We are willing to bet that if every start-up business in the near future considered sustainability first, the whole world would benefit.
According to the European Business Awards, since the financial crisis of 2008, the rate of new businesses starting up in the EU is three times faster than in the USA. We are entrepreneurial, innovative, creative – and going green. And if these recent start-ups are anything to go by then it won’t be long before sustainability is at the core of every new business.
The city of Bristol is quickly becoming a power player in sustainability. So it comes as no surprise that start-up Grow Bristol, founded by Dermot O'Regan and Peter Whiting, is both sustainable and engaging with the local community. Made from recycled shipping containers, the urban farm applies innovation while sustainably farming fish and growing salad vegetables. They then sell their produce directly to customers and the city’s restaurants.
Now this is quite the innovation. Founder Thomas Robinson of UK start-up Adaptavate has created plasterboard made from agricultural waste. Unlike normal plasterboard, which is hazardous waste, Breathaboard is compostable. Moreover, being a breathable material it prevents condensation and mould in your home, ultimately reducing diseases. It is no wonder it won the Green Alley Award in 2015 for sustainability.
The Food Climate Research Network
has estimated around half a percent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from mobile refrigeration units moving chilled food from one place to another, so ifoodbag aims to replace standard delivery methods with reusable, recyclable bags made from laminated paper. The bag can refrigerate and freeze provisions for up to 24 hours and the bag itself can be reused up to seven times. The company also include Corporate Social Responsibility in their mantra, with three long-term values always in sight: economic prosperity, social acceptance and justice, and an improved environment.
Binning food purely based on sell-by-dates has long been up for debate as we try to curb climate change. That’s exactly why UK start-up Design by Sol has created the Bump Mark. By simply feeling a label containing a special gel, you can instantly know whether or not that food is safe to eat, regardless of the sell-by-date instruction. If the sticker swells up then you shouldn’t eat it. According to the European Commission
, around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, which is exactly why Bump Mark designer Solveiga Pakštaitė is determined to reduce food waste.
In October last year, German start-up Green City Solutions were awarded the Green Alley Award for sustainability. They’re very much aware that 90 percent of the urban population breathe in polluted air every day. And the solution would be? Trees in the city, of course. Co-founders Dénes Honus, Peter Sänger, Zhengliang Wu and Victor Splittgerber have done just that. The City Tree is made from a moss installation with IoT-Technology that creates clean air and reduces urban heat. One single City Tree absorbs 100kg of C02 per year – the equivalent of 275 natural trees.