It's easy being Greenzy

The statistics surrounding food waste are shocking. According to a study conducted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2.5 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year across the world, which equals to around 40% of all food produced for human consumption. WRAP estimates that around 70% of food waste (6.6 million tonnes) comes from households, estimating that the average global household wastes 1.5 tonnes of food each year.

This is where Greenzy comes in. Greenzy is a Belgian greentech startup, founded by Adélaïde Biebuyck, Laetitia Dupret, and Fiona Milano.

Together, these three women have developed a smart home composter, aimed at making composting easy, fast, and educational. The development of this smart composter for the home means that households can transform food waste into something valuable.

The story behind Greenzy

The three founders all have engineering backgrounds, having studied different disciplines within engineering at university. Dupret holds a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, Biebuyck holds a Master’s in Electromechanical Engineering, and Milano also holds a Biomedical Engineering degree, and is currently out in Montreal studying towards a PhD in the subject.

It was during their time at university that the founders got the chance to put their engineering prowess into an entrepreneurial venture, as the university allowed for an entrepreneurial project.

The trio found their seed of inspiration through Milano’s mother, who would stop composting when the winter came and it became too cold, leaving the waste to rot.

“It was important for us to have something ecological, that really brings something to society. We wanted to focus on that problem because 50% of our waste consists of organic waste. That’s a huge amount. If you don’t compost it, it burns, which is a huge ecological disaster,” mentions Dupret.

“That’s why we began with the project. We began by thinking that bringing this compost indoors would bring relief to a lot of people. Making it easy and odourless were the most important parts of making the composter.”

“Our purpose is to help people with a comfortable solution to be more eco- responsible,” added Biebuyck.

How does the composter work?

The smart composter has a sleek and simple design, allowing people to be more eco-friendly in their own homes. So, what makes the composter ‘smart’?

The user places their organic waste into the composter, and then turns the handle, which crushes and mixes the organic waste. Sensors are located inside which detect anomalies to avoid odours occurring. This information is then sent to the user via an app that informs them of the state of the compost within. The sensors can detect if the mixture is too dry and needs water added, or if it needs to be mixed, which will ensure that the compost produced is perfect for garden use. Due to having an accompanying app, the composter is perfect for beginners, as all the information is told to them without the guessing game.

When it comes to an indoor composter, the smell can often be a worry for users, but this is an element that Greenzy thought of back in the first prototype.

Biebuyck mentions: “The composting process is the same that is in the garden, so it’s an aerobic process with oxygen. This is why we have a ventilator … With the aerobic process, you don’t have polluting gases, and these gases are the odorous gases that you obtain in compost. With good compost, you don’t have a lot of odours, and we also added a carbon filter to be sure there would be no odour.

“The composting process takes two months to become a usable compost that you can use for plants or in a vegetable garden.”

How has Greenzy grown?

Starting with the three founders, the startup is blooming and ready to hit the market this year. The last year has seen “a lot of R&D mostly, and now we have been testing with a lot of users,” Dupret mentioned.

Last year, the company opened preorders for the composter, so the team has been busy working on the production of the composters to meet demand. As a sustainably driven company, Greenzy has made it its mission to produce everything in Belgium or France.

“We keep production close to our office to have less transport of the different parts and reduce the carbon footprint of the composter,” Biebuyck added. “We use recycled plastic to reduce the carbon footprint, and we also designed the composter to use less materials.”

The growing pains

“I think R&D is a big challenge. But a bigger challenge that we didn’t think about at first was the financing of the R&D, which was a big challenge as women. But after one year of fundraising, we succeeded in closing our fundraising in December,” Biebuyck comments.

Being a female-founded company comes with its own perks and challenges. Discussing this, Dupret delves into the topic: “Until now, it has been seen as something positive because people wanted to support us and we got a lot of help, and we got a lot of visibility.

“It’s really been during the fundraising part where we discovered the negative side of it. We really had to change our posture, and to be more ambitious, because we are ambitious, but we didn’t show it off as other male founders do.”

Biebuyck adds: “Most of the time we spoke to older white men, so for that it was something we had to adapt our speech, and at first it wasn’t clear to us that we would have to do that.”

In bloom

While every startup has challenges, reflecting on the highlights is always an inspirational conversation.

For Dupret, a highlight was “the pre-orders we had in one month that we have done on a crowdfunding platform, and we exceeded our goal, so that was a huge step and really validating.”

“I think our first mention in a big newspaper in Belgium was a very good boost. And just after, we won our first award [the Hub Awards 2023]. That had a huge impact,” adds Biebuyck.


While diversity is getting better within all STEM fields, there is still a while to go to make it an even playing field. Speaking to two of the founders, I discovered what encouraged them to pursue the engineering field.

“Curiosity, first of all,” Biebuyck said. “When I was young, mathematics and science were the two subjects that I preferred, and I liked creating. In engineering studies, you have this possibility.”

Dupret added: “For me, in part, it was also the same. Everything that was linked to science was something that I loved and was curious about. To take on the challenge was something I wanted to try and challenge myself to make the most out of it.”

Greenzy has a bright future ahead. With preorders recently opening up again for its smart composter, the team are sure to have a successful future making the world a greener place.

This article originally appeared in the March/April issue of Startups Magazine. Click here to subscribe