Climate Tech is a term that is used to describe technology that is created specifically for the purpose of helping humanity survive the impacts of climate change. These climate startups are using this technology to benefit humanity.
When it comes to Climate Tech, there are two main types: Mitigation and Adaptation.
Mitigation refers to tech that can aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This includes electric vehicles and alternative energy technologies.
Adaption refers to the use of technology to help us adapt to changes that are too late to avoid. This includes things like innovations in infrastructure meant to withstand extreme weather conditions.
So, let’s take a look at what some of these fascinating startups are doing to help ensure humanity cope with climate change.
KoBold Metals is a startup that is developing specialized artificial intelligence. Their aim is to improve the efficiency and sustainability of important mineral exploration and development.
The main investors of KoBold Metals are Breakthrough Energy Ventures. This is a climate tech fund overseen by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and famous Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
The mineral exploration company uses machine learning and other scientific computing techniques to increase the ethical supply of critical materials (i.e., Ni, Co, Cu, Li, Pt, and Pd) needed to build electric vehicles and personal electronics.
KoBold is the world’s first full-stack exploration company. It combines the top mineral explorers in the world with a team of data scientists and software engineers.
In the future electric vehicles may be applied to the mining process. This will require mines to be constructed in an entirely new way. However, before this can happen, new mines must be discovered.
These are all of the issues that KoBold Metals works to solve.
Carbfix is a startup that works to capture CO2 and turn it into stone underground. Using proprietary technology, Carbfix can complete this process in less than 2 years. Their goal is to help tackle the climate crisis by reducing CO2 emissions.
Most people know that trees and other plants and vegetation draw carbon from the atmosphere and help to purify the air. However, it is lesser known that rocks also naturally store carbon via a natural process.
Carbfix takes this natural process and speeds it up. In nature, carbon dioxide is dissolved in water and chemically reacts with certain rock formations to create stable minerals. These minerals create a permanent carbon sink.
Nilus: One of the Climate Startups Focused on Feeding the World
The goal of the Argentina-based startup Nilus is to both limit food waste and uplift vulnerable communities. Their inspiration come from the fact that while a third of the food produced on earth is wasted, many globally go hungry.
They have created a digital platform that changes food distribution. Food that is about to be wasted by producers and retailers is distributed to low income communities at 30-50% of its market price.
Since Nilus began in 2018, they have delivered food to over 90,000 food insecure people. They have done this important work in Argentina, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Monarch Tractor is working to make sustainable farming more economically viable. A part of this is through the use of innovative fully autonomous smart tractors, MK-Vs.
Today’s farmers face a number of challenges. This includes labor shortages, climate change, and the dangers inherent to their work. Consumers and governments are also increasing their demands.
In order to address all of these concerns, Monarch Tractor is working on more than just electric tractors. They also employ automation, machine learning, and data analysis.
The overall goals of Monarch Tractor include using technology to:
- Enhance existing farm operations
- Increase productivity
- Improve worker safety
- Maximize yields
- Cut Emissions
Circulor is a climate startup that aims to focus on making industrial supply chains more sustainable. These systems play a large role in generating waste and creating other issues.
For example, the supply chains involved in producing clothing for the fashion industry are famous for both widescale pollution and widescale human rights abuses around the world.
According to the company:
Circulor provides the most complete and mature solution to this pressing global problem by enabling companies to gain visibility into their supply chains to demonstrate responsible sourcing, improve their ESG performance, reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and manage the supply chain risks.
Circulor works with clients around the world to improve their ESG. Their goal is to make even the most complex supply chains more transparent. This can help end both human exploitation and the destruction of our planet.
Klima has created an app that is meant to make participating in climate action as simple as pressing a button.
Their idea is that many people around the world want to do their part to help mitigate climate change, but are not sure where to start.
According to Klima’s site:
Individual action has a truly gigantic potential in the fight against global warming. Klima’s mission is to unleash that potential and empower millions to act as a united force for the planet.
Essentially, the app empowers users to know the carbon footprints of their decisions, so they can make more climate-friendly choices.
According to Klima, the app has users in 74 countries and together they have neutralized more than 100,000 tons of CO2 so far.
Community Energy Labs
According to Community Energy Labs’ site:
CEL’s modern building control solutions make smart energy management and decarbonization both accessible and affordable for community building owners.
They offer commercial building control solutions that monitor building energy use, learn from the data they gather, and adjust building energy use to meet goals.
Their IoT and SaaS platform is essentially a virtual engineer that controls things like a building’s:
- Air Quality
- Energy Use
Their product is meant to be installed in one day in result in a 5%-25% reduction in energy usage.
Greyparrot is an AI-based climate startup that is looking to unlock the financial value of waste. The company accomplishes this with a waste recognition software.
With their software, Greyparrot can monitor, audit, and sort waste at a large scale. It empowers waste managers to increase recycling rates and also boost product value in pursuit of a circular and more sustainable economy.
Some problems the aim to fix are the lack of control of material quality, an over-reliance on manual labor, and inefficient sorting processes when it comes to waste.
They say that automating waste composition analysis can save companies more than $200,000 a year.
Mi Terro is a California-based startup that aims to end microplastic and agricultural waste. According to their site:
We are redefining circular economy in which plant-based and animal-based agricultural wastes are upcycled and engineered to replace microplastic in the food, home care, and fashion industries.
The company says they have created the world’s first bio-based polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) replacement. It is made from biomass wastes that would otherwise go into landfills.
Their sustainable and durable bio-degradable materials can replace many products which would usually last decades, centuries, or more in landfills. This includes things like contact lenses, textiles, and packaging.
Their materials are compostable, water-resistant or water degradable, and more affordable than many other bio-based materials.
Final Thoughts on the Groundbreaking Work Of Climate Startups
As the climate crisis continues to intensify, the world will face many challenges. Extreme heat, cold, and intensified weather events, like hurricanes, have already significantly impacted countries around the world.
For example, draughts in India’s dry area have increased by more than 50% over the past several decades, Chile has been in a draught for more than a decade, and lakes and rivers in the US are disappearing.
We need radical changes fast, and even these may not be enough. Many of these startups are doing potentially life-saving work that will hopefully benefit humanity greatly in the coming years.
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