Gonzalo is the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion from the COP25 Presidency, appointed by the Chilean Presidency in 2019. From that position, he co-led with Nigel Topping the Race To Zero, Race To Resilience and GFANZ campaigns. Previously, he co-founded and led TriCiclos, one of the most recognised Latin American companies in circular economy and recycling. Gonzalo also co-founded Sistema B (Bcorps in Latin America), Manuia and Polkura Winery. Currently, he sits on the board of the Global Foodbanking Network, CDP Latin America, IDB Invest, Chapter Zero Chile, among others. Gonzalo has been recipient of the Chilean national awards on environment, innovation and social entrepreneurship; and was awarded as CMG in Queen Elizabeth’s final honors list in 2022.
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- For-profit Social Enterprise
- Chile; Sustainable Development; Circular Economy; Brazil; Advanced Materials
- Areas of Impact
- Latin America, Chile
Triciclos is making it easier for the public to start recycling by creating a series of convenient clean collection points (CCP) where both businesses and ordinary people can drop off their garbage, learn about sustainable habits and see how materials are separated by TriCiclos staff. It also works to replace the financial incentives scheme currently encouraging more waste and garbage by developing relationships with municipalities and other sectors of the government. These CCPs are mostly run by street waste pickers who see their role as environmental monitors.
The TriCiclos mantra is “Waste is an error of design”, which aims to encourage businesses and institutions to embrace the co-designer of a new sustainability culture. Triciclos shares a percentage of the profits coming from the sale of recycled materials with them, as credit toward the initial cost of purchase and ongoing maintenance. The result is that the more these actors recycle, the more they earn. And the more they engage the public through awareness-raising campaigns, the more their share increases. In addition, beyond the immediate financial reward, businesses benefit from a positive reputation for being “green” and “sustainable.” The combination of awareness-raising and the provision of accessible recycling points is effectively working towards closing the gap between merely understanding the problem and taking action.
Triciclos is currently running 64 CCPs in Chile, which receive more than 47,000 visits every month, and is commencing operations in Brazil and Argentina. Since their inception, Triciclos has recycled over 5,490 metric tonnes of waste. In 2012, TriCiclos became the first certified B corporation in South America. Through that model, it has achieved best practices in many fields.