for free today.

If you’d like to partner with Contapp to work together on a shared sustainability goal, it’s always looking for new opportunities to support startups and save the planet together.

Reach out to Contapp’s friendly team today at to discuss any collaboration opportunities.