Old inactive satellites, pieces of rockets, detached solar panels... we find everything in space, including waste. The cleaning of the space has become a new market. It is that of D-Orbit, an Italian startup located near Lake Como, which has become in a few years, one of the leaders in the sector.
This one proposes technologies and techniques to destroy the satellites at the end of mission or in case of failure, allowing them to be consumed in the atmosphere or by sending them on orbits cemeteries for example. The task is huge: there are today some 6,000 satellites in space of which only about a thousand are in operation ...
Space and societal misson
Since its creation in 2011, the startup has made the choice to lead space mission and societal mission. "I realized early on that sustainable development is not the icing on the cake but a necessary condition for creating a sustainable business," explains its founder Luca Rossettini, Prophil.
From the beginning, the company has therefore endeavored to obtain B-corp certification. Then endorsed the status of Società Benefit, relatively modeled on the American model of the label, from its launch in 2016. Companies under this status must mention one or more goals of "common profit" and their management must balance the interest of shareholders and other stakeholders, with the interest of the mission.
"We are the only space company with a mission," says Stefano Antonetti, Director of Sales and Institutional Business at D-Orbit. In concrete terms, this means looking for the most environmentally friendly technical solutions, finding the least impact for employee travel, making use of the most local supply possible, or a pedagogical approach to environmental issues related to the environment. space in Italian schools. The company has also opted for a horizontal organization within the company, with very few hierarchical levels and a lot of autonomy for employees.
Attract talent ... and investors
"All of this is very important to us, and when we hire, we focus as much on our technological excellence as our mission-to-mission approach, which clearly allows us to attract talent when we are a small business and we do not We are not necessarily the most attractive of the market at the salary level, for example", underlines Stefano Antonetti.
The positive impact is also one of the three key points put forward by investors after competitiveness and the use of the latest advanced technologies. "Our commitment to promoting a positive environmental impact is just as important as obtaining the best technologies to best meet the needs of our customers," writes the company on its investor space.
Stefano Antonetti argues that "the investors with whom we are in contact are very sensitive to this aspect, and our shareholders are 100% supportive of our dual objective because they see that success is on the way" . The startup today has thirty people aims for 126 million euros of turnover in 5 years.