The IPCC report on climate change is set to have a huge impact on our approach to global warming. The landmark study was flagged by the UN chief as a ‘code red for humanity’. It warned of extreme heatwaves, droughts, flooding and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.
Key points from the IPCC report:
- Global surface temperature was 1.09C higher between 2011-2020 compared to 1850-1900.
- The past five years have been the hottest on record since 1850
- Human influence is very likely (90%) to be the main driver of the glacier melting, and decrease in Arctic sea-ice
The report made many of us who experience climate anxiety shudder, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Scientists agree that this catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast. If we can combine forces and heavily cut emissions of greenhouse gasses then we can stabilise rising temperatures. You can see from an investment perspective, VC’s attention has switched dramatically in the last ten years to focus on climate tech start-ups.
There are some incredible businesses whose founders have set out on a sustainable mission to make our planet a better, longer lasting, place. Here are just a few of our favourite green start ups:
A technology driven reforestation company based in Amsterdam on a mission to restore the 2 billion hectares of degraded land in the world. They restored 1,713 hectares of degraded land in 2020 removing 368,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. Last year they raised €6m from sustainable investors to speed the growth of the company and technological developments.
This Yorkshire based business is addressing the issue of road freight emissions. The road freight market is worth £2.5 trillion but it’s a huge culprit when it comes to carbon emissions. Antonym is combating the issue with smarter, safer, cleaner and greener logistics using technology and advanced manufacturing techniques like Metal 3D printing. They offer a bolt-in plug and play solution to electrify existing diesel trucks making them electric, zero-emissions and noiseless. Sounds pretty good to us!
The producer of the world’s most sustainable and fairest smartphones. Their latest phone uses 40% recycled plastics – the equivalent of one 330ml plastic bottle. Smartphones and data centres will have the biggest carbon footprint in the tech industry by 2040, according to research. If more tech businesses think like Fairphone when it comes to supply chain then we could make a huge impact on this corner of the industry.
A commercial garbage disposal system to reduce our issue with food wastage. The Amsterdam based company has an on-site containerised anaerobic digester. It turns biodegradable waste such as kitchen and commercial waste into biogas or electricity and heat.
An online store that uses recycled plastic to manufacture furniture. They’re on a mission to make the world’s waters plastic-free by creating value from our waste. According to Plastic Whale, the plastic it collects is made into furniture and boats! The same kind of boats that are used by the company to fish out the plastics in the first place – they currently have a fleet of six boats made from Amsterdam Canal plastic.
An app that counts on supporting behavioural change to enable people to live more sustainably. They hope that teamwork can implement the ideal surroundings to change our lifestyle – they help consumers to track our daily consumption of CO2 and understand its influence.
The eternal Christmas dilemma. Do you buy a natural tree that you can put in the compost bin, or a recycled plastic one that you keep forever? Wundertree saw this and made it much easier – they deliver Christmas trees alive and in a pot, once Christmas is over they collect them and replant them in a forest. This service is only currently available in Berlin and Potsdam – but if you want them to come to your city sign up here.
An environmental start-up aiming to teach people about investment while providing an opportunity for users to ‘invest in the good guys’. By that they mean companies that are aggressively reducing their carbon emissions or working on removing carbon from the atmosphere altogether. Definitely one to watch!
They are building a green, renewable energy future powered by the sun. Zolar aim to help homeowners produce their own green electricity while also making an active contribution to climate change through a fuss-free solar panel purchasing process.
A search engine that’s using its ad revenue to plant trees, donating 80% of all profits to tree planting charities gloabally (with the rest going into reserves for future investment or tree-planting). Something we can all do quickly here it just swap out our simple google requests for a service like Ecosia or Searchscene.
This is just a dip the ocean of amazing sustainable start-ups out there. It’s promising to see these incredible businesses putting their best foot forward to make a difference, they all need our support so we can work together for a more sustainable future. If you know a start-up we should be highlighting as doing great things for our planet make sure to get in touch so we can do just that.