*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.
By 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.
Founder(s): Jürgen Riedl, Kilian Kaminski, Peter Windischhofer
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.
Founder(s): Jozef Peuters, Kenny Vanreppelen, Uwe Prade
Nasekomo 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.
Founder(s): Marc Bolard, Xavier Marcenac, Olga Marcenac
Freewa 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.
Founder(s): Mihaela Ivanec, Marko Rašić, Vedrana Vrabec
Brno, Czech Republic
AquaQube 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.
Founder(s): Jiri Drimal, Tereza Dřímalová
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.
Founder(s): Alexander Christiansen, Christoffer Immanuel, Mads Fibiger Rasmussen, Mads Haugsted Rasmussen
Single.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.
Founder(s): Merit Valdsalu, Andrus Aaslaid
Norsepower 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.
Founder(s): Tuomas Riski
Phenix'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.
Founder(s): Baptiste Corval, Jean Moreau
Founder(s): Faebian Bastiman, Karan Sarin, Moritz Waldstein
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.
Founder(s): Vee Bougani
PlantCT 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.
Founder(s): Csaba Árendás
Atmonia 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.
Founder(s): Egill Skúlason, Helga Dögg Flosadóttir, Arnar Sveinbjörnsson
Hexafly 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.
Founder(s): Alvan Hunt, John Lynam
Armadioverde 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.
Founder(s): David Erba, Eleonora Dellera
The 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.
Founder(s): Michael Manniche
Vinted 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.
Founder(s): Milda Mitkute, Justas Janauskas
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.
Founder(s): Francois Cordier
Challenger 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.
Founder(s): Olga Rajcikj, Stefan Aleksikj, Teodora Chizhbanoska, Mitko Orcev
Land 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.
Founder(s): Eduard Zanen, Jurriaan Ruys
Ducky 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.
Founder(s): Silje Strøm Solberg
Syntoil 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.
Founder(s): Martyna Sztaba, Bogdan Sztaba
Planetiers 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.
Founder(s): Carlos Carvalho, Sérgio Ribeiro
Watto 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.
Founder(s): Daniel Pintilie
Watts 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.
Founder(s): Mike Dokuchaev, Yuriy Vlasov
SOMA 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.
Founder(s): Nikola Stanojevic, Danilo Zivkovic
Sensoneo 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%.
Founder(s): Andrea Basilova, Martin Basila
Dukin 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.
Founder(s): Matej Rajh, Miha Horvat
Founder(s): Eneko Sanz, Iñaki Alti Barbón
Founder(s): Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren, Elsa Bernadotte, Ludvig Berling, Mattis Larsson
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.
Founder(s): Enes Kutluca, Enver Misirli
Aco 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.
Founder(s): Nihat Kuruuzum
Founder(s): Ilya Kichuk
London, United Kingdom
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.”