Innovative Companies & SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

9 minute read

*Updated December 2022

Our newest report shows how organizations can align their business with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12) in a way that lowers costs, generates additional revenues, and opens the doors to new markets.

The SDG Forecast by Valuer is a series of publications that demonstrate how organizations can embrace a specific SDG that is beneficial for our planet and for business.

The first issue focuses on Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production and stresses how organizations can become more sustainable by adopting innovative technology

Understanding SDG 12

In 2015, the UN general assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Intended to be achieved by the year 2030, the goals are designed to be “the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

The twelfth goal is dedicating to ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, and like the rest of the SDGs, it has a list of targets whose progress is measured with specific indicators.

To better understand what the SDG 12 comprises, the UN explains:

“Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs, and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental, and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness, and reduce poverty.”


What is the SDG forecast by Valuer?

By taking a deep-dive into the progress of the SDG in question, the report covers various aspects of how the business sector can play an essential role in achieving its aspirations. It starts with a market analysis and the current trending technologies and moves onto the possible benefits, challenges, and opportunities for purpose-driven companies.

One of the publication’s main objectives is to emphasize how technological innovation is imperative to achieving the UN goals. Since we’re moving too slowly to keep pace with the growing societal needs, its creativity and technological breakthroughs that hold the highest potential for reducing the time and cost necessary to achieve results.

In line with this rationale, it demonstrates how Valuer’s AI platform can help large organizations find the most compatible innovative startups with sustainability-related technologies. For this purpose, it includes an in-depth description of three innovative startups chosen by the Valuer AI platform whose work aligns with the targets of SDG 12.

The format of the sustainable development startups featured in the report resembles the one our customers receive once their startup search is finalized. The selection here is a general example that doesn’t take into account a corporation’s unique needs.

How does the Valuer platform work?

The Valuer platform contains 500.000 startups that are relevant for at least one of the 17 sustainable development goals. By applying proprietary matching algorithms, it identifies the 25 most relevant business models for any given SDG agenda and specific organization.

The platform applies an unsupervised clustering algorithm to group the startups based on an array of parameters such as sector, financial statements, and team size. The information is then processed by an NLP algorithm to identify SDG startup relevance, through feature hashing.

A selection of the best European startups tackling SDG 12

Moreover, as additional inspiration, we’re listing some of the best startups from Europe that are addressing SDG 12 from various creative angles.

The Valuer platform has applied Natural Language Processing on the definition of goal number 12 “responsible consumption and production” from which a projection of the goal has been made in the Valuer database, which is clustered base on a multitude of parameters.

This method empowers the Valuer database to identify startups with solutions, business models and technologies that target and solve the SDG 12 goal in new and creative ways.


Vienna, Austria


Refurbed LogoBy using recycled electronic waste, such as phones, tablets, computer screens, and laptops, Refurbed has managed to make its electronics 40% cheaper and 100% more environmentally friendly than those made from new materials and sold in stores. The Refurbed renewal process has 40 steps and makes the products look and function as if they were completely new.

Founded: 2017

Founder(s): Jürgen Riedl, Kilian Kaminski, Peter Windischhofer


Houthalen, Belgium


Act and sorb Logo

Act&Sorb's mission is to develop the best recycling solutions for non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste streams like medium-density fibreboard (MDF). The company's team has created a pyrolysis process that converts MDF into high-value activated carbon, thus decreasing water, air, and soil pollution. The goal of the process is to support the use of one industry's waste as another industry's raw material.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Jozef Peuters, Kenny Vanreppelen, Uwe Prade


Sofia, Bulgaria


Nasekomo LogoNasekomo produces animal feeds, fertilizers, and oils from organic waste, particularly from the black soldier fly. Through this process, Nasekomo makes the agricultural economy more sustainable and reduces food waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and depletion of fragile resources.

Founded: 2017

Founder(s): Marc Bolard, Xavier Marcenac, Olga Marcenac


Zagreb, Croatia


Freewa  LogoFreewa offers a bottle made of glass and a 100% recyclable bag made of recycled PET bottles. Together with these products, the startup develops a web platform and a mobile app where customers can map free drinking locations all over the world. Their end goal is to reduce plastic consumption and to provide access to clean, drinkable water for everyone.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Mihaela Ivanec, Marko Rašić, Vedrana Vrabec


Brno, Czech Republic


Aquaqube LogoAquaQube provides an electrical device that can be used for personal water purification. Because of the combination of technologies used, AquaQube quickly eliminates any unwanted substances, including hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, bacteria, and viruses.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Jiri Drimal, Tereza Dřímalová


Copenhagen, Denmark


Organic Basics Logo

Organic Basics produces clothing from natural, renewable, recycled, biodegradable, and low-impact materials. The company creates an environmentally friendly alternative in fashion, one of the biggest polluting industries in the world.

Founded: 2015

Founder(s): Alexander Christiansen, Christoffer Immanuel, Mads Fibiger Rasmussen, Mads Haugsted Rasmussen


Tallinn, Estonia


Soil Grid LogoSingle.Earth is a GreenTech company aiming to provide businesses with a tokenization platform for creating digital twins of natural resources such as forests and wetlands. Each MERIT token provided by the company is linked to a unique plot of land while one MERIT equates to 100 kg of CO2 captured in biodiverse nature.

Founded: 2019

Founder(s): Merit Valdsalu, Andrus Aaslaid


Helsinki, Finland

Norsepower Oy

Norse Power LogoNorsepower Oy offers an innovative Rotor Sail technology that can be used as an auxiliary wind propulsion system. The company's mission is to reduce the environmental impact of shipping by harnessing wind energy.

Founded: 2012

Founder(s): Tuomas Riski


Paris, France


Phenix LogoPhenix's goal is to reduce waste and to aid the transition to a circular economy by giving food and non-food products a second life. The startup provides web and mobile-based platform where products from different sectors can be given, resold, recycled, and exchanged.

Founded: 2014

Founder(s): Baptiste Corval, Jean Moreau


Berlin, Germany


Mittemitte LogoMitte provides smart water systems that purify as well as enhance water, delivering healthy water straight to the home. Their solutions lower plastic consumption, carbon footprints, and water waste.

Founded: 2015

Founder(s): Faebian Bastiman, Karan Sarin, Moritz Waldstein


Athens, Greece

Sustainable Food Movement

Sustainable Food Movement Logo

Sustainable Food Movement is a startup that fights food waste and promotes sustainability, especially in the culinary art and tourism industry. The company's team is dedicated to educating, consulting, and training professionals on practices that are both innovative and sustainable.

Founded: 2017

Founder(s): Vee Bougani


Budapest, Hungary


Greenflow Energy LogoPlantCT is an agricultural solution for monitoring crop health. The integrated plant monitoring station consists of various sensors for humidity, leaf moisture, irradiation, and disease detection. The collected data is processed by a central unit which provides actionable intelligence to crop farmers.

Founded: 2005

Founder(s): Csaba Árendás


Reykjavik, Iceland


Atmonia LogoAtmonia generates aqueous ammonia from air and water through an electro-catalytic process. Unlike conventional production methods, Atmonia makes zero-carbon ammonia. The resulting nitrogen products can be used as fertilizer through irrigation.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Egill Skúlason, Helga Dögg Flosadóttir, Arnar Sveinbjörnsson


Kells, Ireland


Hexafly LogoHexafly develops materials and sources from insects, particularly from the black soldier fly. Through their knowledge in biotechnology, Hexafly researchers extract resources from insects and create products for plant nutrition, pet food, animal nutrition, alternative protein, oleochemical ingredients, personal care, and cosmetics. All of the company's products are made in a closed, circular system, thereby promoting sustainability.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Alvan Hunt, John Lynam


Milan, Italy


Armadioverde LogoArmadioverde is a community-based platform that provides fashion consumers with a place to share and exchange clothes and accessories no longer in use. By supporting and promoting the circular economy, Armadioverde delivers an innovative and sustainable alternative that helps to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, one of the largest industrial polluters globally.

Founded: 2015

Founder(s): David Erba, Eleonora Dellera


Riga, Latvia

The Littery

The Littery LogoThe Littery provides cost-effective municipal waste collection solutions. To solve this, The Littery has created a lottery reward technology based on IoT and Computer Vision to incentivize people to sort their waste and recycle. The Littery benefits cities by reducing CO2 emissions by 80-90%, saving on litter bin maintenance, and ensuring cleaner spaces.

Founded: 2019

Founder(s): Michael Manniche


Vilnius, Lithuania


Borela LogoVinted is a customer to customer (C2C) company operating as a marketplace dedicated to second-hand apparel. The company has a mission to make "second-hand the first choice worldwide". Operating with a team of over 1200 employees, Vinted has offices in Vilnius, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, and Utrecht, and covers 16 markets across the globe. 

Founded: 2008

Founder(s): Milda Mitkute, Justas Janauskas


Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Zwoice Logo

LEKO LABS is a tech company focusing on developing carbon-negative construction solutions. The company's Advanced Composite LEKO LABS Structure is an advanced material exhibiting resilience under high compression loads while providing superior strength, thermal and acoustic properties. Moreover, the company also incorporates robotics, AI, and digital modeling in its development and manufacturing processes.

Founded: 2017

Founder(s): Francois Cordier


Skopje, Macedonia


Challenger LogoChallenger is a mobile app that challenges users to bike or walk in exchange for virtual points. The more challenges a user completes, the more points they earn and can use to purchase rewards. The two primary goals of the app are to provide a marketplace for connecting businesses with consumers and to reduce air pollution from cars.

Founded: 2019

Founder(s): Olga Rajcikj, Stefan Aleksikj, Teodora Chizhbanoska, Mitko Orcev


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Land Life Company

Land Life Company LogoLand Life is on a mission to reforest 2 billion hectares of land all over the world. The suite of technologies offered by the company can efficiently and sustainably reforest large surfaces in arid and harsh conditions.

Founded: 2013

Founder(s): Eduard Zanen, Jurriaan Ruys


Trondheim, Norway


Ducky LogoDucky is a platform that educates, measures, and mobilizes people to take action on carbon sustainability. Businesses can engage their employees and customers on their platform using targeted challenges. The platform also provides many tools to help organizations, individuals, and even schools to learn about how to improve their carbon footprint.

Founded: 2014

Founder(s): Silje Strøm Solberg


Wroclaw, Poland


Syntoil LogoSyntoil transforms end-of-life rubber waste and tires into various commercial products. Using a continuous pyrolysis process, rubber that would otherwise be burned is reworked to be used again in rubber production. In this way, Syntoil technology promotes a circular economy.

Founded: 2015

Founder(s): Martyna Sztaba, Bogdan Sztaba


Lisbon, Portugal


Planetiers LogoPlanetiers offers a marketplace for sustainable products of many kinds. The company also hosts events and gathers businesses, scientists, innovators, and investors as ambassadors. All of Planetiers' work follows the 17 SDGs.

Founded: 2017

Founder(s): Carlos Carvalho, Sérgio Ribeiro


Bucharest, Romania


Watto LogoWatto is building a high-speed charging infrastructure that will make it possible for electric cars to drive long-distance. Through their smart solutions and innovation, the Watto engineers are creating an entire ecosystem that will function as the technological backbone for the electric vehicle industry. The charging stations allow small cars, as well as large trucks and buses, to charge and receive service.

Founded: 2019

Founder(s): Daniel Pintilie


Moscow, Russia

Watts Battery

Watts Battery LogoWatts Battery provides a smart and portable energy storage solution with the same functionalities as a large system. The battery allows the storage of solar energy and can be used to power anything. It can also function as an alternative to gasoline-driven generators and for energy management.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Mike Dokuchaev, Yuriy Vlasov


Belgrade, Serbia


SOMA LogoSOMA uses fungi-based technology to create healthy products and plastic alternatives, all biodegradable. The company's core mission is to bring sustainability and environmental responsibility to the biotech industry.

Founded: 2018

Founder(s): Nikola Stanojevic, Danilo Zivkovic


Bratislava, Slovakia


Sensoneo LogoSensoneo offers smart, IoT-based waste management solutions for cities and businesses looking to improve on environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency. The technology is a combination of smart sensors and data analytics and is claimed to result in at least 30% less carbon emission and, in some cities, up to 60%.

Founded: 2014

Founder(s): Andrea Basilova, Martin Basila


Ljutomer, Slovenia


Dukin LogoDukin develops and produces equipment for solving the waste problems of households, hospitals, tourist facilities, etc. The company's goal is to reduce the volume of waste and thus contribute to a cleaner environment.

Founded: 2011

Founder(s): Matej Rajh, Miha Horvat


Pamplona, Spain

NabraWind Technologies

Nabra Wind LogoNabraWind is dedicated to the development and design of advanced wind technology. The team of engineers creates components for wind turbines and offers expert consulting services.

Founded: 2015

Founder(s): Eneko Sanz, Iñaki Alti Barbón


Stockholm, Sweden


Karma LogoKarma has developed an app for businesses and grocery stores to sell surplus food to consumers at lower prices. The solution lowers food waste and is cost-beneficial for both companies and consumers.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren, Elsa Bernadotte, Ludvig Berling, Mattis Larsson


Zürich, Switzerland


Biopipe Logo

Biopipe develops a wastewater treatment system, unique because the entirety of the treatment process takes place in the pipe. The Biopipe team can build its systems in various sizes to fit everyone from households, hotels, and residential buildings, to entire municipalities. In addition to being fully automated and cost-efficient, the solution is eco-friendly.

Founded: 2013

Founder(s): Enes Kutluca, Enver Misirli


Izmir, Turkey

ACO Recycling

Aco Recycling LogoAco Recycling creates smart, innovative, and sustainable solutions for recycling and waste management. Their environmentally-friendly solutions include underground waste containers and smart waste management, as well as Reverse Vending Machines and other environmental gadgets.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Nihat Kuruuzum


Kiev, Ukraine


Effa LogoEffa produces a one-time toothbrush made from paper, cornstarch, and Nylon 11. The brush is 100% recyclable, lowers CO2 by 60%, and plastic usage by 70%.

Founded: 2017

Founder(s): Ilya Kichuk


London, United Kingdom


Notpla LogoNotpla develops biodegradable and natural packaging for liquids. Using a brown seaweed extract, the company has developed an edible alternative to plastic bottles.

Founded: 2016

Founder(s): Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Pierre Paslier



As the Harvard Business Review once put it: There’s no alternative to sustainable development. The increasingly evident climate change and its resulting stricter regulations, coupled with the modern needs of the informed customer, mean that business-as-usual won’t cut it anymore.

Luckily, this new reality doesn’t only bring threats, but also numerous new business opportunities to those that embrace it on time, fueling business innovation and sustainability. 

The conclusions of our research on the topic come in line with a study conducted by HBR, which points out that: “Sustainability is a mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns. [...] In fact, because those are the goals of corporate innovation, we find that smart companies now treat sustainability as innovation’s new frontier.”

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