SusGain: How this startup lets Singaporeans get rewarded for saving the earth
Sustainability is all the rage right now, and more people are understanding the importance of protecting planet Earth. That being said, sustainable living in Singapore is still a difficult space to navigate, due to the relative lack of information and sustainable options available.
susGain was made for sustainable living in Singapore - collect points for eco-conscious habits, earn cash back rewards at businesses that care and support initiatives for sustainable development.
The Refuel Team spoke to susGain founder, Carolin, to learn more about how she aims to drive real change and make an impact on the environment.
Adopting a greener lifestyle
susGain is a mobile application that has gamified the process of sustainability.
The app provides users with all the green data points on one spot, so they can find water coolers, donation points, volunteering opportunities, eco stores and more. Users earn points by doing green activities. They can then use their points when purchasing from partnering businesses to receive cashback. By accumulating more points, users will be put in higher membership tiers, which determine the amount of cashback they receive. At the same time, users can also choose a charity to support as their beneficiary, and the charity will receive money too, every time users spend.
Carolin has lived in various places around the globe before finally settling in Singapore. She noticed that in Singapore, there is actually a lot of information on how Singaporeans can live greener lives, but somehow it was all quite disconnected, and people were not acting on it in their everyday lives.
In Singapore, there is a lot of awareness and I think there are a lot of people who honestly care and are concerned about the environment. Sometimes the problem lies in the intentions-action gap. People being aware of the need to be more sustainable but not knowing how to get started. This is really where we are trying to come in.
The idea for susGain was born when Carolin's co-founder and husband, Jeebar, were discussing the topic of sustainability, and realised they genuinely wanted to do something about it.
The duo are now working on susGain on top of their day jobs, but this is by no means a measure of their passion towards susGain. Carolin mused that susGain still feels like a full-time commitment, as the pair can "extend their working hours" and forego leisure time for the startup.
I really had this drive inside of me to do something. I strongly believe that whatever you want to achieve is a collective effort. That’s why we want to make susGain an inclusive ecosystem, a resource for everyone, no matter what background they have, so they can get started on this journey.
The husband and wife team
When asked about her experience with having her husband as her co-founder, Carolin laughed, "I always thought that for both our sanity, I would never work with my husband."
However, she believes that there are pros and cons that come with the arrangement. Firstly, she is able to easily communicate with her husband and co-founder, simply by living in the same physical space. Besides, their different skillsets are complementary, with him being the "numbers person" and her working on other areas of the business.
The future of sustainability with SusGain
Carolin understands that sometimes individuals might feel powerless and are concerned that their actions might not make a difference in saving the Earth at all. Thus, susGain tries to empower people by getting different stakeholders involved in the project, such that everyone benefits out of it. Consumers are automatically supporting a charity of their choice, and businesses are able to Feature their eco-friendly products and business practices
from being on the application, thus generating additional revenue from conscious consumers.
The startup's business model is B2C at the moment, but they are also moving into the B2B space by offering a corporate version of susGain, to support both behavioural change and employee engagement towards sustainability in businesses.
Although the team feels that susGain is an idea that could work in other urban environments, for now, Singapore is still the main focus.
Get the free susGain app at www.susgain.com and gain by doing good!
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