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We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
"Green", he is also an ecological business, is not a fashion at all, but a necessity. Large companies and corporations are trying to transfer their production to eco-friendly and open rails. We understand the intricacies of "green business" and consider promising eco-business ideas.
Temperatures are rising at an accelerated rate, the ozone layer is collapsing, the world’s oceans have formed a litter island of waste, and fish’s stomachs are increasingly finding plastic. This is an insignificant list of actual environmental problems, of which there are far more. The number of people who realize that the climate is changing and resources are disappearing at a rapid pace is increasing every year. Without taking any steps, humanity will soon die out — so we need to act right now. It is for this reason that eco-business ideas are picking up speed.
How do eco-startups differ from other businesses? Green Business finds and scales innovative ways to help the environment and reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. For example, it creates or transforms existing production facilities into waste-free, or actively introduces renewable energy sources (solar, wind, water).
Working according to an eco-friendly business model, the company focuses on minimizing the impact on the environment and reducing the carbon footprint (the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by a person, organization, business, state).
Since there are quite a lot of environmental problems, eco-startups are quite diverse: from planting trees to the production of solar panels. How to find your niche?
Before drawing up a business plan for eco-startup, estimate which environmental problems need to be solved in your region. What obstacles may arise in creating your business (often, there may be problems from the state and lobbying of public interests). Choose an eco-service in which you have no competition.
When launching an eco-friendly business, remember that it is crucial for the founders and the team to reflect the values of sustainable development and educate their audience.
Today, when launching a business, you definitely need to consider what impact it will have on the environment. In a McKinsey survey, 66% of all respondents and 75% of millennial respondents said they take environmental friendliness into account when buying. According to a Nielsen study, 41% of consumers in China want to buy environmentally friendly products. A study by the World Economic Forum estimates the value of nature for the global economy at $44 trillion — more than half of the world's GDP.
Your product/service solves an environmental problem
When developing a product, consider its life cycle. How will your product be recycled when its expiration date bleeds?
Get an environmental label. Do not use greenwashing — marketing tricks that mislead the consumer, presenting the product as environmentally friendly without evidence. For example, the addition of non-existent eco-labeling on packaging, bio- and eco-prefixes.
Reduce the amount of paper or refuse to consume it in office work.
Responsible purchases. Your supply chain should be transparent, with no hidden ethical and environmental costs.
Arrange a green (environmentally sustainable) office or work from home.
Let's look at the Top 20 breakthrough ideas of technological eco-business today using examples of real startups.
1. Electric car rental Facedrive
Facedrive is a Canadian-American counterpart and competitor to Uber and Deliveroo, only with the «sustainable» console. The company offers a car sharing service with «green» and hybrid options, as well as a tree planting initiative to compensate for the carbon footprint (you can track it in the company’s application).
The company has launched the Steer app, which allows you to rent electric cars. The fleet has only technologically advanced and environmentally friendly cars at favorable rates thanks to a subscription.
Face drive is planning to launch in Europe, and for sure this startup will be prosperous in a market where smart alternatives to buying a car are welcome.
2. Intelligent dispensers for Wonderfil liquid products
California GreenTech startup Wonderfil has developed an effective solution to the problem of environmental contamination with plastic. It’s an intelligent metering service for liquid and cream products. Using such dispensers, cosmetics and food manufacturers can send their products directly to gas stations without pouring into plastic bottles. Using Wonderfil technology, suppliers save on packaging and reduce carbon footprint.
3. Bonuses for proper disposal of TeknTrash waste
The UK startup TeknTrash shows users the recycling cycle and offers responsible waste disposal. After you’ve recycled the trash, you can take out the video evidence and get points for trips, gifts or promotions.
The founders of the startup claim that improper recycling of waste causes even more damage to the planet than its absence: it generates gas methane 80 times more powerful than CO2.
TeknTrash allows instant recognition of recycled products and their geolocation, allowing companies to match their sales to their efficient consumption. The startup created its own container disposal facility: a device that records consumption data. Companies can use it to get information about the life cycle of their product, and users can get nice bonuses.
4. Vegetable analogues of meat products Beyond Meat
A foreign unicorn startup that produces analogues of meat products (in terms of nutritional parameters and appearance) from vegetable proteins. This startup not only does not use animal products, but also reduces the eco-footprint.
According to startup data, the Beyond Burger requires significantly less water, land and energy than a typical beef burger. Unlike its beef equivalent, which weighs 1/4-pound in the United States, the original Beyond burgers can be prepared with 90% less greenhouse gas emissions.
The vegetable protein market continues to grow: according to Grand View Research forecasts, with annual growth of more than 19%, it will reach $13.8 billion by 2027.
5. Northvolt Stable Batteries
The Swedish unicorn Northvolt (valued at $2 billion) develops the most stable batteries in the world, focusing on recycling. The company creates not just batteries and batteries, but complex solutions for power supply of various systems: from motorcycles and mountain cars to ferries.
Northwood was founded by former Tesla executive Peter Carlson. This startup has attracted the attention of investors such as Daniel Elka (founder of Spotify), Volkswagen and Norrsken VC. In the last round of financing, Northwood raised $600 million, and the startup has already agreed deals with major car companies to supply batteries.
6. Robots recycling waste AMP Robotics
The American startup AMP Robotics creates artificial intelligence robotics that analyzes the composition of waste and correctly distributes it for recycling. According to the company, there are many valuable materials worth more than $200 billion in landfills. For example, old television sets have a small amount of precious and rare metals, plastic and other recyclable materials. But they’re not always recycled: What’s the point of returning aluminium for $0.5 if it costs $1? That’s how landfills are made.
AMP Robotics robotic systems sort recyclable materials for a small fraction of the cost of current technologies.
7. Krill Design orange skin lamps
The Italian startup Krill Design creates composting lamps and Ohmie lamps from orange skins, in shape and texture resembling oranges. The skin is transformed into a lamp by 3D printing.
Startup also works with other waste: coffee grounds, seeds, peel, shell from nuts. The company offers its services to businesses that want to create a circular zero-waste economy by transforming composting waste into 3D printing material.
8. Reusable containers instead of Olive carton
Olive Startup cooperates with retailers by delivering online orders in bilateral reusable containers made almost entirely of recycled materials. No more cardboard and plastic in the package! Containers can be sent back to the sender.
Startup founder Nate notes that Americans have been receiving their goods wrapped in powdered paper in cardboard boxes for 25 years. According to statistics, about 10 billion cardboard boxes are needed every year for delivery to the US alone! The mission of the startup is to reduce the amount of cardboard and plastic used in online shopping. The company cooperates with such brands as Goop, Anthropologie and Adidas.
9. Algenesis algae plastic
The green startup Algenesis is fighting the dominance of plastic on the planet with the help of an eco-alternative. The company has patented the Sole ™ technology, a fully biodegradable plastic made from algae. Now the startup produces shoes and hard materials for surfboards, but plans to expand.
Algae oil can be used as a raw material for the production of polyurethane monomers, which are similar to petroleum monomers. Polymer materials made from algae or other plants can be designed for biodegradation.
10. CO2 capture technology in Carbominer greenhouses
Ukrainian startup Carbomer has created an innovative technology for capturing CO2 from the surrounding air. Specialists install a special module for the absorption of carbon dioxide in greenhouses.
The company solves two global problems — increasing food production, selling CO2 to greenhouses, and thus stimulating plant growth. Secondly, it prevents climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Thanks to CO2 capture technology, greenhouse operators can save a lot on carbon and buy cheap CO2 that can be obtained locally.
11. An application for reducing the carbon footprint in Greenly companies
French startup Greenly helps companies and small businesses reduce their carbon footprint by keeping carbon emissions records in a simple and intuitive way.
One of the key benefits of Greenly is the automation of carbon emissions analysis using data available through the API, namely accounting or payment information from large greenhouse gas emitters. The company has developed an artificial intelligence-based analysis and guidance tool to suggest practical ways to reduce emissions, such as offering suppliers less carbon-intensive alternatives.
12. Zuma Biodegradable Packaging Production Line
The American startup Zume specializes in the production of food packaging with cost-effective plastic packaging substitutes. The company has patented a technology for the production of containers from bagasse biomass (sugar cane waste).
Now the company is actively cooperating with the startup ABB, which supplies robotics. The goal of the partnership between the two companies is to create robotic production lines for biodegradable packaging.
13. Platform for calculating the cost of installing solar panels Aurora Solar
The American startup Aurora Solar uses aerial photography to evaluate solar array projects. On the platform, it is possible to create a technical solar cell design and a commercial offer, indicating only the address and the electricity bill.
The founders of the startup calculated that the service of installing solar panels is not commercially advantageous, as the cost of the panel itself takes half of the total amount, and the other half is measurement, delivery and installation. The mission of Aurora Solar is to make solar panels accessible to all. The platform has designed more than 5 million solar units.
14. Sunlight energy for Heavy industry Heliogen
Heliogen uses solar energy instead of fossil fuels. The technology is based on the method of concentration of sunlight by mirrors. Each solar light reprocessing plant is capable of keeping more than half a million tons of CO2 out of service.
Helion-heating technology can create an extreme temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius, or about a quarter of the temperature at the surface of the Sun. This is the type of heat required to produce cement, steel, and minerals that typically use fossil fuels for their use. This solution will reduce the price of non-renewable minerals and eliminate carbon emissions.
15. An app to reduce your Personal carbon footprint Joro
With the help of the Indian application Joro, everyone can track and control their carbon footprint and learn and develop practices to reduce it. Joro’s emission algorithm uses your shopping data to automatically estimate your personal carbon footprint.
Joro collects a variety of data sets on the carbon intensity of production, transportation and end-of-life use (more than 300 unique cost categories with localized information about you and your lifestyle). For example, if you spend $30 on gas, the carbonizer takes into account the price of gas in your region and the carbon intensity of gasoline to estimate your footprint.
16. Organic fertilizer for soil pest control Holganix
The American company Holganix has developed an ecological alternative to pesticides. Holganix Bio800+ technology enriches the soil with more than 800 types of soil microbes. The company's philosophy is based on a comprehensive approach to pest control. In addition, the additive reduces water consumption, improves soil condition, and also increases plant resistance.
The company strives to achieve the global "green" goal that it has set for itself. Holganix is committed to eliminating the ingress of 100 million pounds of nitrates, 25 million pounds of phosphates and 100 million ounces of concentrated pesticides by Earth Day 2022.
17. Innovative shower system that saves water Cirrus
The French startup Cirrus allows you to save from 45% to 75% of water while taking a shower. CloudMaker nozzles use water spray technology to increase efficiency and reduce water consumption by switching the shower to cloud mode. The system works with various shower systems. Saving water also means saving the energy used to heat this water, which in most countries costs much more than water.
18. Recycling of consumer electronics Homeboy Electronics Recycling
American startup Homeboy Electronics Recycling is an example of how to successfully combine environmental startup with social entrepreneurship. The company is engaged in the repair and disposal of electronics from the American population. Customers send their electronics to Homeboy Electronics Recycling, and the startup recycles them to recycle reusable plastics, metals, and other materials that can be recycled. The social significance of the project is that
There are former prisoners who find it difficult to find work.
19. Vertical Organic farms Bowery Farming
Bowery Farming uses automation and machine learning technologies to monitor plants and their growth. The project develops vertical farming in industrial premises or on intellectual farms. Thanks to this technology, even large cities can produce environmentally friendly products for their people. The startup tracks the entire product route from seed to final delivery to the store.
20. Sustainability of traditional fuels FuelGems
While some startups are developing renewable energy sources, Fuel Gas is working with traditional fuels: diesel and gasoline. By adding a microdose of Fuel Gems nanoparticles to the fuel, carbon emissions can be reduced by 9%, and toxic carbon monoxide emissions by 15%. At the same time, the release of unburned hydrocarbons and other hazardous solid particles is reduced to 50%. Fuel economy has also increased to 9%. The startup aims to minimize the harm from exhaust gases when using traditional fuels.