Founders: Namrata Sandhu and Luca Schmid
Vaayu, one of TIME’s Best Inventions, is the world’s first automated software helping brands and retailers reduce impact at scale.
Using proprietary AI and machine-learning technology, it gathers and calculates granular data across product, supply chain and logistics in real-time. Vaayu’s robust science-based insights enable meaningful reductions, powering retail sustainability strategies and forging a new path for circular business models.
Since launching in 2020, Vaayu has raised $13 million in seed round funding and onboarded more than 60 global partners, including Klarna, Veja, Nudea, New Balance, Vinted, Missoma, ASKET, Ace & Tate, Otrium, Redcare Pharmacy and Wunderman Thompson Commerce. As the only retail-specialist software, Vaayu took a crucial step in 2023 to scale impact calculations and drive down industry emissions, expanding beyond Fashion, Apparel & Footwear to calculate the emissions of additional retail verticals: Consumer Health, Beauty, Homewear & Garden and Electronics.
Vaayu’s Kria Impact Modelling Engine uses a unique TÜV Rheinland-certified life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to create accurate, activity-based footprint calculations across Scopes 1 to 4. Vaayu is ever-enhancing its technological capabilities, recently expanding its predictive AI scenario feature and enabling retailers to explore reduction scenarios such as alternative materials, processes and locations to project precise hotspots and power their reduction strategies.
Vaayu’s machine learning also has the unique ability to fill complex data gaps by calculating millions of global shipments. This data, backed by science, drives smarter business decisions and significant reductions. With retail responsible for 25% of global carbon emissions and the fashion sector on track to generate 2.1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions in 2030, Vaayu’s mission is to reduce one gigaton of carbon emissions by 2030 through collective efforts, committing resources to inform retail businesses and educate their consumers on impact.
A recent example is Vaayu’s partnership with Klarna to power its CO2e Tracker by automating the carbon footprint calculation for over 122 million products across five categories, including within the hard-to-calculate Scope 3. The data is displayed on Klarna’s app, informing more than 150 million of its consumers on their impact and bringing to life one of the largest awareness-raising efforts on carbon footprints ever.
Vaayu’s work analyzing the Scope 4 avoided the impact of circular business models, including work with Vinted, Otrium and Carousell, is helping to drive the adoption of circularity in fashion. It provides a level of granular data unmatched in the industry, offering retailers a clear path to reduction where scalable data was previously limited, and powering the highest levels of transparency, accuracy and efficiency in the race toward circularity.
By helping circular businesses understand their impact and identifying improvement opportunities, other brands and retailers can take meaningful steps towards circularity, reducing their environmental impact while achieving growth.
Vaayu is the first to market solution offering a deeper understanding of climate impact — moving beyond carbon and similar greenhouse gas emissions to calculate more than 16 impact categories, including water consumption, freshwater ecotoxicity and non-renewable energy consumption, to provide retailers with an all-in-one climate partner.