The sustainability agenda is everywhere. From talks of a post-covid Green Recovery, to Attenborough on Instagram. The speed at which modern industrialisation has wreaked havoc on the planet is eye-watering.
So we must move even quicker to create solutions to halt the damage, reverse it where we can, and to provide alternatives for a sustainable future. Even in the financial mainstream sustainability is no longer viewed as a nice to have. It’s essential. As Larry Fink - the CEO of BlackRock stated - climate risk is investment risk. In his letter to CEOs he says that ‘investors all round the world are seeking to understand both the physical risks associated with climate change as well as the ways that climate policy will impact prices, costs, and demand across the entire economy.’
With that in mind, more and more money is being ploughed into innovation that can protect the environment, helping societies and economies to remain stable. We need innovation like never before, and no one moves faster than a startup with a mission. So let’s meet three of BGV’s most ambitious ventures trying to save the world (literally) with tech for good.
Fairphone - revolutionising the electronics industry from within
Tackling SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9 - Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 10 - Reducing Inequalities, SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production & SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
Fairphone are the producers of the world’s most ethical and sustainable smartphones. When BGV invested in founder Bas van Abel and his small team in 2012, Fairphone wasn’t yet a company and nobody on the team had ever built a phone before. They’ve come a long way since.
Fairphone’s mission is to change the electronics industry from within by setting and sharing new standards. They do this by going right to the source - literally - from visiting mines in Congo to advocating for workers’ welfare. Meanwhile by creating a modular design for the handset itself, they minimise electronic waste by making their phones easy to repair when needed.
In 2015 Fairphone was named as Europe’s fastest growing startup and as of March 2020 they’ve sold 230,000 phones. Their latest model - the Fairphone 3 has been reviewed and recommended by the likes of The Guardian, TechCrunch and the FT. Fairphone is not only delivering impact directly, they’re also proving the viability and demand for ethical electronics. Join their movement here.
Piclo - leading the charge for a clean energy future
Tackling SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy & SDG 9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Piclo is creating a smarter energy future. One which sees a rapid and effective transition to renewable energy and a net-zero carbon energy system. Backed by BGV in 2013, founders James, Andy and Alice started with the vision to power the world by cheap, clean and abundant electricity.
Their flagship product, Piclo Flex, is an independent marketplace that helps balance the electricity grid. By allowing the likes of network operators and energy suppliers to trade energy flexibility online, the energy system can be more efficient, reliable and sustainable.As the first to launch a marketplace of this type in Britain, Piclo truly are at the forefront of their industry.
In 2018 they appointed Volker Beckers - former Group CEO of RWE npower - as their chairman. They also recently secured an ongoing commercial agreement with UK Power Networks and an international collaboration to support decarbonisation in Slovenia. Follow Piclo here as they create a smarter energy system for the world, one kilowatt at a time.
LettUs Grow - building the farms of the future
Tackling SDG 2 - Zero Hunger & SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
LettUs Grow has developed patented aeroponic farming technology to address global food security and sustainability. In 2015 founders Charlie, Jack and Ben began their mission to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing the world: CO2 emissions, waste, ecosystem collapse and food security.
With the ever increasing and evident strain of existing agricultural systems, LettUs Grow is helping to build the farms of the future.Their patented aeroponic technology delivers up to 70% consistently greater crop yield than hydroponics. While their misting system not only delivers better flavour and faster growth, but also uses up to 95% less water than traditional agriculture. LettUs Grow’s novel technology represents a step-change for indoor farms.
By combining modular design, aeroponic irrigation with intelligent control technology they are making local sustainable farming profitable. One to keep your eye on - you’ll be eating a LettUs Grown strawberry before you know it. Follow the team here.
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