Shawn Seipler – Clean The World
A social consciousness is something every entrepreneur should possess. Some, however, bring their entrepreneurial abilities to bear on a particular problem or need with such focus, creativity and engagement that it has a transformative quality. Several years ago, Shawn Seipler and his partner at Clean the World, Paul Till, asked a telling question: What do the approximately 50,000 hotels in the country do with the soap and shampoo they provide guests after they are used once?
Looking for that answer and how to turn it into a green or sustainability-focused enterprise led them to what could be considered a nightmarish reality. One of the leading causes of infant death in the world is a simple lack of hygiene. A staggering two million children a year never reach the age of five, succumbing to diarrheal and respiratory diseases, of which experts believe 50 percent could be prevented with the use of soap and water.
“It was the worst time to approach the hospitality industry when we started in the middle of a recession; but in another sense, it was the best time, as Clean the World was the perfect union of environmental and humanitarian concerns.”
Since that time, Clean the World has become an international organization that is masterful at collecting used soap, reconditioning it and distributing it throughout the world – over 20 million bars of soap to 96 countries, to be exact. They were also the recipients of a $1 million donation from Las Vegas Sands Corp. Sands made the investment to fund a new recycling center in Hong Kong, with a complete soap recycling production line that services hotel partners in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. In addition to the mobilization of thousands of volunteers, Clean the World now employs over 50 people.