Sprouting pencils will represent Denmark on Ipanema 2016

Denmark is a sustainable country - a central message behind the Danish Pavilion on Ipanema beach in Rio this year. The sprouting pencil from Sprout has become a symbol of sustainability, which is why the pavilion will be filled with pencils that have grown into herbs, flowers and vegetables.

There are only a few days left until the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth and VisitDenmark inaugurate the 300m2 Danish pavilion. The pavilion is to promote Denmark and the Danish corporate sector to the one million expected visitors arriving in Rio to watch the Olympic Games this August.

One of the companies chosen to represent Denmark is the green startup Sprout. Sprout has achieved international success by making pencils and cards that sprout and turn in to herbs, vegetables and flowers. You simply plant the pencil and card when they have served their purpose and normally would have been thrown in the bin. That way you give the products a new life, and prolong their life cycle.

”We are proud and happy to represent Denmark and tell the story of Denmark as an innovative and sustainable country. Our pencils have become a symbol of sustainability because they are given a new life when they would end up in the bin. Focusing on dual function and thereby create awareness about meaningful consumption is an important part of our contribution” says Michael Stausholm, CEO and founder of Sprout.

Back in 2013, Sprout launched their plantable pencils. Today more than 450.000 pencils are each month sold to over 60 countries. Especially businesses and organizations love the pencils; they get their logo engraved and use them as sustainable giveaways.

”The Sprout pencil turns out to be a perfect icebreaker, when it comes to talking about environmental and CSR initiatives of a company. And now our pencil becomes the conversation starter of Denmark’s focus on sustainability and green energy” says Michael Stausholm.

But it is not just the honor that makes Michael Stausholm pack his bags and leave for Rio. Participating in the Danish pavilion can be of great importance for a small startup with only 20 employees.

- We are growing fast and expect to double our turnover to 3 million euros this year – and that number will double again in 2017. We are looking for the right investors to give us the needed capital injection and speed up the growth. Meanwhile we will get a priceless network and exposure that can bring many new exciting customers and thereby open up new job opportunities at Sprout. That is why the Olympic Games in Rio can turn out to be a significant stepping stone towards the goals we have at Sprout, says Michael Stausholm.

Michael Stausholm will speak about Sprout at Sustainability Days, a business event to be held August 15-18 that, amongst other, will have H.R.H. the Danish Crown Prince Frederik as a visitor.

This spring, Sprout shipped 3.000 pencils and 500 cards to Brazil. Part of those will serve the purpose of green decoration in the pavilion, the rest will be handed out to journalists, VIP guests and companies visiting the Heart of Denmark on Ipanema beach.

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Did you know...

Copenhagen is said to be the world's first CO2 neutral capital by 2025

The Copenhagen city bikes include electric assistance and GPS travel guides and they can be booked using a smartphone

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The Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, is currently turning an incineration plant into a 90 meter high skiing slope and a roof top park. The project is called 'Amager Bakke' and will finish in 2017

You can download a "GoGreen app" - a shortcut to the green places in Copenhagen - where to eat, shop, sleep and explore