CEF Spotlight

Rheaply Acquisition of the Materials Marketplace Will Fuel Next-Level Growth of Circularity

By Andy Mangan, US BCSD founder

The United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) announced this October that Rheaply will be acquiring its Materials Marketplace platform. The Materials Marketplace has grown quickly since its inception in 2015 to a network of 2,600 partners. Rheaply, a software company focused on material reuse, will be able to provide a larger team and more resources to facilitate and support the platform’s continued growth and success. 

The acquisition was necessary for the platform to continue to fulfill its mission. We had a small team of software engineers and developers, but we needed a more sophisticated and stronger team to reach the next level, which is what we were hearing from our customers.

The Materials Marketplace holds a special place in the history of CEF. Back in 2015, several members came up with the idea of creating a B2B ‘Match.com for material waste streams’ within CEF membership. At the time, US BCSD was already testing a state-level model, leading CEF to partner with US BCSD to co-develop a new national-scale pilot project supported by several CEF member companies. As the project was established, WBCSD joined forces to help grow the platform, and in 2016 the joint effort was recognized with a prestigious Circulars Award at Davos.

In the years since the Marketplace was first shared with our members, many companies have continued to revisit the value of the platform.  But the challenge of scale has persisted. With the influx of resources afforded by the Rheaply acquisition, the Materials Marketplace is truly poised to fulfill its promise.” — CEF Executive Director Amy O’Meara

The Materials Marketplace is a cloud-based national platform that facilitates material reuse between businesses, government agencies and other organizations that have excess materials. Through the platform, industrial waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, with the goal of enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy. The platform has diverted a total of 9,200 tons of waste from landfills. The Marketplace was launched in Texas and has expanded quickly to Ontario, Ohio, Washington, Michigan, and Tennessee. The acquisition will provide the additional funding and expertise to allow for expansion to more states and cities across the country.

Rheaply offers an online inventory and exchange system of office furniture and equipment between larger companies. It wanted to expand into the reuse of building materials, which is a focus of the Materials Marketplace. The addition will greatly increase the quantity and types of materials available on Rheaply’s platform. This increase will foster more exchanges between companies, create new jobs, cut costs, save energy, and significantly reduce the amount of building waste going to landfills.  The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to pollution and waste; accounting for 40 percent of global emissions and nearly 20 percent of the waste in US landfills. 

“We are very grateful that Andy and the US BCSD have entrusted us with building on what they’ve created with the Materials Marketplace so far,” said Rheaply Founder and CEO Garry Cooper. “With around 20 percent of all US waste headed to landfill coming from commercial construction projects, we must think about the next wave of buildings to be built with the things that we already have above ground and the things that are already in our community. It makes clear economic sense. Empowering reuse creates 20 to 30 more jobs than traditional waste management solutions such as landfill or even recycling. If those jobs can actually make our communities more self-reliant on their own supply chains and not global supply chains, and if we can also do that by reducing the things that go to landfill, it’s at least a triple bottom line win.”

The acquisition facilitates the growth of both platforms by connecting new markets and materials and expanding the network across the country. With this acquisition, Rheaply will develop technology that makes material reuse more accessible to organizations of all shapes and sizes. For more information on the Materials Marketplace, visit go.materialsmarketplace.org.

About the US BCSD

The US BCSD is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit business association that harnesses the power of collaborative projects, platforms and partnerships to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystems, energy, materials carbon, and water challenges. For more information visit https://usbcsd.org/.

About Rheaply

The Rheaply Platform is a cloud-based resource exchange technology application for connecting people and organizations with resources to those who need them, improving reuse outcomes, and catalyzing the circular economy. To learn more about Rheaply, visit rheaply.com or follow @RheaplyInc.

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