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Sodexo celebrates Accelerators innovation success

Connecting smart buildings with smart vehicles has the potential to reduce carbon emissions significantly from employee commutes, which is why workplaces services company Sodexo chose Irish founded up startup Wayleadr for its UK and Ireland Accelerators innovation programme.

Sodexo launched the Accelerators programme in November 2021, partnering with innovation specialists L Marks, inviting applications from start-ups and scale-ups with a focus on employee experience, sustainability, and smart buildings. Over 400 start-ups applied and five, of which Wayleadr was the only Irish one to make the cut, were selected by Sodexo leaders with input from clients.

Wayleadr’s SaaS (Software as a Service) last-mile automation solution for smart buildings reimagines the last mile of commuter journeys by connecting smart buildings with smart vehicles, saving time, rightsizing real estate spend and curbing carbon emissions.

The five start-ups partnered with Sodexo clients to test their innovations within live operations, guided by Sodexo experts in facilities management and workplace experience. At the demo day in London in July, the five start-ups played-back the results of their 10-week trials to clients and senior stakeholders.

From the data produced during that period, Wayleadr projected that over the course of a year, using its automation solution, there could be 14,527 fewer kilometres travelled by commuting employees on three chosen sites, leading to 23.86 fewer metric tonnes of annual CO² emissions.  On a wider scale, the data also projected an annual reduction of 260 metric tonnes across 50 sites with circa 50 parking spaces each.

The other start-ups were Advanced Bacterial Sciences which trialled next-generation bacterial treatments for waste and water management.  Asseticom’s digital solution advances asset data collection and building surveying, reducing end-to-end survey time. Hart Systems’ technology platform enables connectivity to any industrial asset to remotely monitor, analyse and optimise systems in real-time. Infogrid trialled its suite of AI-powered solutions, to help make every building healthy, efficient and sustainable.

Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services UK and Ireland, said: “The Accelerators programme has been a great vehicle for our innovation ambition this year. We have been able to see some incredible technologies in action, learn from the agility and energy of start-ups, and provide access to mentorship opportunities that will benefit these small organisations as they continue to grow. Leveraging technology is a key element of our Vital Spaces approach to the future of the workplace, and this programme is just the start of our journey.”

Daniel Saunders, CEO L Marks, said: “The Accelerators programme has been an incredible success, delivering measurable results for both Sodexo and the entrepreneurs.  There has been an authentic partnership between L Marks and Sodexo throughout the programme, we’ve have worked with some fantastic start-ups, and the level of engagement from Sodexo has demonstrated the importance of innovation within the business.”

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