Six startups in emerging markets with innovative tech solutions for climate change


Six startups in emerging markets with innovative tech solutions for climate change

Seedstars Global

APRIL 22, 2021

April 22 marks Earth Day, a worldwide event dedicated to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

On this day, the world takes time to reflect on the state of the planet. While the global event sheds a light on important environmental issues, we should take it as an opportunity to further the conversation along to how we can honor and protect the earth in the long run.

The pressing issue of climate change has been evident through the rapidly increasing global temperature, warming ocean, shrinking ice sheets, and rising sea levels. Our efforts should be focused on figuring out how we can keep the planet’s ecosystem perpetually safe.

Across emerging markets, startups are already working on how they can provide more sustainable alternatives to existing solutions that don’t require the consumption of the limited resources on Earth. Climate innovation technology is proving to be a viable solution for mitigating the crisis.

Take a look at these startups and how they celebrate Earth Day every day through their tech solutions.

Waste Transformation

According to the United Nations, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050 unless people stop using single-use plastic items such as plastic bags and plastic bottles. The plastic problem is not limited to affecting our oceans, however. As Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Claire Arkin says, “Plastic pollution is not just an oceans issue. It’s a climate issue and it’s a human health issue.”

In Colombia alone, there are about 32,000 tons of garbage that are produced daily. Seeing an opportunity to turn all this trash into essentially another man’s treasure, Diseclar got to work.

Based in Latin America, Diseclar transforms plastic and agro-industrial waste into beautiful and useful pieces of architectural finishes and furniture. Founder Juan Nicolás Suárez, who has been dubbed as the “King Midas” of trash, set out to turn plastic bottles into wood-like furniture.

Using vegetable fiber, coffee husk, and Diseclar’s secret formula, they are able to transform garbage into chairs, tables, desks, and more.

Waste Management

While reducing our waste will produce a big impact in the fight against climate change, another approach to combat the problem is to improve waste management. This will help curb the amount of trash polluting the earth.

The World Bank reports that the world annually generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste with at least 33 percent not managed inefficiently.

Based in the MENA region, Evreka provides a comprehensive intelligent solution for smart waste management. The company offers seamless integration of cutting-edge devices that covers the entire waste process and provides environmentally-friendly solutions from the collection phase to treatment and recycling. This waste management startup uses AI and machine learning to make the waste management process quick, cost-effective, and organized.

Sustainable Fashion

The fast fashion industry continues to be criticized by the detrimental effects its production brings to the environment. in an effort to save the planet. UNFCCC records that the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of global carbon emissions. It is also estimated that the sector’s emissions are to rise by more than 60 percent by 2030 if transformation towards a sustainable industry fails to materialize soon.

On the consumer side, reusing clothes, buying less, and choosing slow fashion options can help minimize the detrimental effects. Investing in eco-friendly pieces and looking for brands that make clothes through sustainable means would benefit both the consumer and the environment.

The Beirut-founded fashion tech startup called Speetra Fashion Technologies aims to bring fashion and sustainability together as they create sustainable, innovative, and luxurious 3D printed clothing.

The company prides itself in being able to holistically embrace sustainability throughout its entire supply chain, from inception to delivery. Speetra does so by using 3D printing technology to design and manufacture their line. The result of using this technology is a reduced carbon footprint as their 3D-printed clothes only make use of recycled and biodegradable material.

Green Transportation

A 2018 report by the Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks reveals that 28% of the total national greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation industry. Taking a closer look, it appears that, collectively, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all the reported US emissions.

To combat pollution, transportation definitely requires some rethinking. UNECE identified some key trends that need to be implemented if we want to shift to a more sustainable transportation solution. These trends include increased adoption of electric vehicles and infrastructure, ride-sharing, and easy mass adoption of environment-friendly bikes and scooters.

Velvioo from Armenia provides entrepreneurs and cities with an all-in-one platform to launch their own bicycle, e-bike or scooter networks. Their idea is to promote an economical and eco-friendly mode of transportation option through their end-to-end, micro mobility platform.

Through Velvioo, users will be able to find the closest bicycle, e-bike or scooter registered on the platform. By simply scanning the QR code, users can unlock their vehicle to ride, park, and lock it again after use.

Smart Farming

The World Bank emphasizes the importance of developing climate-smart agriculture solutions that promote an integrated approach to manage farming while also addressing any challenges interlinked to food security and climate change.

According to the World Bank, we would need to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 to feed an estimated 9 billion people. Considering how the agricultural sector is both vulnerable and directly contributes to climate change (the industry currently generates 19–29 percent of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions), food uncertainty is looming in the population.

An FAO report highlights the importance of the fishing industry as a food source. According to their research, ten percent of the world's population depends on fisheries for their livelihoods, and 4.3 billion people are reliant on fish for 15 percent of their animal protein intake.

Combining both the importance of the fishing industry and the need for better and more sustainable farming methods, eFishery steps in to provide a climate-smart agriculture solution with their smart feeding system for aquaculture businesses.

As the first aquaculture intelligence company in Indonesia, eFishery is committed to innovate the aquaculture ecosystem by increasing the quantity and quality of fish cultivation through a smart feeding system. Their technology records feeding data that helps it optimize fish growth and minimizes waste of resources.

Energy Accessibility and Efficiency

One of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure access to affordable and clean energy for all. Current numbers show that there are 789 million people in the world that still lack access to energy while electricity production continues to contribute to the aggravation of the state of our climate. There is a need to address two issues regarding energy: energy accessibility and energy efficiency.

The solution might be found in optimizing smart cities, which use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability, create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and working in the city.

Singapore-based Resync provides that type of technology to empower companies and smart cities towards a sustainable and energy efficient future. Using AI and Machine Learning to aggregate, analyse, and take real-time control actions on the distributed energy resources, Resync enables efficient energy usage and reduction in carbon footprint

Climate change is an urgent challenge affecting all living beings. These startups, among the many others, are taking notice of the problem and are using their innovations to make a difference. This Earth Day, let’s take a moment to reflect on how we too can do our part to protect our planet, whether that be through practicing more sustainable means as an entrepreneur to conduct our business or simply to make more informed decisions as consumers.

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