Friday, July 16, 2021
Ghent start-up with a mission: more sustainable water consumption
Robinetto, founded in 2018, has a mission to replace bottled water with tap water in as many places as possible. After all, the packaging and transporting of bottled water has a large ecological footprint. That is why the company sells and rents water coolers in the hospitality, events and business sectors. By placing mobile water taps at large and small events, and a lot of custom work in more than 150 catering establishments, the company has built up a great deal of expertise in a short time. This experience is both in the technical field (filtering, cooling, carbonising water) and in the field of consumer behaviour and nudging. This technical and commercial know-how is also valuable to Colruyt Group, since it fits in perfectly with the group's ambition to be a reference point for sustainable enterprise and an inspiration for conscious consumption. The new cooperation is therefore a win-win situation for both parties.
Colruyt Group takes a minority stake
A broad group of shareholders, including 10 Belgian festivals, financed previous capital rounds of Robinetto. In their search for new partnerships and financing, the founders talked to Colruyt Group and it soon became clear that both companies share the same values and vision in the field of water and sustainability.
Robinetto founder Jeroen Vereecke: "In the run-up to this cooperation, we got to know Colruyt Group as an organisation that not only has a lot of knowledge in house, but also really means business when it comes to sustainability. By cooperating with a strong player such as Colruyt Group, we have the opportunity to greatly increase our positive environmental impact. And that is ultimately why we founded this company.
According to Stefan Goethaert, Director of Fine Food, Retail Services and Private Label at Colruyt Group, there is a clear match between the two companies: "We are already working well with Robinetto on some test projects. For example, we are currently testing three of their water filter installations, while encouraging our employees to drink more tap water. In addition, as the largest food retailer in Belgium, we are fully aware that water is one of the most precious natural resources and that we need to use it sparingly. We find it crucial to invest in initiatives that can contribute to more sustainable and conscious water consumption. We are therefore pleased to be able to help Robinetto grow further through this minority participation and support them in their search for new solutions for sustainable water use."
Robinetto was founded in April 2018 as an impact enterprise, after a preliminary process within the organisation of the Ghent Boomtown festival. Initiator Jeroen Vereecke found in Patrick Doyen (ex-Spadel and ex-Coca-Cola), Fried Roggen (ex-Si2 Fund) and Wart Thys (EVR architects) three complementary co-founders. At the start, Robinetto deliberately focused on the events and hospitality sector, in order to be able to quickly spread its impact mission among a large and diverse audience. In addition to its solid expertise in high-capacity mobile water dispensers, Robinetto also distinguishes itself through its extensive custom work in the hospitality sector. The company now has 8 employees and serves more than 300 customers, including not only various large and small festivals and cultural centres, but also various schools, care institutions and companies, including Port of Antwerp, Around Media and In the Pocket. Based on the mission to replace bottled water with tapped water in as many places as possible, Robinetto is planning solid growth for the coming years.