Cahoot is an eCommerce order fulfillment network that helps online businesses offer nationwide free 1-day and 2-day delivery to its customers at no additional costs. It cuts down the distance packages need to travel by having nearby businesses store and ship products for each other. So instead of flying packages by air long-distance to customers, merchants can ship via economical and greener ground shipping. In 2019 alone, Cahoot has cut down more than 2 million miles of carbon emissions for its network members. Also, Cahoot’s peer-to-peer model allows merchants to offset storage and fulfillment costs by fulfilling orders for each other. Therefore, every merchant on the platform can ship locally and beat fast shipping standards with better margins. This year, Cahoot is awarded Honorable Mentions for The Best World Changing Idea in North America and the Experimental category.
Now in its fourth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 26 winners, more than 200 finalists, and more than 500 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility, and AI and Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. The 2020 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Vancouver to Singapore to Tel Aviv.
Illustrating how some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies are addressing grave global challenges, Fast Company’s May/June issue celebrates, among others, an electric engine for airplanes that eliminates emissions from flights—and expensive fuel from the tricky financial calculus of the airline industry; a solar-powered refrigerator that finally frees people in remote villages from daily treks to distant markets, transforming the economics of those households; an online marketplace that connects food companies with farms to buy ugly and surplus produce to fight waste; and an initiative to offset all of the carbon costs of shipping, creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability.
Cahoot aims to continue making the world a greener place while leveling the playing field in eCommerce. “The key to sustainable one-day delivery is having fulfillment centers close to customers and shipping them cheaply using ground services,” says Manish Chowdhary, founder and CEO of Cahoot. “It is near impossible for smaller brands to build a distribution network to compete on a level playing field. We need to change the game. We can’t work in siloes building our own facilities trying to compete against Amazon. The only way forward is to work together.”
“There seems no better time to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, resources, and, in some cases, their scale to tackle society’s biggest problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have uncovered some of the smartest and most inspiring projects of the year.”
About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With a goal of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.