An up and coming Pittsburgh founder just won a global award for supply chain innovation.
Daniela Osio is the founder and CEO of pandemic-born startup Kloopify, a solution to global supply chain problems. The startup, part of Ascender‘s community of entrepreneurs, centers on a software platform that gives industry purchasers the data they need to understand how shipping, distribution and other supply chain dynamics affect their companies’ emissions.
Osio, a former supply chain specialist for DuPont, knows understanding that data is important. Scope 3 emissions — those that come from “activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organization, but that the organization indirectly impacts in its value chain, according to the EPA” — often account for a vast majority of total emissions from corporations.
“So if you want to attack your footprints, you have to start with your Scope 3, which is your biggest footprint creator,” Osio said.
Soon, understanding the carbon footprint of Scope 3 will be essential, as consumers and governments alike put more pressure on companies to meet aggressive environmental goals in an effort to combat climate change. Not only does Kloopify’s platform allow those behind supply chain purchasing decisions to see the emissions given off by their current choice of shipping, distribution and other services, but it also allows them to see what those emissions are for other potential business partners, giving companies the chance to choose the lowest Scope 3 emissions possible.
“85% of publicly traded companies have announced really aggressive sustainability goals. But without this data on their suppliers — which are the biggest contract contributors to their emissions — it’s almost impossible for them to achieve it,” Osio said, adding that only a very small number of companies have actually been able to meet their goals so far. “So there’s a big gap, and Kloopify is there to give them the data that they need to fill that gap.”
Osio’s deep understanding of this problem is what earned her the Young Transform Award at this year’s Transform Fest held by the Future Insights Network, a global network for supply chain engineers. The four-day event, which took place virtually last week, featured talks from supply chain executives at some of the largest companies in the world, including Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, and PepsiCo, and hosted over 3,000 attendees.
"Part of moving sustainability forward is also doing it in a way where we are supporting groups and people that have been historically neglected."
Though the award didn’t come with funding for Kloopify, Osio said the exposure and networking opportunities it offered were huge. “If you looked at the lineup of speakers — we’re talking about the heavy hitters of the industry, right, we’re talking about… the C-suite level of Fortune 500 companies —having them be able to hear about Kloopify and hear about what we’re trying to do and get my name in front of them is just immensely valuable,” she said. Plus, that recognition and added credibility will help the company as it looks ahead to a planned funding round, beta launch and team expansion next year.
Being recognized as a pioneer for the supply chain industry holds a lot of significance in this moment too. After all, it comes amid a worsening supply chain crisis globally. And while Kloopify is still in its early stages and can’t offer an immediate solution to the companies grappling with these issues this holiday season, Osio feels strongly that enabling companies to make more sustainable choices for their supply chains and procurement will prevent a crisis like this from happening again.
“If you don’t move towards having a more sustainable supply chain, you’re actually just leaving huge risks within your supply chain for disruptions and for your ability to meet your customer demands,” she said. If companies continue to rely on fossil fuels or exploitative labor for now to cut costs, soon environmental scarcity, stricter government regulations and consumer awareness will all lead to increased costs for those who don’t make the switch to sustainability.
“Going hand in hand with having a successful and strong and healthy supply chain is looking at how sustainable it is both in an environmental way as well as in ethical procurement,” she said.
But beyond the tech tools and supply chain expertise that drove Osio to launch Kloopify, she said the often overlooked negative effects that supply chain emissions can have on the environment also motivated her to start her company, even during a global pandemic. Osio, who identifies as a minority woman, said that “when it comes to sustainability, you’re seeing that minority women and women in general are really driving the needle when it comes to making these huge changes.” Ensuring that Kloopfiy’s work benefits everyone in an equitable way “is part of our plan,” she continued.
“And part of moving sustainability forward is also doing it in a way where we are supporting groups and people that have been historically neglected.”
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments. -30-