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The Hottest Climate Innovations
Bad pun intended
Hope you're having a lovely week so far! Spring is finally in the air.
We love that the days are getting longer and the weather is getting better (NY was so warm this week). But in the Bay Area, record temperatures were set around a week ago, with the typical temperatures around 15-20 degrees above average. On days like this, it's alarming to see and feel the effects of climate change.
As we read from the IPCC report last week, economic disruption and funding technological advances is a key way to drive the major changes we need to reduce climate change — making clean energy more affordable, extracting carbon dioxide, building more energy-efficient buildings, increased recycling, improving public transportation and walkable cities.
This time we’ll share some of the tech organizations we’re keeping an eye on that are challenging the status quo, making big strides with the investment funds from governments and venture capitalism. While we can make small changes, these companies want to tackle these problems at scale.
The Rise in Climate Tech
Following President Biden's goal of reaching a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, the U.S. Department of Energy is funding $35M to support businesses tackling climate change.
According to Climate Tech VC, we’ve also seen a massive rise in funding from VCs moving toward climate tech. In 2021, tech startups globally raised over $40b across 600+ venture deals — more than double the amount in 2020. This field continues to grow, expanding into different verticals including energy, food & water, transportation, industrial, carbon removal, and measuring climate change.
This year, we expect to see more lower-risk deals for investors, with many companies raising at later-stages. More and more attention will be garnered toward these companies as we see startups continue to evolve.
Here are a few of the startups we’re keeping our eye on. Feel free to share some you’re interested in!
⚡ Energy & Transportation
Northvolt: Manufacturing batteries with an 80% carbon footprint compared to coal. You could start to see these babies show up in your 🚗 Volkswagen and BMW.
Octopus Energy: Managing an innovative ML platform that manages energy supply and electricity load for households and vehicles. A favorite of Al Gore 😉.
Commonwealth Fusion Systems: Building nuclear fusion to bring a waste-free energy source for industries. Research started in the 1940s, but the potential is now in sight.
Aurora Solar: Establishing a platform to reduce costs in installing solar panels on rooftops. Who knew aerial shots of your house could be so useful?
Gold and Green: This Finnish company makes pulled oats. Yes, you heard us right. This company has created a new plant protein made of oats and legumes, which are better for the environment and your body.
Eat JUST: This SF based company makes eggs from mung beans. The consistency is quite similar to real eggs and better for the environment (It takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single chicken egg (to make the feed). JUST Egg uses 98% less water.
Good Meat Co: This company (under the same company as Eat JUST) is pioneering lab grown meat. They released the world's first cultured chicken for people to try. The catch is that you must be in Singapore. Lab grown meats are still under R&D and we hope to see more of them available to the public in the coming years!
🏭 Buildings & Cities
BlocPower: A Brooklyn-based startup repairing building energy-efficient upgrades, while also providing jobs for low-income communities. Sustainable and ethical — hard to find a company doing both at the same time.
Woodoo: Creating a new type of wood material to be used for building construction, reported to be 130 times less energy-intensive than steel. Might take a decade to get to a state where these wooden constructions will match typical buildings.
Green City Solutions: Developed a new type of product called CityTrees, or vertical plant walls with moss cultures that filter out CO2.
Station A: Established a platform for building owners and managers to transition to a more energy-efficient building. We know someone working here and might chat with her in the future!
Watershed: A tool for companies to measure, track and reduce their emissions. Highly recommend letting your company know they can use it to generate internal reports.
Zume: Creating a new type of plastic that is more sustainable and economical. Originally built 🍕-making robots with a pivot to tackling single-use plastics.
Bolt Threads: Produced a leather substitute made out of mushrooms. They’re now partnered with big designers, but also with more affordable brands for everyone.
What We’re Consuming This Week
Sustainable fashion has been a huge misnomer for a while. Kenneth Pucker sums up really well why this continues to be a major problem.
Penguins have it hard down south as the ice continues to melt. Check out these beautiful pictures and the sad story NY Times shares.
If you think $35M from the government is a lot, the future cost of climate inaction is estimated to be over $2 trillion a year.
With the ongoing Ukraine war, the EU is making big strides to shift towards more sustainable actions to address spikes in energy & food prices.
NY could be adding a bill based on The Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act. It would require any apparel or footwear brand with a global revenue more than $100M to set Science Based Targets and perform mandatory due diligence; lest they face a 2% fine on the brand’s annual revenue.
Climate change continues to make hurricanes wetter and will continue to make this year’s hurricanes even worse.
Things You Can Do
We're in spring cleaning mode! Getting our homes, outfits, and selves ready for summer. While you're at it, here's a couple (hopefully easy and fun) things to add to your list:
Replace your incandescent lights with LEDs: LEDs use 85% less energy and last less than 25% longer.
Get your craft supplies ready!! Here's a list of items you can repurpose and decorate to make them functional storage units:
You see a shoe box, we see a storage container for craft supplies, beauty products, or winter accessories.
Turn glass jars into vases and storage for condiments, kitchen utensils, pens, or makeup brushes.
For your next Meatless Monday: We are drooling over this vegetarian chili recipe from Cookie and Kate. Maitri tried it and it was a hit.
Interested in joining a climate tech company yourself? Startup Search released a list of some of the hottest startups tackling this problem.
Friends help friends reduce their footprint - share this with 5 of your closest buds. It helps our lil community grow 🌱
Questions or comments on this piece? Suggestions on what we should cover next? Send us a note.