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Sven Erni, co-founder Impact Acoustic, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #373 - Sven Erni: Circular, Upcycled Acoustic Solutions

Sven Erni

February 1, 2024

14:08 - Running out of money

18:50 - Choosing loans over equity 

19:55 - Ensuring sustainability across the supply chain

25:17 - Boycotting the 5 biggest plastic polluters

42:05 - Sharing margin with resellers

About Sven Erni:

⁠Sven Erni⁠ is the co-founder and CEO at ⁠Impact Acoustic⁠, a Swiss provider of high-performance, circular acoustic solutions made from upcycled material. He holds a BSc in International Hotel Management from EHL, Lausanne, and previously worked for companies like PDM International and Pfister Professional AG before starting Impact Acoustic in 2019.

Most acoustic panels nowadays are made out of glass or rock, and so while they are technically circular/recyclable, it requires a lot of energy (and therefore money) to recycle them. Impact Acoustics’ panels, on the other hand, are made 100% out of recycled PET bottles and are themselves recyclable. Their products are lightweight, robust, washable and available in several sizes.

Together with his team, Sven decided to say no to a request for a quotation from the American PepsiCo headquarters for + USD 500K, which would have been their biggest single standing offer to date. They did this out of a conviction that it does not make sense to work with one of the 5 biggest plastic polluters on Earth if their mission is to help fight plastic waste. Similarly, they decided not to work with any of the other 4 big polluters: Coca-Cola, Suntory, Danone, and Nestlé. Their board was not happy, but Sven and his team have stuck to their decision and continue saying no to offers from these companies, even though they estimate that this will lose them 1.2-1.5M in turnover in 2023 alone. They do, however, do business with companies like Amazon, and the rationale behind it is that if they don’t do business with any polluters, they won’t do business at all. Their goal is to one day become obsolete (as there will be no more plastic waste), but they don’t think this will happen anytime soon.

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