Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit: Guaranteeing a Second Life to All These Products So That They Do Not Sleep in the Drawers or End up in the Dump

Our mission is to fight against e-waste! We guarantee a second life to all these products so that they do not sleep in the drawers or end up in the dumps. With ZACK, dare the circular economy!

Tell us about yourself?

Passionate about the circular economy, I have co-founded ZACK at the age of 22 while studying at ESSEC Business School and the University of California Berkeley. ZACK is the leading company in France in the fight against electronic waste (recycling, repair, resale, donation to charities).

In 2020, ZACK was one of the top 3 French circular companies according to the TECH FOR GOOD report of the Presidency of the French Republic. That same year, I won the vote of all BCG employees for the social entrepreneur of the year award.

In 2021, I was in the top 50 of the ranking of the Giverny Circle x Le Point of young committed leaders under 40 who contribute to the acceleration of the digital, ecological and social transformation of France. Finally, I was nominated in the 30 Under 30 ranking of Forbes France which devotes a list of rising stars of the French entrepreneurial ecosystem.

I am also the President of the Club of ESSEC Alumni Entrepreneurs, a global community of 1200 entrepreneurs all around the world in various sectors.

Finally, I am the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Global ESSEC Circular Economy Chair (teaching and research on the circular economy based on the 3 campuses in Singapore, Rabat and Cergy) sponsored but an incredible alliance of 3 worldwide companies: L’Oréal, EssilorLuxottica and Bouygues.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

The circular economy is still in its infancy. In the electronics sector, only 15% of used products are collected. Changing this requires creating an innovative customer experience and journey that uses both digital and brand new “reverse e-commerce” codes. It is that this proposes ZACK for the first time in France.

This is a response to the demands of professionals who want to reduce the ecological footprint of their IT consumption. It is also taking the lead on regulatory constraint: ZACK was a strong supporter of the circular economy law, and proposed 5 amendments to the deputies on this occasion to encourage the circular economy.

Finally, innovation lies in what is done with the product after collection. Most of the products are now directly recycled (eco-organization system). ZACK proposes to change the software by promoting the re-employment and by doing the work of distribution in the best second lives thanks to our datas (value algorithm of the products developed in-house) and our network of manufacturers and associations.

What is your magic sauce?

ZACK offers the possibility to companies to separate themselves from used electronic products by being supportive and responsible. Fist, we do everything for our customers to help them taking the plunge. Zack then organizes the collection then expertise the products (by making work an insertion company).

We have an algorithm which proposes each time the best choice between resale, repair, donation to an association or recycling. This is mandatory because the offer and demand is always evolving in this market. And it is the best way to ensure an optimal value recovery.

Where do you see your company going in 5 years time?

We want to be the first B2B reverse service by extending our offer to other ranges of products. We plan to collect furniture in 2022!

What has been your biggest setback so far?

It is highly complicated to make people pay for a service taking care of their used items. A lot of people think they are not responsible for their waste. This is a catastrophy in terms of mindset for the environment.

What is the next big challenge for your business?

The next big challenge is to be able to adapt our operations to new kinds of products (for example furniture). It seems to be the same service but every KPI are different!

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We want to work with every IT managers, office managers, CSR managers or purchasing managers who can have an impact on the IT policy of their company. Our goal: to help YOU reducing the environmental footprint of your company!

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