The tech trends positively impacting the planet #StartUps - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Friday, October 14, 2022

The tech trends positively impacting the planet #StartUps


After one of the hottest summers on record and increasingly dramatic shifts in weather patterns, we are really beginning to see and feel the impact of the climate crisis. 

We are all aware of the precarious position our planet finds itself in, and action needs to be taken fast to mitigate the worst impacts. Technology, and tech startups, are helping to push forward that action. It makes sense – tech and startup communities are natural ecosystems breeding innovation and new ways of thinking. 

Tech is helping us to change our consumer behaviours and to make the world a  bit eco-friendlier. It’s helping bring more awareness to the scale of the problem, show actionable data patterns, and change our day-to-day routines.

There are three fundamental steps to fight climate change in daily consumption: to reduce, reuse and recycle. So, here we take a look at four key trends being promoted by European tech startups to make life more sustainable.

E-commerce growth

According to recent research, e-commerce is a more eco-friendly channel rather than brick-and-mortar retail due to having fewer greenhouse gas emissions. In general, e-commerce is 17% more carbon efficient than traditional offline shopping – property usage makes retail shopping less eco-friendly compared to e-commerce and consumers don’t need to drive to go shopping while buying online.  

One of the opposing sides of offline shopping is printing invoices that are difficult to recycle. Irish-based start-up Green Till developed an app that aims at replacing paper receipts with digital ones. For example, in the UK, consumers across the country dispose of more than 7000 tonnes of receipts which is equal to almost 90k trees to print receipts paper in the country. The mission of Green Till is to reduce paper waste and to provide an eco-friendly experience for both customers and retailers. 

Fighting food waste 

Food waste refers to food that is discarded at the level of retailers, food service providers and consumers. Food is wasted in many ways, for example, it is leftover food that is thrown out from households or restaurants or foods that that discarded because it’s close to the best-before date. 

According to a recent study by FUSIONS, households in the EU generate almost 90 million tons of food waste, estimated at €140 billion. At the same time, food waste is a crucial reason for global green gas emissions. There’s a range of different types of food waste apps that can help to cut food waste at home (Danish No Waste), buy discounted food (Hungarian Munch), and share extra food with people in need (Spanish Yo No Desperdicio). The impact of these apps is incredible, for example, Budapest-based Munch have saved more than 95,000 portions of food. 

There’s also plenty of activity in the B2B space, with technology being developed bye startups to help companies and restaurants tackle food waste. For example, Icelandic startup GreenBytes who won this year’s Pitch Competition at our annual EU-Startups Summit and just secured €1 million to make restaurant food waste a thing of the past. Or, e-commerce brand Motatos which recently landed €38 million.  

You can find out more about food waste here. 

Sharing economy

Sharing economy is based on a peer-to-peer approach to sharing access to services and goods via online platforms. The positive environmental impact is a decline in the number of resources consumed, and as a result, a drop in pollution and carbon footprints. For example, according to recent study, provided by leading German carsharing startup Share Now, using their services can save up to 18,000 tonnes of CO2 through free-floating car sharing. The sharing economy is booming – particularly in the mobility sphere. Just think about all the scooters and car share options now available.

Tallinn’s Bolt secured a massive €628 million at the beginning of 2022 to push forward the shared mobility market. It’s also now increasingly being used for electronic goods and retail (for example, London-based HURR). In the electronics space, there’s German giant Grover. We chatted to the CEO Michael Cassau earlier this year to learn more about the sharing platform, and the unicorn then went on to pick up €303 million in April of this year and an additional €270 million in September. It all reflects that sharing is caring and investors are taking note.

If you’re interested in the sharing economy, you can check out a detailed deep dive on the topic here.

ReSale Platforms

The fashion industry impacts 10% of total carbon emissions yearly and is guilty for polluting water systems with micro-plastics. The fashion industry, while one connected with beauty, certainly has an ugly environmental impact. It’s thought that about 85% of all fashion items go to the dump each year – creating a massive waste problem.

 Resale is a solution to increase the negative impact of the industry. Technologies allow sellers to sell their second-hand clothes and accessories and extend the life of these items. The second-hand fashion market is growing, and the EU and 40% of the market share belong to the Lithuanian startup Vinted. It is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows consumers to exchange, sell or purchase clothing items and other used products. There are also the likes of By Rotation which picked up €2.7 million earlier this year or Belfast-based Responsible which is promoting a ‘recommerce’ approach. Consumer awareness of climate change is key to developing eco-friendly clothing apps. 

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October 14, 2022 at 07:22AM by (Anna Bulgakova), Khareem Sudlow