Global 8 Environmental Technologies is a public company (GBLE.PK) with unique vision. Based in San Diego, Global 8 is pursuing a new direction for the company, creating relationships with sustainable businesses that help these partners to grow. Using this strategy Global 8 succeeds if their partners succeed, leading both down a path toward a strong financial future as well as helping the planet.
The first step down this path was announced recently in Global 8’s agreement with Wheatware (Grand Island, Nebraska), a manufacturer of products from compostable bio-resin made from wheat. Wheatware’s bio-resin goes beyond “biodegradable”. It is a safe, inexpensive, and earth friendly compostable alternative to wood, disposable petroleum-based plastics or corn-based bioplastics. Wheatware’s musical accessories like drum sticks and guitar picks are sold in over 550 stores, attracting musicians with their unique musical properties as well as the eco-friendly material they’re made of.
The unique products from Wheatware have earned some valuable press exposure over the years, letting more people know about the company through appearances in Scientific American, the History Channel, and even Oprah. Wheatware was featured in the “Green with Music” Grammy event and others, earning a place in the minds of many, but it looks like this is just the beginning.
Now Wheatware is hoping to expand in new markets by providing compostable chopsticks, forks, knives and spoons made with their proprietary wheat-based bio-resin. Tens of billions of pieces of disposable flatware are purchased in the USA each year and thrown away, and the huge volume of disposable chopsticks used globally can add up to a significant environmental toll.
As part of the agreement with Global 8, Wheatware shares profits from sales of compostable products, building a future revenue stream. The large market potential of new products Wheatware is developing and selling like this could mean significant future earnings for Wheatware and therefore Global 8 as well.
As they forge new relationships in the future, Global 8 can capitalize on their expertise and develop synergies between partners who may do business in related fields. For example, Global 8’s relationship with Wheatware compostable bio-resins could provide synergies with other future partners involved in large scale composting, recycling, remanufacturing, or converting waste to energy. They can also expand relationships in fields related to clean air, clean water, and green energy. Rather than investing in single businesses, it becomes possible to invest in a network of businesses in each of these fields that become stronger by working together, making money as well as making a difference.
It’s an interesting model for investors, similar in a way to Berkshire Hathaway. Although it was once in the textile business, the business of Berkshire Hathaway today is to invest in businesses, help them to succeed, and help their own stock as well. It’s a model that has worked for them and their Chairman, Warren Buffet, quite well.
For proponents of socially responsible investing, companies like these that are helping the environment can be attractive. If you are the typical investor focused on solid financial results, then the prospects of increased revenue could make these companies attractive to you as well. As more collaborations such as the Wheatware-Global 8 deal are forged, they should help sustainable businesses like these accelerate their growth, increase profits, and attract a broad range of investors.
Glenn Croston is the author of “75 Green Businesses” and “Starting Green”, helping businesses everywhere to start green and grow greener, making money and making a difference at Starting Up Green.