Green startups are newly founded companies that base their business model on the idea of sustainability and environmental protection. Green Startups play a vital role as the engine of sustainable transformation.
Green startups make significant contributions to ecological and social sustainability beyond their potential for economic success.
A double dividend characterizes green startups: In addition to economic effects such as creating jobs and returns for investors (economic dividends), green startups also generate added value for society.
This social dividend includes, for example, the contributions made by sustainable startups to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The post-period of pandemics and climate change forced the global leaders to take actions regarding climate change; green startups are now flourishing globally. Their magnitude can no longer be overlooked, which is why green startups are increasingly coming into the public eye.
We introduce you to 10 sustainable companies that make everyday life colorful and ecological.
* Note: The startup companies listed below are not ranked but listed in alphabetical order.
Table of Contents
1. Bowery Farming, USA
|Investment||321 Million Dollars|
|Investors||Google, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Natalie Portman, Justin Timberlake|
|Award||Best AI/Automation Development Award 2021 Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Awards 2020|
Food is very necessary for life, but it is also becoming more and more challenging to grow in scale.
An explosive and unsustainable population growth, artificial climate change, and depleted clean water sources contribute to overcropping around the world.
For its many advocates, vertical farming is a critical piece to solving this puzzle, even as skeptics cite its energy-intensive demands as a significant obstacle to achieving the long-term positive climate impact it promises.
The quest for sustainability was a crucial catalyst in the formation of Bowery Farming.
Created in 2015 by Irving Fain, the company based in Kearny, a few kilometers from New York, has successfully joined the rapidly expanding sector of vertical farms based on new technologies to supply fresh produce throughout the year to growing urban populations.
Bowery also relies on advances in robotics, vision, or artificial intelligence to offer large quantities at affordable prices.
The startup company also has the backing of the wealthy stars of the technology sector.
Bowery Farming has raised more than $ 120 million, mainly from Google Ventures and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. This year, the company raised $300 million in May.
The company is backed up with individual investment from celebrities like Natalie Portman and Justin Timberlake.
2. CO2 Revolution, Spain
|Founder||Juan Carlos Sesma Fraguas|
|Investment||2,90,112 US Dollars|
Climate change is one of the severe problems facing humanity. The leading causes are the emission of greenhouse gases and massive deforestation.
Therefore, a startup company CO2 Revolution is working to solve these two causes.
Juan Carlos Sesma Fraguas, founder and CEO of the company, started the startup in May of 2018 in Navarre, Spain, which has turned into a leading startup in environmental protection.
This company is radically changing the reforestation model thanks to its drone sowing system and smart seeds, which allows it to act on large areas affected by fire or other environmental accidents.
The CO2 Revolution can replant up to 25,000 trees a day using a system that claims to reforest up to 100 times faster than usual methods.
Because of the use of Big Data, they can determine the best variables for each ecosystem.
Analyzing the temperature, rainfall, types of land, native species, and the specific requirements of local populations, they develop an individual plan for the ecosystem where they want to act, seeking to create more harmonious and productive ecosystems.
After Big Data, choosing the most suitable types of species, personalized iseed is created.
The seed is introduced into a biodegradable capsule and everything necessary to survive its plantation. The iseed are distributed by drones prepared for this task.
Each drone can plant up to 2,500 seeds in each flight. The efficiency of iseed is greater than 80%.
The launch of the seeds is carried out following the data generated in the Big Data phase; all managed through GPS, mapped maps, and proprietary software. They are currently searching for funding to develop the project.
SODENA has been the principal investor of the company. The company has a total investment of 290K US Dollars, and Iberdrola, a renowned company for reforestation, has joined hands to fulfill its reforestation strategy.
3. FabricNano, London
|Investment||16 Million Dollars|
|Investors||Emma Watson, Biz Stone, and Alexander Mosk|
|Objective||Revolutionize usage of Plastic|
Plastic is a significant threat to the planet and its life; since the birds and marine animals mistake this material for food, it causes health problems and death.
A startup came into existence to revolutionize plastic. FabricNano is a company dedicated to the creation of biodegradable polyester.
It aims to compete directly with plastic by launching a similar price to this petroleum derivative.
The company is marketing with “cell-free bio fabrication” technology, an advanced technique used by other startups such as Debut Biotech in San Diego.
FabricNano was founded in 2018, thanks to the Entrepreneur First program.
The company works to drive the bio-industrial revolution by replacing all the world’s petrochemical products with biofabricated alternatives.
FabricNano develops artificial cells that accelerate the production of chemicals up to 100 times. Its goal is to eliminate many chemical processes harmful to the environment.
The FabricNano team is working on the development of a DNA-based flow reactor. If successful, it will serve to unlock the future of biochemistry.
DNA is not often referred to as a wafer, but that’s the analogy Grant Aarons, founder of FabricNano, a cell-free bioproduction company, uses to describe his company’s flagship product.
This DNA, the company hopes, will make a dent in a growing global petrochemical industry that currently relies on fossil fuels and their by-products.
At the moment, FabricNano can already make chemicals such as 1,3-propanediol, an ingredient that can substitute polyethylene glycol in toothpaste or shampoo.
The input needed to make this product is glycerin, a vital waste product from biodiesel production that can help keep costs down and provide an alternative feedstock to fossil fuels.
FabricNano has attracted the eyes of the world and has also inspired celebrities.
Harry Potter star Emma Watson, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and former Bayer CEO Alexander Mosk have invested in the company to fight against plastic.
FabricNano has recently raised $ 12.5 million in investment thanks to Series A funding.
With the latest round of funding, FabricNano plans to increase its workforce from 12 to 30 employees. It is also planning to move to a new office in London. The total investment in the company is $ 16 million.
4. Infinited Fiber, Finland
|Investment||51.06 Million Dollars|
|Investors||Adidas, Best Seller, and H and M Group|
|Award||Included in 2021 Global Cleantech 100 list, Hottest Sustainability Tech Startup Award Winner|
The fashion industry significantly affects the environment and plays an essential role in developing a country.
In the 21st century and with a rampant climate crisis that threatens the planet’s existence, sustainable solutions are required for each stage of the life cycle of textile products.
Approximately 92 million tons of textile industry waste are produced globally each year, of which 75-85% are burned or end up in landfills.
That’s when Infinited Fiber startup came into existence which the Swedish textile group owns, possessing a technology capable of converting materials such as cardboard and agricultural waste into textile fibers similar to cotton.
It focuses on recycling the garments repeatedly without compromising the quality of the fabrics in this process, thus creating the perfect and definitive model of a fully circular fashion.
The company uses a well-known Infinna technology to convert discarded textiles into premium quality regenerated textile fiber.
Infinna has a natural look and soft feel of cotton, offering a circular alternative to less sustainable conventional textile fibers. The 2021 Global Cleantech 100 list included the company in its index.
Infinited Fiber Company is also directing the EU-funded New Cotton Project, brands, manufacturers, suppliers, innovators, and research institutes that are breaking new ground towards a fully circular model for the production of commercial garments.
It is the world’s first in the fashion industry. Over three years, they will collect the textile waste, sort them, and regenerate them into Infinited Fiber Company’s unique cellulose-based textile fibers.
The fibers will create different types of fabrics for the garments designed, manufactured, and sold by the Adidas global brand and the H and M Group companies.
Petri Alava, the company’s CEO, founded the startup in 2016; the startup company has successfully raised a total investment of 51.06 million dollars.
5. Jiva Materials, UK
|Based In||United Kingdom|
|Investment||243.2k US Dollars|
|Investors||Green Challenge, Venrex, and InnovationRCA|
|Objective||Renewable and sustainable PCB manufacture|
|Award||JEC Asia Innovation Award, Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2021 runner up|
It is assessed that more than 50 million tons of electronic waste are generated worldwide every year, which go into waste and landfills.
Therefore, the young British startup Jiva Materials is devoting itself to this challenge on the way to more sustainable processes.
It includes printed circuit boards, of which 18 billion square meters are manufactured annually. Efficient recycling makes a crucial difference here.
With Jiva Materials, CEO and Founder Jack Herring has developed a fully recyclable printed circuit board substrate called Soluboard. Soluboard is structured to redefine the way PCBs are manufactured.
Due to the organic structure of Soluboard, the consumers can separate natural fibers in hot water and efficiently remove the electronic components for recycling.
The substrate currently used in the printed circuit board industry is made of epoxy resin and fiberglass. It means that the only method of recycling PCBs is to crush and incinerate them to extract the precious metals used in them.
It is a very inefficient process, with a substantial loss of these metals during reprocessing and releasing toxins such as cyanide, mercury, and dioxins into the environment.
Solu Board is intended to replace the standard material currently used in the industry (FR-4). It is a competitively priced, fully biodegradable material that rivals the antiquated fiberglass and epoxy alternative.
The main ingredient of the composite material is Ecotechnilin FlaxTape, a proprietary tape consisting of unidirectional flax fibers with a lower density than alternative carbon and glass fibers.
It gives the material mechanical solid properties.
This sustainable solution earned Jiva Materials second place in the 14th Green Challenge and received 232 K US Dollars as a grant.
Jack Herring founded the company in September 2017, which has attracted top-notch investors such as Venrex and InnovationRCA.
6. Mimbly AB, Sweden
|Founder||Isabella Palmgren, Nicolas Maxant and Emil Vestman|
|Investment||898.6k US Dollars|
|Investors||GU Ventures, and IKEA Bootcamp|
|Objective||Save water and energy during Laundry|
|Award||Newcomer of the Year in young pioneers in the West from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf and Skapatalang for young innovators in memory of Alfred Nobel|
Massive amounts of freshwater are used in our daily tasks. For example, one single laundry consumes 60 liters of fresh water.
Laundry also consumes energy and releases microplastics. The problem was creating energy consumption and ecological pollution at the same time.
Isabella Palmgren, Nicolas Maxant, and Emil Vestman came up with an answer, and together they formed Mimbly in 2017 based in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The first answer of Mimbly to the problem was the Mimbox. It is a device that lowers laundry machines’ water and energy consumption while stopping microplastics.
Consumers can connect this plug-and-play device to any washing machine. It serves as a barrier for the microplastics released with each wash and prevents these particles from entering the waterways.
In addition, 70 percent of water consumption is saved, and the energy consumption for hot water heating can be deducted by up to 30 percent.
By recycling laundry water, Mimbly’s customers can preserve the environment and save money at the same time, effortlessly.
Mimbly has won several awards for its innovation and leadership, the most recent being Newcomer of the Year in young pioneers in the West from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf and Skapatalang for young innovators in memory of Alfred Nobel.
In 2020, Mimbly raised a 989 K US Dollars investment round from qualified investors.
7. Nantek, Spain
|Investors||Viriditas Ventures and BIND 4.0|
|Award||GFT Banco Sabadell Sustainability Award|
Plastic is a perfect solution for many needs. However, it has also become a severe problem for the planet. It is because, today, most of its waste is not recycled.
Nantek decided to get down to business and develop a recycling process that would be profitable and attractive to the industry. So much so that they can transform plastics into products like fuel.
Nantek is a company born in 2018, aiming to convert all the waste currently being sent to landfills into a second-life product.
Carlos Uraga is the CEO and founder of the startup based in Biscay, Spain. The company uses the Pyrolysis process of yesteryear that makes it possible to convert plastic waste into fuel.
It is a slow and expensive process that this company has optimized to the maximum to make it an efficient and profitable alternative for large-scale reuse.
After the breakdown of the pandemic, the company has collaborated with the Gipuzkoa waste collection firm Orka, a circular economy system for the comprehensive recycling of masks used on a massive scale since the health alert for the Covid began.
The idea is to convert this sanitary waste into fuel and petrochemical products for the industry, avoiding its arrival in landfills.
Nantek has developed a thermochemical system to inert all types of sanitary masks, in addition to recycling them (they are made from plastics) and converting them into petrochemical products of high industrial value, providing sustainability and a circular economy for a product that all citizens of the world have begun to be used daily due to the pandemic.
The company is building a new plant in Zamudio (Bizkaia), which would treat up to 500 tons of these products.
With this, it would be possible to limit the arrival of this type of waste to landfills or incinerators and obtain products with high added value for industrial use or to produce energy.
The idea is that the new plant serves as a flagship for future plants or waste transformation facilities until achieving the objective of ‘Zero Plastic to Landfills’ during this same decade.
At the same time, they are converting the plastic problem into a source of products of value for industrial uses or of low pollution synthetic fuels.
8. The Tyre Collective, England
|Founder||Siobhan Anderson, Hanson Cheng, M Deepak Mallya, and Hugo Richardson|
|Objective||Collect Tire Dust|
|Award||James Dyson Awards 2020|
Did you know that tire wear generates the second most polluting microplastic in the world?
And it is that every time you brake, accelerate or take a turn, the tires wear out due to friction with the asphalt, which causes small rubber particles to come off and end up becoming part of the air that you breathe every day.
A group of British students known as The Tyre Collective developed a device that captures microplastic particles released from tires as they are emitted. It helps to reduce pollution, especially in big cities.
The part is attached to the car’s tire and, each time a vehicle brakes, accelerates or turns a corner, the microplastic particles released are retained.
The device uses electrostatics to collect and take advantage of air flows around a rotating wheel.
The prototype used for the tests managed to collect 60% of all airborne particles from tires in a controlled environment on a test platform.
The invention came from young Siobhan Anderson, Hanson Cheng, M Deepak Mallya, and Hugo Richardson, graduates of Innovation Design Engineering.
They embrace a passion for the environment and significantly use design to impact society.
Fragments captured by the device can be recycled and reused in new tires or other materials.
In presenting the prototype, the group printed business cards using ink from dust collected from the tires.
They commented that it is possible to make other applications such as 3D printing, sound insulation, or even new tires, creating a closed-loop system.
They are the winners of the James Dyson Awards 2020.
9. Urban Canopee, France
|Founder||Hubert Michaudet, and Elodie Grimoin|
|Investment||2.02 million dollars|
|Investors||Early Stage VC, Banque des Territoires and BTP Capital Investment|
|Objective||Green City Formation|
|Award||Urban Design and Landscape Expo (UDLE) Award|
Faced with climate change and what it entails in terms of increased temperatures, especially during the summer, freshness in the city is becoming one of the significant challenges, both for the comfort and well-being of city dwellers and for reducing the ecological impact of our cities.
Alternative and complementary solutions exist like the public gardens with grass well maintained by the communities and the trees that line the main arteries.
It is the case with Urban Canopee, which offers a true oasis of freshness in the heart of cities.
Launched at the end of 2016 with researchers from the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, the Urban Canopee project was led by Hubert Michaudet, joined by Elodie Grimoin, who brings her agronomy and environmental engineering skills.
This project is based on the Corolle solution development, the first range of green street furniture made of light structures in composite materials, on which climbing plants can grow.
These islands of freshness also incorporate an innovative, water-efficient, autonomous, and connected irrigation system.
The startup offers breakthrough solutions to massively and rapidly bio-air conditioning urban spaces and buildings, in addition to existing vegetation.
It is, therefore, part of the fight against urban heat islands and, more broadly, in the cities’ resilience to the climate change effects.
The young startup has already installed 70 structures in several large French cities and abroad (Gulf countries, Morocco, Australia).
The company has a total investment of 2.02 million dollars; in 2020, it raised around 2 million dollars from the Banque des Territoires (a department of the Caisse des Depots) and BTP Capital Investment, a venture capital company renowned among institutional players in the construction sector.
10. Volta Greentech, Sweden
|Founder||Fredrik Ackerman, Leo Wezelius and Angelo Demeter|
|Investment||4.3 million dollars|
|Objective||Reduce Methane Gas Emission|
|Award||Alma AB New Award|
Cows produce more than 4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by emitting methane, more than double the emissions of all aircraft in the world.
While reducing cow gas emissions may not be the most exciting and prestigious pursuit, it is one of humankind’s main challenges.
If cows are taught not to produce such gigantic amounts of methane, the entire agro-industry can become more environmentally sustainable.
Milk and meat production will no longer be associated with killing the planet by the advanced public.
Drawing on more than six years of research from international universities and research organizations, the Swedish company Volta Greentech is now commercializing its algae-based feed additive to reduce methane emissions by up to 80%.
A team of scientists created Volta Seafeed, a supplement made from the red seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis.
If you feed cows 100 grams of these algae per day, their methane emissions are reduced by 80%. The supplement also works well for goats and sheep.
So far, the top priority for the Swedish company is to maximize the production of these new feeds.
Volta Greentech collaborates with Lantmannen, Sweden’s largest feed company, to mass-produce this product and distribute it to herds in the Nordic country and around the world.
If no contraindications are found, their demand in the coming decades will be huge.
Volta has gone through several rounds of investment and this year opened its first Volta Factory 1 test factory in Lysekil.
It should be followed by the much larger Volta Factory 2 in 2022. It will become the world’s largest seaweed plant.
The factory uses waste energy from local industries that are used in production. The process ensures a stable growth of algae 365 days a year, with a daily growth rate of 10%.
Fredrik Ackerman, co-founder and CEO, Leo Wezelius, CMO, and Angelo Demeter, head of R and D together, founded the startup in December 2018 with a total investment of 4.3 million dollars to date.
For several decades, humankind has been haunted by environmental problems. The topic is discussed at the UN the European Union at the World Economic Forum.
Large international companies are taking care of waste-free production, depriving us of chargers in sets for new smartphones. And politicians are pushing laws to protect the environment and reduce waste on the planet.
However, these green startups contribute to the planet’s environmental health. Many of these companies offer environmentally friendly products, alternative energy sources, and waste-free production. In short, everything that does not harm the environment.
So kudos to these startups who are preparing the planet for a better future.
(Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)