Dihan Chandra, Founder & Managing Director
What inspired you to start this business?
As a nature and animal lover, I’ve always been drawn toward sustainability given its fine balance between people, planet and profit.
The initial spark was exploring whether my dog’s poo could be used to generate energy to power my house instead of having to pick it up. As it turns out, the answer is no — poo doesn’t produce enough energy. But I became fascinated with finding value in what other people consider waste.
A short while later, I had the privilege of working on a funding application in Sri Lanka that was a response to a United Nations call for practical solutions to deal with plastic ocean pollution. The range of creative solutions that were proposed, including some that made revenue from plastic pollution, was truly inspiring. It cemented my belief that reasonable, practical solutions to reducing waste while generating profits are within our reach.
One night at my local pub I was talking to the brewery manager, I asked the question we’ve all been too shy to ask: What happens to all the grain used to make beer?
After learning that most spent grain, especially from smaller breweries, ends up in landfills, The Spent Goods Company was born and I started forming our team.
What is your background?
In 2006, I started my first social enterprise, Organic Lifestyle, an ecommerce site based on my interest in offering alternative solutions to everyday toxin exposure. It has been profitable for the past 7 years.
Prior to that, I spent 18 years working as an IT Solutions Architect at IBM, where I project-managed teams, created global offerings, managed C-suite stakeholders to achieve buy-in, and met deliverables within specific timeframes.
Operations – Marcella Tomas, Yukari Watanabe
Sales – Sophi Robertson
Graphic Design – Ai Morishita, Miniature Massive
Copy Editor – Chan D Park
Sustainability Advisor – Natalia Rastelli
Friends of The Spent Goods Company
City of Toronto, Unit for Research, Innovation & a Circular Economy
Marc van Beusekom, co-Founder of St John’s Bakery