6 Startups Hold Big Promise for Climate Action

By SN Staff

Image Credit - Oxford University

A good number of the 2022 Fast Company’s annual rank of 50 top innovative companies are directly and indirectly related to sustainability, climate change and inclusivity. Here’s a snapshot of what these start-ups are up to and how they could revolutionize how we deal with climate crisis.

Stripe Climate, ranked number one, allows any business to automatically direct a fraction of its revenue to Stripe for supporting carbon removal technologies in under a minute. So far, the company portal shows, 15,000 companies across 40 countries have joined in. Stripe is essentially an online payments company headquartered in San Francisco.

It helps firms that want to do their bit for the climate but don’t know how. The carbon removal purchase proposals are evaluated by 13 climate science experts. The purchase cover a wide range of technologies like permanent geologic storage, ocean alkalinity enhancement or direct air capture.

Stripe’s service is significant because technologies capable of delivering carbon removal at scale is not yet big enough. The IPCC models for achieving net zero emissions by 2050 will require permanent removal of gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

Stripe also gives money to firms to bring their technologies to market and will help with purchase in the initial years. It is often the first customer and helps them scale fast. The innovative firm plays a catalytic role for speeding up carbon capture and storage across the world.

Stripe Climate made a small beginning with $ One million in October 2020. The carbon removal commitments as of December 2022 was $ 15 million. Firms that sign in give a percentage of their sales that pass through Stripe’s software. It is now open to new customers as well. For Stripe Climate and for companies with similar goals to scale, they will need policy support. For example, companies can be mandated to give two percent of their net profits to Stripe or similar firms. This will be a gamechanger the world needs badly.

Solugen, ranked second, is devising an emissions-free way to turn sugar into industrial chemicals. It uses enzymes and metal catalysis to turn corn syrup into industrial chemicals. Currently, companies use oil, coal or natural gas to do this. This technology can be used in water treatment, concrete production to reduce cement and in agriculture to deliver nutrients to crops. The impact of this technology will be massive.

Twelve, ranked third, breaks up CO2 to form new chemicals. It’s potential is being tested on making jet fuel using the new chemical and other industrial parts. At scale, this technology could revolutionize almost everything we do today.

Climate Trace, ranked fifth, is a coalition of organizations that help countries capture real time and realist data on emissions. With 300 satellites and 11,000 sensors, Climate Trace will make countries or even organizations think twice before submitting fudged data.

Watershed, ranked sixth, launched in February 2021, helps companies capture their true carbon footprint. So far, the data captured is said to be not even 20%. With Watershed’s innovation, companies can capture their carbon footprint almost 100% by looking at a firm’s entire value-chain.

Doconomy, ranked seventh, does what Watershed does for firms, to individuals – help them capture their carbon footprint better. This could encourage faster and better consumer behavior. The ripple effect could a much larger population to get on to reducing their negative impact on the planet.


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