44. Namrata Sandhu, Co-Founder and CEO at Vaayu

Name: Namrata Sandhu

Company: Vaayu

Website: https://www.vaayu.tech


About Namrata Sandhu and Vaayu


Namrata Sandhu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vaayu, the world’s first automated software empowering brands and businesses within the retail ecosystem to track and cut their carbon and environmental impact in real-time. Vaayu has created retail’s largest and most accurate impact database which is continually evolving to power reduction at scale.


By leveraging proprietary AI and machine learning technology, Vaayu calculates impacts such as carbon emissions, water and waste across product, packaging and logistics to visualize hotspots and help lead partners toward more sustainable choices. Vaayu brings together experts across retail, tech, LCA and legislation, enabling partners to navigate the regulatory landscape and build out scenarios for setting and tracking targets.


Namrata co-founded Vaayu in December 2020 to deliver much-needed software and data to power reduction in real-time and at scale. Her 20-year career spanned the Arcadia Group and leading global retailer Zalando, causing her to find a critical gap in the market for a real-time, impact-tracking tool to speed up reduction at scale.


Retail is responsible for 25% of global carbon emissions and the fashion sector is on track to generate 2.1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions in 2030. Existing impact calculation models generated generic spend-based data, and while Scope 3 accounts for over 90% of retail emissions on average, offering the greatest opportunity for reduction, it is also the most difficult to measure.


With activity-based models and insights into all Scopes, Vaayu is helping to ensure the success of reduction strategies, decarbonize the retail industry and decelerate climate change. Namrata’s goal with Vaayu is to put environmental impact at the forefront of decision making and enable retail to avoid 1 gigaton of carbon by 2030.


Since inception, Vaayu has raised $13 million in seed round funding. Through global partnerships, Vaayu has pioneered research into the climate impact potential of circular business models, delivered the largest-ever primary dataset on the climate impact of shopping second-hand fashion online and at scale, and calculated millions of product footprints, arming businesses and consumers worldwide with robust impact data to guide more sustainable consumption.


Vaayu has on boarded more than 60 global partners including Klarna, Vinted, Veja, Nudea, New Balance, Missoma, ASKET, Ace & Tate, Otrium, Redcare Pharmacy and Wunderman Thompson Commerce.


In 2023, Vaayu scaled its technology beyond Fashion, Apparel & Footwear to calculate the emissions of further retail verticals; Consumer Health, Beauty, Homewear & Garden, and Electronics. As the only carbon accounting software specializing in retail, Nam’s ambition is to support brands and retailers to collaboratively drive down the industry’s emissions at scale.


As a company Vaayu strives to support female leadership and diversity, currently, 56% of team members are women and Vaayu operates with 80% female leadership and predominantly (85%) women board. Nam recognizes the importance of different cultural backgrounds and what these broad perspectives can bring to the workplace. 58% of Vaayu’s international team identifies as BAME and Vaayu is proud to have built a team comprising over 60 people located across 17 different countries, consisting of 27 nationalities, from the Arctic Circle to the bottom of Latin America.