Staying ahead of the technology curve means strengthening your competitive advantage. That is why we give you data-driven innovation insights into the circular economy. This time, you get to discover 5 hand-picked startups implementing sustainable business models.
Global Startup Heat Map highlights 5 Top Startups implementing Sustainable Business Models out of 401
The insights of this data-driven analysis are derived from the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 2.093.000+ startups & scaleups globally. The platform gives you an exhaustive overview of emerging technologies & relevant startups within a specific field in just a few clicks.
The Global Startup Heat Map below reveals the distribution of the 401 exemplary startups & scaleups we analyzed for this research. Further, it highlights 5 startups implementing sustainable business models that we hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised, and more. You get to explore the solutions of these 5 startups & scaleups in this report. For insights on the other 396 sustainable business models, get in touch.
Indo Naturals provides Plant-based Zero-Waste Products
Parabens used in soaps and other washing materials adversely impact the environment, for example, by destroying coral life. They also disrupt hormone function in the human body. To remove toxic chemicals from everyday products, brands and consumer-facing companies increasingly look to incorporate paraben-free biodegradable materials. Therefore, startups are developing paraben-free solutions made from compostable material.
Norwegian startup Indo Naturals provides zero waste products made from plant resources The startup uses sustainable plant resources that grow in abundance to produce paraben-free products including dishwashing sets, body washes, and soaps. The raw material is also sourced from independent farmers or directly harvested from the wild in India. The startup’s products are reusable, compostable, and recyclable, making them zero waste. Besides, the startup uses recycled paper, without glue, for the packaging and enabling the circular economy for personal care product companies.
Bluecat Paper creates Tree-Free Sustainable Paper
Paper manufacturing processes release nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air, contributing to global warming. Creating handmade paper from secondary waste streams, consequently, reduces the strain on the environment and its ecological balance. Therefore, startups are developing tree-free paper solutions to offer a sustainable alternative for paper.
Indian startup Bluecatpaper produces tree-free sustainable handmade paper and paper products. The startup uses secondary waste, such as cotton waste known as Chandi, linen, coffee husk, and other residual plant fibers including lemongrass, corn husk, mulberry, banana, flax, as well as elephant poo. It then upcycles the waste for paper production and recycles the water, which is reused in the production process. As a result, the startup produces paper without cutting down trees, prevents waste from ending up in landfills, and also enables the circular economy for paper.
Circular Food Technology enables Food Resource Recovery
Land utilization and exhaustion, as well as the increasing global population, is putting a strain on the available food resources. Moreover, the current practices of food conservation fall short in meeting the growing demand. However, upcycling industrial food waste to produce food helps narrow the demand-supply gap. Startups are developing food solutions from industrial food waste to support a circular food economy.
Danish startup Circular Food Technology provides resource recovery through upcycling industrial food waste. The startup uses spent grain, a by-product from the beer-brewing process that is rich in proteins, fibers, and vitamins, and transforms it into an alternative superfood. The startup produces food and ingredients to supplement traditional baked goods, snacks, and sports drinks with locally sourced grains. The solution also reduces the carbon footprint by limiting land exhaustion and air freight emissions.
Hejhej makes Closed-Loop Yoga Mats
Industrial foam waste filling up the landfills is deteriorating the land quality along with chemically harming the environment. Due to its low density and high volume, foam is difficult to treat as waste. The current method to dispose of foam waste through incineration is highly unsustainable. Thus, startups are developing solutions to recycle foam waste into sustainable products.
German startup Hejhej produces closed-loop yoga mats. The startup’s mats use material leftovers that accumulate in the waste foam, usually thrown away or downcycled to produce yoga mats. The startup also recycles the yoga mats after their lifespan and reuses it as raw material to produce another yoga mat. This creates a closed-loop system for waste foam as well as its end-product. Moreover, Hejhej facilitates climate-neutral shipping through the use of recycled material as shipping and packaging material.
Cormo provides Sustainable Mushroom Farming Solution
For mushroom cultivation, peats are prominently used in the mushroom casing. Peats store soil carbon, however, their cultivation and harvesting release carbon dioxide (CO2), impacting climate change. Therefore, to reduce carbon emissions from mushroom harvesting, startups are developing sustainable alternative solutions. Such solutions implement the circular economy principles of producing from waste and ensuring the recyclability of end products.
US-based startup Cormo provides sustainable mushroom farming technology. The startup’s solution utilizes maize stems, a residue from grain maize production, to deliver peat-free mushroom casing. The startup produces TEFA, fibrous material with low nutrient content like peat, as well as BABS, foam which increases the water uptake and holding capacity of blends. A combination of TEFA and BABS is used in the mushroom casing. The solution is also integrable with the current material handling parameters used in the commercial mushroom farming industry.
Discover more Circular Economy Startups
Startups such as the examples highlighted in this report focus on end-to-end sustainability, from resource extraction and processing to packaging and shipping. While all of these technologies play a major role in advancing the circular economy, they only represent the tip of the iceberg. To explore more sustainability technologies, simply get in touch to let us look into your areas of interest. For a more general overview, you can download one of our free Industry Innovation Reports to save your time and improve strategic decision-making.