TerraCycle was founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky and Jon Beyer, two students from Princeton University with great ambitions. Through research at the Rutgers University Eco-Complex, both partners created their main product “All Purpose Plant Food”, an environmentally friendly and “all natural fertilizer used to foster growth in plants” (BOOK). In 2003, Tom Szaky took an extended leave to pursue this company full-time and bring it to the next level. Despite a certain amount of growth, the largest breakthrough occurred in 2004 when Home Depot accepted to sell the product through its online system. This soon created a chain reaction where many retailers across North American generated interest in this new eco-capitalist business. Companies such as Wal-Mart Canada, Wild oats and Do-it-Best quickly began selling TerraCycle’s product. Started by collecting dining hall waste, then feeding it to worms: organic waste being fed to worms who then turn this into solid, granular plant fertilizer. This is then liquefied to create a liquid plant fertilizer.
Assessing the internal analysis of the company is essential in order to comprehend the current elements contributing to its success as well as its weaknesses. Competitive Advantage
The company’s current competitive advantage relies in its business model. Indeed, a business model is described as “the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value” (WIKIPEDIA). TerraCycle’s business model is Eco-Capitalism. Through a differentiated manufacturing and packaging process, TerraCycle is able to distinguish itself from other companies producing in the same fertilizer manufacturing industry. This ability to be innovative since the beginning also brings in a lot of media coverage and consumer buzz. The majority of the recognition comes from their production process which has become, along the years, the major aspect differentiating them in the market and reinforcing their position. Media such a NBC news, Eye on America, The Big Idea, Report on Business and so on. Moreover, by having an all-natural and environmentally friendly processing approach, TerraCycle emphasizes how crucial it is in today’s society to be environmentally aware of the consequences of polluting and over-consumption. Hence, the two partners take it at heart to help reduce organic waste and its impact on the environment by using recycled pop bottles to store their product and using waste to create food for plants. This eco-friendly philosophy and way of doing business truly sets them apart in today’s society, conferring a value of ecological and sensible business to outside buyers. In addition, this ideology provides moral benefits for environmentally forward Businesses.
Company’s Main Value and Vision
The company’s main vision, which is essential for any company who projects a long-term view. Both partner’s mission is to reduce waste and improve the earth’s environment. By transforming waste that could otherwise accumulate and pollute, TerraCycle generates a high-quality organic plant food. The company does this without harming the environment, but rather by saving it one step at a time. Basically, it is a known fact that North Americans dispose a great amount of what they buy in a year or less. In fact, data collected from the State of Garbage in America in 2004 estimates that 64.1% of municipal solid waste is land filled while only 28.5% is recycled and composted. The rest (7.4%) is combusted in plants.(SOURCE WEBSITE)Thus, through its process and finals products, TerraCycle hopes to educate the population on the possibilities of eliminating pollution and renewing the planet’s resources. This way of doing business also transcends in their values. In fact, TerraCycle and its two owners preach community values while cherishing a world of more environmentally conscious consumers. Indeed, TerraCycle seeks help from many schools to provide it with empty bottles. By giving...