Sustainable UCL


Student Initiative Case Study: Sustainr

Sustainr is a sustainability network and marketplace founded by UCL students Ishani Behl and Aditya Mehrotra.

Three students and one student on a laptop posing for a group photo

15 September 2022

Our problem

With over 96.2% of businesses finding it a challenge to become sustainable, Sustainr is a trusted network-oriented marketplace that makes sustainability easy for small -middle ranged businesses by getting them connected to suppliers and service providers almost easily, instantly and affordably.

Our Solution

Sustainr is a project founded by Ishani Behl currently studying Education and International Development with an expertise in technology at the Institute of Education at IOE, UCL and Aditya Mehrotra, who is currently pursuing an MSc in Digital Marketing at King’s College London.

Our solution is to combine a network of businesses and a marketplace of local verified manufacturers and service providers onto one unified platform with the help of organic certification agencies (trust) thereby creating a trusted environment; helping small brands at any stage become sustainable easily, affordably and instantly.

Our Impact

Piloted in India, Sustainr helps small businesses become sustainable via our community. At an MVP stage, which stands for the creation of a Minimum Viable Product or platform, we already had 150+ signups of small businesses narrowed down to 40 businesses and harnessed more than 10+ global collaborations taken place within 2 months via a simple WhatsApp group chat. For example, we recently connected a brand that creates an upcycled fabric with a brand that needed packaging material, helping their product go to zero waste. The project also recently came in at 2nd place at the UCLE Demo day by receiving funding of £800.

The project also got selected as a semi-finalist at the London Mayors Entrepreneurs Award. What makes us sustainable is how we have harnessed sustainability as a service rather than just a filter.

Our SDG & USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

We will be focussing on 4 factors as our USPs that will also help us maintain the sustainability of our overall business. The key Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) which will hold priority will be SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) by uniting various initiatives focussing on specific SDGs on to one platform as an outcome.

Primarily we hope to be BUILDING a trusted digital global platform with the help of third-party organic certification agencies to make sustainability easy keeping in line with the SDGs.

Secondly, we will be SELLING sustainability as a service and simultaneously increasing the market opportunity in the sustainable sector.

Thirdly we will be OFFERING brands an opportunity to connect and build a community and business network with eco-conscious manufacturers and service providers.

Finally, we will be FACILITATING local small businesses s by connecting them with brands around the world and making sustainability, not a filter anymore but the product itself.

Our concept will have the potential of transforming a large number of small businesses in London into verified sustainable brands which will not only reduce environmental and social fairness concerns but will also increase and enhance sustainable consumption by consumers driving the sustainable market forward.

Our tips

A word of advice we would have for anyone starting their own initiative would be to, first of all, develop an entrepreneurial mindset of resilience. Sustainability is a broad concept and can sometimes be misinterpreted in several different ways, therefore what we have learned is to have patience in understanding and learning as well as reflecting on the different ways we can measure sustainability sustainably after having developed a positive mindset of resilience, patience and failure that can help you define your innovation as well as take action at the right time, therefore don’t be afraid to start.

Visit Sustainr →