Ree - A review of our 2022
2021 was the year when the foundations were laid and the application was built. 2021 involved the first few believers in what we were doing. Though, not at scale and not as stressful, it was a daunting first couple of months as we learnt the ins and outs of how to run this business.
January 2022 came around and, with a deep breath, the app and service were officially launched to the general public. It’s a strange sensation to finally launch something that has taken so long to develop and then to wait for something to happen.In this case, just a regular sign up.
Though we carried out consistent market research, we frequently questioned whether we did the right thing in investing so much time and money into something that might not pay off. But as all good things, this took time. Thankfully though, those doubts disappeared when we received our first official customer sign-up, that wasn’t a ‘true fan’ and the #Reevolution began.
12 months on and we’ve built a solid base to further expand and improve our service.
“2022 was a mix bag of emotions. We signed an official contract with a building where our first cage was deployed. We slowed down, mainly due to me seeing everything with blinkers on. Got introduced to a family of investors who loved me, and the business and we had a signed term sheet. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out. But because of their commitment, I went on and got two employees. Not being able to pay their salaries through the business took a toll on me. But we persisted. The delay in the investment led me to some wonderful colleagues and a new way of looking at the business. We took a step back and asked, ‘How can we add more value’ and came up with our B2B solution. My vision of the company expanded and changed to .. “I don’t care how long it takes. I’m ending the waste problem in the region” and I look forward to 2023 where the year of sustainability hopefully drives more changes. Either by us or by someone else that has access to all the data that we collect. I’d love to say more but I’m already over my word limit… so hopefully see you take part in the #REEvolution.” - Jaskaran Singh, Founder
“2022 provided us with many opportunities to learn from our mistakes and ultimately improve the service we provide. Despite our mistakes I’m always amazing by our members and their understanding and support they give us” - Daniel Ashcroft, Chief Marketing Officer
Here are the highlights, and lowlights, of 2022
7,269.05kg of recycling
7,319.07kg of CO2 avoided
221,660.3 KW of energy saved
The app launched for communities and we had our first customer outside the initial marketing push sign-up to the service. The satisfaction of delivering the QR codes and bags to them was amazing. It was a nervous moment until we then got their first bag of recycling back to sort out. Thankfully our system worked like a dream and everyone was happy.
Our initial focus was to provide the best Recycling Service in the UAE to households but we were quickly receiving quite a few enquiries from companies asking us to provide a B2B solution. So we started to develop the Ree Business Recycling program.
We were honored to be asked to help support the Fashion Revolution week marking the first time we were asked to help support an event in reducing their environmental impact.Also shoutout to Araceli for being an absolute superstar.
One of our VIP Members asked us whether we could do anything with an old, broken childrens bike they had. This was another moment where we had an opportunity to look at the business and discuss what we were. We aren’t just a company that collects recycling and turns away other items, destined them for landfill. Instead we are problem solvers, who come up with sustainable solutions. In this case we approached Cycology in The Sustainable City and they were able to fix and clean the bike in order to find it a new home and be ridden again.
It was always our goal to collect all recyclable material and not just the higher value ones like PET and Aluminum. In June we partnered with Thrift for Good to accept old clothing and fabric in our recycling bags.
As more people signed up to our Doorstep Recycling Service we were able to take on extra staff and welcomed Davood to the #REEvolution.
With many members leaving the UAE for the summer we believed it to be a good time to do a major update to the app and launch a new website. After multiple internal successful tests the switch was flipped to apply the update and the servers crashed. The servers were down for 2 weeks meaning members were unable to use the service.
Although it caused us a real issue it highlighted a flaw in our system we were able to put precautions in place to avoid it happening again.
Thanks to our work with Fashion Revolution and Not Just for Vegans, we were featured in Raemona magazine in their article on running eco-friendly events.
We didn’t have it as a target but in October our members achieved a major milestone by avoiding over a tonne of CO2 in a single month.