*Updated December 2022
What is the SDG forecast series?
The SDG Forecast by Valuer is a series of reports that can help companies engage with the UN goals in a way that’s both good for the planet and for business. Emphasizing the importance of technological innovation for corporate sustainability, each report focuses on one SDG and includes data from the Valuer platform, market analysis, trending technologies, relevant startups, and much more.
This month, the report focuses on SDG 13: Climate action and demonstrates how corporations can engage with the goal by adopting new approaches to sustainable energy generation and management, sustainable agriculture, sustainable transport, and waste management.
Moreover, the publication explores the technology of three successful startups, Positive Energy, Circular IQ and Biome Makers, and explains how Valuer’s online platform uses AI to help large companies find startups and innovative technologies that match their unique needs.
What is in the report?
By reading out forecast, you will expand your knowledge on climate action through insights on startups, technological trends, and focus areas. Inform yourself on how your business can become more sustainable both environmentally and economically through our solutions analysis. Valuer assists organizations adopt the most compatible sustainability related technologies.
More organizations that do a great job at addressing SDG 13
The full version of the SDG Forecast report (available for download) includes six case studies: three SDG 13 startups and their technologies explained in detail (Positive Energy, Circular IQ, and Biome Makers) and three corporations (Syngenta, Engie, and Volvo) that do a great job of engaging with the UN goal.
This post lists additional NGOs, governments, corporations, and startups that work toward achieving the goal.
Startups that align with SDG13
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
For the Dutch startup Circular IQ, sustainability should be everyone's personal responsibility. Inspired by this, the company was founded with the mission of empowering businesses and governments to activate their entire supply chain and to become game-changers in achieving their sustainability goals. Circular IQ facilitates this with its digital platform, which helps users leverage their purchasing power by selecting materials with defined and verifiable circular characteristics.
Biome Makers aims to introduce more sustainable and efficient agriculture by helping farmers to discover insights buried in the soil microbiome. The company's soil analysis tools use DNA sequencing and intelligent computing to perform a deep dive into the effects that the soil microbiome has on crop health and production, as well as the effects of various agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.
Positive Energy’s goal is to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy by simplifying the financing of underbanked small to midsize renewable energy projects. With this in mind, the company has developed a blockchain-powered platform that enables renewable energy developers to reach a large community of investors while simultaneously giving investors access to an optimized, broad base of projects vetted by the company.
STAC is the culmination of five decades of research, developed with the goal of accelerating the transition to widespread use of water as a refrigerant and leading to the phase-out of environmentally damaging synthetic coolants. With its technology platform offering Sustainable Thermal Advanced Cooling Systems, the Danish company is helping industry leaders accelerate the adoption of safe, cost-effective energy solutions.
Enmacc has developed an independent OTC energy trading platform that digitizes the energy procurement process from start to finish, eliminating the need for intermediaries and regulators. The platform helps boost liquidity in energy, gas, and renewable certificate markets across Europe, delivering efficiency, security, and critical data for optimal trading activities.
Pexapark is a Swiss company that has developed a community-powered FinTech platform for renewable energy sales in non-subsidized markets. The company's main product is the Pexa Monitor, a SaaS risk monitoring software that helps renewable energy investors structure their power sales, complete power purchase agreement (PPA) transactions, and monitor their energy risks. Additionally, the company organizes public, in-house, online, and tailored corporate PPA academies in which the team shares its expertise in renewable energy structuring and trading.
Aquilon Energy Services has developed the Energy Settlement Network®, a collaborative, cloud-based platform that automates wholesale energy settlements. The platform enables buyers and sellers to identify exceptions and automatically settle physical and financial energy transactions. The Energy Settlement Network integrates with customers’ systems of record and helps them increase their operational efficiency, while simultaneously improving their risk management and compliance.
Grid Singularity is a blockchain technology company that aims to democratize energy by placing the individual and the environment at the center of the energy market. To this end, the company is developing the D3A energy exchange engine that coordinates an increasing number of small energy producers and flexible loads, in a trustless, open, decentralized network. Grid Singularity also co-founded the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), an open-source, enterprise blockchain platform tailored to the energy sector.
GeoPard Agriculture has created a precision farming platform for enterprises and individuals. The platform uses open-data sources, such as satellites, to generate a spectrum of information about farmlands. With the help of viewers with different color distributions, users can visualize and analyze crop yield, vegetation health and distribution, leaf chlorophyll production, soil content, water distribution, and other related indices. Additionally, it offers prescription maps to make spraying, seeding, and fertilization practices more effective.
Redwood City, USA
Impossible Foods is a Silicon Valley startup developing plant-based meat products. The startup’s flagship product is the Impossible Burger, a plant-based meat product. Its key ingredient is soy leghemoglobin, a heme-containing molecule that gives the burger the flavor and texture of conventional beef from cows. In addition, the burger contains plant-based proteins, coconut and sunflower oils, and water. It has a higher nutritional value than a traditional burger and has a lower environmental impact. Impossible Foods also plans the commercialization of two new products: Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage.
Founded as a spin-off of the VIB research institute and its partner universities UGent and KU Leuven, the Belgian startup Aphea.Bio develops a technology that can make biopesticides out of microorganisms, offering an organic alternative to chemical pesticides. The company is currently focused on products that help reduce fertilizer application (biostimulants) and control fungal diseases (biocontrol agents) sustainably in maize and wheat.
San Francisco, USA
Spiio is a cleantech startup that is helping the green Industry improve sustainability and productivity by providing actionable data from plant sensors in the field. The company has developed a smart sensor that gathers data on temperature, light, nutrients, and soil moisture, and sends the collected data to a mobile app.
San Diego, USA
Plantible Foods aims to change the food industry by developing an all-applicable, plant-based protein that is climate-friendly. To achieve this, the company is working with a proprietary lemna-based protein produced in environmentally sensitive aqua farms. Named Rubi Protein, the product is made by growing lemna in highly controlled indoor conditions, later undergoing cold-pressing for extraction. Rubi Protein has a neutral taste, contains all necessary amino acids, and is suitable as an alternative for egg whites, as well as other meat and dairy products.
IoMob is a Spanish startup that aims to decentralize mobility with its open and interoperable blockchain-based Mobility-as-a-Service ( MaaS) platform. The solution enables transport companies and authorities to operate the Iomob platform under their own brand and to manage urban and regional mobility more effectively.
UISEE is devoted to reshaping mobility through the use of AI to create transformative services on mobility on demand. The company partners with governments, city-planning companies, and commercial places like airports and real estate complexes in order to provide autonomous vehicle solutions in their environments.
Quantafuel helps build a circular economy for plastic that increases resource utilization and reduces emissions. To this end, the company has developed a patented technology that converts mixed plastic waste into low-carbon synthetic oil products. The process converts almost all kinds of plastic waste into environmentally friendly fuels and chemicals, owing to the highly effective gas-to-liquid technology.
Northhampton, The United Kingdom
Olleco is a British company that extracts value from used oil and food waste by turning them into renewable energy, heating, organic fertilizers, and biofuels. The company is the renewables arm of ABP Food Group and aims to introduce a circular approach to waste for the Food and Hospitality industry in Britain and Ireland. In addition to its recycling efforts, the company provides a range of cooking oils.
San Francisco, USA
Full Cycle Bioplastics tackles the urgent problem of plastic waste by providing an alternative, sustainable material —polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a cheap, compostable bioplastic. The company has developed proprietary technology that uses microbes to convert mixed organic waste, such as inedible food waste, agricultural by-products, and non-recyclable paper into biopolymers (PHAs), a cost-competitive and sustainable alternative to petro-plastics.
Woodland Biofuels is a Canadian clean-tech company that has developed the technology to tackle some of the world's most pressing problems by providing low cost fuel, dealing with excess waste, and mitigating climate change. The company uses waste biomass - forestry waste, agricultural waste, or municipal waste - as feedstock to produce low cost automotive ethanol, a fully renewable energy resource, produced from non food materials.
San Francisco, USA
Brightmark is a waste-to-energy production company committed to creating a world without waste. The company aims to achieve this mission by partnering with local suppliers of plastic or biological waste such as dairy, food, animal and other organic waste from farms to produce renewable natural gas and to recycle plastics for the production of oil and oil-based products.
NGOs that align with SDG13
Fairtrade International (FLO) is a German multilateral non-profit organization that coordinates Fairtrade labeling at an international level. The organization sets out international fairtrade standards designed to overcome poverty and empower producers in the world's poorest countries. FLO is also working with farmers to develop market opportunities and to obtain Fairtrade certifications.
The organization's work with farmers who are already struggling with climate change impacts, such as the loss of arable land, crops, and livelihoods, has given FLO a unique perspective on climate change. According to FLO, extreme weather and rising temperatures already affect the production of major Fairtrade commodities, including coffee, cocoa, and tea.
To address this issue, the organization has developed a two-pronged approach: 1) Farmers, producers, and workers can use the extra income they receive from the sale of Fairtrade certified crops called Fairtrade Premium, to fund climate adaptability projects such as tree planting, irrigation, crop diversification, and clean energy. 2) By providing access to Fairtrade Carbon Credits, farming communities in developing countries can utilize carbon finance to address the effects of climate change. This approach gives farmers a double benefit, enabling them to invest in adaptation and mitigation projects at a minimal price that they can fund using the Fairtrade Premium income received from the sale of carbon credits.
Trust for Nature is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving native plants and wildlife in Victoria, Australia. In its 45 years of operation, the organization has managed to secure 100,000 hectares of habitat on private land, including places that are home to some of Australia's rarest species, such as the Helmet Honeyeater.
The organization is also directly engaged in supporting SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Trust for Nature holds more than 12 million tons of Co2 in its reserves and covenanted properties. This is equivalent to more than 2.5 million cars taken off the roads for a year. The organization focuses on advancing the protection of habitats and expanding the National Reserve System, particularly in areas identified as necessary to improve habitat connectivity or secure existing carbon stocks.
Washington DC, USA
The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization based in Washington DC that focuses on the impact of development on seven main areas of the environment: climate, energy, food, forestry, water, cities, and the ocean. With a presence in more than 60 countries and more than 1,000 experts and staff, the organization provides guidance to leaders on developing strategies that sustain natural resources, which serve as the basis of economic opportunities and human well-being. WRI has taken a proactive role to help achieve sustainable development, having developed the Climate Program. This framework seeks to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resistant world. In addition, WRI is hosting the NDC Partnership, which supports more than 50 countries in delivering and enhancing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). WRI also provides guidance, case studies, and data to help countries develop long-term, low-carbon development strategies integrated into their NDCs and improve their resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Governments that align with SDG13
The Canadian government believes that addressing climate change can be an opportunity for growth and development, and is committed to becoming a leader in climate change policy and clean growth. To this end, Canada is investing in climate-smart policies and initiatives that are based on rigorous scientific evidence.
Canada's future development strategy is outlined in the recently adopted Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change. The framework details a comprehensive approach to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 and build resilience to climate change impacts.
The framework, consisting of more than 50 concrete measures, such as carbon pricing, aims to reduce carbon pollution, reduce the impact of climate change, promote clean technology solutions and create jobs that contribute to a strong economy. To support the implementation of the framework, the Government of Canada set up the Low Carbon Economy Fund and the Investment in Canada Plan to fund projects that reduce GHG emissions and generate clean growth.
The Norwegian Government has adopted a sustainable development plan to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40 % by 2030 compared to 1990. The main instruments for implementing this policy are taxes and participation in the EU emissions trading system (ETS). The Government will also adopt policies on direct regulation, standards, agreements, and emission reduction grants to achieve sustainability goals.
The Government is also planning to adopt a proactive international policy, calling for the reform of fossil fuel subsidies and adopting a carbon price. Norway believes that carbon pricing is crucial if the world is to reduce emissions significantly and effectively. Carbon prices are also needed to stimulate the development of climate-friendly technology. In addition, Norway intends to continue providing funding for climate change projects to help developing countries achieve low-emission, climate-resilient development.
The Government of India has developed a robust climate change action plan, consisting of several frameworks and strategies. The primary strategy is outlined in the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which aims to promote understanding of climate change and establish a link between adaptation and mitigation in line with the national priority for sustainable development.
The action plan consists of eight national priorities representing multi-pronged, long-term, and integrated strategies to achieve key climate change objectives. The Plan focuses on Solar Energy, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Maintaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture, and Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
Moreover, driven by a need to achieve coherence between actions at a national and sub-national level, the action plan was further developed into State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC).
Companies that align with SDG13
Operating across several strategic sectors in the grocery trade, the building, technical trade, and the car trade, Finnish retailer Kesko is in a unique position to influence sustainability.
The company takes this role very seriously, being the first Finnish company (in June 2017) to set SBTi-approved science-based targets for reducing emissions from facilities, transport, and the supply chain. Taking drastic action to reduce its environmental impact, Kesko has chosen to adopt only renewable electricity for its stores and has become one of Finland's largest solar power producers with more than 20 solar power plants on its stores' rooftops.
Kesko also committed to the 2017–2025 action plan of the commerce sector Energy Efficiency Agreement, under which the company commits to reduce its energy consumption by 7.5% through various savings measures.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ING is a Dutch multinational bank, present in more than 40 countries, which has long been a leader in adopting climate-positive measures. Since 2007, the company has set more ambitious targets for the future, including only using renewable electricity in its buildings, reducing its CO2 emissions by 50%, reducing its residual waste and water use by 20%, and remaining carbon neutral by offsetting the remaining carbon emissions, all by 2020.
The company is also well aware of its unique position to influence the SDGs through the clients and projects it finances. The company leverages this opportunity to focus on business practices that would advance the SDGs for climate action (goal 13), sustainable consumption and production (goal 12), and sustainable and inclusive economic growth (goal 8). In terms of addressing SDG 13, ING aims to double the funding it has provided to organizations that help combat climate change and positively impact society and the environment by 2022.
ING is also making progress towards steering its lending portfolio towards the well-below two-degree goal of the Paris Agreement, a strategy it has called the Terra approach. In addition, ING committed to the UN-backed Collective Commitment to Climate Action, signed by more than 30 banks in September 2019.
London, The United Kingdom
Unilever is a well-known brand and one of the oldest multinational companies in the world, with its products in over 190 countries. With a portfolio spanning a wide range of sectors, the company has an enormous reach and takes its position responsibly, integrating sustainable development as a core value.
The company has set an ambitious target to become carbon-positive by 2030, eliminating fossil fuel use in its operations and generating more renewable energy than it consumes. Unilever expects such a shift to bring many benefits to the company, including lower operating costs and improved resilience of its energy supply and attracting investors who are increasingly concerned with carbon risks.
Unilever has set up an internal carbon pricing model to finance the Clean Technology Fund for investment in energy, waste, and water-saving projects to fund this transition. To date, the Fund has been allocated over €120 million, having funded projects for solar water heating systems at sites in Australia, Israel, Mexico, and India, which together reduce CO2 emissions by around 1,500 tons per year, and a biomass boiler at its Tema plant in Ghana.
The future is... sustainable
The increasingly evident climate change and stricter regulations, coupled with the modern needs of the informed customer, mean that business-as-usual won’t cut it anymore. Fortunately, this new reality brings not only threats but also numerous new business opportunities to those who embrace it on time.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to aligning with SDG 13. This is why it’s essential that each organization addresses the challenge from a perspective that makes the most sense to its strategies.
By finding startups with innovative technology that complement a corporation’s unique needs, the Valuer AI platform can help organizations adopt the most compatible sustainability-related solutions.