Exploring Circular Technology That Enables Sustainability, Inclusion, Net-Zero Waste, and Circular Cities with Dr. Garry Cooper of Rheaply (SAP.iO)

Dr. Garry Copper, neuroscientist turned sustainability technologist and circularity advocate had a pivotal moment - that our field is one-noted and we need to build a reuse bridge to capture value left in materials to transition to a sustainable world, a fly-wheel of wealth for communities who have been left out in the linear economy. Led by curiosity and studying how people remember and forget, he stumbled on CE, and his life was changed forever. He is the CEO of a Chicago-based technology start-up Rheaply that helps manage material flows and the life cycle of assets in the circular economy through reuse, realizing the 4.5 trillion dollar opportunity. 



I met Garry a few months back at a Green Biz event and had chills after hearing him evangelize how the "circular economy can only be realized when it’s real for everyone, and everyone can participate. Materials flow everywhere.” I was blown away as he described his purpose "to make his story not remarkable,” empowering more people and particularly women of color to participate and not just be a passive stakeholder in making our communities sustainable. Rheaply is a part of Circular-City Chicago in tri-sector partnerships including local non-profit community champions. We pull on the threads of digital divide and food sovereignty, and hydroponic farming in Chicago too.



The future is bright. In Episode 45, he explores his journey as someone who wants to make an impact, and a black man in an almost exclusively white environment for most of his career. His dream for Rheaply is to operationalizing a net-zero waste strategy and help businesses be efficient in a COVID world by reducing holding and carrying costs, capturing material value and leveraging spend avoidance. However, we diverge and in a provocative discussion to explore the business case “let’s keep our marketplace on Earth” (not to be missed)!



As we unpack the business model emergency for circularity, the big question emerged…has COVID accelerated or decelerated climate and sustainability transition? We talk about recent weather disruptions and fires in California, and the burning question is “can you do business when folks can’t go outside?” The Earth is the business case. It’s not climate change, it’s a climate emergency. We also talk about doing the right thing particularly when it comes to social responsibility in forced child labor and the black lives matter movement. Do either of these pressing social issues really “need” a business case or is this a space to step up and be good stewards in business?



One of Rheaply’s key partners is SAP and Rheaply is currently in the SAP.iO Foundry. Big shout out to John Licata at SAP.iO. Garry explores his journey as a start up founder with lessons earned for other technologists. Also shout out to John Holm, a friend of Supply Chain Revolution from Pyxera Global, and a Circular Cities-Chicago advocate. Also, shout out to Harold Chapman for all the work you do to feed and teach the students in Chicago that there is sustainable way to live, eat, and learn. 



To learn more about Dr. Garry Cooper, visit https://rheaply.com/ or https://www.linkedin.com/in/garrycooperphd/



To learn more about the Supply Chain Revolution, visit supplychainqueen.com or supplychainrevolution.com

More from Supply Chain Revolution

  1. 20:05Exploring How Diversity Fuels Innovation at the Intersection of Supply Chain, Technology, Sustainability, and Gender Equity with Sallie Jian (Head of SAP.iO NY Foundry)Jan 18, 2021
  2. 34:27Exploring Why You Should Stop Buying Stuff You Don't Need: A Discussion about Pledges, Climate, and Sustainability - Holiday Takeover with James George (Ellen MacArthur Foundation)Dec 23, 2020
  3. 23:33Exploring AI in Logistics and Last Mile Delivery, Innovation in Customer Experience, and A Rebel's Story of Normalizing Hijabi for Women in Stem w/ Layla Shaikley of Wise Systems (SAP.iO)Dec 14, 2020
  4. 25:15Exploring Digital Resilience in COVID, Technology Investments to Accelerate Innovation, Plastics & Climate, and Consumer Behavior & Sustainability- Part 2 with Dr. Yossi Sheffi (MIT)Dec 09, 2020
  5. 29:25Exploring the New (Ab) Normal in COVID and Beyond, the Future of Supply Chains, Sustainability, and Climate Change- Part 1 with Dr. Yossi Sheffi (MIT)Dec 07, 2020
  6. 32:49Exploring Circular Technology That Enables Sustainability, Inclusion, Net-Zero Waste, and Circular Cities with Dr. Garry Cooper of Rheaply (SAP.iO)Nov 16, 2020
  7. 23:12Recycling, Blockchain & Reverse Supply Chains, the Business Case for Sustainability & Recycling Plastics, and Social Environmentalism w/ Stan Chen of Recycle GoNov 09, 2020
  8. 15:37Disruptive Retail Technology: E-commerce Made Human Through Virtual Shopping and Brand Experience Innovation w/ Natasha Franzen of HERO (SAP.iO)Nov 02, 2020
  9. 22:01Crossing the Chasm to Accelerate AI in Digital Transformation, the Future of Work, and Understanding Your Value w/ Jennifer Bryne (former CTO Microsoft)Oct 26, 2020
  10. 26:00Exploring Digital Distribution & Additive Manufacturing, Industrial Sustainability, and the Future of Decentralized Supply Chains w/ Espen Sivertsen of Ivaldi (SAP.iO)Oct 19, 2020