"Communicating sustainability without getting boring or complicated is difficult," says Sprout communications manager Stine Cristina Mynster, referring to customer experiences. The Danish start-up with 14 employees wants to solve this problem. It continues the idea of three Canadian students.
The company, which is based in a suburb of Copenhagen, sells the "Sprout Pencil", a pencil that can be put into the ground if it has served as a writing utensil. In the capsule at the end of the pen are seeds; Depending on the seed they sprout to flowers, vegetables or herbs.
Alternative to plastic pens
The students who developed the Sprout Pencil sold their company in 2013 to the Danish entrepreneur Michael Stausholm. On the Sprout Pencil you have a patent. Although there were a few copies, mainly from China and India, emerged, but against it one proceeds, says Mynster.
You can order the pens on the internet and buy them at selected stores, museum shops and bookstores. From 10.95 euros you get between five and eight pens. The cedar wood they are made of comes from sustainable forestry. The core is made of clay and graphite. Each pen is 100 percent biodegradable. This provides an alternative to "135 million plastic pens that are produced every day in the world."
The company has developed a "Sprout Makeup Pencil". And you bought the company of a German entrepreneur who invented a biodegradable spoon with integrated tea.
Export to eighty countries
"Eighty-five percent of the sale goes to companies and organizations that have their logo engraved and use the pencils in campaigns or as green giveaways," says Mynster. The pens are now sold in more than 80 countries. The most popular types of seeds are basil, thyme and cherry tomatoes.
Among the customers are Ikea, Coca-Cola, Porsche and Deutsche Bahn, as well as the European Parliament and the Italian Carabinieri. According to Sprout, Sprout has sold more than 14 million pencils, about 3 million in 2018, and generated sales of around 3 million euros last year.
The article is from the Student project "Youth and Business"that the F.A.Z. organized together with the Federal Association of German Banks.